Firearm rights are under unprecedented attack. Say what you want about “universal background checks” and “high capacity magazines” and “assault rifles,” even a quick read of New York’s SAFE Act reveals the simple truth: gun control advocates are shooting for confiscation. Even if you set the Constitution to one side, if the “debate” over armed self-defense were based on fact and logic, our gun rights would never be questioned. But it isn’t. Never has been. The case against firearms is completely emotional. Politicians are feeling the heat from constituents because gun rights advocates are losing the PR war . . .
With every discussion on liberal media, print, electronic, radio and TV alike, we hear emotional outbursts regarding the recent tragedies and that “no one needs an AR-15 with 30-round ‘clips’ for hunting.” In reality, those reactions are to be expected from people who haven’t done the slightest bit of research into the issue. My biggest disappointment, however, is reserved for the pro-gun advocates in the media. They’re not doing their job.
I have watched and listened to dozens of recent debates on gun control and not a single gun rights advocate mentioned the benefits that guns in the hands of private citizens offer our society. Not one person has mentioned that 2 million crimes are stopped every year by law-abiding citizens with guns. Not one person has stated that citizens kill twice the number of criminals than police do, and they do it with a five times lower error rate. Not one person proclaimed that citizens face the same criminals that police face, but do so without the benefit of body armor or back-up.
All the audience hears is the fear-mongering, deception and outright lies of the anti-gun campaigners. And so, for that reason, we are loosing the PR war.
The public and our lawmakers need to learn the benefits of gun ownership. They need to hear it from us, the gun owners, since our anointed spokespeople are not doing the job.
One of the most important places that facts need to be displayed is at the local and state General Assembly hearings on gun control. Given the sad fact that our elected officials, like the media, don’t do proper research (or any at all), we need to make this information known.
I’ve written an outline for testimony that I plan to give at my State Assembly hearings on the proposed gun control bills. In addition to my oral testimony, I will provide copies of the outline to all committee members. If the bill progresses and moves out of committee, I will send copies to all members of the General Assembly.
I offer the outline to the TTAG community in the hopes that the information can be used to help craft your own testimony and send the message loud and clear. Appropriately titled Guns Save Lives, it follows this introduction. You can also download it in Word format here. Feel free to use its content, modify it or use it in its entirety.
In return, I do ask one favor. For the purpose of increasing the value of the testimony, I request that you help me improve the content. Keep in mind that talking points need to be direct, concise and backed up with references (if applicable).
Please offer suggestions of items to add or make any constructive comments by emailing them to me at [email protected]. As the outline is amended, I will repost it so we can all take advantage of the improvements.
Additionally, it’s imperative that as many people as possible attend local gun control hearings to proclaim their opposition. There is nothing better than having several hundred gun rights supporters at the hearings to demonstrate to the committee members that we are serious about protecting our rights.
Just being there isn’t enough. Committee members need to know why you are there. To that end, I purchased some bright, yellow buttons that proclaim, “Prosecute Criminals, Not Guns.” When politicians look out and see a hearing room full of yellow buttons, they will understand the depth of our passion.
At a hearing a few years ago for a wide-ranging gun control bill in Rhode Island, there were 250 people in the audience with those same yellow buttons. That was a huge turnout for such a small state. I’m confident that the show of strength and unity proudly proclaimed by the buttons helped defeat the bill.
These pro-gun rights buttons make great fundraisers as well. Before the previous hearings, I visited local gun clubs and sold each club 100 buttons for $5.00 each. I asked them to resell the buttons to their members to wear at the hearings. The buttons not only prominently displayed our opposition for the General Assembly to see, but it also brought in several thousand dollars for our organization to use to continue our fight against gun control.
The buttons are available at http://www.armedresponsetraining.com/dvds-books.html. $1.50 each, or 25 for $30 and 50 for $42.50.
We Must Make Our Voices Heard!
Guns Save Lives!
Firearms in the hands of law-abiding citizens stop 2.5 million crimes every year.*
That’s 6,800 crimes stopped every day by law-abiding citizens with guns!
* Armed: New Perspectives on Gun Control, Gary Kleck and Don Kates
Citizens Need Firearms MORE than Police
Private citizens face violent criminals, and do so without the benefits of back-up, nor bullet-resistant vests.
Victims and bystanders are the real first responders to crime, not police.
Private citizens kill twice as many criminals as police, and do so with a 5 times lower error rate than police.*
If there is a need for police to have firearms, there is twice the need for private citizens to have firearms.
State House Police have AR15s to safeguard you, our state’s elected officials, because they are reliable and accurate. My family deserves the same.
*Newsweek Magazine, “Are we a Nation of Cowards?,” November 15, 1993.
AR15s are the Best Choice for Personal Defense
The majority of Police departments around the country rely on the AR15 because it is:
– Highly adaptable to different body sizes
– Easy to shoot accurately which reduces the possibility of misses
– Ammunition is less likely to cause collateral damage compared to a handgun
– Minimal recoil allows safer operation
– Easily able to attach an auxiliary sight which increases safety
– Easily able to attach a light which increases safety
The Department of Homeland Security has stated that firearms with the AR15’s 5.56 ammunition are “suitable for personal defense in close quarters.”*
My family’s safety should rely on nothing less than the best.
*Department of Homeland Security, Personal Defense Weapons Solicitation, Solicitation Number: HSCEMS-12-R-00011, June 7, 2012
There is No Such Thing as an Assault Weapon
Anti-gunners have created a fake class of firearms, based solely on their appearance, and deceptively named them “assault weapons.”
Their hope was that their scary looks, combined with an evil sounding name, will influence the unknowing public in supporting a ban on them.
Specifically, they seek to ban firearms with:
– Pistol grips
– Folding stocks
– Collapsible stocks
– Flash hiders
– Bayonet lugs
– Forward vertical grips
The features have absolutely no effect on the lethality of rifles. Many non-banned firearms are far more powerful.
Assault Weapon Bans have been Proven Useless in Reducing Crime
Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
The assault weapons ban in Connecticut did NOTHING to stop the Sandy Hook massacre.
The 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban had no measurable effect on crime, according to the CDC.*
A 2004, Dept. of Justice study** concurred and stated:
“Should it be renewed, the ban’s effects on gun violence are likely to be small at best and perhaps too small for reliable measurement. [Assault weapons] were rarely used in gun crimes even before the ban.”
*U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, “First Reports Evaluating the Effectiveness of Strategies for Preventing Violence: Firearms Laws,” Summary, October 3, 2003.
**An Updated Assessment of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban: Impact on Gun Markets and Gun Violence, 1994-2003. Report to the National Institute of Justice, US Department of Justice, Christopher Koper, June 2004
Rifles are the Least Used Weapons in Murders according to the FBI*
Weapon # of Murders
Hands & feet 726
Blunt objects 496
There has never been a single crime committed, with a so-called assault weapon, in the state of Rhode Island—never.
*FBI Uniform Crime Reports, Crime in the United States 2011
Firearms are One of the LOWEST Causes of Accidental Death of Children
Gun Control Increases Crime
Locations in the Country that have the strictest gun control have the highest violent crime rates – Washington DC, New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Etc.
There are twice the number gun-related deaths in
“gun-free” Chicago than U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq.*
Illinois disarmed its citizens by prohibiting concealed carry, yet Chicago has the one of the highest rate of gun-related violence in the County.
Locations in the Country that have the least gun control have the lowest violent crime rate. ME, NH, VT, SD, VA, MN, Etc.
Criminals don’t fear laws, they only fear armed victims.
Citizens, who submit to a police check and give their fingerprints to the FBI to get a firearms license are the safest demographic in the Country.
*125 Shot Dead In Chicago Over Summer. Total Is About Double The U.S. Troop Death Toll In Iraq. Sept 2008
223 Million Firearms in the US are Used Safely
There are 223 million firearms currently in the hands of law-abiding citizens in the US.* Tens of millions of them are rifles.
The AR-15 is the most popular rifle sold in the US today. They have been available to citizens since 1963.
We use them everyday for fun, sport, hunting, competition, and personal defense.
http://www.assaultweapon.info is a great source of additional information.
We Don’t Ban Cars
If the Sandy Hook murderer had stolen a car and killed the same number of children by driving it into a classroom, would there be a call to ban cars? Of course not!
The logical reasoning is that, although twice as many people are killed every year in auto-related incidents than in firearm-related ones, cars have a great benefit to society.
The same holds true for Firearms:
– Citizens Stop 1.5 – 2 million crimes every year
– Citizens kill twice as many violent criminals as police with a 5x lower error rate.
What Laws Can Be Enacted to
Stop Mass Shooting?
NONE. There is not a law in the country that will stop an evil, psychopath from committing crimes. Criminals, by definition, do not follow laws.
If guns are not available, murderers will use knives, bombs, cars, poisons, etc. There are hundreds of ways to kill.
How to Stop Mass Shootings
Deterrence. All mass shootings happen at gun-free zones because they know their victims are defenseless. Elimination of gun free zones, nationwide, will deter violent crime.
Fight Back. The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is good guy with a gun.
– Place multiple police officers at each school and train and arm administrators and teachers.
– Train all school personnel defensive procedures and tactics again armed gunmen.
Israel solved their problem with school shootings by arming teachers. They also stopped plane hijackings by putting armed officers on every plane.
Can’t Wait for Police. It takes second for a murderer to kill. Police response is measured in minutes.
Make Rhode Island Safer
States with the highest numbers of carry permits have the lowest crime rates in the country. Criminals do not fear police, they only fear armed victims.
Numerous lawsuits have forced some RI police chiefs to issue, but most still do not. It is dispicable that a RI citizen has to use the courts to force the police chief to follow the law.
Strengthen Sentencing Laws
According the the June 2011, RI Dept. of Corrections 2009 Recidivism Report, RI released almost 1300 violent criminals back onto the streets of our community. With a roughly 28% recidivism rate, that means Rhode Islanders are victimized approximately 360 times every year by violent criminals who were let out of jail. Compare that to fact that no crimes have ever been committed by RI citizens with so-called assault weapons.
Strengthen Drunk Driver Laws
Time and time again, Rhode Islanders are injured and killed by drunk drivers that the courts let back out on the street. Even with 5, 10 and 15 drunk driving convictions and these people are still on the road killing Rhode Island residents. Compare that to fact that no crimes have ever been committed by RI citizens with so-called assault weapons.
Strengthen our Mental Health System
The one thing all mass killers have in common is extreme mental health issues. Increase education and assistance to people with mental health problems and to their families.
Sandy Hook and all of the other tragedies were not gun problems, they were mental health problems.
Self-Defense is a Human Right