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Open letter to the Honorable Tom Ridge and the Office of Homeland Security

Dear Mr. Ridge,

Tom Diaz, Henry Waxman, Dianne Feinstein and several others have been working hard to erode this Nation's Second Amendment for decades now. They struck a victorious blow against the Second Amendment after the tragic shooting of James Brady with the passing of the Brady Bill, capitalizing on Sarah Brady's tragic loss and her presence as a victim.

On the heels of the 9-11-01 tragedy, the Violence Policy Center, under the direction of Tom Diaz, released a 104 page report citing how Barrett Manufacturing of Murfreesboro TN "supplied the Taliban with 50 caliber rifles capable of taking down aircraft or lightly armored vehicles", calling for support to their cause of restricting civilian ownership of these rifles. They know people will pay attention to this report in light of the skyrocketing fears and willingness to trade Freedoms for security. The fact is, the Barrett M82A1 .50 cal BMG rifles Diaz uses as a platform, were sold to U.S. Military during the 1980's and the U.S. Military supplied these arms to the Mujahedeen, along with the Stinger missiles our Government supplied to the "Afghani Freedom Fighters" to be used against the Russian invaders. Please visit the Barrett Manufacturing website for a well-worded reply debunking many of the myths of the recent VPC report.

It saddens me to see the VPC and Henry Waxman capitalize on the death of thousands in a time when our great Nation is to close ranks. Everyone speaks of solidarity and nonpartisanship in a time our Country truly needs to unify, but Diaz, Waxman and others seek to twist the situation to suit their agendas and further erode the Second Amendment.

The VPC has spent considerable time determining just how the .50 cal BMG rifle can be used domestically pointing out targets, hitherto not thought of by the public. It adds fear to their article but it is irresponsible of them to publish this information to the public. A concerned individual would deliver their message through proper channels.

The VPC and Waxman cite the .50 caliber rifle as a great threat, yet it is one of the few calibers that have never been used in a crime. They will demonize the rifle telling the public that the Branch Davidians had a .50 caliber weapon, but they neglect to mention it was not used once in the lengthy conflict.

With such tunnel vision on their political agendas, they rush to tailor a report and further their own political career with disregard to the American People. Their suggestions are limited to these political agendas and are not truly an attempt to help our Nation or the Office of Homeland Security in it's daunting task.

Fifty caliber weapons are the pinnacle of private firearms ownership. A Barrett M82A1 with a scope will cost approximately $8,000.00 and weighs over 30 pounds with ammunition. These are not common or low-tech weapons. It's upsetting to see Tom Diaz and Henry Waxman distract your office by attempting to draw you into a Second Amendment issue when imminent threats do NOT lie within private firearms ownership. Not at all.  In fact, with the threat right here in our own backyards it is important for America to be a strong America. We need more strong Americans. The heroes of flight 93 show an accurate cross-section of our people. That cross-section included a Judo champion a weightlifter and a Rugby player, STRONG AMERICANS. We have a strong America and the enemy needs to KNOW IT!  "Let's roll" - May that be our battle cry! We are not dealing with a "conventional military force" using firearms.

We are dealing with terrorists who improvise weapons of mass destruction from our own backyards. The Taliban boast that one fanatic of theirs is worth a battalion of our Armed Forces in the destruction they can cause here on our soil. We face great danger and must be strong. I urge you to return the reports Henry Waxman and Tom Diaz have sent to your office and tell them you have a Country to protect. Please let them know your office does not seek to involve itself with their attacks on our Country's Second Amendment.

Keep America Strong,

Proud American
Proud Pennsylvanian

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Without freedom there will be no firearms among the people; without firearms among the people there will not long be freedom. Certainly there are examples of countries where the people remain relatively free after the people have been disarmed, but there are no examples of a totalitarian state being created or existing where the people have personal arms. Neal Knox

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