Feedback for a "Letter to the Editor" I'm writing


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ZombieHunter
June 26, 2008, 11:58 AM
I've found my windmill.

I live in Maryland, a may-issue state. I've written the following letter to the editor with the hopes that it is printed and sparks some debate. I would appreciate any feed back. PLEASE note that I am limited to 250 words. The following article is 247. All constructive critizism is welcome including grammar, punctuation, et c.

An Open Letter to Maryland Violent Crime Victims,

According to the US Dept. of Justice there were over 38,000 of you in the year 2006 alone. That includes those who can still speak out: victims of rape, assault and robbery; and, approximately 514 who are dead and cannot.

My question to you is simple. Do you believe that if you had had the means to have properly defended yourself, you would have still been victimized?

Current Maryland law allows anyone to apply for a concealed handgun carry permit [CCW], yet places a substantial and often insurmountable burden on them to prove they need it. When issued these permits are extremely restricted in their use, coming with provisions on when and where they can be carried. How many of you could have known when, where and if you were going to be victimized?

Thirty-nine states (78%) are currently shall-issue, placing no burden of proof; any citizen legally capable of buying a firearm is legally able to carry that same firearm as a tool for self-defense. Lott and Mustard (1997) did research on crime rates in states that passed shall-issue CCW laws and found that violent crime dropped around 5.5%. If the same thing happened in Maryland over 2,000 of you would not have been victims.

Please, email, fax, write and call your state legislators and remind them that self-defense is an inalienable human right and denying us all the tools to that end is morally reprehensible and governmentally irresponsible.

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Picard
June 26, 2008, 01:11 PM
I like it. Perhaps you could include something in there about the 2A Supreme Court ruling and these sort of concealed carry bans as being unconstitutional.

ZombieHunter
June 26, 2008, 02:28 PM
I had considered mentioning the Heller ruling but figured with it being on EVERY front page anyone that far back in the paper probably has a fair knowledge of it.

I'm going to mail this tonight...more feedback please :)

NC Dave
June 26, 2008, 03:22 PM
I think that it is a good letter. Nice job.

I like it. Perhaps you could include something in there about the 2A Supreme Court ruling and these sort of concealed carry bans as being unconstitutional.

Do not include this as the Heller decision in no way addresses concealed carry bans. Nor does it mean that you will be buying a full-auto M-16 at Walmart next week or any of the other false assumptions about Heller.

The door has been opened, but there are many more fights to fight.

ZombieHunter
June 26, 2008, 05:52 PM
Cool, thanks for the feedback. 44 reads and 2 compliments...I'll take it as passable. Off to the papers with it.

DrBoomBoom
June 26, 2008, 06:27 PM
Well written. Send it.

ZombieHunter
June 26, 2008, 06:48 PM
Sent to the Baltimore Sun and to the Annapolis Gazette.

Hopefully it gets printed

Bellevance
June 26, 2008, 07:20 PM
Good letter.

Here it is back at you with my editing suggestions. (This is the kind of thing I do all day long for my college English students. I teach for the U. of Maryland.) My comments and suggestions are in CAPS. You could print out your original letter and the edited version so that you may better understand the recommended changes.

An Open Letter to Maryland Violent Crime Victims,

According to the US [ CUT Dept.] DEPARTMENT of Justice there were over 38,000 of you in the year 2006 alone. That NUMBER includes those OF YOU who can still speak out: victims of rape, assault COMMA and robbery PERIOD. [ CUT; and, approximately ] IT ALSO INCLUDES 514 OF YOU who CANNOT SPEAK, BECAUSE YOU are dead.

My question to you is simple. Do you believe that if you had had the means to [ CUT have properly defended] DEFEND yourself [NO COMMA] you would STILL HAVE BECOME A VICTIM? [CUT have still been victimized? ]

Current Maryland law allows anyone to apply for a concealed handgun carry permit [ USE PARENTHESES, NOT BRACKETS: [CCW], ] yet places a substantial and often insurmountable burden on them to prove they need it. When THESE PERMITS ARE issued [COMMA] [CUT these permits ] THEY COME WITH RESTRICTIVE PROVISIONS THAT STIPULATE [CUT are extremely restricted in their use, coming with provisions on ] when and where [CUT they can be carried.] A HANDGUN MAY BE CARRIED. How many of you [ CUTcould have known] KNEW when AND where [CUT and if ] you were going to be victimized?

Thirty-nine states (78%) are currently KNOWN AS "shall-issue" STATES. [CUT, placing no burden of proof; ] ANY citizen legally [ [CUTcapable of buying ] ENTITLED TO BUY a firearm MAY LEGALLY [ CUT is legally able to carry that same ] THAT firearm as a tool for self-defense. [ Lott and Mustard (1997) WHO? THIS CITATION NEEDS MORE SPECIFICITY TO HAVE ANY USEFUL MEANING IN THIS CONTEXT ] did research on crime rates in states WITH [CUT that passed ] shall-issue CCW laws and found that violent crime dropped around 5.5% IN THOSE STATES. If [ CUT the same thing happened] SHALL-ISSUE LAWS HAD BEEN IN PLACE IN in Maryland, over 2,000 of you would not have [CUT been] BECOME victims.

Please, I AM ASKING ALL CRIME VICTIMS AND ALL POTENTIAL VICTIMS OF CRIME TO email, fax, write COMMA and call your state legislators and remind them that self-defense is an inalienable human right and THAT [ CUT denying] TO DENY CITIZENS all the tools WE NEED to [ CUT that end] DEFEND OURSELVES is morally reprehensible and governmentally irresponsible.

ZombieHunter
June 26, 2008, 07:37 PM
where were you 2 hours ago! Probably with your college kids :)

In the future I will make damn sure to get a hold of you before sending in anything of this kind of importance.

Bellevance
June 26, 2008, 07:47 PM
Sorry, Zombie, but you got off the mark a little too fast! :)

You can always email (or hard-mail) an edited version of a letter to any publication that takes a notion to print it--even before they let you know (if they do) that the letter may see ink. I do a lot of that myself.

Good luck.

ZeSpectre
June 26, 2008, 09:49 PM
Yeah, if you are going to ask for editing help then plan on waiting about 24 hours before sending. That give the evening folks a chance to look at your work and you'll get a lot more feedback.

ZombieHunter
June 26, 2008, 09:58 PM
Yeah...i'm a bit overzealous sometimes lol. But like bell said edited versions might work

Tom Bri
June 28, 2008, 04:59 PM
Bellevaunce, I spent 15 years editing English papers. You are right on the money, keep it simple and straight. The easier it is to follow the logic, the better.

The original was good, but I thought the grammar a bit over-complex. Not wrong, just too complex for a letter to the editor.

stevemis
June 28, 2008, 07:07 PM
Nice work. The only thing I would consider changing is:

"concealed handgun carry permit [CCW]"

Consider making the CCW a CHP, since you refer to it as a "concealed handgun carry permit". If you do this, you'd also need to change CCW to CHP elsewhere in the document.

ZombieHunter
June 29, 2008, 12:57 AM
Thanks Tom. I used to have that exact same conversation with my old journalism professor. I'll keep you all posted, hopefully it makes it into print.

:)

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