Wednesday, February 23, 2005

"Felon-focused" gun control

This blog is concerning a new approach to reduce crime, that I would like to call "Felon focused" gun control. I would like to see a fresh focus on legislation that will affect both the criminal mind and the main sources of firearms actually used during the commission of a crime.

Gun control legislation doesn't have to be a dirty word in the pro-gun community. All we really have to do is take the focus off the firearm and put it on affecting the criminal mind and also concentrate on diminishing the sources of actual crime guns.

I think that if gun control legislation was specifically designed to affect crime and not just guns in general and honest gun owners, it would garner widespread support in both the pro-gun and law enforcement communities.

First, let's address the criminal mind and how we can change the criminal's decision to choose a gun to commit a crime with.

We must add penalties to a violent criminal act if a firearm was possessed, brandished, fired or used to injure. I believe that if we had mandatory sentencing guidelines in place nationwide, that specifically punish criminals for choosing a firearm, it would greatly affect the violent criminal's decision making process.

I believe that if a gun was possessed, brandished, fired or used to injure, the criminal should receive an additional five, ten, fifteen and twenty year penalites attached to a violent criminal act. I.E. if a convenience store is robbed at knife point, and there is a conviction, the perpetrator should receive X number of years for the crime. However, if the same criminal during the same robbery, brandished a firearm to commit the crime, he should receive X+10 years or X+15 years if the gun was fired.

Studies have shown that 85% of all violent criminal acts such as robbery, rape and murder are routinely committed by only 7% of the criminal population. In other words, 93% of the people with criminal records are not habitually committing violent criminal acts. We must focus legislative efforts on this most violent 7% of the criminal population.

We must have laws in place that will actually make an impact upon the criminal's decision to commit a violent crime. Simply making laws that have to be obeyed by lawful, honest and upright gun owners and merely have to do with firearms will not affect rates of violent crime and never have.

The crimes that I'm referring to, that need this type of sentencing are the traditionally recognized set of violent crimes, such as rape, robbery and murder.

Contact your state and federal legislators today and ask them to begin to develop and implement "felon-focused" legislation and stay away from useless and unconstitutional laws that control the lawful ownership and carry of firearms.

Now, let me switch gears for a moment and ask the reader how he/she thinks criminals are actually gaining possession of guns that they use in criminal acts.

Where are felons actually getting guns? Let me first tell you where they're not getting them. They're not getting them from lawful, honest and upright gun owners peddling their cherished gun collections on street corners. But most gun control laws seem to assume such a ridiculous scenario.

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) did a comprehensive study of more than 18,000 state and federal inmates and attempted to ascertain where they got the guns they used to commit their crimes.

Here is what they found:

  • 39.6% of the guns used to commit a crime with came from friends and family members of the felon.

  • 39.2% of the guns used to commit a crime with came from illegal sources, such as on the street, through the narcotics trade and through burglaries and robberies.

  • 8.3% were purchased fraudulently through properly licensed retail outlets. These purchases were made by misrepresenting themselves, lying on forms and providing false identification.

  • 3.8% of them were obtained through a pawn shop. Again, bought by falsifying documents and identification.

  • 1.0% of the guns used during the commission of a crime came from yard sales and flea markets.

  • 0.7% came from gun shows.

With this very powerful and enlightening information, we can begin the see where gun control legislation should be properly aimed.

Let's look at the biggest source. Friends and family members of the felon. Now, with this information, we could develop legislation that would specifically punish people for knowingly providing a firearm to a known felon. How about a mandatory sentence of five years, living in the general population of a state prison for providing a firearm to a known felon.

How about the second highest source? An almost equivalent 39.2% of guns used in crime came from "on the street" purchases, through the narcotics trade and through robberies and burglaries of homes.

There is plenty of opportunity to enact meaningful laws to curtail these transactions. Illegal gun running is not currently punished harshly enough in either state or federal law in my opinion. If someone is convicted of trafficking in illegal firearms, they should not be able to plea-bargain a lighter sentence under any circumstances whatsoever. We must shut down this primary source of guns used in crime.

Now what about home burglaries? Yes, here is another primary source that we should focus on. Burglaries of homes and robberies of sporting goods stores are some of the biggest sources of guns used in crime. Let's implement penalties of five additional years of prison time for each and every firearm stolen during a burglary or robbery. I don't know about the reader, but if I knew there was a probability of an additional five years of real prison time added to a burglary, I would leave that gun right there and just take the television, stereo and silverware.

Let's move onto the other lesser sources of crime guns. 12.1% of guns used in criminal acts were purchased at lawfully licensed retailers and pawn shops. The vast majority of which I can safely assume were bought through fraudulent identification and by falsifying documents. I don't think it's too much to ask a retail firearm purchaser for at least two forms of positive identification. Another way to diminish these types of illegal firearm acquisition is to follow through on penalties for attempted unlawful purchase of firearms at retail.

The remaining 1.7% were obtained through yard sales, flea markets and gun shows. There was been a lot of noise lately about gun shows being virtual bazaars for violent criminals, but at 0.7%, the truth has been told. But even here, we can ask for more positive identification and increase penalities for fraudulent purchases.

There you go reader!!! I advocate for what I'm calling "Felon-focused" gun control. I think you'll easily find that most lawful and honest gun owners won't mind coming up with an extra method of positive identification. That is the only burden that my suggestions place on the good guys.

I've done my job. Now it's time for you to do yours. Contact your elected officials, e-mail them this article. Tell them to pass more "Felon-focused" laws and no more laws that regulate and burden the lawful and honest gun owner.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

The Foundation of Liberty

What a heavy subject to write about in a blog only a few hundred words in length!!! I will give it my best shot. Please feel free to reply with comments and tell me how well, or how badly I did.

What is liberty, freedom and independence sitting on? What does the very base of real human freedom look like? What is it comprised of?

Let me begin this brief discussion with a statement that I think is very relevant to my thoughts on this central issue.

I believe that every major problem that we are currently dealing with in the United States, has a viable solution that lies somewhere in America's past history. All we have to do is begin searching for the answers to today's dilemmas in our historical past.

Now that that statement is out of the way, allow me to continue...

We cannot have complete human freedom, liberty and independence, without having a solid foundation of religion, morality and virtue to stand on.

Let me quote: (which I will do a lot in this blog.)

"We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."John Adams (1735-1826) Second President of the United States.

We will not hold onto the freedoms afforded to us in the Constitution if we cannot find ways to confine our conduct within the boundaries of morality and virtue.

We likewise cannot have real morality and virtue, without a belief structure and a relationship to and with God. We human beings need a belief in a post-mortem future of rewards and punishments in order to properly define and constrain our moral conduct.

"We have staked the whole future of American civilization not upon the power of government. Far from it. We have staked the future of all our political institutions upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God."James Madison (1751-1836) Fourth President of the United States.

James Madison hit the nail right on the head. We must govern ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.

"[O]nly a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters."Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) American printer, author, philosopher, diplomat and scientist.

Is this our fate? Is human freedom itself on the brink of extinction because of the lack of morality, virtue and righteous conduct?

How long would we allow the freedom to own and carry the firearms of our choice, if we had no compunction against murder? Likewise, if we believed it was a legitimate career choice to burglarize or rob, how long would we retain the constitutional rights afforded to us?

America is still pretty much a religious and moral country, still over 85% of Americans believe in God and an afterlife. However, our moral standards and our core belief in moral absolutes seem to be on the decline.

I have heard many times on this topic, people say something to the effect that we can choose our own morality and that there are no moral absolutes. That's total hogwash and a feeble copout if you ask me.

Clearly identifying the problem for us today is this quote:

"Man is the measure of all things. Truth is merely opinion, and, therefore even morality is relative."Protagoras (480?-411? B.C.) A 5th century B.C. Greek Sophist

Protagoras was wrong. History has proven without any doubt that there are and should be absolutes in morality.

Adolph Hitler thought his actions were right and just. Are we to honor the Holocaust because Hitler was operating within the boundaries of moral conduct that he set for himself??? Come on now. There are moral absolutes and they must be observed.

A clear and unobscured focus upon morality, religion and virtue and a univsersal willingness and intent to obey the Ten Commandments of God is the true foundation of human freedom, liberty and independence.

No other country in the history of the world has been so powerful, yet used that power so benignly and graciously as the United States of America. We have used our might to free the people of oppressed countries who have posed a danger to both us and their very own people. Spreading human freedom across the globe is the one best chance for world peace.

The intentions and words of President George W. Bush are noble and historic. We should attempt to spread human freedom throughout the world. World peace is the currency that human freedom can produce. We don't need to beat up every country in the world to spread the idea of human freedom. Freedom can do that all by itself.

True human freedom comes with a requirement of responsibility. A responsibility to conduct our lives within a framework of religious and moral behavior is an essential and inseparable aspect of human freedom. It also comes with a fundamental duty of protecting and defending that freedom once it has been acquired.

I have spent many years compiling the views of the Founding Fathers and other important historical figures, on the subject of the importantance of religion, morality and virtue. You can now take full advantage of my work.


2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV)
"if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land."

(These men set forth the path for America and I contend that we have strayed dangerously far from that path.)

"Respect for religion must be reestablished, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of public officials must be curtailed, assistance to foreign lands must be stopped or we shall bankrupt ourselves. The people should be forced to work and not depend on the government for subsistence."Marcus Tullius Cicero, Roman orator and philosopher (106-43BC)

"Our task and our duty must be to do justly, to love mercy, to walk humbly with our God, for we must consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill and the eyes of all are upon us."John Winthrop (1588-1649) Puritan and Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony from 1630 to 1649

"Let every student be plainly instructed, and earnestly pressed to consider well, the main end of his life and studies is, to know God and Jesus Christ which is eternally life."Harvard University (Pamphlet published in 1643)

"Christ is the only, the true, the living way of access to God."Timothy Dwight, Yale University President (1795-1817)

"Give up yourselves therefore to Him, [God] with a cordial confidence, and the great work of life is done."Timothy Dwight, Yale University President (1814 Baccalaureate Discourse)

"The chief Thing that is aimed at in this College is to teach and engage the Children to know God in Jesus Christ, and to love and serve Him, in all Sobriety, Godliness, and Righteousness of Life, with a perfect Heart, and a willing Mind."Columbia University publication (1754)

"When you become entitled to exercise the right of voting for public officers, let it be impressed on your mind that God commands you to choose for rulers, "just men who will rule in the fear of God." The preservation of [our] government depends on the faithful discharge of this Duty; if the citizens neglect their Duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted; laws will be made, not for the public good so much as for selfish or local purposes; corrupt or incompetent men will be appointed to execute the Laws; the public revenues will be squandered on unworthy men; and the rights of the citizen will be violated or disregarded. If [our] government fails to secure public prosperity and happiness, it must be because the citizens neglect the Divine Commands, and elect bad men to make and administer the Laws."Noah Webster 1758-1843

"The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. If 'Thou shalt not covet' and 'Thou shalt not steal' were not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society before it can be civilized or made free."John Adams

"I have the most animating confidence that the present noble struggle for liberty will terminate gloriously for America…Let us humbly commit our righteous cause to the great Lord of the Universe, who loveth righteousness and hates iniquity…Let us joyfully leave our concerns in the hands of Him who raiseth up and pulleth down the empires and kingdoms of the world as He pleases."John Hancock, American Patriot and Revolutionary

"Posterity, you will never know what it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it."John Quincy Adams (1767-1848) Sixth President of the United States.

"In circumstances dark as these, it becomes us as men and Christians to reflect…All confidence must be withheld from the means we use and respond only on that God who rules in the armies of Heaven and without whose blessing the best of human councils are but foolishness and all created power vanity…and that America may soon behold a gracious interposition of Heaven."John Hancock, April 15, 1775, just four days before the "shot heard round the world".

"My God, how little do my countrymen know what precious blessings they are in possession of and which no other people on earth have ever enjoyed."Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) Third President of the United States. Author of the Declaration of Independence.

"We have therefore to resolve to conquer or die: Our won Country's Honor, all call upon us for vigorous and manly exertion, and if we now shamefully fail, we shall become infamous to the whole world. Let us therefore rely upon the goodness of the cause, and the aid of the Supreme Being, in whose hands victory is, to animate and encourage us to great and noble Actions."George Washington

"I am nothing. Truth is everything."Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) Sixteenth President of the United States.

"If Virtue & Knowledge are diffused among the People, they will never be enslav'd. This will be their great Security."Samuel Adams "The Father of the American Revolution"

"Our unalterable resolution would be to be free. They have attempted to subdue us by force, but God be praised!, in vain. Their arts may be more dangerous than their arms. Let us then ... under God trust our cause to our swords."Samuel Adams "The Father of the American Revolution"

"What is liberty without...virtue? It is...madness, without restraint."Edmund Burke

"There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily."George Washington

"Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the greatness and the genius of America . . . America is good. And if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great."Alexis de Tocqueville

"If we will not be governed by God, we must be governed by tyrants."William Penn

"The moral principles and precepts contained in the Scriptures ought to form the basis of all our civil constitutions and laws. All the miseries and evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery, and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible."Noah Webster 1758-1843

"Say nothing of my religion. It is known to God and myself alone. Its evidence before the world is to be sought in my life: if it has been honest and dutiful to society the religion which has regulated it cannot be a bad one."Thomas Jefferson (1743 - 1826)

"Doctor, I wish you to observe how real and beneficial the religion of Christ is to a man about to die. This is all the inheritance I can give to my dear family. The religion of Christ can give them one which can make them rich indeed."Patrick Henry (1799, on his death bed)

"To commit our children to the care of irreligious people is to commit lambs to the superintendency of wolves."Timothy Dwight, President of Yale from 1795-1817

"The Bible is the book upon which this Republic rests."Andrew Jackson, Seventh President of the United States

"My custom is, to read four or five chapters [of the Bible] every morning immediately after rising from my bed. It employs about an hour of my time. It is essential, my son, in order that you may go through life with comfort to yourself, and usefulness to your fellow-creatures, that you should form and adopt certain rules or principles, for the government of your own conduct and temper."President John Adams in a letter to his son John Quincy Adams

"And now, Almighty Father, if it is Thy holy will that we shall obtain a place and name among the nations of the earth, grant that we may be enabled to show our gratitude for Thy goodness by our endeavors to fear and obey Thee. Bless us with Thy wisdom in our counsels, success in battle, and let all our victories be tempered with humanity. Endow, also, our enemies with enlightened minds, that they become sensible of their injustice, and willing to restore our liberty and peace. Grant the petition of Thy servant, for the sake of Him whom Thou hast called Thy beloved Son; nevertheless, not my will, but Thine be done."General George Washington 1779

"O most Glorious God, in Jesus Christ my merciful and loving Father, I acknowledge and confess my guilt, in the weak and imperfect performance of the duties of this day. I have called on Thee for pardon and forgiveness of sins... Let me live according to those holy rules which Thou hast this day prescribed in Thy holy word; make me to know what is acceptable in Thy sight."President George Washington (From a booklet of prayers he wrote.)

"Our reliance is in the love of liberty which God has planted in us. Our defense is in the spirit which prized liberty as the heritage of all men, in all lands everywhere. Destroy this spirit and you have planted the seeds of despotism at your own doors. Familiarize yourselves with the chains of bondage and you prepare your own limbs to wear them. Accustomed to trample on the rights of others, you have lost the genius of your own independence and become the fit subjects of the first cunning tyrant who rises among you."Abraham Lincoln 1858

"Wish not so much to live long as to live well."Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, 1738

"At what point should we expect the approach of danger? By what means are we to fortify against it? Shall we expect some trans-Atlantic military power to step across the ocean and crush us? Never. At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it cannot and it will not come from abroad. If danger ever reach us, it must spring up from amongst us. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of free men, we will live through all time or die by suicide."Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) From an 1838 speech when he was just 29 years old.

"It's the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for his benefits and to humbly implore his protection and his favor."George Washington (1732-1799) First President of the United States.

"Almighty God; We make our earnest prayer that Thou wilt keep the United States in Thy holy protection; that Thou wilt incline the hearts of the citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to government; and entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another and for their fellow citizens of the United States at large. And finally that Thou wilt most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility, and pacific temper of mind which were the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed religion, and without a humble imitation of whose example in these things we can never hope to be a happy nation. Grant our supplication, we beseech Thee, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."George Washington (1732-1799) First President of the United States.

"We need God to be our friend and our ally. We need to keep God's concurring aid. If a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable an empire can rise without His aid? We've been assured in the sacred writings that 'except the Lord keep the city, they labor in vain that build it.'"Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) American printer, author, philosopher, diplomat and scientist. This quote was said on the floor of the Constitutional Convention June 28, 1787

"He who shall introduce into public affairs the principles of Christianity, will change the face of the world."Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

"There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us."Patrick Henry in a 1787 speech

"Educate your children to self-control, to the habit of holding passion and prejudice and evil tendencies subject to an upright and reasoning will, and you have done much to abolish misery from their future and crimes from society."Benjamin Franklin

"The highest glory of the American Revolution was this: That it connected in one dissoluble bond the principles of Christianity with the principles of civil government."John Adams (1735-1826) Second President of the United States.

“And may that Being who is supreme over all, the Patron of Order, the Fountain of Justice, and the Protector in all ages of the world of virtuous liberty, continue His blessing upon this nation and its Government and give it all possible success and duration consistent with the ends of His providence.”John Adams (1735-1826) Second President of the United States.

"In these my confidence will under every difficulty be best placed, next to that which we have all been encouraged to feel in the guardianship and guidance of that Almighty Being whose power regulates the destiny of nations, whose blessings have been so conspicuously dispensed to this rising Republic, and to whom we are bound to address our devout gratitude for the past, as well as our fervent supplications and best hopes for the future."James Madison (1751-1836) Fourth President of the United States.

"Freedom is not a gift bestowed upon us by other men, but a right that belongs to us by the laws of God and nature."Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

"If you wouldst live long, live well, for folly and wickedness shorten life."Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

"God, who gave us life, gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we remove from them a conviction these liberties are a gift of God? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, and His justice cannot sleep forever."Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

"The precepts of philosophy laid hold to actions only, but Jesus pushed His scrutinies into the heart of man, erected the tribunal in the region of his thoughts and purified the waters at the fountainhead."Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

"Providence punishes national sins with national calamities."George Mason (1725-1792) The Father of the Bill of Rights

"Your love of liberty -- your respect for the laws -- your habits of industry -- and your practice of the moral and religious obligations, are the strongest claims to national and individual happiness."George Washington

"The Americans, combine the notions of Christianity and of liberty so intimately in their minds, that it is impossible to make them conceive the one without the other."Alexis de Tocqueville Democracy in America (1835)

"[Religion] is more needed in democratic republics than in any others. How is it possible that society should escape destruction if the moral tie be not strengthened in proportion as the political tie is relaxed? And what can be done with a people which is its own master, if it be not submission to the Divinity?"Alexis de Tocqueville Democracy in America (1835)

"We have staked the whole future of American civilization not upon the power of government. Far from it. We have staked the future of all our political institutions upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God."James Madison (1751-1836) Fourth President of the United States.

"Providence has given to us the choice of our rulers, and it is the duty as well as the interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers."John Jay (1745-1829) First Supreme Court Chief Justice

"Search others for their virtues, thyself for thy vices."Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

"It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded not by religionists but by Christians, not on religion but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ."Patrick Henry (1736-1799) American Orator and Statesman

"We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."John Adams (1735-1826) Second President of the United States.

"Why is it next to the birthday of the Savior of the world, your most joyous and most venerated festival returns on this day, the Fourth Of July? It is because the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer's mission on earth and laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity."John Quincy Adams (1767-1848) From a speech on July 4th 1837.

"We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and in prosperity. We have grown in numbers and wealth and in power as no other nation ever has, but we have forgotten God. We have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, and too proud to pray."Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)

"It is the duty of all nations as well as of men to own their dependence on the overruling power of God and to recognize the sublime truth announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose god is the Lord."Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)

"It would be peculiarly improper to omit, in this first official act, my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the universe, who presides in the councils of nations, and whose providential aids can supply every human defect...No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the Invisible Hand which conducts the affairs of men more than those of the United States."George Washington (1732-1799)

"[T]rue religion affords to government its surest support."George Washington (1732-1799)

"Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in the exclusion of religious principle…"George Washington (1732-1799)

"Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness."George Washington (1732-1799)

"[W]e ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious [favorable] smiles of heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained."George Washington (1732-1799)

"Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide."John Adams (1735-1826) Second President of the United States.

"The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were…the general principles of Christianity…I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God; and that those principles of liberty are as unalterable as human nature."John Adams (1735-1826) Second President of the United States.

"[I]t is religion and morality alone which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand. Religion and virtue are the only foundations...of republicanism and of all free governments."John Adams (1735-1826) Second President of the United States.

"The practice of morality being necessary for the well being of society, He [God] has taken care to impress its precepts so indelibly on our hearts that they shall not be effaced by the subtleties of our brain. We all agree in the obligation of the moral precepts of Jesus and nowhere will they be found delivered in greater purity than in his discourses."Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

"A nation that expects to be ignorant -and free-…it expects what never was and never will be."Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

"The belief in a God all Powerful, wise and good, is so essential to the moral order of the world and to the happiness of man, that arguments which enforce it cannot be drawn from too many sources."James Madison (1751-1836) Fourth President of the United States.

"No people ought to feel greater obligations to celebrate the goodness of the Great Disposer of events and the Destiny of Nations than the people of the United States…And to the same Divine Author of every good and perfect gift we are indebted for all those privileges and advantages, religious as well as civil, which are so richly enjoyed in this favored land."James Madison (1751-1836) Fourth President of the United States.

"And have we now forgotten that powerful Friend? Or do we imagine that we no longer need His assistance?...[W]ithout His concurring aid...we ourselves shall become a reproach and a byword down to future ages."Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) American printer, author, philosopher, diplomat and scientist.

"[O]nly a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters."Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) American printer, author, philosopher, diplomat and scientist.

"Three points of doctrine, the belief of which forms the foundation of all morality. The first is the existence of a God; the second is the immortality of the human soul; and the third is a future state of rewards and punishments. Suppose it is possible for a man to disbelieve either of these articles of faith and that man will have no conscience, he will have no other law than that of the tiger or the shark; the laws of man may bind him in chains or may put him to death, but they never can make him wise, virtuous, or happy."John Quincy Adams (1767-1848)

"The General hopes and trusts that every officer and man will endeavor so to live as becomes a Christian soldier defending the dearest rights and liberties of his country."George Washington July 9, 1776

"[T]he law…dictated by God himself is, of course, superior in obligation to any other. It is binding over all the globe, in all countries, and at all times. No human laws are of any validity if contrary to this."Alexander Hamilton (1757-1804)

"I conjure you, by all that is dear, by all that is honorable, by all that is sacred, not only that ye pray but that ye act."John Hancock (1737-1793) First signer of the Declaration of Independence.

"You do well to learn our arts and ways of life, and above all, the religion of Jesus Christ. These will make you a greater and happier people than you are. Congress will do everything they can to assist you in this wise intention."George Washington from his speech to the Delaware Indian Chiefs on May 12, 1779.

"The great pillars of all government and of social life …[are] virtue, morality, and religion. This is the armor, my friend, and this alone, that renders us invincible."Patrick Henry (1736-1799) American Orator and Statesman

"Has it [government] any solid foundation? Any chief cornerstone...? I think it is an everlasting foundation in the unchangeable will of God, the author of Nature whose laws never by no means an arbitrary thing depending merely on compact or human will for its existence... The power of God Almighty is the only power that can properly and strictly be called supreme and absolute. In the order of nature immediately under him comes the power of a simple democracy, or the power of the whole over the world...[God is] the only Monarch in the universe who has a clear and undisputable right to absolute power because He is the only one who is omniscient as well as omnipotent... The sum of my argument is of God, that the administrators of it were originally the whole people."Samuel Adams (1722-1803) The Father of the American Revolution

"I now make it my earnest prayer that God would have you, and the states over which you preside, in His holy protection…that He would most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility, and pacific temper of mind which were the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed religion, without an humble imitation of whose example, we can never hope to be a happy nation."George Washington in his last official address to Congress

Now that you have seen these quotes, what are your thoughts? I'll tell you what I think of them... I think that we have lost sight of the vision that the founders had for the future generations of America.

They knew quite well that a nation could not be truly free if they could not find ways to keep their conduct within a framework of morality, virtue and righteousness. Without religion and morality playing a primary role in the lives of every American, we will continue to lose our freedom.

I will close with a restatement of a quote from Benjamin Franklin:

"[O]nly a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters."Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) American printer, author, philosopher, diplomat and scientist.

I invite your comments.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Quotes of the Founders

Dear Blog Visitor,

I have quoted many of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America. These thoughts of the Founding Fathers will help you immensely in gaining a better and more comprehensive understanding of what they meant when they wrote and ratified the Second Amendment.

You may use these quotations and snippets as you see fit. I do not own these quotes, one cannot own quotations. However, if you use my work, I only ask that you mention somewhere in your work or dissertation.


"I ask sir, what is the militia? It is the whole body of the people except for a few public officials. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them..."George Mason

"I ask what is the purpose of the militia? To offset the need of large standing armies, the bane of liberty."Elbridge Gerry

"Altho' a large standing Army in time of Peace hath ever been considered dangerous to the liberties of a Country, yet a few Troops, under certain circumstances, are not only safe, but indispensably necessary. Fortunately for us our relative situation requires but few. The same circumstances which so effectually retarded, and in the end conspired to defeat the attempts of Britain to subdue us, will now powerfully tend to render us secure. Our distance from the European States in a great degree frees us of apprehension, from their numerous regular forces and the Insults and dangers which are to be dreaded from their Ambition."George Washington May 1, 1783.

"I hope, therefore, a bill of rights will be formed to guard the people against the Federal government as they are already guarded against their State governments, in most instances."Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 1788. ME 7:98

"Let us contemplate our forefathers and posterity and resolve to maintain the rights bequeathed to us from the former, for the sake of the latter. The necessity of the times, more than ever, calls for our utmost circumspection, deliberation, fortitude, and perseverance. Let us remember that 'if we suffer tamely a lawless attack upon our liberty, we encourage it, and involve others in our doom.' It is a very serious consideration that millions yet unborn may be the miserable sharers of the event."Samuel Adams speech, 1771

"I learn with great concern that [one] portion of our frontier so interesting, so important, and so exposed, should be so entirely unprovided with common fire-arms. I did not suppose any part of the United States so destitute of what is considered as among the first necessaries of a farm house."Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Jacob J. Brown (1808)

"God grants Liberty only to those who live it, and are always ready to guard and defend it."Daniel Webster (1782-1852) (Secretary of State under three U.S. Presidents)

"Laws that forbid the carrying of arms disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man." Thomas Jefferson

"A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government."George Washington

"Such are a well regulated militia, composed of the freeholders, citizen and husbandman, who take up arms to preserve their property, as individuals, and their rights as freemen.""M.T. Cicero" 1788

"The right of self-defense is the first law of nature; in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and when the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any color or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction."Blackstone's 1768 "Commentaries on the Laws of England"

"As civil rulers, not having their duty to the people duly before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as the military forces which must be occasionally raised to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow citizens, the people are confirmed by the next article in their right to keep and bear their private arms."Tench Coxe, June 18, 1789

"The right of a citizen to keep and bear arms has justly been considered the palladium of the liberties of the republic, since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers, and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them."Joseph Story, United States Supreme Court Justice, 1833

"The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion."Edmund Burke, Speech at country meeting of Buckinghamshire, 1784

"I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man."Thomas Jefferson

"The danger (where there is any) from armed citizens, is only to the 'government', not to 'society'; and as long as they have nothing to revenge in the government (which they cannot have while it is in their own hands) there are many advantages in their being accustomed to the use of arms, and no possible disadvantage."Joel Barlow, Advice to the Privileged Orders, 1792-93

"The constitutions of most of our States assert that all power is inherent in the people; that... it is their right and duty to be at all times armed."Thomas Jefferson to John Cartwright, 1824

"To each of my Nephews, William Augustine Washington, George Lewis, George Steptoe Washington, Bushrod Washington, and Samuel Washington, I give one of my swords or Cutteaux of which I may be Possessed; and they are to choose in the order they are named. These Swords are accompanied with an injunction not to unsheathe them for the purpose of shedding blood, except it be for self defense, or in the defense of their Country and its rights; and in the latter case, to keep them unsheathed, and prefer falling with them in their hands, to the relinquishment thereof."George Washington from his Last Will and Testament

"An act against the Constitution is void. An act against natural equity is void."James Otis (1725-1783)

"The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword, because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops..."Noah Webster, An Examination of The Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution, Philadelphia 1787

"Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. When you give up that force, you are ruined."Patrick Henry, Virginia's U.S. Constitution ratification convention

"One loves to possess arms, though they hope never to have occasion for them."Thomas Jefferson to George Washington, 1796

"The hour is fast approaching, on which the Honor and Success of this army, and the safety of our bleeding Country depend. Remember officers and Soldiers, that you are Freemen, fighting for the blessings of Liberty that slavery will be your portion, and that of your posterity, if you do not acquit yourselves like men."George Washington

"[The disarming of citizens] has a double effect, it palsies the hand and brutalizes the mind: a habitual disuse of physical forces totally destroys the moral [force]; and men lose at once the power of protecting themselves, and of discerning the cause of their oppression."Joel Barlow, Advice to the Privileged Orders, 1792-93

"If I were an American, as I am an Englishman, while a foreign troop was landed in my country, I would never lay down my arms never, never, never! You cannot conquer America."William Pitt, Speech, November 18, 1777

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms."Thomas Jefferson, Proposed Virginia Constitution, 1776

"Arms in the hands of individual citizens [may] be used at individual private self-defense..."John Adams, A Defense of the Constitution of Government of the United States of America, 1788

"Whenever governments mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise an army upon their ruins."Rep. Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts (1744-1814)

"(The Constitution preserves) the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation...(where) the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms."James Madison, The Federalist, Number 46

"None but an armed nation can dispense with a standing army. To keep ours armed and disciplined is therefore at all times important."Thomas Jefferson 1803

"Have we the means of resisting disciplined armies, when our only defense, the militia is put in the hands of Congress?"Patrick Henry, 3 Elliot Debates 48.

"The highest number to which, according to the best computation, a standing army can be carried in any country, does not exceed one hundredth part of the whole number of souls; or one twenty-fifth part of the number able to bear arms. This proportion would not yield, in the United States, an army of more than twenty-five or thirty thousand men. To these would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties, and united and conducted by governments possessing their affections and confidence. It may well be doubted, whether a militia thus circumstanced could ever be conquered by such a proportion of regular troops."James Madison, The Federalist, Number 46, January 29, 1788

"I ask what is the purpose of the militia? To offset the need of large standing armies, the bane of liberty."Rep. Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts

"The rights of conscience, of bearing arms, of changing the government, are declared to be inherent in the people."Fisher Ames, of Massachusetts June 12, 1789

"If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is no recourse left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government."Alexander Hamilton, Federalist #28

"... as all history informs us, there has been in every State & Kingdom a constant kind of warfare between the governing & governed: the one striving to obtain more for its support, and the other to pay less. And this has alone occasioned great convulsions, actual civil wars, ending either in dethroning of the Princes, or enslaving of the people. Generally indeed the ruling power carries its point, the revenues of princes constantly increasing, and we see that they are never satisfied, but always in want of more. The more the people are discontented with the oppression of taxes; the greater need the prince has of money to distribute among his partisans and pay the troops that are to suppress all resistance, and enable him to plunder at pleasure. There is scarce a king in a hundred who would not, if he could, follow the example of Pharaoh, get first all the peoples money, then all their lands, and then make them and their children servants for ever ..."Benjamin Franklin, before the Constitutional Convention, (June 2, 1787)

"We fight not to enslave, but to set a country free, and to make room upon the earth for honest men to live in."Thomas Paine

"The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; a well armed, and well regulated militia being the best security of a free country: but no person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms, shall be compelled to render military service in person."James Madison, Proposed Amendments to the Constitution June 8, 1789

"They tell us that we are weak-unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Three million people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us."Patrick Henry, 1775

"Arms in the hands of the citizens may be used at individual discretion for the defense of the country, the overthrow of tyranny or private self-defense."John Adams

"The power of the sword, say the minority of Pennsylvania, is in the hands of Congress. My friends and countrymen, it is not so, for the powers of the sword are in the hands of the yeomanry of America from 16 to 60. The militia of these free commonwealths, entitled and accustomed to their arms, when compared with any possible army, must be tremendous and irresistible. Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? It is feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man against his own bosom? Congress has no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American. The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people."Tench Coxe, writing as "the Pennsylvanian" in the Philadelphia Federal Gazette, 1788 (Alexander Hamilton's Chief Assistant in the Treasury Department)

"All persons shall bear arms, and every male person shall have in continual readiness a good musket or other gun, fit for service."Connecticut Gun Code of 1650

"Suppose that we let a regular army, fully equal to the resources of the country, be formed; and let it be entirely at the devotion of the federal: still it would not be going to far to say that the State governments with the people at their side would be able to repel the danger...half a million citizens with arms in their hands"James Madison, The Federalist Papers

"That a well-regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural and safe defense of a free state; that standing armies, in time of peace, should be avoided as dangerous to liberty; and that, in all cases, the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power."Virginia Declaration of Rights 13 (June 12, 1776), drafted by George Mason

"The right of the people to keep and bear arms has been recognized by the General Government; but the best security of that right after all is, the military spirit, that taste for martial exercises, which has always distinguished the free citizens of these States....Such men form the best barrier to the liberties of America"Gazette of the United States October 14, 1789

"A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercise, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball and others of that nature are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun therefore be the constant companion of your walks."Thomas Jefferson's advice to his 15 year-old nephew

"Among the natural rights of the colonists are these: first, a right to life, secondly to liberty, thirdly to property; together with the right to defend them in the best manner they can."Samuel Adams

"...[A]rms discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property...Horrid mischief would ensue were the law-abiding deprived of the use of them."Thomas Paine, Thoughts On Defensive War, 1775

"To preserve liberty it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them..."Richard Henry Lee, Additional Letters From The Federal Farmer, 1788

False is the idea of utility that sacrifices a thousand real advantages for one imaginary or trifling inconvenience; that would take fire from men because it burns, and water because one may drown in it; that has no remedy for evils, except destruction. The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm those only who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Can it be supposed that those who have the courage to violate the most sacred laws of humanity, the most important of the code, will respect the less important and arbitrary ones, which can be violated with ease and impunity, and which, if so dear to the enlightened legislator - and subject innocent persons to all the vexations that the guilty alone ought to suffer? Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man. They ought to be designated as laws not preventive but fearful of crimes, produced by the tumultuous impression of a few isolated facts, and not by thoughtful consideration of the inconveniences and advantages of a universal decree.Criminologist Cesare Beccaria On Crimes and Punishments (1764)

"... of the liberty of conscience in matters of religious faith, of speech and of the press; of the trial by jury of the vicinage in civil and criminal cases; of the benefit of the writ of habeas corpus; of the right to keep and bear arms.... If these rights are well defined, and secured against encroachment, it is impossible that government should ever degenerate into tyranny."James Monroe

"...It is always dangerous to the liberties of the people to have an army stationed among them, over which they have no control...The Militia is composed of free Citizens. There is therefore no danger of their making use of their power to the destruction of their own Rights, or suffering others to invade them."Samuel Adams

"The constitution ought to secure a genuine militia and guard against a select militia. ....all regulations tending to render this general militia useless and defenseless, by establishing select corps of militia, or distinct bodies of military men, not having permanent interests and attachments to the community ought to be avoided."Richard Henry Lee

"Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! - I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!"Patrick Henry

"Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclination, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence."John Adams

"...if a thief breaks into my house, burns and destroys my property, and kills or threatens to kill me, or those that are in it, and to 'bind me in all cases whatsoever' to his absolute will, am I to suffer it?"Thomas Paine

"A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the best and most natural defense of a free country."James Madison

"I ask sir, what is the militia? It is the whole body of the people except for a few public officials. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them..."George Mason

"The militia, who are in fact the effective part of the people at large, will render many troops quite unnecessary. They will form a powerful check upon the regular troops, and will generally be sufficient to over-awe them"Tench Coxe, An American Citizen IV, October 21, 1787

"The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able may have a gun."Patrick Henry

"The best we can hope for concerning the people at large, is that they be properly armed."Alexander Hamilton

"The said Constitution [shall] be never construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press, or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms."Samuel Adams of Massachusetts -- U.S. Constitution ratification convention, 1788

"Are we at least brought to such a humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our own defense? Where is the difference between having our arms in our possession and under our own direction, and having them under the management of Congress? If our defense be the real object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands?"Patrick Henry, 3 Elliot Debates 168-169.

"God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion.... And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms.... The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."Thomas Jefferson, in letter to William S. Smith, 1787

"No free government was ever founded or ever preserved its liberty, without uniting the characters of the citizen and soldier in those destined for the defense of the state.... Such are a well regulated militia, composed of the freeholders, citizen and husbandman, who take up arms to preserve their property, as individuals, and their rights as freemen."State Gazette (Charleston), September 8, 1788

"...but if circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude, that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people, while there is a large body of citizens, little if at all inferior to them in discipline and use of arms, who stand ready to defend their rights..."Alexander Hamilton Federalist 29

"While the people have property, arms in their hands, and only a spark of noble spirit, the most corrupt Congress must be mad to form any project of tyranny."Rev. Nicholas Collin, Fayetteville Gazette (N.C.), October 12, 1789

"Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe."Noah Webster

"Instances of the licentious and outrageous behavior of the military conservators of the peace still multiply upon us, some of which are of such nature and have been carried to so great lengths as must serve fully to evince that a late vote of this town, calling upon the inhabitants to provide themselves with arms for their defense, was a measure as prudent as it was legal. It is a natural right which the people have reserved to themselves, confirmed by the [English] Bill of Rights, to keep arms for their own defense, and as Mr. Blackstone observes it is to be made use of when the sanctions of society and law are found insufficient to restrain the violence of oppression."From "A Journal of the Times", calling the citizens of Boston to arm themselves in response to British abuses of power, 1769

"And we do each of us, for ourselves respectively, promise and engage to keep a good firelock in proper order, and to furnish ourselves as soon as possible with, and always keep by us, one pound of gunpowder, four pounds of lead, one dozen gunflints, and a pair of bullet moulds, with a cartouch box, or powder horn, and bag for balls."George Mason's Fairfax County Militia Plan, 1775

"Altho' a large standing Army in time of Peace hath ever been considered dangerous to the liberties of a Country, yet a few Troops, under certain circumstances, are not only safe, but indispensably necessary. Fortunately for us our relative situation requires but few. The same circumstances which so effectually retarded, and in the end conspired to defeat the attempts of Britain to subdue us, will now powerfully tend to render us secure. Our distance from the European States in a great degree frees us of apprehension, from their numerous regular forces and the Insults and dangers which are to be dreaded from their Ambition."George Washington May 1, 1783

"...As there is not the least doubt at present, that the principle Object of the Enemy is to get Possession of the City of Philadelphia, it is absolutely necessary, that every Person able to bear Arms (except such as are Conscientiously scrupulous against it in every Case), should give their personal Service, and whenever a part of the Militia is required only, either to join the Army or find a Man in their place. In order to effect this, I beg you will order the whole Militia of your State to be enrolled and compleatly equipp'd; that one half at least may proceed to join the Army with all possible expedition..."George Washington--to Pennsylvania Safety Council, January 19, 1777

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Welcome and My Focus

Welcome to my new Blog.

I have found a few basic truths through more than twenty years of pro-Second Amendment activism. I have found that those people who support efforts to control firearm ownership, use, transportation and sales, are generally decent and caring people who want to do something about violent crime, but really don't have a sound foundation of knowledge to pull from.

Most people who aren't familiar with guns and lawful gun owners, get most of their firearm related knowledge from the entertainment and news industries. The Three Stooges was hilarious entertainment. That group of men have entertained millions with their on screen antics, but they are not a good source of proper gun handling techniques. Likewise, neither are the latest movies being shown on the silver screen.

Thousands of times, we have seen firearms mishandled on television and in the movies. We have seen police detectives fire a snub nosed .38 Special revolver at a fleeing vehicle and have seen it explode and jump into the air. There's no wonder that millions of people fear firearms.

We human beings have always feared the unknown. It is a primal and natural human reaction to our environment. Before the 15th century, it was thought that we could sail off the edge of the Earth. Young children are often afraid of the dark because the absence of light creates an unknown.

The same principle applies to firearms, gun owners and violent crime. I have thought for decades that those who support stringent gun control laws, begin their misguided journey with a lack of knowledge about guns. This complete lack of knowledge, combined with misinformation coming from the press and the entertainment industry, leads to apprehension or animosity toward both guns and gun owners alike.

This feeling of animosity and apprehension gradually evolves into hatred and disdain of both firearms and those who lawfully and responsibly own them. I believe that is the main reason why more than half of American citizens support gun control laws.

The truth of the matter is very involved, but not really complex to comprehend and understand. Guns were invented shortly before the year 1300 A.D. Now, more than seven hundred years later, some people still fear them.

Violent crime is a problem. I won't stick my head in the sand and ignore that. You can't ignore the fact that more than 25,000 people will die this year from a combination of suicide, homicide, legal intervention and accidental discharges.

However, limiting the legitimate and proven rights of decent, law abiding and honest firearm owners will do nothing to affect those numbers. We must have legislation that affects both the criminal mind and the actual sources of firearms that are used during the commission of a crime, while leaving the honest gun owner completely out of the loop.

I call this type of legislation "Felon focused" legislation.

You might ask, "Marc, if gun control is not the answer, then what is?". I'm so glad I asked. We must create laws that will diminish the criminal's desire to use a gun to commit a crime with, as well as diminish the sources of where the felon gets his gun.

In the largest study of its kind, the U.S. Department of Justice did a survey of more than 18,000 state and federal inmates to determine where they obtained the guns they used while committing crime. Here is a brief synopsis of what they found.

  • 39.6% of the guns used to commit a crime with came from friends and family members of the felon.
  • 39.2% of the guns used to commit a crime with came from illegal sources, such as on the street, through the narcotics trade and through burglaries and robberies.
  • 8.3% were purchased fraudulently through properly licensed retail outlets. These purchases were made by misrepresenting themselves, lying on forms and providing false identification.
  • 3.8% of them were obtained through a pawn shop. Again, bought by falsifying documents and identification.
  • 1.0% of the guns used during the commission of a crime came from yard sales and flea markets.
  • 0.7% came from gun shows.

You can plainly see that the majority of gun control laws will not prevent violent criminals from obtaining firearms to commit a crime with. In fact, it has already been illegal since the Gun Control Act of 1968 for a felon to be in possession of a firearm anyway. Even though more than 86% of adult murderers had criminal records as adults.

In order to diminish the felon's desire to commit a crime with a firearm, we must add penalties to a crime if a gun was possessed, brandished, fired or used to injure, of 5, 10, 15 and 20 years respectively. Specifically adding serious prison time, simply for choosing a gun, is one method of what I call "Felon-focused" legislation.

Another example would be adding five years of prison time onto a robbery or burglary for each stolen firearm. Laws that are aimed at the felon alone, would be very effective and would get the stamp of approval from most gun owners.

Yet another example would be implementing serious penalites for a family member or friend of a felon for knowingly providing them with a firearm. We must focus our efforts on the actual sources of firearms used in crime and not wrongly punish the law-abiding and limit their rights under the United States Constitution.

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I want your opinions.