A letter to my mother about protecting her family


April 26, 2005, 01:07 PM
Hey, guys, the following is a letter/essay I wrote to my mom about getting a gun to protect her family. I wrote it to her first because my dad would get guns, hes just facing a brick wall of "NO" when he talks to her. So I thought Id put my college education to the test and attempt to sway her opinion with stone cold facts. Also, in addition to this, I will attach the e-book from gunfacts.info. Any help critiqing or plain old critizing will be appreciated.

Many people say the 2nd Amendment is outdated and has no purpose in modern America. I and 80 million other Americans feel differently. I know you don’t want to own a firearm, but what I intend to do, is prove to you why you NEED a firearm for your protection.

Gun crime is something you cannot escape in any country big or small. Even when a country’s government outlaws guns, gun crime still exists. In many cases when a government outlaws guns, gun crime rises significantly. Due to the media and TV, guns get a bad reputation. Due to this bad reputation, people often have an irrational fear of guns. They see them as something that’s sole purpose is to eliminate life. When you look at a knife, do you see a serial killer? When you look at a box of matches, do you see an arsonist? However, when people look at a gun, they see everything that ever went wrong with a gun. They see a school shooting, a homicide and a sniper. No one ever stops to think of how many lives are saved a year because of guns.

Guns in the hands of law abiding civilians save lives every year. It is estimated that 6,000 crimes a year are stopped by civilians using firearms. Isn’t this the police’s job? As much as we would like to believe it, the police are not going to be there for you at every minute of everyday. In the blink of an eye you can find yourself in a situation that needs immediate response. You may not be able to wait those 4 minutes for the police to arrive. Four minutes is a lot of time when a burglar is 25 feet away from you in your house. Criminals have been quoted as to saying they fear a civilian with a gun more than a police officer. This is because a civilian has the right to shoot if their life is in danger and if their property has been invaded. A lot of people don’t own guns because they think they are safe where they live and that criminals would never go near their neighborhood. Well as much as I hate to do it, I must take off your rose colored glasses.

Camden New Jersey is the newly named “worst city in America” according to a national test of crime rates. In 2002 there were 33 murders, 45 rapes, 1155 burglaries, 797 assaults and 607 robberies according to the 2002 F.B.I. Crime report. This numbers have been on the rise the past 3 years. Crime is spreading up the Black Horse Pike. People are losing their jobs, stores are closing and people are moving away. There are already people from Camden selling drugs and guns in Runnemede. There are a few high school kids carrying guns and hundreds of them that deal drugs. We live next door to someone who has been in trouble with the law and drugs. We live 2 doors down from a family that is constantly in trouble with the police. Our police department is professional and efficient, but not 100% vigilant. What happens when there is nothing left to rob in Camden? What happens when there is no one left to sell drugs too? It’s moving down the Pike, right into our own neighborhood. Im not advocating a vigilante group, I just think our family should be protected from the dangers that strike everyday in America. There are killers and rapists who pick their houses at random. It doesn’t have to be a bad neighborhood, it can happen anywhere. Isn’t better to be safe than sorry?

I understand your concerns. There was a report put out a few years ago that stated “you are more likely to shoot a family member than an intruder.” That’s only true if you are an uneducated, untrained, simple minded person. There are flashlight attachments you can put on your gun to help you better identify your target. A normal person does not go downstairs with a gun at the slightest sound and start popping off rounds. It just doesn’t make sense. You go downstairs, point the gun, and your flashlight on the end will light up your target. If that’s not enough, there is plenty more to make your home safe for you family and firearms. Less-Lethal ammunition is what the police use in riots to control crowds. The most common is the “beanbag.” This is a beanbag filled with a heavy material that is shot from a shotgun. The force will knock down the person and make him think twice about intruding. Also, there are “pepper blast” shells. These are shells that when shot from a shotgun, they blast out cayenne pepper spray at the intruder. This is more effective than mace, and more intimidating. Also, there is the fact that you may not even have to fire the gun to protect your home. You can simply point the gun at the intruder and have him sit there until police arrive. Visit this website for more information on less lethal ammo. (http://www.ozarkmtns.com/less-lethal/index.htm) It will give you the information as to what type of ammo it is, and reasons to use it. This ammo is dangerous, but will provide you with the security you need. No criminal will want to stick around after having his ribs broken by a homeowner with a gun. Furthermore, you won’t kill the individual so you will be morally and legally clean of any wrong doing.

There are many situations in which you may find yourself needing a firearm. We covered a home invasion already. Although you may think that because we live in the suburbs we are immune to burglaries and home invasions. Well incase you forgot, we live next to someone who used to rob peoples sheds. He could have easily broken into anyone’s house. This type of crime happens anywhere at any time of day. Recently in rural Connecticut at 6:00am on Sunday morning a woman had her home broken into. She shot the robber and the police caught him later. This took place in a wealthy rural environment.

Civil Unrest is not isolated to third world countries and poor neighborhoods. It can happen anywhere at anytime. Think about it. If a Camden Police officer shot and killed a 9 year old boy on accident, it may produce some racial tensions in the area. If those tensions overflow onto the streets, people will take advantage of the lawlessness to loot, rob and pillage like wild Mongols. If there is a natural disaster such as a tornado, hurricane, earthquake or disease you may need to protect yourself from mobs of people. This happened in Florida after hurricane Andrew. If people ran out of supplies, what is stopping them from coming into our house and taking them? Nothing if you don’t have a gun to protect yourself and your home. The police will not always be there to protect you. Runnemede is a small town and they have limited resources. In the event of a disaster, a police arrival may take anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour. Think about it, in a situation of urgency, do you have 10 minutes to an hour to wait around for help? I am sure I have made some good points, but I have a feeling you are not 100% convinced. You still don’t know how to use a gun, well that can and should change.

Having a gun in the home is not a surefire way to protect yourself, especially if you don’t know how to use it. That is why any responsible gun owner would take lessons on how to shoot, clean and maintain a firearm in a home. There are plenty of places that will teach you safety and operation of any firearm. These can be found in your local yellowpages. There are also dozens of ways to keep your firearm safe from others. There are locks for the trigger and there are lockers to put them in. Also, keep your ammunition separate from the gun; this makes the gun useless if it falls into the wrong hands. However, you don’t want to keep your gun completely locked away, that you won’t be able to reach it in an emergency.

Guns themselves do not harm anyone. It is an irresponsible person behind the trigger that causes injury. In terms of raw statistics, alcohol abuse costs several times as many lives per year as gun homicides. Especially when you consider that the majority of homicides and many suicides are committed under the influence of alcohol, not to mention other violent crimes (rape, battery, etc.). Think of how many people are killed in alcohol related car accidents every year. Doctors for example cause more deaths that gun accidents in America. For instance, there are 700,000 physicians in the U.S. The average number or accidental deaths caused by doctors in America is 120,000 a year, meaning that there are 0.171 deaths per physician. These statistics are not inflated or made up, they are courtesy of the U.S. Dept. of Health Human services. There are 80,000,000 gun owners in the United States. The accidental death toll by firearms is 1,500 a year. This includes every time a child finds his dads loaded gun and shoots himself or his friend on accident. The number of accidental deaths per gun owner is .000188 (Statistics courtesy of FBI). This means that statistically doctors are 9,000 times more deadly than guns.

Anti-gun legislation is a controversial topic. People in elite positions want to ban firearms and keep them out of the hands of criminals by making it harder for law abiding citizens to purchase guns. That doesn’t make any sense. A criminal has already broken the law once, why would he follow procedure to buy a legal gun. Guns at gun stores are far more expensive then if you bought them on the street. If a criminal wanted a gun to use in a crime, he could get one in Camden for $80. That same gun would be $400 at your local gun shop. As a whole, the net Violent Crime Rate is 26% higher in restrictive states (798.3/100,000) than states with more liberal gun laws (631.6/100,000); the Murder Rate is 49% higher in restrictive states (10.1/100,000 versus 6.8/100,000); the Robbery Rate is 58% higher in restrictive states (289.7/100,000 versus 183.1/100,000); and the Aggravated Assault Rate is 15% higher in restrictive states (455.9/100,000) than states with more liberal gun laws (398.3/100,000). In Washington D.C., the murder rate is 56.9 per 100,000 people. Washington D.C. has the strictest gun laws in the nation and bans its citizens from owning them. Across the river in Arlington Virginia, they have unregulated gun ownership and their murder rate is 1.6 per 100,000 people. This is the same for England. While England’s crime rate has dropped recently, within the first year of banning firearms, violent crime skyrocketed 54%. The statistics are similar in Australia and any other country, city, state, town, commonwealth or village that has ever banned firearms. Keeping guns out of the hands of everyone, does not make the world a safer place.

A gun is merely an object. Whether people consider it a tool or a weapon, it is merely an inanimate object. It can do no harm just sitting on a desk or in a gun cabinet. It is up to the owner of the firearm to keep his family educated on the safety of firearms. With everything in life, there is responsibility, why should this be any different.

It is not a daunting task to keep a home safe with firearms. If you are responsible and know how to operate a gun properly, then owning one can be the most important thing to the safety of your family.

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April 26, 2005, 01:09 PM
its in paragraph form and its much easier on the eyes when it was in word, so i apoligize for its length and appearence.

Andrew Rothman
April 26, 2005, 02:27 PM
Thanks for the paragraphy marks!

April 26, 2005, 02:54 PM
Gun crime is something you cannot escape...

Just my personal thing, but I hate this term. I know it's easy to write/type, and all that, but the fact is it makes it sound like the guns are committing the crime. How about, "criminals using firearms"?

Other than that, and the paragraph thing, it looks okay to me.

erik the bold
April 26, 2005, 03:06 PM
So fix it. That's what "edit" is for!

:rolleyes: Takin' the "low road" again.......... :banghead:

Hey, guys......will be appreciated


Looks pretty good for a rough draft!
IMHO, items to review:
1) I don't like the term "gun." I prefer firearm
2) Make sure all your facts are traceable, or supply copies to emphasize data
3) U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services
4) How about adding a conclusion?


April 26, 2005, 07:15 PM
thanks guys, yea its a rough draft, and sorry that i didnt edit it, ill get on that pronto.

April 26, 2005, 08:46 PM
It is a start. You need to organize the paragraphs a bit more logically. One example is this section from the second to third paragraphs.

"They see a school shooting, a homicide and a sniper. No one ever stops to think of how many lives are saved a year because of guns.
Guns in the hands of law abiding civilians save lives every year. It is estimated that 6,000 crimes a year are stopped by civilians using firearms. Isn’t this the police’s job?"

In this section the first two sentences of the third paragraph would be better placed at the end of the second. The last sentence makes a good transition for the beginning of the third paragraph and is a better fit. The transitions are killing you throughout and it is an easy way to have a much bigger impact upon your reader.

"They see a school shooting, a homicide and a sniper. No one ever stops to think of how many lives are saved a year because of guns. Guns in the hands of law abiding civilians save lives every year. It is estimated that 6,000 crimes a year are stopped by civilians using firearms.

Isn’t this the police’s job? As much as we would like to believe it, the police are not going to be there for you at every minute of everyday."

See the difference? Your first sentence in a paragraph needs to lead the reader from your main idea in the previous paragraph to the main idea in the current one.

Also, you say you are making use of the college education you have recieved. Wonderful! Footnotes, footnotes my friend. Site your sources with footnotes just as you would for your college professors. Post your revision, once you use all the helpful hints you have recieved from everyone.

April 27, 2005, 12:46 AM
A link to Oleg's excelent site, http://www.a-human-right.com could also be beneficial. The no pressure, logical, information presented there could provide invaluable assistance. His posters alone could be an enormous influence.

April 27, 2005, 08:56 AM
Good essay. I'm going to print it and save in my general info file. Are your statistics well researched? Just want to know so I can be lazy.

Although it is a very good essay and a thorough discussion of the topic, will your Mom read it? I find in business that anything over one page generally does not have the same impact. I would suggest a one page summary and you can attach the detailed discussion if they want more info.

Semper Fi!

April 27, 2005, 09:39 AM
I don't think you should reference the 2nd if you're making a personal protection argument to your mom. She probably doesn't want a gun in her house because she has an issue with guns not because of politics. Stay focused on the concrete instead of the political.

Your second paragraph focuses on the "irrational fear" aspect of not wanting a gun in the home. I doubt that your mother will take being called irrational very well. Also, the issue isn't whether criminals use guns or not to threaten or injure or kill their victems. They use knives, clubs and guns to do this. The point is that violent crime and home invasion by violent criminals is what you're concerned with and her ability of your dad and her to protect themselves from it.

The rest is pretty good.

You should point out that there are alternatives to guns for home protection. Solid locks on doors and windows that stay locked 24/7, alarm systems, removing bushes to get clear views of every access to the house, etc. to prevent people getting into the house and posing a threat. Then you should point out that police response times are "X" for your neighborhood and that is the amount of time that she has between the 3-5 minutes for the alarm company to contact the police + the time it takes for them to arrive after an alarm call. This is the amount of time she has to hold off an intuder or defend herself/your father from a breakin. It could be 10 to 30 minutes. What could someone do to her in that amount of time if she didn't have the means to prevent them?

April 27, 2005, 12:46 PM
Erik ~

A polite request to add spacing so the rest of us can comfortably read your post is not "taking the low road."


I went ahead and edited it on your behalf, just adding in breaks wherever they appeared in the original formatting you posted.

Okay, about the letter itself.

Overall, it looks pretty good, if a bit formal for something you're going to hand to a family member.

I'd probably shorten it a bit by getting rid of some of the extraneous details. Writing tends to be more persuasive when you stick with one main point per paragraph. For instance, in the paragraph that begins, "I understand your concerns," your point would be more powerfully made if you left out any specific discussion of gadgetry & gear, and simply explained that responsible people do not fire at a noise in the dark.

If you don't want to shorten it overall or eliminate any details, adding white space would help. People generally skim things that look too long, and you want her to read all of it. So even if you don't change anything else, do add another paragraph break whenever you reasonably can.

For instance, taking the same paragraph I referred to above, you could add a break after your first, main point (responsible people do not fire at unidentified noises). The next paragraph could talk about less-lethal rounds, if you still wanted to do that.*



* Though, as an aside, police officers always have a backup person with a lethal weapon out when less lethal rounds are employed, because less lethal options are simply not as effective in too many cases. Furthermore, they're called less lethal because they still can be lethal -- and it would be horrible indeed to kill someone if you hadn't first emotionally come to grips with the possibility that you might do so. I wouldn't wish that on my mom!

April 27, 2005, 06:33 PM
i do want to go back and give better info on less lethal ammo. basically how it CAN kill, but usually doesnt. all your guys advice will be added into the final draft. Thanks for the help guys.

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