Archive for the ‘Opinion’ Category

Posted by Jonathan at 16 February 2013

Category: CT Legislation, Issues - State of CT, Opinion

There was a recent incident in Newington involving a mother at a local “Chuck-E-Cheese” restaurant.  Tawana Bourne presented her firearm in an altercation at the restaurant.  Ms. Bourne broke two laws that day:  Briefly (according to Newington PD) brandishing a firearm as well as carrying the firearm in a posted “no guns allowed” facility.  Both of which, would most likely be illegal.  I’m not going to delve deeper in the permit revocation aspect in this case.  She had a permit and it was revoked.  I doubt she’ll get her permit back any time soon (though she can navigate the courts and application process again).

I have a serious problem when the local media pick up the story that she was denied her permit and it was overturned by the Board of Firearms Permit Examiners even though she had (according to the article) been arrested several times, committed to a hospital and a family member had a restraining order against her.

On it’s face, the information presented above is true.  However, there are many “factual discrepancies” between the facts and sensationalism.  Let’s break the facts down, according to the article (and Middletown PD), the reasons for the denial were:

  • Arrests in 2001, 2003 and 2004
  • “as well as” two convictions
  • “along with some other arrests within our town, two times we had to commit her to the hospital for a mental evaluation”
  • Restraining order

Now, when you read the article, it makes it sound like the board was presented information that she was a career criminal/mental case and shouldn’t get her permit.  The article quotes Ms. Bourne stating that she has been clean for seven years.

The article misses A LOT of the facts and how the above arrests, committals and restraining orders were related.  I actually delved a little deeper in the case because I attend just about every firearms board hearing as an observer.  They are NOT a permit mill.  If the board had unanimously overturned a denial, then there had to be a reason beyond the article mentioned above.  Sure enough, there was.

The “crime spree” mentioned above didn’t take place over an extended period of time.  The majority of the arrests and committal/restraining order issues delve around incidents occurring in ONE WEEK. in 2001.  I will present you with the information (good and bad) that I researched by listening to the hearing.

  • The reason for the actual denial was failure to properly list arrests/convictions on the application.  In these incidents displaying knives (steak knives), being committed to a hospital and having a restraining order against her.
  • Middletown brings up a few arrests, but no convictions.  One board member questions whether mentioning arrests without conviction is valid or not under CT statute 42-154a.
  • Convictions related to these cases were failure to appear (class a misdemeanor), possession of a restricted substance (most likely prescription medicine) which was a class C misdemeanor and a fine was paid.
  • Board agrees that all the charges/convictions above were not disqualifiers under state law (but the behavior can be “weighted upon” to judge suitability.

These all revolve around incidents on June 23rd and June 29th of 2001.  The appellant at that time was approximately 19 or 20 years old (I didn’t get the specific age from the audio).  The article does not mention that the majority of this criminal activity stems from these two dates in the same week..  The restraining order, I don’t give much weight to as it was an ex parte restraining order.  A complaint was made, a judge issued the order without a hearing (which is common).  When it came time to continue the temporary restraining order, the complaintant never showed up in court to continue the order.  The appellant admits she had a drug habit, inquired whether her family would be glad without her and that she should “jump off the bridge”.  She then was committed to the hospital on these occasions.

The majority of what follows is what was missing from the article and how Ms. Bourne had changed her life around.

  • She has been clean 7 years since these incidents.
  • Chairman Corradino states that based on evidence submitted, she looks to have changed her life around with letters of recommendation, newspaper articles about her work and an impressive resume.
  • After hospitalization, she sought treatment and got involved in church activities.
  • Had two children and didn’t want to raise them as an addicted mother.
  • Started attending college.  She had received her Associates, was currently 1 year away from her Bachelors degree and planned to pursue her Masters in social work.
  • She works full time as a home health worker and a social worker (while attending college and raising children of her own).
  • She started her own organization in Middletown to help adults and parents overcome situations like those she overcame.
  • She was involved in a school program helping parents and children improve literacy.
  • She received a prestigious grant for her social work from the William Caspar Graustein Fund.

When you look at the incidents of the younger Ms. Bourne with the person that was at her permit denial hearing, you indeed see two very different women.  Look at the HUGE list of accomplishments (somehow, absent from the media reports).  The board saw SEVEN years of clean conduct and nothing but positive change.

The BFPE deliberated and six members voted unanimously to grant her a permit.

One should really wonder, how did the media get the information regarding the permit denial?  Politics.  There are several bills being discussed to dissolve the Board of Firearms Permit Examiners. If this were to happen, citizens would have no recourse but a very costly process in the court system.  It would overburden the court system with close to 500 or more cases a year.  Most judges have no experience with firearms, all members of the board are very experienced with firearms.  Board members are volunteers and the only paid staff is one part time administrative person and expenses (copies, mailing, etc.).  Those expenses cost the state around $80,000. a year (a quick look at the math shows the state collects over $2,520,000 per year in pistol permit fees).  The BFPE board appointments come from government agencies (including a Department of Environmental Protection Colonel), governor appointees and two are from gun clubs.  The board is made up of seven members (six voted in this case).   The board composition is well balanced.

Some municipalities and the State Special Licensing and Firearms Unit have issues with the BFPE.  When they do not follow state statutes, the BFPE can overturn wrongful denials and revocations.  Just look at the towns I have collected information from on this site.  A large number of towns simply do not follow the law when issuing permits and the BFPE is the only recourse a citizen may have to correct this abuse.  Some towns violations are so egregious, a person could lose their place of residence or employment if they sign such harmful “hold harmless” agreements (not required by law).

As someone that attends these hearings, I have seen people denied permits for extremely trivial arrests.  One for a pack of batteries stolen in the mid eighties with NO interaction since that time with law enforcement.  One for a drunk driving incident IN THE SIXTIES with no further interaction with law enforcement.  It’s not uncommon to see a town abuse it’s authority over an anti-gun bias.  In these cases, the BFPE excels at making sure these abuses are corrected.  The board is also very firm and I’ve seen plenty of denials.  Many from what I have observed to be trivial given the weight of the case.  But, they have been fair and impartial.

I’m still left to wonder.  Who tipped off the media?  Middletown PD for being angry over their “authority” being overturned?  The state Special Licensing and Firearms Unit over their decisions being continually overturned?  I think there is indeed an agenda here given the political climate, especially post Sandy Hook.  Call me a skeptic.

Posted by Jonathan at 13 February 2013

Category: Issues - State of CT, Opinion

UPDATE:  1:00 PM – Larry Cafero has said he will withdraw from the event.  Seems the event was presented to him in a way that made him think that it was going to be something else.  I can only hope McKinney comes around.  Thank you Larry Cafero!

What is “March for Change”?

It is a program of Connecticut Against Gun Violence, which is really a group that is just against guns – period.  Forget the violence.  If they did, they’d be honest about violent crime vs gun crime statistics, but I digress.

I am a member of our states largest grass roots, firearms rights organization – Connecticut Citizens Defense League (www.ccdl.us).  In my capacity in this organization, I attend (and sometimes speak) at firearms rights rallies and meetings throughout the state.  I have NEVER seen either Larry Cafero or John McKinney at either of these events.  What’s worse, these two are not only Republicans (and a large majority of their constituency are firearms owners) they are the Senate and House Minority Leaders.

This is from the “March” and CAGV press release:

Several elected officials, including …..Senate Minority Leader John McKinney, House Minority Leader Lawrence F. Cafero Jr…… will participate in the March for Change ….to affirm their support of safer, rational, common sense legislative changes in the current gun laws in the State of Connecticut.

What kind of message does it send when a large majority of their constituency supports firearms rights, but these two attend an anti-gun rally?  We need to let them know that we will not stand for this behavior.  We don’t want them being used as pawns for an organization that has an agenda that is against the tool used, not the actual violence itself.  Maybe they don’t understand that the organization putting on this event is billing it as “support” for firearms laws change.

If you are in either of their district, it is extremely important that you contact them and let them know.  Let the CT GOP know that we will not stand by while this type of activity continues to roll forward.  Let them know WE WILL HOLD YOU ACCOUNTABLE in the next election.  Our numbers are growing, firearms owners are MUCH more organized this time around and we will not tolerate this behavior.

I urge all firearms owners and those that support our federal constitution’s second amendment, and our state constitution, to contact both of these elected representatives and ask them why?  Tell them they will be held accountable next time around.  Tell them how their involvement makes you feel personally.

 

Larry Cafero – House Republican Leader

Web:  http://cthousegop.com/larry-cafero/

Email:  larry.cafero@housegop.ct.gov

Connecticut House Republican Office
L.O.B.Room 4200
Hartford, CT 06106
860-240-8700
800-842-1423 (toll-free in CT)

John McKinney – Senate Republican Leader

Web:  http://ctsenaterepublicans.com/home-mckinney/

Email:  John.McKinney@cga.ct.gov

Legislative Office Building
Room 3400
Hartford, CT 06106
Phone: 1-800-842-1421

Posted by Jonathan at 11 February 2013

Category: Issues - State of CT, Opinion

This was just too good a read and listen not to include here.

I listen to a LOT of podcasts, there are plenty that are better than what I have available to me on local radio.  Between my Samsung Galaxy 3 and my Galaxy Tab tablet, I’m loaded for good talk oriented radio.  A lot of it is serious, so the “Gun for Hire” podcast was really refreshing – hell, they even sound like me!  When things need to be serious, they are.  But, this is indeed NSFW (Not Suitable For Work).  Suitable for adults, indeed (language).  They are also the famed “Gun For Hire” training facilities in NJ…… yeah, that New Jersey…….

I’ve been listening to them really since they started and have always enjoyed their podcast (especially when I need a good laugh). Sometimes you are so caught up in the fight for our rights that you need a good laugh.  Then, Episode 82 came out, post Sandy Hook.  Sandy (the producer of the show) led off with this monologue and I had to rewind the podcast several times to listen to it because it is amongst the best damn gun writing I have heard/read in quite some time.

I meant to post this earlier, but I’ve been so busy with the legislative side of things as of late, I simply forgot.

The editorial is available as a PDF here.

As an audio file here.

I’d listen to the whole episode, as I recall it was nearly two hours long.

 

Posted by Jonathan at 17 January 2013

Category: Issues - State of CT, Opinion, Suitability

At the January Board of Firearms Permit Examiners (BFPE) meeting, I submitted a six point petition for a declaratory ruling.  A declaratory ruling is where the BFPE rules on issues that they have authority.  For example (but not limited) if a person is having a problem with a town that refuses to follow statutes, then the BFPE can indeed give them a hearing.  Based on that authority, and previous declaratory rulings, I have written a six point petition on several issues – one of which has been previously addressed (3 letters of reference) but some still scary waivers and hold harmless waivers are still floating around out there.

Below is a copy of the petition I recently submitted.  I hope to be able to persuade the BFPE that these issues exist and are a barrier to citizens and firearms/permit rights as outlined in CT General Statutes 29-28 and 29-29.

Here is the letter/petition:

Board of Firearms Permit Examiners

20 Trinity St. 5th floor

Hartford, CT 06106

Attn: William Knapp, Board Secretary

Dear Mr. Knapp,

This letter is a request for a BFPE declaratory ruling based on several complaints from citizens in CT. 

Issues

One: Sufficient submission of permit application under CT 29-28a

As you are aware, I represent my own website where I assist citizens having issues obtaining a permit and I’m also on the executive board of our states largest single issue firearms rights group – Connecticut Citizens Defense League where I am receiving several more complaints on the same issue.

Over the last five months we have seen a sharp increase in citizens in regards to CT General Statutes 29-28a and an attempt to submit an application to a local issuing authority.  In particular, refusal of an issuing authority to accept the application unless they have an appointment.  SEVERAL towns are notifying residents to come back anywhere from 10 weeks and up to several months.  This is simply is not acceptable.

Between November 10thand January 4th, I have received 17 complaints on this issue alone. 

Two:  Towns charging extra fees not compliant with CT 29-30

Several towns are charging additional fees not prescribed under CT statute 29-30.  Under this statute, fees are clearly outlined as:

The fee for each state permit originally issued under the provisions of subsection (b) of section 29-28 for the carrying of pistols and revolvers shall be one hundred forty dollars plus sufficient funds as required to be transmitted to the Federal Bureau of Investigation to cover the cost of a national criminal history records check. The local authority shall forward sufficient funds for the national criminal history records check to the commissioner no later than five business days after receipt by the local authority of the application for the temporary state permit. Seventy dollars shall be retained by the local authority. Upon approval by the local authority of the application for a temporary state permit, seventy dollars shall be sent to the commissioner.

Some towns are simply charging more outright.  Others are charging additional finger print fees.

Canaan – $80

Manchester – $25.00 –fingerprint fee

Granby – $20.00

Torrington – $25.00 for fingerprinting

This is not a complete list, but examples of town paperwork are attached with this request. 

We understand that a town may use a different system (electronic) for fingerprinting. It is our position that if they choose to use such systems, that the cost is paid from the $70.00 paid to the town, not by the applicant. If the town refuses to take the application, then we believe the applicant can send a certified application with the check for $70.00 as we outline in issue six below.

Three:  Local Issuing Authority requirement of additional letters and waivers

Many towns have complied with this boards previous declaratory ruling regarding extra information.  Many are still refusing to accept applications without additional paperwork, passport photos, etc..  Some of these extra documents pose possible severe repercussions for the applicant.  “Hold harmless” and “medical release” waivers by some towns include asking for a signed document to interview employers and such is simply going too far.  We understand that a town can ask for this information.  We are just asking for clarification that a town can not make any of the additional requirements MANDATORY except for those outlined in Connecticut General Statutes and this boards previous declaratory ruling.

Four: Notarized documents and a “raised seal”.

A few towns have denied citizens (this was tried on me until I demonstrated the law as I’m a Notary) that an application have a “raised” seal. This raised seal is not required under CT laws and I question that this requirement simply does not fall under the domain of the local issuing authority.  The office of the Secretary of the State has stated so in the CT “Notary Manual”.  Page 12 of the March 2012 edition is enclosed for verification.

Five:  Failure to send out prints when taken under 29-29b

            Notification of permit approval or denial within one week under CT 29-29c

Many towns are refusing to send out prints in a timely fashion as written in CT 29-29b or notifying applicants that prints have been received and a decision to approve and deny.  The portion of 29-29 we are arguing is:

    (b) The local authority shall take the fingerprints of such applicant or conduct any other method of positive identification ……. The local authority shall record the date the fingerprints were taken in the applicant’s file and, within five business days of such date, shall forward such fingerprints or other positive identifying information to the State Police Bureau of Identification which shall conduct criminal history records checks in accordance with section 29-17a.

 

      (c) …..the commissioner shall send a copy of the results of such national criminal history records check to the local authority, which shall inform the applicant and render a decision on the application within one week of the receipt of such results. If such results have not been received within eight weeks after a sufficient application for a permit has been made, the local authority shall inform the applicant of such delay, in writing……

 

It is our argument that if a town does not comply with these statutes, then the applicant can file for an appeal.  The BFPE does acknowledge 29-29C on their website, but we are having issues with towns not sending out fingerprints to the State Police Bureau of Identification for processing as outlined in 29-29b.

Six:  We seek a decision of the Board of Firearms Permit Examiners regarding an acceptable practice for issuing authorities that do not comply with Connecticut Statutes.

As a practice, we would like the board to acknowledge and accept the following procedure as a process to appeal for an administrative denial when a town refuses to accept an application for any of the reasons above:

 

  1. Applicant has fingerprints taken at either state     trooper barracks or Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection     in Middletown, CT.
  2. Applicant sends certified copy of application     and the town $70.00 fee to the police chief of the town and notify them     that the fingerprints have been taken at DESPP and results to be forwarded.  Applicant will notify issuing authority     in this letter that this is considered day one of the application process     as set forth in CT General Statutes 29-28 and 29-29.  We also acknowledge that the issuing     authority may not request the two checks for background investigation as     they are paid when prints are taken at the State Police Bureau of     Identification.
  3. Applicant will inquire from the State Police     Bureau of Identification when results were sent to issuing authority.
  4. When issuing authority has had one week, ask for     a decision on the application.  If     the issuing authority has failed or refused to issue a permit, start the     appeal process with the CT Board of Firearms Permit Examiners.

Since I am at almost every BFPE hearing, I am available at any time to answer questions on or off the record.

Sincerely,

E. Jonathan Hardy

Executive Member, CCDL (Permit Issues and Legislative Affairs)

www.ctpistolpermitissues.com

Posted by Jonathan at 11 December 2012

Category: Opinion

Often, people think I am “anti-cop”.  Nothing can be further from the truth.  My family has quite the history as officers and judges.  However, this site was put together to illustrate where I think law enforcement needs to follow the same laws as we do.  Often, comes across as being “anti-cop”.  Well, nice to write a good cop story.

Hartford PD had a gun buyback last weekend.  Was rather entertaining because it was also a hot topic with our former Governor John Roland on his talk show on WTIC that Friday.  Roland had quite the discussion with a caller talking about historic firearms and disarming citizens.  Roland stated that historic firearms just don’t get turned in…. then, it happened!

A citizen brought in a WWII trophy worth $30,000 – $40,000.  An officer who spotted the firearm noticed it and took a closer look.  Turns out it was a WWII souvenir that can only be had if a veteran killed that particular soldier and had the relic sent back as a trophy.

I give HPD credit for not slicing this piece of history.  It will be set aside and prepared for legal transfer so the citizen can at least get the money she deserves.

Moral to the story:  Sorry Mr. Governor, often historic relics are indeed turned in at these buyback programs ALL the time.  I haven’t seen many M1 Garand rifles in my life living in the capitol city, but I have seen ’em turned in at citizen disarmament programs.

Posted by Jonathan at 11 December 2012

Category: Opinion

Many would wonder why the “from MA” is an argument.  Well, it was only a few years back where MA politicians were blaming surrounding states for Boston’s crime rate.  If guns weren’t so easy to get in other states, MA wouldn’t have this “problem”.  This is before the new digital sign that was put up near the park:

 

 

 

 

That being said, what is MA going to do about the horrific spread of guns coming from MA to CT (OK, that was a bit of sarcasm).

Apparently, the trucker was planning on selling them in another city with a ton of gun control laws – Bridgeport.  Another city, ton of laws and ordinances, low crime rate, right???

Here is the Stratford Patch article with all the information and lovely details:

http://stratford.patch.com/articles/stratford-trucker-charged-for-stealing-111-guns

Posted by Jonathan at 19 October 2012

Category: Issues - State of CT, Opinion

I have several problems with the ruling.  I’ve read it twice this week and am still struck by some really odd points.

  1. Tons of discussion on Goldbergs’ permit being revoked and what a reasonable person would think if they saw the firearm.  HE DIDN’T BREAK ANY LAW.  His permit was held up through an application in a different town where he was approved (Wethersfield) and over a year and a half waiting for an appeal.
  2. Kuck made points of hearing times.  At the time, over 18 months to get a hearing.  It is a violation of due process in my opinion.  Ramblings between Kuck’s numbers and auditors numbers just didn’t make me think any different.  When you read the document, neither number makes it look good when there are so many agreements made just before the hearing dates.
  3. Blaming 9/11, the 2008 election and the Cheshire home invasion for rise in permits is moot, and debatable on a few fronts.  The Cheshire home invasion was a CT issue, yet at the same time, permits and gun sales rose in the rest of the nation.  Regardless, we have laws that clearly lay out the timeline for permits (29-28 and 29-29).  If issuing authorities followed the laws pertaining to the permit process, then maybe we could reduce the time for a hearing.
  4. The ruling doesn’t address adequately the fact that the majority of towns in CT do NOT follow the law or the declaratory ruling issued by the Board of Firearms Permit Examiners.  If this declaratory ruling and the statutes were followed, there would be a lot less appeals.  Look at the sheer number of appeals that are overturned because of frivolous denials.

I do want to commend the Board of Firearms Permit Examiners, a volunteer board for bringing down the backlog from 18 months to approximately six months.  A huge credit to their dedication to get the backlog reduced.

I still need to re-read and just make a ton of notes on this ruling, but here it is for your reading pleasure:

Kuck vs. Dahaher Oct 2012

 

Posted by Jonathan at 21 July 2012

Category: Opinion

I wasn’t going to discuss this topic on this site.  I usually stay away from such issues that don’t deal with Connecticut and our civil rights.   A friend posted a blog post by Roger Ebert ( http://blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/2012/07/the_body_count.html#more ) that just drove me nuts.  I suggest you read that blog post on the Chicago Sun Times before you continue here as I illustrate some severe distortions of that opinion.

I said I would not comment until I get the facts of the horrible tragedy in Aurora Colorado.  I still will not.  Some will indeed exploit this incident to pursue their own agenda.  I will, however, correct this one particular editorial for one reason:  This is exactly why I will not get into particulars about tragic events like this theater shooting.  People flat out LIE or misrepresent poor, flawed data to support an emotional argument with no basis in fact.

Let’s address some of Ebert’s claims.

Ebert says the following of the rifle used in the shooting:

“They fire 10 shots at a time, and are intended for combat use.”

No, they do not.  They fire one shot with each trigger pull.  For someone who shot ROTC, he should at least know the difference between semi-auto sporting rifles and full automatic rifles.  These rifles can hold anywhere from one to hundreds of rounds with large magazines, however each trigger pull will fire one bullet.  That is no different than any other target rifle.  Unlike Roger Ebert, I speak from experience.  I am a firearms instructor and also own two of these rifles and have built DOZENS of them.  They are NOT made for combat use.  Combat firearms are fully automatic (or “select fire”).  However, they are made in the same evil black color.

“The theory is that gun ownership makes us safer. That doesn’t seem to be working out for us.”

No?  Every year, people in the United States use guns to defend themselves against criminals an estimated 2,500,000 times – more than 6,500 people a day, or once every 13 seconds.  This is according to Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, Fall 1995.

More recent data supports the continuing crime rate fall as well.  Citizens are buying more guns than ever in the U.S., yet, crime rates continue to decline to the lowest level ever.  According to F.B.I. data, (I’ll use 2008 since I have it handy, but it has continued to fall ever since) crime rates continued to decline.  Murder -7.3 percent.  Forcible rape -2.6 percent.  Robbery – 8.0 percent.  Look for yourself:  http://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2010/september/crime-rates

“In Chicago we have a murder wave going on. Gun ownership doesn’t bring safety when both sides are shooting at each other.”

Interesting statement.  Since civilians haven’t been able to purchase guns, get permits and this had to even follow up to the Supreme Court.  Yes, cities with the strictest gun control (Los Angeles, CA and New York, New York are great examples).  Yet, border southern border cities tend to fare much better.

“Nationally, most guns fired in homes kill people who live there, including children, and do not kill home invaders.”

This is from a severely flawed study.  The Brady campaign (which Ebert seems to love to quote) doesn’t even use this statistic anymore.  It stems from a statistic of “Handguns are 43 times more likely to kill a family member than a criminal”.  That study was looked at in more detail.  It noted serious flaws in data gathering and sampling rates.

Protection or Peril? An Analysis of Firearm-Related Deaths in the Home, Arthur L. Kellerman, D.T. Reay, 314 New Eng. J. Med. 1557-60, June 12, 1986. (Kellerman admits that his study did “not include cases in which burglars or intruders are wounded or frightened away by the use or display of a firearm.” He also admitted his study did not look at situations in which intruders “purposely avoided a home known to be armed.” This is a classic case of a “study” conducted to achieve a desired result. In his critique of this “study”, Gary Kleck notes that the estimation of gun ownership rates was “inaccurate”, and that the total population came from a non-random selection of only two cities.)

Similar “facts” like this also fail to remove suicide from the data.  Self inflicted gunshot wounds do happen, but if you remove the firearm, it doesn’t change the outcome.  Dead is dead, regardless of the tool used.  I have an aunt that committed suicide.  She couldn’t get a gun under today’s federal laws.  That didn’t stop a determined person that needed treatment from ultimately committing suicide.

“In a year, guns murdered 468 people in Australia, England, Germany and in Canada put together, and 9,484 in the United States. “

This statement fails to take VIOLENT crime as a whole.  While gun ownership is more difficult in these nations, violent crime and homicide have gone up.  The London Telegraph has done a great article on this in 2009.  They start with a great quote from the European Commission:

“Analysis of figures from the European Commission showed a 77 per cent increase in murders, robberies, assaults and sexual offences in the UK”

Further, violence in the same report notes:

“The total number of violent offences recorded compared to population is higher than any other country in Europe, as well as America, Canada, Australia and South Africa.”.

Furthering the assertion that the gun is simply a tool, not an end to violent crime.

Source:  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/5712573/UK-is-violent-crime-capital-of-Europe.html

Comments on James Brady

James Brady was injured and life forever altered at the hands of a mad man.  Since then, laws have been made and statistical data (as shown above) have shown gun violence to actually have dropped with more crime.  Deranged shooters (like in the failed assassination attempt of President Ronald Regan) Will always be out there, whether firearms are legal or not.  Under today’s laws, that shooter wouldn’t have been able to purchase a firearm legally.

“True, there is no way we can defend ourselves against insane shooters.”

Is that true?  I think I’ve already showed above just how false that statement is (like many others, it’s riddled with emotion and no data to support that claim, which I have shown above).  Just last week, a 71 year old man in Florida stopped an armed robbery attempt.

“Nor do they sell assault rifles over the counter in those nations.”

This is referring to the anti-gun crowd and their love for comparing the US to Canada and Europe.  The tragedy in Aurora Colorado did not use an assault rifle.  It was a semi-automatic rifle just like the firearms you can purchase in the European nations mentioned in Ebert’s opinion piece.

Bottom line:

The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun, is a good guy with a gun.  I do not want to live in a society where I do not have the right to defend myself if needed.  Do I want to see more guns out in society?  Absolutely.  We will have horrible incidents like this whether they are out there or not.  I’d much rather have the chance at defending myselfor a loved one.  Can I call 911?  Absolutely. How long does it take for a criminal to take a life?  Compare that to how long it takes for an officer to respond.  The only difference, if I’m a law abiding citizen with a permit and a firearm, I at least have a fighting chance.

I apologize for any typos or misspelled words.  As I write this, it is almost midnight and unlike Roger Ebert, I don’t have any editors.  However, if guns cause crime, then I blame the errors on my computer keyboard.