Purdue editorial: Automatic Assault rifles easy to buy


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Seancass
January 24, 2008, 06:57 PM
http://www.purdueexponent.org/?module=article&story_id=9450

Feel free to comment on his flawless logic.

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HK G3
January 24, 2008, 07:06 PM
I wish automatic assault rifles were easy to buy...

I'd have bought 5 of them by now if that were the case... :banghead:

Dan M.
January 24, 2008, 07:15 PM
**rrriiinnggg**

"Colt Hut, we deliver in 30 minutes or less or your firearm is free."

"Yeah, uh, I wanna get a large 12 gauge with extra 00, and a large SKS, hold the bayonet please, and two medium 45s with rails and night sights. Oh, and throw in a bag of JHPs with those 45s."

"Okay, did you want the Remington or the Mossberg for that 12 gauge?"

"The Remington. Make it with the pistol grip too, I like those."

"All right. We're running a special on S&W 642s. Buy three for $5 each. Did you want to get some of those?"

"Oh, wow, that's a good price for those. Okay, I'll take half a dozen of those too."

"Okay, so one large Remington with extra 00; one large SKS, hold the bayonet, two medium 45s--you wanted Colt Commanders? We don't have those with the rails, is that all right?"

"Uh, make it Kimbers then. No aluminum frames though."

"Okay, two steel Kimbers with night sights and rails, with a bag of JHPs--"

"Make it a case of JHPs!"

"Okay, a case of JHPs; and half a dozen S&W 642s. Is that it?

"Do you have any more large automatic assault weapons?"

"Gosh, you know, we ran out of those earlier. They're usually gone by 4:00 or so. You gotta call sooner for those, they go fast. We'll have several thousand more tomorrow though. Anything else?

"Uh, yeah, two diet Cokes."

"Okay! We'll have your order there in 30 minutes or less or it's free. Thank you for calling Colt Hut. Have a nice night!"

.cheese.
January 24, 2008, 07:20 PM
yet another college paper prints yet another ridiculously flawed article. Do they bother to research first? I don't think so. It's just what tons of college students do for their papers.... make a whole bunch of baloney up that sounds good and hope for a B. Then they become professional reporters! This guy got started early.

Winchester 73
January 24, 2008, 07:27 PM
Its Bloomington,Indiana,just like Madison,Wisconsin and Champaign-Urbana,Illinois.
Marxism is alive and thriving in these Big Ten(really 11, they can't count)schools of higher learning.
Have to ignore the immature silliness.

Cmdr. Gravez0r
January 24, 2008, 07:29 PM
As of right now, the student is facing only drug charges. Why are there no charges concerning the weapon? Answer: The gun was probably in the residence legally.



OH teh NOEEESSS!!!!1111

In New York City, there's a slogan, "If you see something, say something." Every member of the Purdue community needs to follow this guideline. If your friend has such a gun, is doing drugs or things that just aren't right, tell them you think so.



At least he cuts to the chase. gun ownership = baaaad. Sheepish submission = goooood.

Winchester 73
January 24, 2008, 07:40 PM
If your friend has such a gun, is doing drugs or things that just aren't right, tell them you think so

Straight from the Hitler Youth Handbook.But also tell the "authorities" ,of course.

TEDDY
January 24, 2008, 07:40 PM
win73 got it right the colleges are hot beds of marxism.:fire:

Mainsail
January 24, 2008, 07:44 PM
Hey thanks for the link, it got me dinged on the .mil firewall. If it's not too much trouble, can you copy/paste the text? Seriously, it will only waste like 15 calories.

El Tejon
January 24, 2008, 07:44 PM
No, not really a hotbed of Marxism here in West Lafayette--students are busy studying, working or drinking beer. Maybe a hotbed of engineering or slide rule collecting.

The author is just another East Coast Eloi who is frightened that Americans own firearms. Maybe someone should tell him how many guns are in this county?:D

Here's the article, Main:

Assault rifle discovery raises questions for Purdue students, city

Publication Date: 01/24/08

I have noisy neighbors; that I can deal with.

And if I discovered one of my neighbors had pot in his or her apartment, honestly, I probably wouldn't fret.

But last week, police found a loaded AK-47 assault rifle in one of my neighbors' apartment. And that I fret about.

West Lafayette Police Chief Jason Dombkowski said the gun was loaded with 30 rounds, with additional magazines of ammunition nearby, "ready to go."

Police responded to a noise complaint at a sophomore's apartment, where they found drugs and drug paraphernalia. Dombkowski said that during a subsequent search, police found not only the AK-47, but nearly two pounds of marijuana and $3,800 in cash. Which one of these things is not like the other?

As of right now, the student is facing only drug charges. Why are there no charges concerning the weapon? Answer: The gun was probably in the residence legally.

I spoke with Dombkowski last week and he said the state requires permits for handguns but not necessarily for other weapons, such as rifles. Because the federal assault weapons ban expired in 2004, if you can pass a background check, you can legally own such automatic guns.

Several other states, including New York and New Jersey, have enacted legislation banning the sale of assault weapons. But Indiana has extremely lax gun laws with no such provision.

We don't need to get into the cliche debate of general gun control, but I hope few would argue the need for automatic assault weapons within city limits.

Yes, the Constitution protects the right to bear arms, but we know that is not a license to hold exceptionally dangerous weapons such as bazookas, machine guns or assault weapons. As the federal government decreed in 1994, assault weapons just don't belong in our communities.

I urge the city council to further investigate this matter and consider, at least, passing a measure requiring all owners of assault weapons to be registered with the police department. I would personally advocate a ban of such guns within the city.

It is the responsibility of city officials to do what they can to prevent another Virginia Tech incident; mandatory registration would be a logical step.

A second cause for my concern is whether other people knew about the gun in the student's apartment. Although it is legal to hold such a weapon, that doesn't mean it's right.

In New York City, there's a slogan, "If you see something, say something." Every member of the Purdue community needs to follow this guideline. If your friend has such a gun, is doing drugs or things that just aren't right, tell them you think so.

I praise the police department in their success of discovering last week's situation, but police need our help and our eyes too.

The old saying goes "Good fences make good neighbors."

Let's keep that from becoming "Kevlar walls and bullet-proof windows ..."

Mike Westervelt is a junior in the College of Liberal Arts. He can be reached via e-mail at mike.westervelt@purdueexponent.org.

41magsnub
January 24, 2008, 07:47 PM
the article:

edit: NVM, El T beat me

Werewolf
January 24, 2008, 07:47 PM
The author is a disgrace to the once honorable profession of journalism.

Some very basic research would have revealed various errors in his article but I expect that's either too difficult or he labors under the erroneous assumption that he actually knows gun law.

What's worse is that knuckleheads like this will eventually inherit the MSM from the current crop of knuckleheads.

Winchester 73
January 24, 2008, 07:48 PM
No, not really a hotbed of Marxism here in West Lafayette--students are busy studying, working or drinking beer. Maybe a hotbed of engineering or slide rule collecting.

Tell me about it,dreamer!

41magsnub
January 24, 2008, 07:50 PM
The author is a disgrace to the once honorable profession of journalism.

He's a Liberal Arts major.. it's either journalism or fast food. Give the guy a break! ;)

jlbraun
January 24, 2008, 07:52 PM
As a nonviolent Buddhist vegetarian flaming liberal Democrat, I read your article with interest.

http://picasaweb.google.com/kyaung907/BURMASPHOTOS/photo#5116616297878676642

This is a Burmese Buddhist monk who was murdered for protesting against the Burmese government.

Again, I am a nonviolent liberal Buddhist. But I keep a loaded semiautomatic AK-47 (just like the one in your article) in the closet safe so I won't wind up like this guy.

I live in an apartment building with 28 other residents. Fully a third of them are armed.

Namaste (I salute the divine in you).

bannockburn
January 24, 2008, 07:54 PM
Gee, I wonder if young Mikey, ace reporter, would have liked to have lived in a certain totalitarian state of years gone by. He certainly thinks the police are to be praised for their quick action in getting one of those automatic weapons (or bazookas, or machine guns, or assault weapons, oh my), off the street; and he also recognizes that the police need our help. They need for us to be the eyes and ears for them so they can ferret out such illegal weapons. So do like New York citizens do, and spy and inform on your neighbors. That way, they can get rid of all those bad assault guns, just like the Federal government did in 1994. If you do, then Mikey says Purdue will be a safe and happy community to live in.

Soybomb
January 24, 2008, 07:59 PM
Drug dealers can be violent I guess as long as they don't do it with guns :D

rickomatic
January 24, 2008, 08:05 PM
I kinda feel sorry for Mikey. Frued was right, and I bet Mikey's Saturday nights are lonely.

keeleon
January 24, 2008, 08:06 PM
So he has no problem with a drug dealer living next to him, but he has a problem with a gun owner as a neighbor? Personally I think it was scary too, not so much the gun, but the gun along with loads of illegal drugs, and wads of cash. Does the writer not understand where most of the people get that cash for those drugs? I'm sure they aren't putting in extra shifts at starbucks. What is even more scary is thinking of the clientel the drug dealer must have had if the AK was in fact there for protection and not just an unrelated hobby.

koginam
January 24, 2008, 08:15 PM
"A second cause for my concern is whether other people knew about the gun in the student's apartment. Although it is legal to hold such a weapon, that doesn't mean it's right." yea I have a problem with that statement, I wonder what he would say about the articles by several newspapers giving away secret investigating tools used by homeland security, the CIA, and FBI to catch terrorists and track their money, I know the 1st amendment makes it legal but is it right? I also doubt he sees the need for the second amendment to protect his 1st amendment rights, I mean the government will look after his rights they always do whats right.

serrano
January 24, 2008, 08:29 PM
It is the responsibility of city officials to do what they can to prevent another Virginia Tech incident; mandatory registration would be a logical step.

Because of all the unregistered fully-automatic AK-47s used in VT? This kid is grasping at straws, how many minutes before this article was due did he slap it together?

I sent the kid an email pointing out a handful of his factual errors.

The Unknown User
January 24, 2008, 09:10 PM
I'm emailing him, as well.


Mike Westervelt,

I just finished reading your article regarding the contents found in your neighbor's apartment. While I, at first, shared your concern regarding the drugs and rifle found inside your neighbor's residence, I quickly found myself shaking my head at your article.

First, you said the rifle was legal, yet you continue the remainder of the article talking about the rifle, instead of talking about the drugs. He didn't own the rifle illegally. So what's the problem?

Second, you didn't do any homework at all. As someone who's educated on the topic, you completely misrepresent the federal laws governing ownership and purchase of automatic weapons in the US. Whoever you got that information from obviously has no idea what they're talking about. It is irresponsible of a journalist to intentionally do such a thing, especially seeing as their work is read by the masses, which usually are easily swayed.

Finally, it seems to me that the whole purpose of your article was simply to say, "I don't approve of others exercising their Second Amendment rights for all lawful purposes, and will personally advocate legislature that will further restrict those that would seek to legally purchase firearms." If I were to say the same thing about the First Amendment, you'd be sending me a similar email.

The next time you write something about a Constitutional right, I recommend you do a little homework.

Rob F

ROMAK IV
January 24, 2008, 09:59 PM
Another reason a liberal arts degree is like no degree at all.

First, the gun wasn't an AK-47, and wasn't automatic, an implication that it is a NFA weapon.

Second, the Assault Weapons Ban expired in 2004, and even then it didn't prevent the legal purchase and ownership of semiautomatic firearms, and 30 round magazines.

Third, what's the difference between a five round lever action and an AK type firearm with thirty rounds? Nothing for the first five shots.

It is also quite naive, to dismiss the danger of drugs. Whatever you point of view on drugs and the war on drugs, they are illegal and that illegality has been upheld by the Supreme Court. Internationally, criminals and terrorists supply most of the illegal drugs. Even in this country, drug dealers are more often than not, part of organized crime. To use the so often idiotic "moral relativity" and compare criminal possession of illegal firearms with lawful possession by ordinary citizens is outrageous. And of course, passing a law that bans legal possession of semiautomatic firearms isn't going to stop the drug dealer anyway. Not only is it outrageous, but it will increase the danger from the actual criminal.

buy guns
January 24, 2008, 10:11 PM
What is even more scary is thinking of the clientel the drug dealer must have had if the AK was in fact there for protection and not just an unrelated hobby.

Yep, those college kids can be real scary.

The Unknown User
January 24, 2008, 10:28 PM
Another reason a liberal arts degree is like no degree at all.

I'd like to say quite a few very specific things that would get me banned if I did say them.

Grow up.

You take one thing written by one individual and decide it applies to all students in such a large area of study.

/rolls eyes

huff.jeremy
January 24, 2008, 10:29 PM
Although it is legal to hold such a weapon, that doesn't mean it's right. ...WOW... So he must believe in a political system where what is "right" is not determined by a majority of the citizens and thus made legal. Tyranny maybe?

I also wrote two emails, one to the author and one to his editor.

huff.jeremy
January 24, 2008, 10:31 PM
You take one thing written by one individual and decide it applies to all students in such a large area of study.

True, it was a very broad statement... but it is partially truthful. I had two liberal arts degrees finished before I realized that I had almost no employment opportunities. So... I entered law school. :)

sandwich
January 24, 2008, 10:40 PM
I was going to email him too, but I'm too lazy to tear him a new one, and I see that other people are emailing him. For those who do email him, post his responses, if he gives you any.

sandwich
January 24, 2008, 10:43 PM
yet another college paper prints yet another ridiculously flawed article. Do they bother to research first? I don't think so. It's just what tons of college students do for their papers.... make a whole bunch of baloney up that sounds good and hope for a B. Then they become professional reporters! This guy got started early.

Actually these days you can just buy papers. You don't even have to write them anymore.

Steve N
January 24, 2008, 10:54 PM
This article was an opinion piece, although the author used illogical thinking, and did not research the facts. However, he is just as entitled to his opinion as anyone else. But just keep in mind that "opinions are like *********s, everyone has one, and most of them stink."(copyrighted by me)

Cmdr. Gravez0r
January 24, 2008, 10:59 PM
The author is a disgrace to the once honorable profession of journalism.


Actually it hasn't been professional since, oh, Samuel Johnson's day.

HK G3
January 24, 2008, 11:00 PM
This article was an opinion piece, although the author used illogical thinking, and did not research the facts. However, he is just as entitled to his opinion as anyone else. But just keep in mind that "opinions are like *********s, everyone has one, and most of them stink."(copyrighted by me)

Actually, those born with the condition known as imperforate anu$ (apparently anatomical terms are censored) don't have an... never mind. :p

But seriously though, misinformation, on *ALL* subjects run rampant in college newspapers' opinions sections, regardless whether or not the writer is espousing a liberal or conservative viewpoint. I can't count the number of times there would be opinions "journalists" discussing how WMDs were found in Iraq...

huff.jeremy
January 24, 2008, 11:10 PM
he is just as entitled to his opinion as anyone else

That is true in my book too, so i limited my email to simple factual and legal flaws, plus my disgust that he would publish such a misleading and erroneous paper, especially when it regards such an important subject.

Ragnar Danneskjold
January 24, 2008, 11:40 PM
As the federal government decreed in 1994, assault weapons just don't belong in our communities.

Oh well then, if the federal government decrees something, I guess that ends the debate right? They're never wrong right?

Winchester 73
January 24, 2008, 11:52 PM
Actually it hasn't been professional since, oh, Samuel Johnson's day.


Great guy(1709-1784).We could sure use him today.I'd love to see him debate Clinton or Obama.Or Guiliani and Romney.It would be a slaughter.
The all time master of the English language.

yhtomit
January 25, 2008, 12:06 AM
I decided to write a quick response to Mike; I hope there are no technical goofs contained ;)

timothy


Mike:

I noticed your article in the Exponent because it was linked from a forum (about guns and related things) called The High Road. I suspect your email box has a lot of angry responses to your article; this isn't one.

First, a disclaimer: I used to feel similarly about guns as I get the impression you do, but have changed my mind. The reasons are complex, but I'm sure they aren't all that different from the litany of reasons you might get from anyone else, so I won't bore you with them.

I want to comment on two small things:

1) Terminology gets us gun enthusiasts worked up sometimes. In particularly, the word "automatic" as it applies to guns can be tricky to use in a way that would please an alert NRA member. (Yes, I am one of those NRA guys, but that's both incidental and not something I'm very attached to.) "Automatic" is a term of art -- if it were easy to legally buy automatic weapons, lots more people would. As it is, it's a very expensive, very intrusive process, and as a result there are not all that many automatic weapons legally owned by private citizens. There are some, Yes, but as a class they're quite exotic, simply because of the rules around their sale and possession. Confusingly, many common handguns are known as "auto-pistols" (as in "automatic pistols"), but that's a convenient shorthand rather than a technical description. Put simply: an automatic weapon (as construed by the law, and by anyone with reason to use the term with precision) is one for which a single pull of the trigger results in more than one bullet being launched down the same barrel. This can result in a burst of a certain number of shots, or continuous firing until the magazine is empty. Unless that AK-47 was illegally modified or sold, it's almost certainly the case that it was in fact semi-automatic rather than automatic . That means, just like with Wyatt Earp's six-shooter, that the user needs to manipulate the trigger separately each time he wants to fire. It may seem a small point, but the law hinges on just such distinctions.

You may have been emailed as well about the term "assault weapon." if you choose to describe a particular gun as an "assault weapon," that's your right, but this term has no clear meaning, other than as a pejorative. A military-styled rifle may strike you as menacing, but it functions the same way as does the most innocuous-looking typical hunting rifle. It's also misleading in some contexts, because of its similarity to "assault rifle," which describes a certain subset of true automatic weapons.

2) It's a shame that this country has the insane, destructive drug laws that it does. However, firearms purchasers at retail stores are required to fill out a form asserting that they are not unlawful users of certain drugs (such as marijuana); if that gun was purchased from such a store, it seems likely that the purchase was actually unlawful. Given the perverse incentives involved, I'm troubled (as you were, though for different reasons) by the confluence of cash, gun, and illegal marijuana.

Especially if you haven't before, I hope you get a chance to go shooting sometime soon with someone who is experienced and a good teacher; I suspect you'll find that most gun owners are respectful and safety oriented, and that guns are as safe as the people around them. Further, I'd suggest giving a go at shooting an AK-47 -- it really is a blast. My commonplace advice would be start with a .22 or other small-caliber gun, though, if you haven't shot before. You may end up feeling no different about things like registration, but every time you shoot or learn more about guns, you'll be writing from a position of greater knowledge.

I hope this finds you well,

Tim Lord

Dr. Peter Venkman
January 25, 2008, 12:12 AM
..WOW... So he must believe in a political system where what is "right" is not determined by a majority of the citizens and thus made legal. Tyranny maybe?

What is 'right' is not defined nor determined by the number of people who believe theirs to be the better case.

ColinthePilot
January 25, 2008, 12:16 AM
yhtomit, I couldn't have said it better myself. I was going to send a similar e-mail and be informative rather than hostile. You hit that nail on the head. I wholeheartedly disagree with his position, but I figured out long ago that its more successful if you discuss the matter with un-decided's/anti's, rather than blast them. If you get a return, please post it. I hope you get an intelligent reply.

Colin Doyle
January 25, 2008, 12:57 AM
Great email, Tim. Thanks for putting that into writing - very eloquent. :)

bogie
January 25, 2008, 01:53 AM
Problem is that when you start telling the nice folks that what they -know- is an assault weapon is not one, their eyes glaze over while the kook alarm in their forebrain goes off...

The message to give the guy is that "assault weapons" as he knows them are very seldom used in crimes, along with "if you're really concerned about preventing another VA Tech incident, lobby for concealed carry on campuses, so that responsible people can serve as a deterrent."

huff.jeremy
January 25, 2008, 02:25 AM
What is 'right' is not defined nor determined by the number of people who believe theirs to be the better case.

Yes, that is true too... and i guess we could have a long philosophical talk about what makes something "right", but this thread probably wouldn't be the place.

My two cents... just to explain msyelf: Basically, unless you believe in a higher power that tells you what "right" is, there are an infinte number of theories as to what makes something "right". To me, it seems that what is "right" has always been determined by the majority of people in a society.

Slavery was right once, then became wrong with changing attitudes; witch hunting was right once, but become wrong when society changed; beating of ones wife was right once, but that changed. Etc...

I am not saying you are wrong... just saying I am not either :)

The Wiry Irishman
January 25, 2008, 02:26 AM
I was going to post on this myself. I saw this article between work and class in what was supposed to be my weekly relaxing lunch. I'm composing an opinions letter that I'm hoping the Exponent will publish in reply.

This is disturbing to me for more reasons than most of you are expressing. I'm going on my fifth year of involvement with the Purdue Rifle and Pistol Club, and in that we've managed to get the club a long way. As can be expected with a campus gun organization, we're in a very precarious position. A few years before my time the club was denied an on-campus range to practice on. This club, and some of the friends who were members when I first came to college, was responsible for changing my way thinking about guns, which once was similar to the article's author. It does the same for a couple dozen people every semester. In Mr. Lord's post he suggested the author try to go shooting, and I know that that is the most effective method for disabusing firearm fear and ignorance. I really want to ask this guy to come by some Monday night and shoot with us. But what of the consequences? Most of the campus isn't aware of us, and many that are I've found are largely unaware of what the club does. They think we sit in a room and talk about guns once a week. They're not aware that we store forty or fifty guns on campus that we bring out and shoot three times a week. What if after he realizes what we do, his next article espouses the danger he believes he represents? The poor quality of his writing will not fail to convince people, Liberal Arts students or not, reading comprehension and critical thinking are at a deficit here. I believe quite strongly that any outcry against us could easily lead to the club being shuffled off.

I really don't know if attempting to convert this person is worth the risk it may present. My gut says invite him, but my mind say don't. Anyone here have any thoughts?

Ragnar Danneskjold
January 25, 2008, 02:36 AM
I find it strange, disgusting, and disheartening that a group of people(the left, particularly the college left) who claim so loudly to have the upper ground on fact, logic, and education, completely turn off their brains and go out of their way to avoid education in something like guns. They actually view ignorance about guns as something to strive for, as some sort of badge for their "non violent" and "enlightened" ways. They talk and talk and talk about how they know all there is to know about science and learning, and that you're a buffoon if you don't subscribe to all of their theories like global warming, and yet, you point out glaring factual errors that aren't even debatable in their arguments about guns, and they see these errors as something positive, or they deny the errors outright.

The Wiry Irishman
January 25, 2008, 03:17 AM
My submission to the opinions section of the Exponent:

After reading Mike Westervelt's column entitled "Assault rifle discovery raises questions for Purdue students, city" it became very clear that the author has little to no knowledge of firearms or firearm law, something I believe one should have at least a passing acquaintance with before publishing an opinions article about the subject.

His most glaring error was his assumption that the rifle found was automatic. I find that highly suspect. Automatic weapons have been heavily regulated since the National Firearms Act of 1934. They are so rare at this point, a legally-purchased fully-automatic AK-47 costs more than 10,000 dollars. I find it hard to believe that a college kid could afford that. It was certainly not an illegal automatic, as no charges were filed, and the penalties for having two pounds of weed pale in comparison to what happens if you get caught with an illegal machine gun.

So the gun must have been semi-automatic, and was thus covered by the ten-year ban on "assault weapons" enacted in 1994, a ban which Mr. Westervelt implies was effective. In fact, it did little, in theory or in practice. Gun crime did not decrease during the ban's tenure. In fact, the ban did not really ban anything. The law contained a list of "assault weapon features" such as a bayonet lug, a magazine that could hold more than ten rounds, or a flash hider. A firearm with a certain number of features was declared an assault weapon, and its production banned. The semi-automatic AK-47 found would not have been covered by the ban, because it did not have enough of these features, and the same goes for most other "assault rifles." In fact, sales of "assault rifles" increased during the ban, and firearms manufactured before the ban were not subject to its regulation. The only thing it accomplished was inconveniencing law-abiding gun owners that wanted to have extra accessories.

And what makes these "assault rifles" so fearful and deadly in the first place, and why would banning them solve any problems? So few of them are actually used in crime that when the government releases annual murder statistics statistics, they do not even have a category for "assault rifles." Over the past few years, the percentage of murders committed with rifles - ALL rifles, from single shot to bolt action to "assault rifles" - account for less than two percent of the nation's wrongful deaths. More people are beaten to death with bare hands and feet than were killed with rifles, more than two times as many. The percentage of bare hand murders tends to hover at around 5% from year to year. Countries that have enacted such bans, or bans on other types of firearms have seen reductions in the number of firearm-related murders, but their overall murder rates stays the same. People just find other tools to kill each other with.

Mr. Westervelt, it is very clear that you expressed a very strong opinion about something you know next to nothing about. I encourage you to learn. You, or anyone else that may be unfamiliar with firearms is welcome to attend the Purdue Rifle and Pistol Club (Mondays at 7pm in the Armory) and see what these objects you condemn are really like. Despite the actions of small minority of stupid, irresponsible gun owners like the one you wrote about, gun owners are decent people just like everyone else. I know you'll be skeptical, I once thought as you do now. Basing your opinions, especially your published opinions, on an instinctual reaction instead of facts and research is intellectually dishonest. Again, I encourage you to try to learn the true nature of firearms and base your opinions on that instead of fear.

mike101
January 25, 2008, 06:15 AM
"Oh well then, if the federal government decrees something, I guess that ends the debate right? They're never wrong right?"

As far as most of the antis are concerned, that does end the debate.

Lots of these people really believe that the government is responsible for everything in their lives, including their own personal protection. When you point out to them that this is not the case, according to the SCOTUS, they can get really nasty!

They don't like having their bubbles burst.

sandwich
January 25, 2008, 06:33 AM
I really don't know if attempting to convert this person is worth the risk it may present. My gut says invite him, but my mind say don't. Anyone here have any thoughts?

This is a hard question to answer. On the one hand, he has some pretty strong views, and inviting him might only give him a chance to look for any little thing to support his position (plus what you mentioned in your post). Plus, he's a moron, so the chances of you reasoning with him aren't good.

On the other hand, since he clearly is stupid and impressionable, inviting him might give him more perspective on gun owners. To be honest with you though, I don't think inviting him will make a difference. What I would do is wait until the next issue and see who writes in to support his position, and invite them to the meeting. Perhaps they might be more moderate.

Another way you could go is to write a letter saying how disturbed you were about this guy's misconceptions about firearms, and extend an open invitation to everyone for one of your meetings. Those are just my thoughts.

sandwich
January 25, 2008, 06:38 AM
Oops sorry Irishman, I didn't read your letter before I replied. It's a great letter. Good luck with it.

Neo-Luddite
January 25, 2008, 06:44 AM
We don't need to get into the cliche debate of general gun control, but I hope few would argue the need for automatic assault weapons within city limits.

Thanks, Mike. How about instead we talk about the 2 lbs of illegal narcotics and the stack of (presumed) dope money. You gave that part of the story rather short shrift, didn't you? Do you give your tacit approval to such activity? I can only conclude by your lack of outrage that you do.

mr hanky
January 25, 2008, 07:05 AM
Hello,

My name is Chase Wickersham. I read your article you wrote at the following link:

http://www.purdueexponent.org/?module=article&story_id=9450

While I was impressed you mentioned the Constitution protects the right to bear arms, overall it is very poorly researched. For example, you wrote: "Because the federal assault weapons ban expired in 2004, if you can pass a background check, you can legally own such automatic guns."

You CANNOT own "automatic" weapons by simply passing a background check. You can own a "semi-automatic" weapon by passing said check.

Just using the above example, using scary words like AUTOMATIC, when the weapon mentioned in the article is not, demonstrates the use of propaganda and not journalism.

Another example, "As the federal government decreed in 1994, assault weapons just don't belong in our communities." Please show how the "Assault Weapons Ban" deterred crime at all? Please present an argument as to how it isn't just a step toward banning more and more and more and more weapons based on silly features like a bayonet lug. How many crimes were committed using a bayonet during the 10 year period of the AWB? Do you actually know the specifics of which cosmetic elements of a weapon such as the AK-47 were banned?

AK-47's are not in the class of "Bazookas" as you mentioned either. Please do more research, maybe present "both sides" of the argument and assume your potential readers are of a higher intelligence than that of propaganda.

Sincerely,

Michael C Wickersham

Comanche180
January 25, 2008, 07:17 AM
He's a Liberal Arts major, what can you expect. Unfortunately he'll be running for some federal office in the near future.

sandwich
January 25, 2008, 07:25 AM
He's a Liberal Arts major, what can you expect. Unfortunately he'll be running for some federal office in the near future.

And winning. But he'll have to become a lawyer first.

kayakersteve
January 25, 2008, 07:34 AM
I found your comentary on assault weapons to be very uninformed - I hope next time that you decide to express your beliefs on a subject you know little about, you do some unbiased research first. Number one mistake: This was not an automatic weapon; it is a semi-automatic. This means that after you fire ONE round, it will automatically load another round. It will not spray bullets out in rapid fire pattern by holding the trigger depressed. Automatic weapons have been illegal to own for many years.

I would personally be more concerned about this punk selling drugs to little kids than his gun ownership, but you are probably too young to have children to care about this issue, because you openly stated in your comentary that you wouldn't fret about the drugs issue!

Lastly pertaining to your statement, "It is the responsibility of city officials to do what they can to prevent another Virginia Tech incident; mandatory registration would be a logical step. " Guess what, I agree - kind of: If the law makers would have allowed citizens (students and professors) the option of legal concealed carry of weapons, this idiot that attacked VT probably could have been stopped by a private citizen. Imagine that!!! As it stands, we must rely on our over burdened police departments that got to the scene that day after the rampage was over. Too little, too late.

I hope you look at this in a little more detail before you make inaccurate statements and conclusion again.

shc1
January 25, 2008, 08:00 AM
No matter what we say to this future news wannabe it wont change his mind.
The $ signs are ringing in his ears. Reporting a story about DEADLY 100 BULLET PER SECOND ASSAULT, KILLER WEAPONS is what he is all about.:cuss:
I would not be surprised if he used the 1st Amendment ploy to sample some of the margeewhana to prove it’s safe.
You know for the children.

mr hanky
January 25, 2008, 08:36 AM
Problem is that when you start telling the nice folks that what they -know- is an assault weapon is not one, their eyes glaze over while the kook alarm in their forebrain goes off...

LOL, bogie you are friggin hilarious!!! I know EXACTLY the look you are talking about!!!

Conqueror
January 25, 2008, 09:55 AM
I sent him this:

Mr. Westervelt,

Your fear of your neighbor's AK-47 is your right, but I would have at least expected some journalistic integrity from you in your article. You repeatedly refer to the AK-47 as an "automatic assault weapon" and say such guns are easy to acquire. This is not the case. Your neighbor's gun was most likely SEMI-automatic, ie a rifle that fires one shot per pull of the trigger. True automatic weapons - those that fire repeatedly as long as the trigger is held down - have been heavily taxed and regulated since 1934 by the National Firearms Act. The automatic version of an AK-47 will cost a civilian about $15,000, and the sale will have to be approved by the BATFE with a complex FBI background check on the purchaser (much more in-depth than the Brady background check performed at gun stores, this one includes fingerprints and photographs), signed permission from the local Sheriff or Police Chief, and a $200 transfer tax.

I refer you to Wikipedia for a brief introduction to the NFA: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Firearms_Act

I assure you that it is not at all easy to acquire automatic weapons. SEMI-automatic weapons, like the one your neighbor likely owned, are easy to buy - but "assault weapons" generally shoot cartridges that are LESS powerful than standard semi-automatic hunting rifles.
The AK-47 shoots the 7.62mmx39 cartridge, which is significantly less powerful than even a 30-06 cartridge fired from your grandfather's deer rifle.

I will not try to convince you that guns are either good or bad - obviously that's a personal call. But I would at least encourage you to use correct terminology and ensure you truly understand the issue at hand before publishing an article.

Sincerely,
---------

FourNineFoxtrot
January 25, 2008, 10:30 AM
I've read some really great, eloquent, persuasive responses to this article, and as usual, I'm impressed by the capacity of people on this forum to construct a reasoned, civil argument.

The sad thing is that the kid who wrote this article isn't going to read these responses and think about them. He's going to look at the e-mail replies, see dozens of them piling up, and say, "Wow, look at all the attention I got from that article. This is great!"

I hate to say it, but by bringing the attention of so many people to a single college paper article that probably went nearly unread on campus, we've lent the author a weight he would never have had.

It pains me to see such eloquence ultimately doing no more than "Feeding the troll".

1gkek
January 25, 2008, 11:29 AM
My reply to Master Mikey:

Mike,

Just read the article linked to above, and to say I was disappointed is a understatement. Not only is it clear you know little about firearms, rifles in particular, but you seem to have little regard for constitutional rights and aren't afraid to engage in meaningless rhetoric to try and make your points. Maybe you should consider a career in journalism!

What really makes me laugh is the rather casual way you seem to accept that fact that a drug dealer lives next door. Why didn't you rail against his actual crimes? Why not attack the casual drug use culture that leads far too many bright young people into a life of addiction and pain? Come on, you've seen them at the NORML rallies - the pot heads who haven't bathed in days. Maybe you can handle your pot, but there are a lot that can't. Is that the issue, Mike - was this guy where you got your pot from? Are you just a little concerned that you and your buddies' casual drug use is actually fueling the violence in the drug trades that make the dealers want to keep guns in their homes?

That's right, Mike. I'm saying the reason your neighbor had a rifle in his house was your fault.

Do a little reading, Mike, and don't be afraid of guns. Be afraid of the animals that prey on the weak and profit from others' misery.

goon
January 25, 2008, 11:46 AM
Here is my response. I intetionally didn't get into the technicalities or differences between MG's and semi-auto knock-offs because it doesn't really matter. The bans against MG's are still unconstitutional. And the fact that a bolt action with a scope has twice the range is also not really important.
The important thing to challenge is the ideolgy of "I'm scared so I want to make this illegal."
Anyway...



Sir,

I just read your online article at The Exponent. Although I differ with you on your stance about firearms laws, what I found most troubling about your article was this line:



"As the federal government decreed in 1994, assault weapons just don't belong in our communities."



I'm not a Constitutional Law scholar but it's my understanding that the people are to be in control of the government, not vice versa. Personally, I don't see how the federal government has any business making any unilateral decrees about anything. It exists to serve the people, not control them.

On the actual laws you are supporting, there are a lot of reasons that the guns you object to (such as civilian AK-47 clones) should remain legal. I'm sure you have heard arguments both for and against this point of view before and I'm equally sure that I probably couldn't change your mind if I tried. So I won't. But I do want to at least explain my point of view to you.

In plain English, the strongest reason for this type of firearm to remain legal is because we are Americans. The whole idea in our country is that you should be able to pretty much do whatever you want as long as you don't harm anyone else doing it. Having a rifle and taking it to a range doesn't harm anyone. Keeping it locked in a closet or safe in your home for defensive purposes doesn't harm anyone else either. At least not unless they try to hurt you or your loved ones. Since legal gun ownership by responsible adults isn't inherently dangerous, and since we're living in a country that values liberty very highly, I can't imagine any reason compelling enough to enact laws that restrict that or any other personal freedom.

I apply the same argument to issues like same sex civil unions and legalizing drugs. I support both of those things. I actually have no interest in either and whether or not they are legal won't affect my life in the least. But I still support them because even if I'm not inclined to do those things, that still isn't a good enough reason for me to try and restrict someone else's rights.

I do think you have a good reason to be concerned with an armed drug dealer living next to you (the $3,800 in cash makes me think he wasn't just a recreational user). That would worry me too. But the solution is not to limit someone else's right because you are afraid. I'm kind of afraid too - that's actually one of the biggest reasons I own guns.

Anyhow, I don't want to take up more of your time. As I said, I doubt that you'll change your mind anyway and that wasn't my intention in writing to you. I just wanted to make sure that you understood the other point of view on this issue.

Conqueror
January 25, 2008, 12:02 PM
1gkek - terrible reply, IMO. Accusing the guy of drug use and blaming him for someone owning an AK is the worst possible way to be an ambassador for our cause. Your email will only insult and anger him, and he'll be able to paint gun owners as accusatory, angry, and misinformed.

NG VI
January 25, 2008, 12:17 PM
anybody get a response yet?

glink
January 25, 2008, 12:18 PM
Well I took a little different tack. I will forward any response.

Hey Mike
Hope this finds you well. A friend of mine forwarded your recent article to me for comment. He thought I would have interest since I am a Purdue graduate, BSME 1983. Yea I am an old coot. I am also a strong supporter of 2nd Amendment rights.

Mike it would be easy for me to launch into a tirade about several of the misconceptions and prejudices that your article holds. I am sure you have received several such communications. I feel that is not the correct method or tone in which to voice disagreement. As such I will not bore you with a detailing of some of your errors, which are in reality technical, and not nearly central to the point of my concern.

Mike, the same document that protects your right to espouse your opinions protects the rights of US citizens to keep and bear arms. Like it or not the right of your neighbor to own that rifle is included in those protections. In all reality he has probably thrown that right away, in what appears to be a felonious possession of controlled substances. And for what it is worth, I think his rights should indeed be forfeited if convicted.

It is important to note that we do not draw our rights from that Constitution; it does not give those rights to us. Those rights are unalienable and creator given, the Constitution is a tool of affirmation and guarantee. In addition we do not get to pick and choose which rights we support and which we do not. The Constitution is to be taken, accepted and protected as a whole. That one document has served as the framework for the most successful experiment in self governance that has been known to man. Through its protections and execution, the mechanisms of our society have lifted more people out of poverty and oppression than ever before. The world too, has prospered from the successes of America.

Mike our Constitution is under full attack. It is under attack from both sides of the political aisle and from sources International in nature. I would like to respectfully suggest that before you call for the suspension of a right; you may want to consider what would ensue, if the right you find so distasteful can be removed so easily. If that right can be removed what is to keep the rest of the rights from being rendered null and void with similar ease?

Good luck in your studies and with your future.

Go Boilers.

With respect and regards,

Greg

buy guns
January 25, 2008, 12:26 PM
anybody get a response yet?

Nope. I wouldn't expect one either.

kayakersteve
January 25, 2008, 12:28 PM
No repsonses yet. I'm not holding my breath.

jfrey123
January 25, 2008, 01:00 PM
I jumped on the bandwagon too, here's my email to him. I doubt he'll respond- he's probably huddling under his cubicle afraid to touch his computer thinking one of us crazy gun guys is going to take a shot through it at him! :what:


Nice Article

May I ask if you even know what an 'automatic' rifle is?

Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is John Frey, and I am a college student like yourself located in Reno, NV. I read your article listed on Purdue's website regarding your neighbor, and I would like to agree with you about the nature of this person's character. With that much loose cash and that amount of drugs, he is obviously the type of person that we don't need living in a peaceful community. But then your article takes a sudden twist that I had not expected, one of which that seems to demonstrate your lack of knowledge in a specific area, and that area is firearms.

An automatic rifle is a machine gun, a weapon capable of firing multiple rounds with a single pull of a trigger. These types of weapons can be legally possessed by law abiding citizens, ONLY after providing a full federal background check and a federal tax stamp which costs nearly $10,000. Even with the AWB sunsetting in 2004, machine guns can not be purchased by anyone who hasn't done the previous two requirements. Since your article claims the drug runner was not charged for possession of the weapon, I am able to deduce that this weapon was, in fact, NOT an automatic rifle.

So that leaves your term of assault rifle, which you throw around like the current government throws around the term Terrorism and WMD's. In most cases, the AK-47 found in an American household is simple a SEMI-automatic rifle, firing only one round with each trigger pull. The legally owned AK-47 is nearly identical to most typical hunting rifles, with the exception of it's extended magazine. For example, a Remington Woodsmaster rifle I own is semi automatic as well, yet only has a 4 round magazine. If I told you the magazines for it were loaded, in my safe, would that bother you as well?

In closing, I doubt you will take this email to heart. In fact, I'd be surprised if you make it to the final paragraph before deeming me an NRA Nazi and simple discard writings as flawed logic. I again wish to emphasize that I agree with your original premise, that this criminal in your article was a bad man out to do bad things. But it's the demonization of a legally owned firearm that leaves me disturbed. Current laws prohibit people involved in drugs from purchasing firearms, and it's very likely he possessed this rifle in relation to his drug running and possibly for gang related activity, but who knows for sure? The fact we need to address is that millions of people in our country own firearms for sporting and self defensive purposes, from old men with old fashioned revolvers, to younger men with a more modern taste of firearms. The only dangerous thing about any gun is the possible intent of the holder. Criminals will continue to do harm to others, be it with a gun, knife or other improved and convenient weapon. It's the criminal you should fear, not the gun. Did you realize your state, Indiana, allows for us law abiding citizens to carry a concealed weapon with permit? Most states do. You've likely stood next to a law abiding citizen with a gun at the bank, restaurant, shopping mall, etc, and you didn't even know it. But I would like to let you know this: a good guy with a gun is not a dangerous thing. He may end up saving your life, should you ever be thrust into a dangerous situation where seconds matter and the police are just minutes away.

Guns, when held by a properly trained and law abiding person, will not hurt you or affect your world in a negative way. I'd hope to see your future editorials reflect a need to reform the justice system to get criminals off our streets, and not reflect the "guns are bad" stereotype.


Thanks for your time,

KimberTLE.45
January 25, 2008, 01:28 PM
Wrote him a quick email.....

Hello,
I read your article concerning assault weapons. I think that it is ridiculous that you are claiming that machine guns and fully automatic weapons are available to the public easily. The weapon you speak of, the AK-47 is no different than any other SEMI-automatic firearm such as a handgun. For you information, to purchase a fully automatic weapon you must be approved by the ATF, your state representative, be fingerprinted, wait 1-2 months for background check and processing of papers. After all of this - IF you get approved, why don't you check some prices on fully automatic weapons?These firearms can cost up to $30,000 for an M-16, And I've seen AK-47's go as high as $25,000. Maybe you should do a little more research kid.




P.S. Oh yeah don't forget! VOTE FOR HILLARY!!!!!

Soybomb
January 25, 2008, 01:44 PM
Have you guys also sent your letters to the editor so that even if the author just drops them all in the trash there is a chance the paper might publish a counter piece?

Kind of Blued
January 25, 2008, 02:02 PM
I'm in college, own an AK-47, and don't deal or ingest drugs.

Can this story be completely null and void now?

Phil DeGraves
January 25, 2008, 02:56 PM
Mikey is missing a major point.
If the neighbor will not obey the ban on possession of illegal narcotics (which apparently, Mikey doesn't have an issue with), why would he obey a ban on the possession of "assault rifles?" The man is a criminal. He acts outside the law. So what exactly are you expecting a ban to accomplish?

I am not able to email him directly. If anyone would like to forward this post feel free.

mpmarty
January 25, 2008, 03:18 PM
Mike,
Please take a deep breath and relax. There are no easily purchased assault weapons in the United States. Assault Weapons are fully automatic, that is they shoot continuously until the trigger is released or they run out of ammunition. The AK47 / AK74 (newer model) you see around this country are SEMI-AUTOMATIC meaning they shoot one bullet for each pull of the trigger. Just like an old fashioned revolver. You are obviously not quite up to speed on your subject matter. I would recommend that at the very least you visit the BATFE website and familiarize yourself with what is and is not an assault weapon. In spite of the ignorant acts of some politicians in 1994 they did not ban assault weapons, they banned a few imported rifles that had cosmetic similarities to assault weapons. Actually, to put your mind at ease, let me explain that fully automatic assault weapons or any other type of "machine guns" have been banned and or extremely strictly regulated by federal law since 1934. In some states such as Oregon it is legal to possess such a firearm but federal law requires the person wishing to purchase the weapon to pay a $200.00 tax and submit to a comprehensive FBI background check into his past activities, mental health, political affiliations, family members and social activities. This background check can take up to six months to complete and only after passing this check can the purchase be completed. Unfortunately, criminals do not have to put up with this complication as they buy stolen military hardware in back alleys and use them to commit crimes. No law passed, no city ordinance will have the slightest effect on this type of activity. The only defense the law abiding civilian has is to dial 911 (also known as federally sponsored dial a prayer) and hope the cops catch the crooks some day or arm himself, legally in whatever way he can and hope never to need the defensive armament in the same way you would buy fire extinguishers and hope never to need them.

RP88
January 25, 2008, 03:24 PM
How ridiculous. Man, as liberal arts major myself, my fellow peers are going to hate my guts when I move off to a university after finishing my associate's.

Werewolf
January 25, 2008, 03:27 PM
POT CALLING KETTLE BLACK...

Okay guys! A lot of you sending this kid e'mails complaining that he didn't get his facts straight need to check your own lest you make us all look like fools.

2 Glaring misstatements for example: one poster stated that the Tax Stamp fee is $10,000. Another stated one needed the approval of their state representative. NOT!!!!

The fee is $200.
Need approval from the local chief law enforcement officer (which can be one of a variety of different guys like county sheriff, chief of police, head judge...).

The point here is that if we can't even get our facts straight how can we expect those against firearms, or with no interest in them to.

goon
January 25, 2008, 04:03 PM
No response and I don't expect to get one either.
He's afraid so he wants someone to legislate the source of that fear away for him. It's a common problem in this country.

He's not interested in hearing what we have to say. I'd be suprised if he didn't just delete all our emails at once.
But I still felt I should fire one off. I couldn't let that go uncontested.

BTW - Werewolf is right. If you're going to comment on the facts that he didn't check then you had better make sure yours are correct too.
But again, don't let this be a machine gun vs. duck hunting debate.
Don't fall for that because that doesn't matter in the least.
We're Americans. We're supposed to be able to live how we choose in relative peace and without government intrusion into how we live our lives. That is all the reason I need.

You don't have to justify why you need a right.

Wild Deuce
January 25, 2008, 04:16 PM
I think FourNineFoxtrot (http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=4123856&postcount=56) has come closest to the truth.

TAB
January 25, 2008, 04:24 PM
you know what, he is right... it is way to easy to get a automatic rifle... all it takes is cash and a connection to drugs/gangs...

I have no doubt that if you gave me a few thousand in cash, and I made a trip to oakland I could come home with several automatic weapons.

keeleon
January 25, 2008, 05:14 PM
duplicate post

keeleon
January 25, 2008, 05:17 PM
I am really interested in a reply to Wiry Irishman's offer to come visit the local range. How long has your club been active? How many NDs, ADs, or criminals have happened in connection with the club? I think putting out that there are SEVERAL responsible law abiding students on campus might help to widen this author's eyes to the fact that it was the "drug dealer" he should have been scared of and not the gun. Honestly, I really would press the issue until I got a response one way or the other, Irishman. He won't be able to argue with the fact that their have been decent human beings "packing heat" for quite some time without several massacres on campus.

I am curious if he would have had the same opinion if he had just casually found out that his neighbor had a gun, instead of hearing about it connected to a crime. He really didn't seem like an irrational die hard "anti". He had decent points, he was just ignorant and misinformed. That's what I got out of it at least, and I could be wholly wrong.

As has been pointed out, it is rather silly that he is going to downplay the possession of drugs(illegal), and condemn the possession of firearms(legal) in the same breath. How hypocritical is it, that he is ok with one form of crime because HE doesn't think it's dangerous, but he wants something else banned because HE thinks it's dangerous.


As the federal government decreed in 1994, assault weapons just don't belong in our communities.

IIRC, the federal government also decreed that drugs just don't belong in our community and yet:

if I discovered one of my neighbors had pot in his or her apartment, honestly, I probably wouldn't fret.

The Wiry Irishman
January 25, 2008, 05:33 PM
I am really interested in a reply to Wiry Irishman's offer to come visit the local range. How long has your club been active? How many NDs, ADs, or criminals have happened in connection with the club?

I can't remember the exact year the club was founded, but its the second oldest student organization at Purdue, and I'm pretty sure its been around a little over a hundred years, longer that Purdue's school of Science, actually. I don't know how many ADs or NDs have happened in that time, but none have happened in my five years there, and there has never been a firearms-related injury for as long as the club has existed.

Regarding my letter, I just got an email from the Exponent opinions editor:

Andrew,

We appreciate your feedback, but your letter is more than twice as long as
our 300-word limit. If you can find a way to shorten it to 300 words or
less, we will be happy to print it as long as you avoid libelous
statements and personal attacks. You did a good job of avoiding those in
your original letter, but other letters on the topic have made that
mistake, so I felt it was worth mentioning. Thanks.

Thomas Nolan
Opinions Editor

I'll see if I can cut the length in half and preserve my points, then resubmit.

El Tejon
January 25, 2008, 05:36 PM
Wiry, let's take him to Wildcat.:)

I just happen to have an extra AK or two.;)

keeleon
January 25, 2008, 06:09 PM
Wow that's awesome that you got a reply like that. You should definitely let us proof it before you send it off to them, lol. 100 years, wow! Seems like an awful long time for an organization to have guns on a college campus without them getting loose and killing lots of people. I think this is actually the perfect time to make your club well known.

It is the duty of all gun enthusiasts to help educate the public out of their naivety. Being misinformed is the number one reason people are afraid of guns. I make it a point to try bring it up to all of my coworkers, and it ain't easy cause I work at an elementary school. I don't try and make them feel stupid for being afraid of guns, I just help them, help themselves to realize that bad people are what's scary, not the tool. They don't have to become "gun nuts" like us, they just have to understand that most of us are responsible, and guns AREN'T the problem.

Thrash1982
January 25, 2008, 06:27 PM
Here is the email I sent him yesterday:

Mike,

After reading your article Assault rifle discovery raises questions for Purdue students, I felt that I had to respond. You repeatedly call these semi-automatic rifles "automatic assault weapons," implying that they are fully automatic machine guns. This is simply not true. These firearms fire one round with one pull of the trigger and are not true "assault rifles." An assault rifle is defined as a rifle firing an intermediate cartridge with the capability for select fire. Select fire being the ability to select either semi-automatic, fully automatic, or burst modes of fire. It is highly unlikely that the rifle found was fully automatic.

As a long time member of Purdue's Rifle and Pistol club I invite you to join us some Monday evening to learn more about firearms and those who own them. We meet in the Armory every Monday evening from 7:00 - 9:00 PM. I hope to see you there.

Purdue Rifle and Pistol Club
Thrash1982

keeleon, I'm hoping this guy shows up to one of our practices to see what we are all about and to learn about normal, everyday gunowners. So much of peoples exposure to anything pertaining to firearms is through movies and the news which almost never portray firearms in a positive light.

In response to your earlier questions about our club I don't know of any criminals that have been associated with our club (of course they'd hardly come out and admit they were criminals). We're pretty proud of our safety record. In my seven or so years in the club I have yet to see anyone do anything that would put somebody at risk of serious injury.

keeleon
January 25, 2008, 06:37 PM
I honestly thin ka better tactic when talking to this guy is to try and point out that there are several people around him on campus with guns who have been very responsible with them. He has never had a reason to find out about this proverbial "underground" because they are all decent people who like doing something he is not familiar with. If you really want to try and change his mind, I don't think now is the best time to point out the differences in language. He is probably just as scared of a bolt action rifle as he is of a fully automatic, since he doesn't even know the difference.

Bad analogy:

Say he wrote an article on illegal street bike racing after one of his neighbors got killed in an accident. Would it be better to help him realize that not all students on campus riding bikes are doing silly and dangerous things with them and invite him to the next biker meeting, or to point out that "No way could a holly double crumper put out that kind of horsepower! The kid clearly had his mizzenjak cranked up way too high for that kind of maneuver! Get your facts straight kid!"

Disclaimer: I know NOTHING about motorcycles.

The Wiry Irishman
January 25, 2008, 06:59 PM
Wiry, let's take him to Wildcat.

I think it would be worth a try. If he won't show up to Rifle/Pistol club, maybe he would accept an invitation from a distinguished member of the community, ie, someone more reputable than a college student.

I hacked my original letter down to 312 words. I want to make sure my points stayed intact and effective, so I'll post it here for a while and see if I can get some feedback:

After reading Mike Westervelt's recent column, it became clear that he know little to nothing about guns.

His most glaring error was his assumption that the rifle found was automatic. Automatic weapons have been heavily regulated since the National Firearms Act of 1934. They are so rare at this point, a legally-purchased fully-automatic AK-47 costs more than $10,000. It was certainly not an illegal automatic, as no charges were filed, and the penalties for having two pounds of weed pale in comparison to what happens if you get caught with an illegal machine gun.

The gun must have been semi-automatic, the kind of weapon the 1994 ban attempted to regulate. The ban only affected cosmetic features, not what a gun did or how it functioned. Guns with a certain number of regulated features could not be produced during the ban. Firearms produced before the ban were unregulated. Purchasing a semi-automatic AK-47 would not have been hindered by the 1994 law. Sales of “assault rifles” even increased after 1994, and the number of crimes committed with them did not.

Even if a stricter ban was introduced, it would accomplish nothing. So few “assault rifles” are use in crime that the government’s annual murder statistics don’t have a category for them. Rifles in general are responsible for less than two percent of murders, less than half the number committed with bare hands. Countries that have enacted gun bans have seen a reduction in gun crimes, but not in overall crime. People just find other ways to kill each other.

I would encourage Mr. Westervelt and anyone who may share his opinion to attend the Purdue Rifle and Pistol Club (Mondays at 7pm in the Armory) to learn what guns and gun owners are really like. Safe, responsible gun ownership does not make good news, so the 80 million Americans that practice it rarely get much attention.

Steve N
January 25, 2008, 08:26 PM
First sentence should read "... that he knows..." Add an "s" to "know".

Otherwise, good letter. I hope the editor lets 12 words extra slide. I'm not sure how you can cut any words out and convey the same message.

yhtomit
January 25, 2008, 10:17 PM
Here's my (slightly tightened) version. I removed the quotes around "assault rifles" and removed a few lines altogether in the interest of clarity and brevity. I hope you find it useful!

timothy

After reading Mike Westervelt's recent column, it became clear that he knows little about guns.

His most glaring error was the assumption that the rifle found was automatic. Automatic weapons have been heavily regulated since the National Firearms Act of 1934. They are so rare at this point, a legally-purchased automatic AK-47 costs more than $10,000. Unlawful possession of an automatic weapon carries heavy penalties; that no charges were filed is strong evidence that what Westervelt saw isn't an automatic rifle, but rather emi-automatic -- the kind of weapon the 1994 ban attempted to regulate. The ban only affected cosmetic, external features (such as flash hiders), not what a gun did or how it functioned. Purchasing a semi-automatic AK-47 would not have been hindered by the 1994 law.

Even if a stricter ban was introduced, it would accomplish nothing. So few assault rifles are use in crime that the government’s annual murder statistics don’t have a category for them. Rifles in general are responsible for less than two percent of murders: that's less than half the number committed with bare hands. Countries that have enacted gun bans have seen a reduction in gun crimes, but not in overall crime. People just find other ways to kill each other.

I would encourage Mr. Westervelt and anyone who may share his opinion to attend the Purdue Rifle and Pistol Club (Mondays at 7pm in the Armory) to learn what guns and gun owners are really like. Safe, responsible gun ownership does not make good news, so the 80 million Americans that practice it rarely get much attention.

sandwich
January 26, 2008, 12:53 AM
Regarding my letter, I just got an email from the Exponent opinions editor:
Quote:
Andrew,

We appreciate your feedback, but your letter is more than twice as long as
our 300-word limit. If you can find a way to shorten it to 300 words or
less, we will be happy to print it as long as you avoid libelous
statements and personal attacks. You did a good job of avoiding those in
your original letter, but other letters on the topic have made that
mistake, so I felt it was worth mentioning. Thanks.

Thomas Nolan
Opinions Editor
I'll see if I can cut the length in half and preserve my points, then resubmit.

Just to let you all know, I took a word count of the idiot's article and it came out to 486, and yet you are limited to 300. Nice huh? 500 to 300 doesn't seem fair to me.

The Unknown User
January 26, 2008, 01:12 AM
Anyone get a response back from the "author" yet? I haven't.

The Wiry Irishman
January 26, 2008, 02:13 AM
Just to let you all know, I took a word count of the idiot's article and it came out to 486, and yet you are limited to 300. Nice huh? 500 to 300 doesn't seem fair to me.

He's a columnist, he gets to write more. Opinions letter have been restricted to 300 words for as long as I can remember, though they have published two previous letters of mine that were in the four hundred range.

Anyone get a response back from the "author" yet? I haven't.

A guy in the gun club has a roommate that writes for the Exponent. He said that the author is getting completely inundated with emails. Maybe he'll refrain from writing stuff like this again out of fear of the sheer work involved with the responses.

sandwich
January 26, 2008, 03:16 AM
He's a columnist, he gets to write more. Opinions letter have been restricted to 300 words for as long as I can remember, though they have published two previous letters of mine that were in the four hundred range.

I guess I just don't like the idea that he gets to have 500 words for his opinion and everyone else gets 300. I mean, both of your letters will be in the opinions section, right? Perhaps you could swing it to the editor as a short point/counterpoint segment with the idea that it will attract more readers. I mean, let's be honest, how many people read college newspapers? It might be different there, but at my college I don't remember seeing a lot of people who really cared about the paper.

A guy in the gun club has a roommate that writes for the Exponent. He said that the author is getting completely inundated with emails. Maybe he'll refrain from writing stuff like this again out of fear of the sheer work involved with the responses.

Or the fact that he will have to actually know what he's writing about. The more you speak, the more you hear (especially if you write an opinion piece as bad as his). I think our buddy learned that the hard way.

The Wiry Irishman
January 26, 2008, 03:58 AM
I guess I just don't like the idea that he gets to have 500 words for his opinion and everyone else gets 300. I mean, both of your letters will be in the opinions section, right? Perhaps you could swing it to the editor as a short point/counterpoint segment with the idea that it will attract more readers. I mean, let's be honest, how many people read college newspapers? It might be different there, but at my college I don't remember seeing a lot of people who really cared about the paper.

I definitely understand where you're coming from. The word limit is mostly because they have a set amount of space to publish opinions letters, and it would also be unfair for someone's voice to go unheard because someone else's lengthy opinion takes up all the space. This semester they just started offering guest columns - anyone can contact them with a piece and get it published in the same space articles like this were published. I think that would be something worth taking advantage of later.

As far as students reading or caring about the paper - it does get read by most people on campus, mostly just to pass the time. In general, its acknowledged as bad writing, and nobody really cares about it, with three excpetions: the sports page, the comics, and the opinions page. An opinions piece is more likely to be talked about than anything that runs on the front page.

glink
January 26, 2008, 07:50 AM
"I've read some really great, eloquent, persuasive responses to this article, and as usual, I'm impressed by the capacity of people on this forum to construct a reasoned, civil argument.

The sad thing is that the kid who wrote this article isn't going to read these responses and think about them. He's going to look at the e-mail replies, see dozens of them piling up, and say, "Wow, look at all the attention I got from that article. This is great!"

I hate to say it, but by bringing the attention of so many people to a single college paper article that probably went nearly unread on campus, we've lent the author a weight he would never have had.

It pains me to see such eloquence ultimately doing no more than "Feeding the troll"."

Fourninetroxtrot,

I respectfully, but strongly, disagree. We as gun owners have two options. We can set silently on the side and let folks like this young fellow shape the opinions of the public with his irrational logic and incorrect "facts", or, we can engage him.
When we engage we must remain logical, well reasoned and polite. Other people are watching and reading. Responses that are confrontational or shrill will only diminish our positions and arguments in the eyes of third party, possibly gun neutral, observers. And those folks are the ones we need to sway. We have no chance with the hardcore anti-gunners; and in reality we do not need them; as they are a fringe element and few in number. The "money" is in the middle.

FourNineFoxtrot
January 26, 2008, 08:15 AM
glink,

I do not disagree with the sentiment you espouse, merely the target. Specifically, I believe this article is unworthy of the attention it has garnered. I understand why so many have written in to correct the author, as the article was notably ill-informed, and such errors deserve correction. Moreover, I understand that activism is the key to maintaining our rights. When anti-gun articles are written, especially ones with glaring errors and lacking in logic, people like us need to intervene with our own arguments, to present our side of the story, and in many cases, correct the facts.

My point was that this article was nothing before we started inundating it with replies. This was a forgotten article in a school newspaper, the kind where the papers routinely make a mass exodus to a dumpster when nobody picks up most of the copies they've printed. Such papers often double as TP in dorm bathrooms...

It doesn't matter now, the "damage" is done; the damage being merely that the author (and, sadly, the paper staff and school, generally) is more likely to have an inflated view of his own importance, than to actually consider the replies he is getting.

I'm all for replying to professional journalism articles written by ill-informed or intentionally dishonest journalists and authors. However, barraging every school newspaper article about gun-control is probably a waste of time. Not only are we unlikely to have an effect, but we may unintentionally create a storm in a teacup by giving this poltroon of an author undeserved attention.

redbone
January 26, 2008, 09:49 AM
My email reply to him:


"We don't need to get into the cliché debate of general gun control, but I hope few would argue the need for automatic assault weapons within city limits."

We don't? It appears to me that we do - you already have with that very statement. I would certainly argue that need. I've had a loaded semi-automatic rifle in my home for the last 35 years or so. It's fully within my 2nd Amendment rights (which, from the tone of your article, seems to surprise you). Given that, no other justification is needed. None.

What, pray tell, are you going to do if that pothead next door decides he like the way your girl friend looks late some night, and comes through your door? Drive him off with a rolled up copy of the Exponent? There are hundreds of other similar scenarios...

Suggest that you do your next piece on, let's say, the surge in violent crime in England after they enacted extremely harsh gun control laws. Or perhaps an article comparing the crime rate in Indianapolis (with such "lax gun control laws" vs.. oh, let's say, L.A., or NYC. You might be surprised at what you learn! And isn't that why you're at Purdue, after all, to learn?

Officers'Wife
January 26, 2008, 12:11 PM
Ah, Purdue's liberal arts students...

Did ya notice the part where he was told the rifle was there legally then the next para complained about full auto weapons?

His next phrase will be 'do you want fries with that?'

the pistolero
January 26, 2008, 12:43 PM
not only the AK-47, but nearly two pounds of marijuana
Sounds like the makings of a fun day to me. Did he have BEER, too? :D
/kidding

Are you just a little concerned that you and your buddies' casual drug use is actually fueling the violence in the drug trades that make the dealers want to keep guns in their homes?
I can sort of see where you're coming from, and I hate to flog the dead horse, but as for the weed, there are a lot of people who can't handle alcohol either. What I said at first was tongue-in-cheek, I want to make that crystal-clear, but now and then I think that if that drug trade were legal, it might not be so violent.

Officers'Wife
January 26, 2008, 02:38 PM
Hi Wiry Irishman,

It always seemed to me the the Exponent's 'unwritten' policy was to print one opinion (in this case opposed) and at least three dozen that are politically correct agreement. Purdue has one of the finest engineering program(s) in the world bar none. The liberal arts school... On second thought my father taught me if I didn't have something nice to say to say nothing at all.

Selena

The Wiry Irishman
January 26, 2008, 04:07 PM
It always seemed to me the the Exponent's 'unwritten' policy was to print one opinion (in this case opposed) and at least three dozen that are politically correct agreement.

I noticed that when I first started here. They've actually gotten a lot better about it. Each side of the any particular debate (which is almost always either abortion or creationism in schools) is usually represented pretty equally. We'll have to see if that applies to guns, too.

sandwich
January 26, 2008, 04:55 PM
Ah, Purdue's liberal arts students...

Did ya notice the part where he was told the rifle was there legally then the next para complained about full auto weapons?

His next phrase will be 'do you want fries with that?'

Well at least we don't stereotype people at Thehighroad. That would be almost as bad as irresponsible journalism. And do you have something against people who work in the fast food industry? What exactly is wrong with them?

And no, I don't work in the fast food industry, but remember when I did as a teenager.

ROMAK IV
January 26, 2008, 10:06 PM
Well, think about it! If the "government decreed" that Assahlt Weapons be banned in 1994, it "decreed" that they become legal in 2004.

yhtomit
January 26, 2008, 11:44 PM
sandwich:

The best answer to ribbing about "liberal arts types" IMO is to be happy and successful, and smile.

Law schools (guilty!) are full of liberal arts graduates, after all, and while there are plenty of good lawyer jokes out there, there's little perception that many lawyers have to ask people about their fries preference. Today I saw a funny lecture (on video) by a quite funny law professor named Charles Whitebread (http://www-rcf.usc.edu/~cwhitebr/), in which he drolly remarked that he ("and, I suspect, everyone else in this room") would have gone to medical school if he could do a lick of math. Good-natured, self-effacing banter ;) There might be exceptions, but I think that's what I'd consider most "liberal arts" comments on THR, too.

My degree is in "Advertising," but it's a liberal arts degree alright, even if they spell that "Bachelor of Science." Science, pfui! It's advertising.

(Whitebread, being a criminal law prof, talked through several questions involving guns, but sadly does not list firearms on his list of interests.)

Cheers,

timothy

Soap
January 27, 2008, 11:52 AM
Sweet Jeebus. I'm going to send a letter to the Exponent today. Usually, you have to be an alum or current student to get it published. In my case, I'm both! I've a letter published before so I guess let's see if I can get lucky twice.

Soap
January 27, 2008, 12:26 PM
Okay, here it is:

Mr. Westervelt,

I can certainly get behind you on worrying about a drug-dealing operation next door but unfortunately, you do not have the facts straight on the so-called "assault rifle".

Firstly, the rifle was likely not a true automatic. Such rifles are regulated by the National Firearms Act of 1934 and thus, are very difficult and costly for private citizens to obtain. See also the Firearms Owner Protection Act of 1986.

Secondly, the 1994 "ban" on "assault rifles" was not effective at all, as you imply yourself. In fact, the amount of crimes committed with semi-automatic military-style weapons are so low, that the Bureau of Justice reports in their "National Crime Victimization Survey, 1993-2001" that "Other Guns" (ALL guns other than handguns) were used in less than 1% of all violent crimes.

Third, regardless of statistics, our great country was founded on fundamentals rights for all citizens. The Right to Bear Arms was so key, that the Constitution's framers made it the second item to be enumerated in the Bill of Rights. Ironically, the first gun laws in this country were passed to keep freed slaves from owning firearms. Gun ownership is woven into the very fabric of American culture for a very good reason. And that reason has nothing to do with duck hunting.

I cordially invite you to come to the range with me anytime. If you’re expecting a bunch of toothless hill folk at the range, you’re going to be sorely disappointed. What you might find are intelligent and competent people from many different socioeconomic backgrounds, races, and education levels who are united by the bond that can only be shared by free men and women of this fine country.

-Daniel Flory, ’09 MBA, ’04 Alumnus

Officers'Wife
January 27, 2008, 10:20 PM
Hi Sandwich,

Point taken, I apologize to fast food workers everywhere.

Selena

Superpsy
January 27, 2008, 11:55 PM
my email...

Mike,
I just read your article entitled, "Assault rifle discovery raises questions for Purdue students, city." I just wanted to let you know that your article is factually incorrect. There are a number of points you raised that show you did little to no actual research on the topic and demonstrate unfamiliarity with firearms.

Just a few:
1. The expired assault weapons ban did not ban automatic weapons. This is a common misconception. The now expired ban actually banned cosmetic features of firearms that had nothing to do with function. Some examples? Pistol grips, certain magazine capacities and flash hiders. "Assault rifle" is a misnomer.
2. Just passing a background check is not enough to own automatic weapons (much more extensive checks are required and such firearms are prohibitively expensive). I believe you are referring to semi-automatic firearms. Semi-automatic firearms require a trigger pull for each round fired.

There are many aspects of your article that I disagree with but I wanted to focus on the factual errors. I recognize that your column was an opinion piece but please please do some research.

Sincerely,
Tim

The Wiry Irishman
January 28, 2008, 12:51 AM
My reply letter has be edited and resubmitted. If they keep their word and publish it, there ought to be some interesting replies.

Most of all, I hope this guy shows up to club to shoot.

sandwich
January 28, 2008, 03:08 AM
My reply letter has be edited and resubmitted. If they keep their word and publish it, there ought to be some interesting replies.

Most of all, I hope this guy shows up to club to shoot.

Let us know what happens.

Ballistic308
January 28, 2008, 04:44 AM
Howdy All,

For what it's worth, I sent a letter to the editor(s) of this publication. I doubt it will wake anybody up over there, at least it should jar loose a few dormant brain cells in a few readers. If it results in one less professional victim, I will sleep soundly.

hobgob
January 28, 2008, 05:06 AM
Amen Mr. Flory, I was going to write an email but i couldnt quite find words eloquent enough. harshness kept creeping its way into the email, so i abandoned the effort untill i read your email. very well said sir. i took some inspiration from your email and sent one of my own. hopefully the publication and the writer will enough letters to make see the error of their judgement.

The Wiry Irishman
January 28, 2008, 10:38 PM
Well, I just got back from club, and guess what? The Exponent sent someone to interview us. Not the author of the opinions piece, but one of their reporters. Myself and one of the club armorers talked to him for a while and it went pretty well. He wasn't confrontational or opinionated in his questions, he just wanted our side of the story. He brought a photographer with him, and the photographer says he'll be back next week to shoot. Maybe when my letter gets published the author will show up. I'd also be interested to see what they publish about us.

Seancass
January 28, 2008, 11:21 PM
I think since you're a school club, the article will be positive. I hope they get accross how saftey concious it is. Maybe it'll bring even more people in. pretty soon we'll have to get a bigger armory.

(p.s. no, i'm not a member, and no, i don't have a good excuse for that.)

Soap
January 29, 2008, 02:22 PM
Here is an updated stories and two letters that appear in today's edition:

http://www.purdueexponent.org/?module=article&story_id=9520

http://www.purdueexponent.org/?module=article&story_id=9523

http://www.purdueexponent.org/?module=article&story_id=9522

jerkin
January 29, 2008, 03:07 PM
Does anyone writing for this paper do any research? Quote from above article:

"Due to the law requiring a carry permit to have a handgun on your person for any amount of time, however, it is technically illegal to take one home from a gun retailer before first acquiring a carry permit."

I'm not even from Indiana and it took me all of 2 minutes to find this:

01/29/2008 02:06:41 PM EST
IC 35-47-2
Chapter 2. Regulation of Handguns

IC 35-47-2-1
Carrying a handgun without a license or by person convicted of domestic battery
Sec. 1. (a) Except as provided in subsection (b) and section 2 of this chapter, a person shall not carry a handgun in any vehicle or on or about the person's body, except in the person's dwelling, on the person's property or fixed place of business, without a license issued under this chapter being in the person's possession.
(b) Unless the person's right to possess a firearm has been restored under IC 35-47-4-7, a person who has been convicted of domestic battery under IC 35-42-2-1.3 may not possess or carry a handgun in any vehicle or on or about the person's body in the person's dwelling or on the person's property or fixed place of business.
As added by P.L.311-1983, SEC.32. Amended by P.L.326-1987, SEC.1; P.L.195-2003, SEC.6; P.L.98-2004, SEC.155; P.L.118-2007, SEC.35.


IC 35-47-2-2
Excepted persons
Sec. 2. Section 1 of this chapter does not apply to:
(1) marshals;
(2) sheriffs;
(3) the commissioner of the department of correction or persons authorized by him in writing to carry firearms;
(4) judicial officers;
(5) law enforcement officers;
(6) members of the armed forces of the United States or of the national guard or organized reserves while they are on duty;
(7) regularly enrolled members of any organization duly authorized to purchase or receive such weapons from the United States or from this state who are at or are going to or from their place of assembly or target practice;
(8) employees of the United States duly authorized to carry handguns;
(9) employees of express companies when engaged in company business;
(10) any person engaged in the business of manufacturing, repairing, or dealing in firearms or the agent or representative of any such person having in his possession, using, or carrying a handgun in the usual or ordinary course of that business; or
(11) any person while carrying a handgun unloaded and in a secure wrapper from the place of purchase to his dwelling or fixed place of business, or to a place of repair or back to his dwelling or fixed place of business, or in moving from one dwelling or business to another.
As added by P.L.311-1983, SEC.32.

Siderite
January 29, 2008, 05:20 PM
I contacted the city editor (who wrote the article) and main editor about the incorrect info this morning. They said a "clarification" will be printed tomorrow. We'll see how far back they bury it.

Siderite
January 31, 2008, 10:12 AM
Clarification ran on the front page "In Tuesday's edition of the Exponent, in the story titled "Indiana gun laws spark controversy," it is stated that a carry permit is required to take a handgun home after purchase. However, Indiana law makes an exception for taking a handgun to one's dwelling or fixed place of business from the retailer while still unloaded and in a secure wrapper."

Another letter was published, but none of the ones posted here have been.

http://www.purdueexponent.org/?module=article&story_id=9602

The Wiry Irishman
January 31, 2008, 03:10 PM
And another:

http://www.purdueexponent.org/?module=article&story_id=9670

KBintheSLC
January 31, 2008, 03:29 PM
It's just what tons of college students do for their papers.... make a whole bunch of baloney up that sounds good and hope for a B.

That is how I survived my undergrad. However, this one doesn't even qualify for a B.

Siderite
February 1, 2008, 12:16 PM
Another one today:

http://www.purdueexponent.org/?module=article&story_id=9696

doubleg
February 1, 2008, 01:19 PM
Dombkowski said that during a subsequent search, police found not only the AK-47, but nearly two pounds of marijuana and $3,800 in cash.
:what: ZOMG!! Two pounds of weed and 4k along with a AK? Wooooo what a drug bust. I know people who have got chaught with far worse things and never spent a day in jail. (I'm assuming the AK is semi which it probably is.)

Seancass
February 1, 2008, 02:08 PM
Two pounds of weed and $4k

who cares about that!!?? didnt you read? the dude had a gun! he was probly going to get high, buy 4000 $1 hookers, and then shoot up the whole town. HEELLLLLLOOOOO HE HAD A AUTOMATIC ASSAULT WEAPON!!!!!! (it was semi-auto of course)

the peice posted by Siderite made the paper today.

serrano
February 1, 2008, 02:45 PM
I feel these were the 3 best.

http://www.purdueexponent.org/?module=article&story_id=9522

http://www.purdueexponent.org/?module=article&story_id=9670

http://www.purdueexponent.org/?module=article&story_id=9696

Crash_Test_Dhimmi
February 1, 2008, 10:10 PM
I honestly dont see what the big deal is to his neighbor having a semi automatic rifle. I live in an apartment with 2 roomies, I have an M4 with 3 round burst along with a few hand grenades, my roomies are cool with that, because my roomies have an M16A2 with 3 round burst, and an M4 with 3 round burst. And we all get along just fine, talk about politics, talk about our women, and do our daily chores, no biggee. No one gets upset or writes an editorial in a pissant newspaper about it.

Im also in Iraq.

Siderite
February 4, 2008, 10:16 AM
Daniel Flory's letter was published today. Not yet posted to the online purdueexponent.org site.

Nobody's_Hero
February 4, 2008, 10:25 AM
WARNING: I clicked on your link and McAfee alerted me that I had a trojan quarantined! If anyone else can confirm this using I.E. w/ McAfee, we need to take that link down!

And yes that article sucked. :scrutiny:

SamTuckerMTNMAN
February 4, 2008, 11:45 AM
something happened at the link, indeed. There is malicious software that downlaods when visiting that link.

at least my softare too alerted me to virus spyware code at the site

st

DonP
February 4, 2008, 12:13 PM
FYI, a published response (finally) in today's paper.

Not that the original author will let facts get in the way of a good emotional rant. I did enjoy how he totally brushed by the drug dealing next door and focused on the rifle.

Column confuses facts, right to bear arms crucial

I can certainly get behind you on worrying about a possible drug-dealing operation in your neighborhood, but unfortunately you do not have the facts straight on the so-called "assault rifle."

Firstly, the rifle was likely not a true automatic. Such rifles are regulated by the National Firearms Act of 1934 and thus are very difficult and costly for private citizens to obtain. See also the Firearms Owner Protection Act of 1986.

Secondly, the 1994 "ban" on "assault rifles" was not effective at all, as you imply yourself. In fact, the amount of crimes committed with semi-automatic military-style weapons are so low, that the Bureau of Justice reports in their "National Crime Victimization Survey, 1993-2001" that "Other Guns" (all guns other than handguns) were used in less than 1 percent of all violent crimes.

Third, regardless of statistics, our great country was founded on fundamental rights for all citizens. The right to bear arms was so key that the Constitution's framers made it the second item to be enumerated in the Bill of Rights. Ironically, the first gun laws in this country were passed to keep freed slaves from owning firearms. Gun ownership is woven into the very fabric of American culture for a very good reason. And that reason has nothing to do with duck hunting.

I cordially invite you to come to the range with me anytime. If you're expecting a bunch of toothless hill folk at the range, you're going to be sorely disappointed. What you might find are intelligent and competent people from many different socioeconomic backgrounds, races and education levels who are united by the bond that can only be shared by free men and women of this fine country.

Daniel Flory

Graduate student

keeleon
February 4, 2008, 12:58 PM
Not to be a "technology elitist", but I would suggest switching over to the Firefox web browser, if you are currently using Internet Explorer on a PC.

www.getfirefox.com

Alot of the antivirus software has to be very sensitive to catch the stuff that sneaks on to your computer. Alot of times very innocent "webapps", such as cookies, java scripts and active x controllers can set off alarm bells. It is highly unlikely that the Purdue Exponent is trying to install a keylogger onto your system, so I wouldn't be too concerned about it. Installing and using Firefox acts as one more barrier from the bad guys to the important data on your hard drive.

For Your Health!

alan
February 4, 2008, 02:10 PM
The ignorance, to use a charitable term of art, of some is truly amazing, however it remains that commercially available versions of the so-called AK-47 are NOT automatic weapons. They are designed to function as SEMI-AUTOMATIC RIFLES, that is to say they are "self loading", so long as there is ammunition in the magazine. They fire a single shot each time the trigger is actuated, just like all other SEMI-AUTOMATIC FIREARMS.

Possibly this student commentator might take as moment to acquaint himself with the facts as opposed to the fancy of thast which he writes about.

goon
February 4, 2008, 02:27 PM
That's beside the point.
Automatic or not, the guy has a problem with guns.
He could care less about the technicalities. Rate of fire, automatic sears, it's all meaningless jargon to him and it doesn't matter for the sake of this argument.
I'm an American.
The whole idea of my country is that you should be able to live your life however you want as long as you aren't hurting anyone else.
Owning a semi auto or even full auto AK is not inherently harmful to anyone else.
Therefore, there is positively no reason for any restrictions to be placed on it.

The semi-auto/full-auto technicality is something that people keep getting sidetracked with but it's not the point.

IndianaBoy
February 4, 2008, 02:36 PM
As a Purdue student the editorial staff of the Exponent always aggravated me... greatly.

I see they have not changed their policy of selecting East Coast liberals to tell us po' midwesterners how we should do things.

Here is the letter I sent to the author on facebook, so he will know it is from a Boilermaker Alum.

Most of the students on Purdue's campus are conservative. But the liberal journalism majors make the most noise and have the biggest microphone.

Only once did anyone ever comment negatively about the gunsafe in my duplex while I was there. And the rest of the people in the room looked at him like he was crazy.


I came across your exponent article and wanted to address a few misconceptions.

1.) The state does not require permits for handguns. If you are an Indiana resident, and not a felon, you can buy a handgun in the state of Indiana. A permit is required to legally carry a concealed weapon.

2.) The rifle in your neighbors place was not an 'automatic assault rifle'. Unless your neighbor had managed to buy or steal an item which costs in the neighborhood of 15,000 to 20,0000 dollars. Full auto weapons have been banned from importation or manufacture in the United States since 1986. This has driven the costs of real machine guns up drastically. They are still perfectly legal to own in many states, after the ATF investigates you heavily.
It is 99.9% certain that he owned a semi-automatic clone of an AK-47.


3.) The second amendment SHOULD in fact protect automatic weapons. As much as you might like to believe it so, the second amendment does not protect our right to shoot ducks and deer.

Now for my opinion... take it for what it is worth.

You were more concerned that the guy next door had a rifle... than the fact that he was dealing drugs. I think if you reference some crime statistics, you will find that people involved in the drug trade are significantly more likely to die a violent death than non-criminals. His activities drastically raised the odds that you would be harmed by some drug deal gone bad shootout with bullets flying in your window.

You will find that there is significantly less 'gun crime' in Indiana, with it's lax gun laws, than in New Jersey with strict gun laws. It is not a gun problem, but a crime problem. While I was a student at Purdue my gun safe was stocked with a variety of rifles and handguns, yet somehow my neighbors didn't need kevlar walls and windows.

I realize that this opinion is coming from a person who owns and operates firearms for many purposes, including competition and recreation. But I hope you will entertain the notion that perhaps guns aren't the problem. You lived next to a criminal. That is why you were in danger.

Please feel free to contact me if you have a question or a response. I live in Missouri now, or I would offer to take you to a shooting range for a little experience with guns before you consider them evil.

Regards,
Greg

Soap
February 4, 2008, 02:42 PM
Logic in the Exponent, FTW!

IndianaBoy
February 4, 2008, 03:01 PM
Nice work guys, to all the individuals who got their excellent responses printed.


Logic FTW indeed!!! :)

alan
February 5, 2008, 01:49 AM
goon wrote:

That's beside the point.
Automatic or not, the guy has a problem with guns.
He could care less about the technicalities. Rate of fire, automatic sears, it's all meaningless jargon to him and it doesn't matter for the sake of this argument.
I'm an American.
The whole idea of my country is that you should be able to live your life however you want as long as you aren't hurting anyone else.
Owning a semi auto or even full auto AK is not inherently harmful to anyone else.
Therefore, there is positively no reason for any restrictions to be placed on it.

The semi-auto/full-auto technicality is something that people keep getting sidetracked with but it's not the point.
Yesterday 01:10 PM

-----------------
Not only does "the guy" have a problem with guns, others do too, he has a problem with facts, in that he opts for fancy opposed to fact, but then so do many who have "problems with guns".

As to your last, I beg to differ, as that old saying goes. "Semi-Auto v. Full Auto" is exactly the point here. The student commentator doesn't know top from bottom re firearms, and worse than that, doesn't care about the differences between fact and fancy.

Siderite
February 5, 2008, 11:30 AM
Daniel Flory's letter, published yesterday: http://purdueexponent.org/?module=article&story_id=9725

And another letter printed today: http://purdueexponent.org/?module=article&story_id=9738

I spoke with The Wiry Irishman at the Purdue Pistol and Rifle Club practice last night and he said he had to revise his letter a third time, because they hold strictly to the 300-word limit (he had 312), so he cut his down to 299. He's been contacted by them to confirm authorship and it looks like it will run in the next day or so.

jerkin
February 5, 2008, 11:52 AM
Just a heads up guys, there was a warning yesterday about that site and some malware. I just hit the latest link and it locked up my computer to where I had to shut it down manually. Could have been just a fluke ( a computer expert I am not) but it never did it before and I've been to the exponent site a few times now.

keeleon
February 5, 2008, 05:34 PM
Hey, I think I found a picture of the Apt in question. Oh wait, that one doesn't have any illegal drugs or wads of suspicious cash. It does look safe though, aside from the messiness of it. That would certainly make me think twice about stealing beer from that guy.

http://www.bradycenter.org/xshare/pdf/reports/no-gun-left-behind.pdf

highorder
February 5, 2008, 05:47 PM
I just read the brady bunch PDF. the footnotes read like disclaimers, not citations.

like the "thousands of CCW holders" that committed acts of gun violence are actually permit holders that have committed a misdemeanor in their past, etc.

goon
February 5, 2008, 07:10 PM
Not only does "the guy" have a problem with guns, others do too, he has a problem with facts, in that he opts for fancy opposed to fact, but then so do many who have "problems with guns".

As to your last, I beg to differ, as that old saying goes. "Semi-Auto v. Full Auto" is exactly the point here. The student commentator doesn't know top from bottom re firearms, and worse than that, doesn't care about the differences between fact and fancy.

Granted, he is either incompetent or flat out lying to make his arguments look solid.
But I still think it's nuts to keep making a technical distinction between semi-auto rifles, full-auto rifles, or even a hundred year old Finn Mosin Nagant.

Who cares?
They're all guns, they're specifically protected under the second ammendment, and our rights are being infringed every single day.
Maybe we all put up with it and live our lives. Sure, it doesn't really affect me any. I still go to the range on a semi-regular basis, still CCW pretty often, etc.
But it clearly says that this right is not to be infringed.
At the time it was written the militaries of the world were using flintlock smoothbore muskets. Those same "small arms" were available to anyone who could afford one.
Actually, they were probably "required" if not by law, then by the laws of nature.
The PA rifle was an improvement, effectively multiplying the range of a musket by three or more times. Anyone in his or her right mind can add up that if you can shoot the enemy before he can shoot you, it gives you an advantage.
Were there any restrictions placed on this terrible, accurate, deadly weapon?
Nope.
Civilian ownership of those terrible, dangerous, long range weapons called rifles continues right up to this day.

I'm tired of getting sidetracked on the technicalities.
Outlawing any firearm is unconstitutional.
I deliberately didn't address the "semi-auto vs. full-auto" debate in my email to that guy because it doesn't matter for the purpose of my argument.
If you can be trusted with a NEF handi-gun, you can be trusted with an M-60.

It's true that it really doesn't affect me any. I still own some good guns, still feel confident that I could defend myself, and still have a good time at the range.
But I think it would be great to be able to walk into a regular gun store, plunk down your $600, and walk out with a select fire mini-Uzi.
It's protected by the constitution and as a law abiding American with no criminal record whatsoever, there is positively no reason to restrict your right to do that.
It's actually illegal to restrict your right to do that.

No, I don't really want a machine gun.
I have no use for one.
But that's not the point. Maybe my neighbor does. And if that's the case, it's his right to do that. No one should have the power to take that from him as long as he isn't posing a threat to anyone else's well being.

Part of our problem as gunowners is that we can't all get on the same side of the ideological fence.

Siderite
February 7, 2008, 10:42 AM
Just noticed the comments on apparent malware on the Purdue Exponent's site. I haven't encountered this since I've been using firefox, but I'll copy & paste the text for these last few.

Yesterday - http://purdueexponent.org/?module=article&story_id=9772

In response to the "Like free speech, right to own firearm is protected" on Jan. 29.

To say that owning a firearm is protected to the same extent that free speech is protected is absolutely incorrect. At ratification, the bill of rights only checked federal power. This meant that states could pass laws establishing religions, limiting free speech, searching without a warrant and yes, even restricting firearm sales. After the ratification of the 14th Amendment, the United States Supreme Court began to "incorporate" certain provisions of the Bill of Rights to the states, through the due processes clause. This is why today we may claim our right to free speech is protected, because the court has applied the First Amendment to the states. Unfortunately for your firearms enthusiasts, the Second Amendment has never been incorporated. This means you have no federal constitutional right to own a gun. Many of us can now sleep soundly at night knowing speech is more protected than guns.

Nick DeBoer

Sophomore in the College of Liberal Arts

Today two more were printed, and a note indicating that the 10-letter limit had been reached for the topic of firearms, so it looks like The Wiry Irishman's letter won't be published afterall. When those two are posted online later today, I'll link and copy them here.

Ragnar Danneskjold
February 7, 2008, 03:23 PM
So does that mean the Nick DeBoer is admitting federal gun controls like in 34 and 68 were unconstitutional, because they are not at the state level?

Seancass
February 7, 2008, 03:45 PM
this letter was printed today with the note that the subject had reached its 10 letter limit and no more would be published in the paper.

http://purdueexponent.org/?module=article&story_id=9814

Siderite
February 7, 2008, 09:50 PM
and the last one: http://purdueexponent.org/?module=article&story_id=9813

Writer overlooks realities in calling for stricter laws

This letter is in response to columnist Mike Westervelt’s Jan. 24 column about assault weapons. First, he is confused and outraged that no charges were being filed for the firearm being in the apartment. The fact is that it isn’t a crime. Indiana Code does not prohibit having a loaded firearm in the home. Mr. Westervelt then goes on a crusade and calls for a local assault weapons ban similar to the Clinton ban. The Clinton ban did not work for America, so how do you propose that similar legislation would work for West Lafayette? According to the FBI and Department of Justice, the number of firearms owned by private citizens, including these “assault weapons”, increased by over 60 million between 1991 and 2002. During this same time period, national violent crime fell 35%. Note that the decline began three years prior to the ban. It was also discovered that “assault rifles” made up only about 2% of all armed crimes. According to the Center for Disease control, more Americans die from motor vehicle accidents and drowning than from firearms. So where is Mr. Westervelt’s staunch support of banning motor vehicles or requiring the registration of all residents as qualified swimmers? According to a Jan. 22 article in the Journal and Courier, alcohol related arrests went up 12% last year in West Lafayette. These arrests include DUI arrests, which truly are a threat community safety. So why is Mr. Westervelt not calling for prohibition of alcohol? The answer is the media has done an excellent job skewing the facts and making Americans afraid of firearms. Finally, it is truly sad that in the opening paragraph this columnist says that he would be alright with his neighbors smoking and dealing drugs, but desires a sweeping ban restricting the rights of law-abiding gun owners. Adam McKinney Junior in the
College of Technology

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