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Dear Sarah

Dear Sarah

by Wade Siers, Correctional Cadet

Submitted by the Second Amendment Police Department

Originally published on this website July 5, 2001

To whom it may concern:

Hello. I have a favor to ask of you. Following this introduction is a letter I would like to forward to Sarah Brady (Handgun Control, Inc.). I went to her web page and there seems to be no way to contact her via e-mail. I trust you can help me?

Please read this letter in its entirety before you respond to me (and I do encourage you to do so). If you are a magazine/publisher, I hereby grant permission to publish this letter in its entirety.

Dear Ms. Brady,

I realize the volume of letters you receive annually from both sides of the gun control issue must be staggering. If you are, in fact, reading this, allow me to thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to consider my opinion.

As a gun owner, I am quick to notice the media reports of firearm-related violence and organizations who wish to ban guns. As yours is the most prominent of these organizations, I formally take issue with your position on guns in American society.

Are you still reading? Thank you. I realize you must have a pretty strong pre-conceived stereotype of gun owners. Be assured I am educated, have no criminal history, active in my community, have never hit my wife, and am as appalled by crime as you are.

The first point I wish to address is your statement that guns cause crime. Nothing could be further from the truth, as demonstrated by what happened in Japan June 8, 2001. Perhaps you are familiar with what happened - a man armed with a knife entered an elementary school and stabbed eight children to death, wounding fifteen others. While this number may not be comparable to the Columbine Massacre, remember we are talking about ONE MAN WITH A KNIFE.

So the question is, since the crime occurred, where was the gun? The answer is, no gun was necessary for the commission of this crime. As evidenced, you can remove the tool, but the element will remain, and if determined enough, the element will devise other means of achieving its goal.

As far as Florida's crime rate increasing after allowing concealed carry, there are several factors you neglect to consider. Realize only law-abiding citizens comply with conceal carry laws. How does training a responsible individual to comply with the law increase crime? Also, what types of crimes are you discussing? The ratio of homicides to lawful concealed carry seems rather disproportionate when compared to states such as New York and Washington, D.C., which reserve the right NOT to issue permits to carry weapons.

In the state of Arizona, where I reside and where carry of a firearm is freely permitted by law, we suffer a lower homicide rate than states with what could be called extreme gun control. Call it lying propaganda if you will, but check the FBI database again. The facts speak for themselves - Arizona, Vermont, Montana, and other states with free gun laws have a far lower murder rate than California, New York, Washington, D.C., or Illinois.

Your webpage openly criticizes the intelligence of the armed citizen, suggesting that only police officers possess the astute judgment to handle a firearm properly in a dangerous encounter. I pose this question: in a life or death situation where a firearm is a must (i.e. encounter with an armed/dangerous individual, hostage situation, et cetera), who would YOU trust more? A police officer who has been on the job three to five years who never handled a firearm before choosing public service, or a private citizen who has been taught safe handling and use of firearms since childhood who practices regularly?

I assume you will answer the police officer. So, are we to trust police solely for our protection? The Supreme Court of many a state have ruled police are under absolutely no obligation to protect us, merely to respond to and investigate crime. With this in mind, how can a single mother rely on law enforcement when an attacker is tearing her door down? By the time she is on the phone calling for help, said attacker may already gain entrance and have his hands on her.

By the way, I'm curious. If common citizens are supposed to rely on police, why do the gun-control elite - Rosie O'Donnell, Hillary Clinton, Barbara Boxer, Diane Feinstein, and Janet Reno - have armed guards? Can't they just call 9-1-1?

This is not an insult on police officers. The majority of law enforcement are fine, overworked/underpaid citizens who understand and encourage responsible gun ownership among law abiding citizens (I do), and are more than capable with their weapons. However, to assume a citizen can not use a firearm to deter crime is to imply submission to an attacker, and THAT contributes to crime more than any weapon ever did, bar none. As far as other methods of crime go (bladed weapons, martial arts training, pepper spray), I have had police officers personally tell me that none are as effective as proper firearms training.

For more information on this subject, I encourage you to obtain a copy of "The American Rifleman", the official publication of the National Rifle Association (I am not writing this letter on behalf of the NRA, or any other organization for that matter). There is a column called "The Armed Citizen", which details real-life accounts from newspapers across the nation of how citizens with firearms prevent crime, and aid others from coming to unnecessary harm.

A home with a gun in it is how many more times to have a murder? Ms. Brady, how many of those murders were actually justifiable homicides? Intruders shot during a burglary, a battered wife defending herself against an enraged husband, or a murder where the weapon was not a firearm? Once the questions are asked and the facts laid out, your theory quickly fades. When the actual number of accidental killings are brought to light, you will find more children die in bicycle accidents or drownings than by firearms.

Which would lead to your next step, that you're "doing it for the children." I was raised in a family that was very involved with firearms, from hunting to target shooting to gun smithing. My grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, and parents had several firearms stored within their homes. The grand total of firearms accidents in my family?


You see, my parents educated me about safe, responsible handling of firearms. We knew the consequences for unsafe practices - you could be injured, and you would surely be disciplined. This bred a healthy dose of respect. Respect for the destructive power a weapon could bring if used irresponsibly, and respect for the authority of my parents.

So now I hear the real issue is to keep guns out of the hands of criminals. Ms. Brady, the bill named in honor of your husband is just about the only thing we can do as a free society to even attempt this. Don't get me wrong - I think it's great that retailers have the ability to legally deny sales to those who should not possess firearms. However, it appears this is not good enough for you.

Some propose an outright ban. The folly in this goes without saying. Less guns for people, more for criminals. Decreased self defense, more crime. Door to door searches for guns without warrants would be permitted, violating the Fourth Amendment (although you don't seem to hold much regard for the Constitution). Still, some hold to the theory of a total, complete ban. After all, look at how well it has worked with drugs.

Registration is a good concept, in theory. However, it takes little thought to see its failures. Does registering your car help police find who stole and used it in a crime? Then how would registering a gun be any different? You would know who originally bought the gun, and if the weapon is in fact stolen and used in a crime, you would have "step one", but that is about how far police would get. Registration also violates laws of privacy; guns are, after all, personal property. Time and time again history has demonstrated that registration is the first step towards confiscation. Organizations like yours adamantly deny this would happen, though New York and California have both proven you wrong.

Now I hear you wish to ban private sales. Do you SERIOUSLY think criminals will care if you outlaw private sales? How will you enforce the rule? Only by becoming an absolute police state through the surrender of our civil liberties can you hope to accomplish this. Even then, those determined will find a way around. A closer look at countries with tight gun control such as Mexico and China will prove this - both countries consistently fail to keep guns away from criminals.

Ms. Brady, I know why you wish to ban firearms, and believe it or not, I can actually empathize with you. The anger you feel every time you see your injured husband must be beyond comprehension, but I assure you that no law in the world would have prevented what happened to President Reagan and Mr. Brady. That man was bent and determined. However, I too have experienced crime. I have looked down the barrels of firearms, have been threatened, assaulted, and afraid. Do I seek to punish responsible citizens for the actions of a deranged few? No. Do I seek to render responsible citizens defenseless so they can know how I felt? No, and I hope no one ever knows that feeling.

It seems the real issue is not gun control, but crime in general. Rather than fronting a campaign to violate civil rights, why not focus all of your energy into an educational campaign? Instead of threatening to take guns away, aim to inform those who lawfully wish to participate in firearm ownership on the principles of responsible gun safety. Make known the methods available to secure firearms, consequences for misuse/allowing a gun to fall into the wrong hands, and resources available for further voluntary training. The NRA has an excellent, award-winning safety program for children; perhaps you could ally yourself with such an organization in the name of safety rather than distancing yourself in the name of confiscation.

The Second Amendment states the right of THE PEOPLE to keep and bear arms. Not THE STATES, not THE NATIONAL GUARD (although the provision for a well-regulated militia is there i.e. The Army), but THE PEOPLE. If "the right of the people to be secure in their dwellings" and "the right of the people to peaceably assemble" refers to the people, then the Second Amendment also refers to the people. Straight across the board, no compromises. By twisting the Constitution to suit your own personal agenda, not only are you decaying the very fundamentals our Founding Fathers built this country upon, you are encouraging the assault of civilized society.

I know you have your own formulaic, calculated retorts to these questions you have undoubtedly heard thousands of times before. Every issue you raise, every so-called fact you cite, every lie you spew lacks credible evidence. I advise you to do your homework, and maybe even look into actually TRYING firearms as a recreational activity. You might be surprised at what you're missing.

Wade Siers, Correctional Cadet
Phoenix, Arizona

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Are we at last brought to such humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our defense? Where is the difference between having our arms in possession and under our 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 J. Elliot, Debates in the Several State Conventions 45, 2d ed. Philadelphia, 1836

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