We are NOT the Criminals.


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ZeSpectre
June 8, 2007, 10:39 AM
Folks,
I'm working on an editorial bit (nothing professional, just me trying to get my feelings out there) and although I've already got -some- good stuff I am having a bit of writers block so I'm asking for help.

The basic theme is
I am not a criminal (so I'd appreciate it if you stopped treating me like one).

What I need is more examples of how we (gun owners in general and CCW types in specific) are being treated as criminals even though we haven't done anything, and how we don't appreciate it.

One example to try and illustrate...

I have been an active, productive, and cherished, member of my community for many years. I have a long and steady history of productive social activity, and employment. I work hard for the betterment of my community. No aspect of my personality changes when I travel to another state, pass a school, enter a college campus, shop for groceries, or pay the mortgage at a bank, but laws are in place that treat me as though I suddenly become "Mr. Hyde" should I go to any of these locations. This assumption of criminality is insulting in the extreme.

PLEASE NO RANTS, I just need some brief "talking points" of criminalization illogic to get my poor brain un-logjammed.

Thanks
Ze

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obxned
June 8, 2007, 12:20 PM
If the object of gun control laws is the reduction of gun crimes, then mandatory additional sentences of 25 years without parole for any felony committed with a firearm would do it!

If the object of gun control laws is actually total control of the citizens by their government, then laws which restrict ownership and use of firearms by that subject people are what is required. Treating law-abiding citizens who own firearms as second class citizens will speed this process along.

Which path is your government following?

brighamr
June 8, 2007, 12:38 PM
just list any gun related law suit that has happened in california or new york in the last 4 years. (I live in California currently and owning a gun here is basically like putting a sign on your forehead that says 'Arrest Me')

My personal example: "I carry a firearm to protect me and my wife from the criminals that are so prevalent in today's society. Unfortunately, as soon as anyone in a position of authority hears that I am legally carrying a gun, I become the criminal... until money and a lengthy legal battle prove me otherwise"

ZeSpectre
June 8, 2007, 12:40 PM
brighamr,
I sort of touched on that already with a section about
I was a cop - I was trusted, no, ORDERED to carry a firearm.
I retired and although I was still the exact same person suddenly I was viewed with great suspicion for carrying a firearm.

Thanks guys, keep 'em coming.

I'll post the article here for review when I'm done.

longeyes
June 8, 2007, 12:50 PM
Yes, you are a "criminal." You believe you are responsible for yourself. You value liberty. Yes, you are a criminal. We advise you to turn yourself in; it will go better for you that way. You'll be happier, you'll see.

yokel
June 8, 2007, 12:53 PM
How about an exposť of the left-wing media's concerted attempt to marginalize and stigmatize private gun ownership?

ZeSpectre
June 8, 2007, 01:01 PM
This is sort of what I'm trying to do.

To wit (and pardon the poor grammer and structure, this is a mind to press first draft)...

The murders at Virginia Tech have once again brought the entire issue of firearms ownership into a bright spotlight. Because of the actions of one sociopath I am experiencing a reactionary movement to further demonize firearms and, by association, those who own and use them. Dressed up as “for the childern” or “to make a safer community” these too-broad actions based on emotional response (not logical consideration) tend to throw the baby out with the bathwater and the witch hunts that ensue don’t stop with attempts at crime control, they continue on to harass, punish, and stereotype the vast majority of firearms enthusasts in our country.

I, for one, am tired of the stereotyping and prejudice I keep experienceing so I am posting this notice to set the record straight.

I AM NOT A CRIMINAL AND I WOULD APPRECIATE IT IF YOU WOULD STOP TREATING ME LIKE ONE!

longeyes
June 8, 2007, 01:08 PM
I applaud your effort. Of course you are well-intentioned and totally right to speak out.

Just remember the end of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Why complain to the "pods?" Find allies and fortify yourself.

ZeSpectre
June 8, 2007, 01:13 PM
Member of the VCDL... believe me I have allies, and they have me at their back as well :)

This effort is along the lines of a tract for fence sitters to try and illustrate just why I (we?) get so worked up about this stuff. May be a waste of time but I'm going to do it anyway.

brighamr
June 8, 2007, 01:24 PM
ZeSpectre,

One thing you may want to incorporate are some factual law cases or media spotlights in our favor (they are so few and far in between).

examples:
*Parker vs DC and why it was such a fundamental decision
*The loss of rights following Katrina, and why it is so facking scary that it could happen
*The raids of homes in southern california for what looked like AW, but turned out to be completely legal semi-automatic rifles


Another idea would be to give a hypothetical situation: "Think of this. In the 1950's, if you were of color you were automatically profiled as a criminial, in this day in age you don't have to look different, you just have to own property (firearms) to be profiled as a criminal. During any common traffic stop, if you say the word 'gun' you will be dragged from your car, thrown on the ground and cuffed before you could finish the sentence. This is the new public opinion of firearms."

I'm not very good at writing, but I know that most people who are uneducated about firearms like to see real cases and scenarios that help them understand why guns are worth keeping (try to avoid statistics though, I don't think anyone truly believes them anymore). My wife and her family hated guns until they met me and I was able to show them all the reasons why guns are needed (protection of self and property, hunting, etc). They also were really interested in the crime rate vs gun ban ideas...

HTH

ZeSpectre
June 8, 2007, 01:27 PM
Brighamr,
I'm keeping this extremely personal and up close. My entire point is that the anti's keep talking about bad people, pointing to Cho, and then implying (or flat out saying) that all gun owners are like that.

Well I'm writing an article that says "hey, here I am and here's some facts about ME, I'm NOT Cho and neither are the vast majority of us so stop equating us to a mass murderer".

No theory, no guesswork, a real person... me in this case.

I'm probably opening myself up to all kinds of attack... so be it.

Thin Black Line
June 8, 2007, 01:53 PM
Let Pastor Chuck give you some inspiration:

http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=281384

brighamr
June 9, 2007, 01:02 AM
no problems, just trying to help a fellow writer

44AMP
June 9, 2007, 03:50 AM
Every once in a while I run afoul of someone who is not only a vegetarian, but thinks it is their mission in life to convince the rest of us of the purity and superiority of their lifestyle. Some of them call themselves Vegans.

When they tell me that vegetarians are morally superior (because they don't eat meat), I remind them of the fact that Adolph Hitler was a vegetarian.

Just as they don't like being tarred by that brush, we don't like being considered homicidal maniacs in waiting because we own (and sometimes carry) a gun.

Chad
June 9, 2007, 09:41 AM
Just a few off the top...

Cooling off periods
One gun/month limits
Background checks
Permits for concealed carry
Permits for purchase
Capacity limitations
Travel restrictions-driving or flying

Once I started thinking about it, it seems that most gun laws would fall in your category of "criminalization illogic".

Innocent until proven guilty does not exist in regards to firearms.

Peet
June 9, 2007, 10:17 AM
FYI in Mass. if you hold ANY level firearm ID and you move you have to report to:

1) Police in the town you're leaving

2) The "Criminal History Sytems Board"

3) Police in the town you're moving to (if it's in MA)

If I'm not mistaken (someone will correct me if so) that is MORE reporting than sex offenders have to do.

P.

ZeSpectre
June 10, 2007, 12:03 AM
Thanks guys, that's the sort of stuff I'm looking for. The "guilty until proven innocent...and we still don't believe you are innocent" type of thing.

jeepmor
June 10, 2007, 07:00 AM
We are being made criminal by the government that is using firearms on foreign soil to profess freedom at this very moment.

And yet, the administration that is waging such campaign, currently wishes you did not have acces to the same tools they are employing.

We are the criminals, I think not!

wjustinen
June 10, 2007, 07:14 PM
Gun control is not now, nor has it ever been, about the criminals.

jselvy
June 10, 2007, 08:51 PM
Gun control is people control.

Jefferson
I may have read that somewhere, I don't remember

XLMiguel
June 11, 2007, 11:47 AM
Law-abiding gun owners (the vast majority) are not the problem. Those who don't obey the law (i.e. criminals) are the problem. It is a behavior issue, not an inanimate object (i.e. firearm) issue, e.g. "assault" is a behavior, not a device.

The only way criminals can be dealt with is via law enforcement. They have already proven they won't obey the law, laws are irrelevant to criminals. More laws will not make a difference, everything Cho, the Colubine Kids, et al did was already illeagal, why would any sane person think another law is going to change anything?

Law abiding citizens are not made safer by disarming them, in fact it is just the opposite - they become easy prey for the criminal element. Banning firearms 'for the children' is absurd. You cannot protect 'the children' without weapons. Case in point: the only school shootings (Pearl, MS; Appalachin School of Law in VA) that were succesfully stopped involved armed citizens intervening (and they could have een stopped sooner had the citizens been allowed to carry on campus . . . ).

HTH, good luck with your project.

jfh
June 11, 2007, 12:30 PM
Let's call this piece you are writing an essay.

With this in mind, you've identified a subject to write about: Based on what you've said here, I'll give the following as a statement of your subject: I am a gun owner, and I am tired of being treated as if I were a criminal.

An alternative, less-personal statement might be something like this: Treating all firearms owners as criminal through gun-control laws and procedures is offensive.

Now, you can give some examples of your subject sentence.

I have a forty-year work history in Law Enforcement and an impeccable reputation, but if I purchase a firearm, I ....

1. Must first obtain a FOID / whatever card.

2. Submit fingerprints....

you get the idea.

Contrast this treatment of a law abiding citizen with that of a criminal...

Enumerate the criminal treatment.

You can now conclude the essay with a subjective statement about how this treatment is not common sense / tramples Constitutional Rights / whatever....

You may want to write this essay in the first person--"I" have to, "I" do not see why....however, keep in mind that this style, which is intensely subjective, tends to diminish the argument to the reader, simply because an implicit standard for good communication is in the third person and 'objective.'

...yes, I once was a HS English Teacher. And right now I don't want to bother tweaking the written formatting here--but doing so would make this post even more clear, I think.

Jim H.

DogBonz
June 11, 2007, 12:43 PM
They talk about howmany people are killed by guns every year. You should talk about how many lives are saved due to guns. Talk about how only rarely that they are even fired, that the mere presense of a firearm in the hands of a good guy is most often enough to reslove a situation. Als talk about how many times that these instances go undocumented because the criminal ran away and the citizen did not fire a shot.

thexrayboy
June 11, 2007, 10:33 PM
Realistically we are all criminals. Big Brother has passed so many laws, rules, regulations, codes, amendments and bills that virtually nothing any one does today is not violating some restriction somewhere. The purpose of this gordian knot of legislative origin is control. If you annoy Big Brother and he decides you need to be taken out of circulation all they have to do is watch you. Within 24 hours you will have committed a chargeable offense of some sort and off you will go in that nice new set of silver bracelets.

Zen21Tao
June 12, 2007, 05:08 PM
Go and read through the Brady Campaign's blog (go back as far as the "mandating guns" thread). There you will find numerous instances of Paul Helmke continuously refering to "gun owners" and "gun dealers" as "gun pushers," which is a semantic attempt at drawing an analogy between guns and drugs.

Make sure to read the comment sections for posts by 'Kelli' as you will find her accusing us of contributing to gun violence by not supporting "reasonable" gun-control and throwing out one ad hominem attack after another. You will also find most of the comments are pro-gunners using facts, stats, and logic to shred the articles Paul writes.


Here are some example:

- Calling the "stand your ground" law a "shoot first" law in Florida and a "shoot thy neighbor" law in Texas. This presumes that law abiding citizens that get permits will use this new law to gun people down at will.

- Similarly, look at arguments against concealed carry on college campuses. The anti-gun crowd's main argument is that the presence of guns provide a dangerous environment because the students with the guns could include drunken frat boys, students that are having a lovers squabble/break-up, the disassociated "loner" student, a student angry about bad grades, etc. They don't acknowledge that shootouts aren't occurring off campus in places like malls and coffee shops where these same students already can carry concealed weapons.

*link:
http://www.bradycampaign.org/blog/

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