Where Are Our Representatives?

MCSM Firearm Owner Forum

By Fred C. Sebly

September 19, 2000

It was reported on December 8, 1999 that the Clinton administration wants to file a class action lawsuit against gun manufacturers. The reason? For the high cost of gun violence in public housing facilities. This is completely outrageous! Only a dictatorship would feel free to do such a thing. The administration tells us they want to keep guns from getting into the wrong hands. As with many liberal programs, this "sounds good" at first glance. Let's look at it a little more deeply.

First Clinton is sidestepping the proper channels through our elected representatives. Do we want to open the gates for a future president to act in such a dictatorial fashion just because he thinks he is doing the right thing? Where are the checks and balances? Where are our representatives on this affront to our constitution?

Secondly, no lawsuit, or laws, will keep killers from getting guns, knives, drugs, cash, sex, and the list goes on. Because of the absurd nature of this scheme, I regard this as yet another step along the path toward a total gun ban.

Want to reduce crime? Focus on the criminal and the punishment. It is very simple, yet the Clinton administration has failed miserably in this area. Since Janet Reno took over the Justice Department, criminal prosecutions have dropped 44%. Where is the public outrage? There is very little because the liberal media has kept a tight lid on it. A half dozen people were killed in one Baltimore home on December 5, 1999. The murderers have extensive criminal records. If they had been in jail, the killings could not have taken place. Or had the residents been armed, they would have had a fighting chance.

The liberals tout the Brady Bill. But it is interesting to note that there has been a total lack of prosecution during the past five years of Brady background checks. 250,000 predators have been returned to the streets by the same government that wants to "save the children". Then when these released criminals commit a crime, it can serve as more ammunition for the Clinton administration to further erode the Second Amendment.

The current administration, liberal elite’s and the media are constantly harping that guns are bad. Guns aren't bad. It is the user who defines what a gun will do. With proper training, the average citizen can effectively defend himself. With the government turning criminals out into the streets in record numbers, I strongly recommend that everyone obtain the proper training and then arm themselves. Still skeptical? Read on.

Recently a major Washington DC newspaper ran an article comparing crime in Maryland's Montgomery county and Virginia's Fairfax county. They are solid comparisons because the economy, incomes, unemployment rate, immigration rates, total population, demographics and proximity to Washington DC are nearly the same. But the FBI shows that a great disparity exists between them when it comes to crime. To save time I will not go into the numerous statistics, however, let it be said that rapes, robberies, aggravated assaults, murders, and burglaries are very much higher in Maryland's Montgomery County. What is the difference you ask? The article went on to report that Maryland has stricter gun control laws, but is more lenient on the criminal. Conversely, Virginia has a right to carry (a gun) law, coupled with fewer gun control laws. Face to face criminal activity in Virginia represents the largest gap in crime statistics between the two states. It stands to reason that criminals are afraid of armed citizens. Another fact is that Virginia has a stricter criminal justice policy. Virginia abolished parole for violent felons, instituted a truth-in-sentencing law, pursues the death penalty, and the city of Richmond incorporated project exile (Criminals caught with guns are automatically sent to federal penitentiaries). These aren't opinions. These are hard facts. Now what did Clinton say he wanted to do? He said he wants to keep guns out of the wrong hands. Has he considered tightening up on prosecutions and reducing gun control? Because this indeed does work. Not convinced? Read on.

Some ill-informed folks say that poverty causes crime. During the great depression there was less crime than today. And consider the following as an excellent example: West Virginia is one of the poorest states in the union. And like Virginia, it has few gun control laws. Yet West Virginia has the lowest overall crime rate. I repeat. It is dead last as compared to the rest of the country (World Almanac of the USA, 1996).

Professor John R. Lott has done an exhaustive study on national crime and gun data. From the book, the reader can deduce that, in essence, gun laws kill. The numerous details and rigorous statistics abound in his book: More Guns, Less Crime. In states, which adopted the right-to-carry laws, crime took a nosedive. Those states report an average of a 24% lower violent crime rate. Australia and England abolished guns. The newspapers won't report this, but crime actually went up. Criminals don't obey laws. One might ask himself this: If all this is true, why does our government want to make it more difficult for a law-abiding citizen to own and carry a firearm?

Clinton wants to keep guns from children. Children can not buy guns in Maryland, or in Washington DC for that matter. Yet these two areas are ripe with criminal activity. Will yet another law actually help? Another way to view this. If making a law will prevent people from obtaining something, why do illegal drugs flow into our cities? Because criminals do not obey laws.

Guns are used in self-defense 2.5 million times per year. In most cases, simply showing the weapon is sufficient to scare off a criminal. Statistics are from Florida State School of Criminology professor Gary Kleck. And according to Paul Craig Roberts, more crimes are prevented by gun owners than by police. Guns are used to prevent 5 times as many crimes as they are used to commit crimes. If the government continues to erode our Second Amendment, who will protect us?

This is not a gun culture. Rather there are some elements of our society that represent the criminal culture. Among other things, they use guns as the tools of their trade. We have many more guns laws than we had in the past. And it is harder to obtain a firearm today. The real problem? The press and the government are ignoring the criminal while focusing on the gun itself. However, the root cause is not the weapon. So, what is the government's real agenda?

21 children, under the age of 5, die each year from accidental gun deaths. Considering there are over 200 million guns and 277 million people, in this country, this is a remarkable safety record. There are also 40 children, under the age of 5 who die in pails of water each year (Both figures from the Centers for Disease Control). And think of this: Over 4000 died from auto accidents in the same period of time, 50 by poisoning; 213 died choking on food; and 150 from fires they themselves started.

In a 1997 Justice department survey of convicted felons it was revealed that less than 2% obtained their weapons at gun shows. Criminals, instead purchase through the black market and by theft.

No more talk of gun control. We have more government encroachment than anytime in the past and yet crime has not been significantly reduced. With a continued effort of the government to demonize guns, it is possible that there will come a day when only the government and the criminal will be armed. I am not sure which one I fear the most. What is wrong with our fellow Americans that they can't see what is going on? Perhaps we are too soft and we just take things for granted. Our freedoms are being eroded more every day. Soon it will be too late. Perhaps it is already. I ask again: Where are our representatives on this?

Fred C. Sebly
Mount Airy, MD

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