An open letter to Representative Mike Thompson:
Thank you for holding the town hall meeting on gun violence in Santa Rosa last Thursday.
As a responsible gun owner and as a professional firearms instructor, I would like to share the following thoughts with you.
Mental health: It appears from these forums that it is the overall consensus of the public is that the mental health of the individuals who are committing these mass shootings should be the top priority and the issue should be addressed immediately.
Psych drugs: It has been reported that the majority of these crimes were committed by those who were under the influence of prescription drugs or who were self medicating.
Gun free zones: Those public and private areas designated as safe zones (schools, shopping malls, etc.) are invitations to those who want to inflict maximum harm to their victims, knowing that they will not be confronted until police arrive on the scene. The NRA has recently been critiized for suggesting that armed guards be provided in schools, however it was former president Bill Clinton who originally suggested the "cops in schools" program in 1998.
High capacity magazines: Here in California we can legally possess magazines with no more than 10 rounds. If the same law is enacted nationally and another mass shooting occurs with 10 round magazines being used, do we ban those in favor of 5 round magazines or 3 round magazines, or back to single shot firearms? Where do we stop limiting the rights of the law abiding?
Assault rifles: The misconception of what an "assault rifle" is needs to be clarified. The majority of rifles available to the public these days are "semi-automatic", meaning that the trigger must be pulled each time in order to fire one round. Fully automatic weapons have been unavailable to the general public since the 1930's and are used today primarily by the military and some law enforcement agencies.
Some of these "semi-automatic" rifles are called "assault rifles" mostly due to the fact that they have been designed to imitate the visual appearance of military weapons and look intimidating to some.
The bias media: Violence is constantly glorified in movies, television shows, video games, etc. influencing young, impressionable and disturbed minds that by committing acts of violence it will give them the attention that they desire. After a mass shooting the media is quick to immortalize the instigator of these crimes to celebrity status by giving them national coverage. However, when a crime in progress is stopped by a responsibly armed citizen, the citizen who risked their own life to stop the crime receives minimal press coverage, if any.
Gun owners and the Law: It is responsibility of all gun owners to keep their firearms out of the hands of unauthorized persons by securing them when not in use. In order for the background system to work, stiffer penalties should be in place for people who break the law (a straw purchase) by buying a firearm for a family member, a friend or a neighbor.
Training & education: I firmly believe that all gun owners need education and hands on training in order to operate a firearm safely and accurately. However, I am divided over whether the government should mandate such training.
The 2nd Amendment: Established by the founding fathers to insure that citizens had the means with which to defend themselves against tyrannical forces, both foreign and domestic,
It is becoming increasingly clear that the Obama administration is intent on using “any means necessary” to restrict the average citizen’s rights to own and carry firearms by exploiting devastating events in order further their gun control agenda.
David W. Adams
NRA Certified Instructor.
NRA Certified Range Safety Officer.
California Dept. of Justice Handgun Safety Instructor.
State of Florida Concealed Weapon Permit (CCW) Instructor.
State of Arizona Concealed Weapon Permit (CCW) Instructor.
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