Please critique my article!


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Monkeyleg
September 15, 2003, 04:25 PM
Last year I begged the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel to publish a rebuttal to their anti-CCW editorial. I'd asked for just 650 words, and they turned me down.

Now they've called me and asked if I would write a 1200-word article on concealed carry for the Sunday editorial section. Of course, they're going to have an article by the anti's as well.

The article right now is 988 words. Anything else I can think of just becomes redundant.

So, critiques, please?

***********

In October of 2002, a 42 year-old woman was dragged into an alley on Milwaukee's north side by five thugs. There, for 45 horrible minutes, she was repeatedly raped and beaten by her assailants. They made a bonfire of her clothing. Neighbors heard her screams and called the police, who scoured the area. Finally, but too late to save the woman, one officer saw the flames from her clothing.

Against her will, this woman became one of the 1,100 women who are raped in Wisconsin every year. She will bear the same emotional scars that more than 6,800 victims of assaults in our state have to suffer with each year, the same scars as the 4,500 victims of robbery, the same scars suffered by the more than 12,000 Wisconsinites who are victims of other types of violent crimes every year.

Had she been able to defend herself, she wouldn't have been attacked at all. But she was unable to defend herself because Wisconsin only allows law enforcement officers to carry weapons for self-defense.

Those who oppose legalizing concealed carry argue that we don't need a concealed carry system because Wisconsin already has a relatively low crime rate. In essence, these opponents are saying that the numbers of rapes, assaults, robberies and violent crimes cited above constitute an acceptable level of criminal violence. But, really, what should an acceptable level of criminal violence be? Logic would dictate that the only acceptable level is zero; any number higher than zero is purely arbitrary.

Forty-five states have now recognized that arbitrary levels of criminal violence are unacceptable, and have restored the right of self-defense to their citizens. Just ten days ago, Missouri became the 45th state to pass a concealed carry law, after the legislature overrode Governor Holden's veto of a bill similar to that proposed for Wisconsin. In June, Minnesota passed a concealed carry law nearly identical to the one proposed for Wisconsin, just as Michigan did in 2001.

In every state where legalized concealed carry has been proposed, opponents have predicted apocalyptic consequences, and have advanced the same arguments almost verbatim. Will their predictions of "blood in the streets" come true in Missouri, Minnesota, or Wisconsin? Will there be, as they argue, "shootouts at every stoplight?"

No.

Consider that, from October 1987 to October 2002, Florida issued 828,608 concealed carry permits. During that period only 1,542 permits were revoked for convictions for any offense more serious than a traffic ticket. The majority of those convictions were for offenses unrelated to firearms. Moreover, as of 1996, Florida reported that only five permit revocations were the result of a conviction for a violent crime. Data available from other concealed carry states show similarly miniscule permit revocation rates. Clearly, those citizens who take the time to undergo training, background checks and who are willing to go through the process of applying for permits are overwhelmingly law-abiding.

Opponents argue that armed citizens have no effect on crime. They argue that a citizen with a gun doesn't have sufficient training to thwart a criminal attack. Incredibly, they claim that a criminal will just take the gun away from the citizen, a suggestion that is countered by data from the FBI, not to mention pure common sense: any criminal who would try to grab a loaded gun from a citizen whose finger is on the trigger is a candidate for the Darwin Awards.

The US Department of Justice estimates that approximately 500,000 citizens successfully defend themselves with firearms against criminal attack every year. This indicates a one-to-one ratio of citizen vs. criminal uses of firearms. An ongoing study by the criminology department at Florida State University indicates that the number of defensive uses of firearms could be as high as 2.5 million annually, or a five-to-one ratio. The study reports that 86% of the time, no shots are fired; merely threatening a criminal with a firearm is a sufficient deterrent.

The FBI reports that, for the most recently analyzed year, 215 criminals were killed by armed citizens, including concealed carry permit holders. The above data shows that, not only are citizens capable of defending themselves with firearms, but that they do so with remarkable restraint. Permit holders are not the "shoot-'em-up cowboy" types that opponents portray.

Currently under Wisconsin law, the only weapon available to citizens for self defense is pepper spray, which is nothing more than an aerosol form of a Cajun condiment. It is effective against attacking dogs, but not against a drugged-up assailant. In the event of a criminal attack, a cell phone in the hand means help is ten, twenty or even thirty minutes away. A gun in the hand means help is just a trigger pull away or, far more often than not, that the criminal will turn tail and run away.

Wisconsin can be proud of our law enforcement officers. Their level of professionalism and dedication is unquestionable. But it is the rare officer indeed who happens upon a violent crime in progress. Usually the officers arrive in time to take statements from witnesses or victims. There's no doubt that the officer who came upon the burning clothing of the rape victim was trying his absolute best to save her. But, with just one officer for every 400 citizens, police help simply cannot be guaranteed. That's why the majority of street officers support legalizing concealed carry for citizens. They know the limitations of police resources.

In just a few weeks, our elected officials will have to make a decision regarding concealed carry. Some will decide to restore the right of self-defense to trained, licensed, law-abiding citizens who want the ability to defend themselves.

Other elected officials will vote with the anti-gun lobby to maintain the status quo. They will vote to maintain the current "acceptable" levels of rapes, robberies, assaults and other crimes of violence.

For the good people of Wisconsin, such a coldly-calculated, purely political vote should be completely unacceptable.

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TallPine
September 15, 2003, 04:44 PM
What about your "feelings" ..... ? :D

AJ Dual
September 15, 2003, 04:57 PM
I can't really find any significant fault with it at all.

If you must have some editorial input :D , I would give the Florida revocation stats as percentages, as sheeple readers might let their eyes glaze over at any number larger than three digits.

i.e. Total Florida revocations: .002%

But keep the violent felon revocations simply as "five".

And perhaps mention in that FL stat. paragraph that criminals already carry somehow.

"Clearly, those citizens who take the time to undergo training, background checks and who are willing to go through the process of applying for permits are overwhelmingly law-abiding, at a rate much greater than the population as a whole. And of course, the criminals by definition, already feel no need to apply for a permit to carry their firearms illegally."

Aside all the logic and stats, you might also point out un your closing arguments that even if CCW didn't deter crime, that it still stands in recognition of the God-given, pre-existing, inalieable, etc. right to self defense, which dosen't magically dissapear outside your doorstep. In my reading you're hinting around that, but don't come right out and say it.

Perhaps also replace "It is the rare officer who comes across..." with "It is the "lucky" officer who comes across". ("lucky" denotes the theroretical officer is getting the opportunity to do his job in the greatest context of immediacy, but the quotes signify the double-meaning that we obvioulsy all recognize crime is bad, and we'd rather it not happen...) Makes the point more easily that you are saying that officers who catch criminals in the act is a rarity due to the nature of policing, crime, life in general, there is no implication that the officers are "lazy". And it jives better with your praises above...

Devonai
September 15, 2003, 06:05 PM
AW has some good points. I would submit that if you're going to talk about the unlikelihood of a LEO coming across a crime in progress, put it in terms of the victim.

"It is a lucky citizen indeed whose victimization is discovered by a police officer during the event of a crime."

Or, something to that effect.

Otherwise I very much like the current draft, and I'm glad they agreed to contact you.

Col. Mustard
September 15, 2003, 06:22 PM
Perhaps also replace "It is the rare officer who comes across..." with "It is the "lucky" officer who comes across".

Or, perhaps, "It is the rare - and lucky - victim who has a police officer on hand to stop a crime..."

Finally, but too late to save the woman, one officer saw the flames from her clothing.

The use of the word "save" sounds like the woman died. But later you state that "She will bear the same emotional scars"; so I'm guessing she did not. Perhaps replace "save" with "prevent the crime"...

I second Andrew's comment about "total revocations" = .02%

These are all pretty trivial criticisms. An excellent article.

ajacobs
September 15, 2003, 06:33 PM
What about using the womens name if available. It would make it more real.

1,100 Should be stressed as reported rapes.

"Had she been able to defend herself, she wouldn't have been attacked at all. But she was unable to defend herself because Wisconsin only allows law enforcement officers to carry weapons for self-defense." Does not flow well, additionally I would just focus on she could have been able to stop the attack, not nessesarly that she would not have been attacked, all though that may play into the anti's idea that it will be the wild west.

"Forty-five states have now recognized that arbitrary levels of criminal violence are unacceptable, and have restored the right of self-defense to their citizens. " While I realize you are trying to tie this into the previous paragraph I would just leave it as 45 states recognize the right for citizens to >>>> I don't think restaing the arbitrary levels thing does anything for your argument, all though it is a good point in the previous paragraph.

I think you also spend to much on the defensive of what the anti's think. I

THis is just my two cents, I don't really know anything.

4v50 Gary
September 15, 2003, 06:42 PM
Well done Monkeyleg.

CCW is about ensuring the right of the individual to self defense. Not all of us are proficient or knowledgeable in martial arts nor can we be. Family obligations, time restraints, limited resources or even physical disabilities see to that. While God made Man, Colt made Woman equal.

How can government which cannot assume responsibility for our individual safety deny us or a hapless woman in particular her right of self defense? Self-defense is a "self evident" natural right that is recognized by all societies and to dispower someone from that right so that (s)he can be victimized is contrary to the very purpose of government: order. A government that tolerates victimization of its citizenry forfeits its right to govern. It breaches its fiduciary duty and encourages crime since criminals have little or no fear of retribution.

cordex
September 15, 2003, 06:59 PM
The US Department of Justice estimates that approximately 500,000 citizens successfully defend themselves with firearms against criminal attack every year. This indicates a one-to-one ratio of citizen vs. criminal uses of firearms. An ongoing study by the criminology department at Florida State University indicates that the number of defensive uses of firearms could be as high as 2.5 million annually, or a five-to-one ratio. The study reports that 86% of the time, no shots are fired; merely threatening a criminal with a firearm is a sufficient deterrent.
My suggestion is to rephrase the ratios.
Maybe something like ...
The US Department of Justice estimates that approximately 500,000 citizens successfully defend themselves with firearms against criminal attack every year. This indicates that for every criminal who used a weapon illegally, somewhere a law abiding citizen defended themselves. An ongoing study by the criminology department at Florida State University indicates that the number of defensive uses of firearms could be as high as 2.5 million annually, or a five-to-one ratio of defensive versus illegal uses of firearms. The study reports that 86% of the time, no shots are fired; merely threatening a criminal with a firearm is a sufficient deterrent.
Might be a little more clear.

RKBA 4 Ever
September 15, 2003, 07:38 PM
Your quote: But she was unable to defend herself because Wisconsin only allows law enforcement officers to carry weapons for self-defense.

Perhaps you could add: But she was unable to defend herself because Wisconsin only allows law enforcement officers (and criminals) to carry weapons for self-defense.

By the way, great article.

Graystar
September 15, 2003, 07:56 PM
Some people might not know what a Darwin award is.

Ohen Cepel
September 15, 2003, 07:59 PM
Great article!

I think I would maybe mention the impact that all of those rapes have on the woman's children, husbands, siblings and family. If you multiply it out the scumbags victimize about 6 people for everyone that they actually touch.

Maybe speculate on the % of crime it may reduce and the money it will save the state.

I know the liberal will bring up money and kids so you should try to cover it also. # that die in cars, swimming pools, etc maybe.

I wish you the best with it!

TheOtherOne
September 15, 2003, 08:01 PM
Col. Mustard:
The use of the word "save" sounds like the woman died. But later you state that "She will bear the same emotional scars"; so I'm guessing she did not. Perhaps replace "save" with "prevent the crime"...Yeah, that's the only thing I noticed. I thought she had died after reading the first paragraph too, and then the next one had me confused for a second.

Standing Wolf
September 15, 2003, 08:41 PM
...these opponents are saying that the numbers of rapes, assaults, robberies and violent crimes cited above constitute an acceptable level of criminal violence.

That's very well said. I think your article needs subheadlines to indicate major topics that follow. The subheadline for that paragraph would be: Acceptable level of criminal violence

Well done!

Stickjockey
September 15, 2003, 09:10 PM
Well done! If you're just looking for "filler" to get you to the required number of words, you might give some more detailed information about how OC spray affects different people. Something like:

"Tests indicate that about X% of people in a condition of rest will be affected in way A, while of people in a "heightened" condition, say under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or maybe just amped on adrenaline, will be affected in way B."

Anyone know where to get data on this?

Monkeyleg
September 16, 2003, 12:40 AM
Thanks for all the advice. Here's the re-write, if you have the time to read it.

Now I'm OVER the 1200 word limit. ;)

This column is important. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is the number one newspaper in the state. Our message will reach more of the undecided voters than we could possibly reach doing six months of gun shows. I want this article to be the best that's ever been written in this state. Because the Journal Sentinel has bought up many of the small-town papers throughout the state, this article could reach even further.

We have some exceptional writers on THR. If any one of them wants to wade into my article with pen and knife, please feel free to do so. This article isn't for my ego; I have no ego. It's about getting one shot at convincing people to not punish legislators whom we feel we can get to vote for concealed carry. It's about education, and calming the fears fueled by anti-gun legislators.

The override vote in Missouri was like a burst of nitrous to the manifolds of the concealed carry bunch here in Wisconsin.

Take your pens, pencils, and yellow highlighter pens, and make your suggestions. We need every hand and eye that we can get.

Oh, BTW: Jeri Bonavia of the Wisconsin Anti Violence Effort is probably checking this forum right now, and re-writing her arguments to address each point made here.

Good evening, Jeri. Are you gathering facts and figures, or are you just going to write one long emotional angst piece for next Sunday? The paper prints words, not pictures, so leave your photos of 16,000 empty shoes at home, and bring your best minds to bear to this debate.


*******

In October of 2002, a 42 year-old woman was dragged into an alley on Milwaukee's north side by five thugs. There, for 45 horrible minutes, she was repeatedly raped and beaten by her assailants. They made a bonfire of her clothing. Neighbors heard her screams and called the police, who scoured the area. Finally, but too late to stop the attack, one officer saw the flames from her clothing.

Against her will, this woman became one of the 1,100 women who are raped in Wisconsin every year. She will bear the same emotional scars that more than 6,800 victims of assaults in our state have to suffer with each year, the same scars as the 4,500 victims of robbery, the same scars suffered by the more than 12,000 Wisconsinites who are victims of other types of violent crimes every year.

Had she been allowed to defend herself, she wouldn't have been attacked at all. But she was unable to defend herself because Wisconsin only allows law enforcement officers to carry weapons for self-defense.

Those who oppose legalizing concealed carry argue that we don't need a concealed carry system because Wisconsin already has a relatively low crime rate. In essence, these opponents are saying that the numbers of rapes, assaults, robberies and violent crimes cited above constitute an acceptable level of criminal violence. But, really, what should an acceptable level of criminal violence be? Logic would dictate that the only acceptable level is zero; any number higher than zero is purely arbitrary.

Forty-five states have now recognized that arbitrary levels of criminal violence are unacceptable, and have restored the right of self-defense to their citizens. Just ten days ago, Missouri became the 45th state to pass a concealed carry law, after the legislature overrode Governor Holden's veto of a bill similar to that proposed for Wisconsin. In June, Minnesota passed a concealed carry law nearly identical to the one proposed for Wisconsin, just as Michigan did in 2001.

The idea of legalized concealed carry is hardly new. Florida established their concealed carry system in 1987. Washington state did so in 1962. Indiana did so in 1934. And Vermont has had no restrictions on either concealed or open carry since the state was founded in 1791.

In every state where legalized concealed carry has been proposed, opponents have predicted apocalyptic consequences, and have advanced the same arguments almost verbatim. Will their predictions of "blood in the streets" come true in Missouri, Minnesota, or Wisconsin? Will there be, as they argue, "shootouts at every stoplight?"

No.

Consider that, from October 1987 to October 2002, Florida issued 828,608 concealed carry permits. During that period only 1,542 permits were revoked for convictions for any offense more serious than a traffic ticket, the majority of which were for offenses unrelated to firearms. That's eighteen one-hundredths of one percent over a period of fifteen years, or twelve one-thousandths of one percent annually. Compare that percentage to the general public, 5% of whom are arrested for the same offenses annually.

Moreover, as of 1996, Florida reported that only five permit revocations were the result of a conviction for a violent crime. Data available from other concealed carry states show similarly miniscule permit revocation rates. Clearly, those citizens who take the time to undergo training, background checks and who are willing to go through the process of applying for permits are overwhelmingly law-abiding, and more law-abiding than the general public.

Opponents argue that armed citizens have no effect on crime. They argue that a citizen with a gun doesn't have sufficient training to thwart a criminal attack. Incredibly, they claim that a criminal will just take the gun away from the citizen, a suggestion that is countered by data from the FBI.

The US Department of Justice estimates that approximately 500,000 citizens successfully defend themselves with firearms against criminal attack every year. This indicates that for every criminal who used a weapon illegally, somewhere a law abiding citizen defended himself or herself. An ongoing study by the criminology department at Florida State University indicates that the number of defensive uses of firearms could be as high as 2.5 million annually, or a five-to-one ratio of defensive versus illegal uses of firearms. The study reports that 86% of the time, no shots are fired; merely threatening a criminal with a firearm is a sufficient deterrent.

The FBI reports that, for the most recently analyzed year, 215 criminals were killed by armed citizens, including concealed carry permit holders. The above data shows that, not only are citizens capable of defending themselves with firearms, but that they do so with remarkable restraint. Permit holders are not the "shoot-'em-up cowboy" types that opponents portray.

Opponents of concealed carry also argue that police officers oppose such legislation, claiming that citizens carrying concealed will put officers lives at risk. Certainly many of the top brass from our large cities oppose the legislation; by and large they are political appointees who know which side their bread is buttered on.

Street-level officers are trained to approach every encounter with a citizen with the assumption that the citizen may be armed. Notice where an officer is standing during a traffic stop: slightly behind the driver's shoulder. He will be in a position where he can watch for any sudden movements, and be ready to react. This is true whether the driver is a gang-banger type or an 80 year-old grandmother.

A concealed carry permit system gives the officer another advantage. He will know, when he calls in the license plate number on the vehicle, if the driver has a permit to carry. This gives the officer more information than he would have when dealing with those without a permit. He will know that he's dealing with a citizen who has undergone a thorough background check, and who is demonstrably more law-abiding than the average citizen. Permit holders have never been, nor will they be, a threat to the lives of police officers.

Wisconsin can be proud of our law enforcement officers. Their level of professionalism and dedication is unquestionable. But a citizen is extraordinarily lucky if an officer arrives in time to stop a violent crime in progress. Usually the officers arrive in time to take statements from witnesses or victims. There's no doubt that the officer who came upon the burning clothing of the rape victim was trying his absolute best to save her. But, with just one officer for every 400 citizens, police help simply cannot be guaranteed. That's why the majority of street officers support legalizing concealed carry for citizens. They know the limitations of police resources.

Currently under Wisconsin law, the only weapon available to citizens for self defense is pepper spray, which is nothing more than an aerosol form of a Cajun condiment. It is effective against an attacking dog, but not against a drugged-up assailant. In the event of a criminal attack, a cell phone in the hand means help is ten, twenty or even thirty minutes away. A gun in the hand means help is just a trigger pull away or, far more often than not, that the criminal will turn tail and run away.

In just a few weeks, our elected officials will have to make a decision regarding concealed carry. Some will decide to restore the right of self-defense to trained, licensed, law-abiding citizens who want the ability to defend themselves.

Other elected officials will vote with the anti-gun lobby to maintain the status quo. They will vote to maintain the current "acceptable" levels of rapes, robberies, assaults and other crimes of violence.

For the good people of Wisconsin, such a coldly-calculated, purely political vote should be completely unacceptable.

Henry Bowman
September 16, 2003, 01:38 PM
regarding the effect of CCW on crime rates:

Whether CCW reduces crime or not, unquestionably, it has not resulted in an increas in crime in any state when the right to this means of self defense was restored.

Partisan Ranger
September 16, 2003, 01:47 PM
I use www.profnet.com to get expert sources for my queries to publications. I have found this site an absolutely outstanding writing resource. Registration and querying is free. Most experts on the site want to be quoted in as many places as possible, so they are usually very prompt in getting back to you.

Gunfyter
September 16, 2003, 02:22 PM
I think that you need to change the statistic on how many states recognize right to carry. There are now 36 states that have "Shall Issue". I happen to live in one that has a permit system, but only for VERY SPECIAL REASONS, i.e. practically no one has one. The good old PRMD.

Andrew Rothman
September 16, 2003, 03:01 PM
Great piece!

My edits are mostly for grammar and readability:

pp1

change:
42 year-old
to:
42-year-old

(can you add the name? It would help to tie back in pp17)

pp2

change:
Against her will, this woman...
to:
This woman...
(obviously it is against her will to get raped)

or maybe change:
Against her will, this woman became one of the 1,100 women who are raped in Wisconsin every year. She will bear the same emotional scars that more than 6,800 victims of assaults in our state have to suffer with each year, the same scars as the 4,500 victims of robbery, the same scars suffered by the more than 12,000 Wisconsinites who are victims of other types of violent crimes every year.

to:
This woman became one of the 1,100 women who was raped in Wisconsin in 2002, and one of the more than 24,000 Wisconsinites who are victims of violent crimes including rape, assault and robbery every year.

pp3

change:
...she wouldn't have been attacked at all
to:
...she may not have been attacked at all

pp4

change:
Those who oppose legalizing concealed carry argue that we don't need a concealed carry system because Wisconsin already has a relatively low crime rate. In essence, these opponents are saying that the numbers of rapes, assaults, robberies and violent crimes cited above constitute an acceptable level of criminal violence. But, really, what should an acceptable level of criminal violence be? Logic would dictate that the only acceptable level is zero; any number higher than zero is purely arbitrary.

to:
Those who oppose legalizing concealed carry argue that citizens should be denied the right to protect themselves with a concealed weapon because Wisconsin already has a relatively low crime rate -- that 24,000 violent crimes per year is an acceptable level of criminal violence.

(Don't say "logic would dictate" - people often say that when it does no such thing. Instead, rub their face in all its obviousness.)

pp5


change:
Forty-five states have now recognized that arbitrary levels of criminal violence are unacceptable, and have restored the right of self-defense to their citizens.

to:
Forty-five states have already rejected this notion and recognized the rights of citizens to defend themselves against criminal acts.

pp6
change: Washington state
to: Washington State

pp9

change:
That's eighteen one-hundredths of one percent over a period of fifteen years, or twelve one-thousandths of one percent annually

to:
That's less than one out of every 500 permits over a period of fifteen years, or less than one out of every 8000 permits annually.

pp13

change:
The above data shows that, not only are citizens capable of defending themselves...

to:
Not only are citizens capable of defending themselves...


pp14

change:
Opponents of concealed carry also argue that police officers oppose such legislation, claiming that citizens carrying concealed will put officers lives at risk.

to:
Opponents of concealed carry also argue that police officers oppose such legislation, claiming that armed citizens will put officers at risk.

delete:
Certainly many of the top brass from our large cities oppose the legislation; by and large they are political appointees who know which side their bread is buttered on.

add:
However, there are no documented cases, in any of the 45 states where concealed carry permits are issued, of a permit holder shooting a police officer. There are, however, many documented cases of armed citizens coming to the aid of police officers.

pp15: delete paragraph ("Street-level officers...")
pp16: delete paragraph ("A concealed carry permit system...")
(these don't seem particularly relevant to me)

pp17
change:

Usually the officers arrive in time to take statements from witnesses or victims.

to:
Usually, the police arrive in time to take statements from witnesses or surviving victims.


change:
There's no doubt that the officer who came upon the burning clothing of the rape victim was trying his absolute best to save her.

to:
There's no doubt that the officer who came upon Jane Doe's burning clothing was trying his best to save her.

change:
But, with just one officer for every 400 citizens, police help simply cannot be guaranteed.

to:
But, with just one officer for every 400 citizens, police help simply cannot be guaranteed. In fact, the Supreme Court ruled in 1989 that the police are under no obligation to protect citizens from crime!


pp18

change:
Currently under Wisconsin law...
to:
Under current Wisconsin law...

change:
...but not against a drugged-up assailant.
to:
...but not against an assailant who is high on speed, crack cocaine or methamphetamines.

change:
In the event of a criminal attack, a cell phone in the hand means help is ten, twenty or even thirty minutes away. A gun in the hand means help is just a trigger pull away or, far more often than not, that the criminal will turn tail and run away.

to:
While a cell phone is a useful tool in many circumstances, violent attackers rarely allow their victims to dial 911 and request assistance before perpetrating their crimes.

Keith
September 16, 2003, 03:07 PM
To be effective, you need to rebut the arguments that the anti-CCW article will use.

I hope you follow what I'm saying - your article is a nice piece as written, but you'll lose points for every unanswered point the "anti" will present. Divide your article into two general categories; the first being a positive defense (as covered very effectively already), but then a follow-on that deals with all the Chicken-Little "Sky is Falling" arguments that these anti-CCW screeds always employ.

All of these things are cut from the same cloth and you'll just blow them out of the water if you deal with each of these in your own article.

The following link contains most of the arguments that your opponent will use - deal with these specific points and you will be far more effective!

http://www.bradycampaign.org/facts/issuebriefs/ccw.asp

Keith

Monkeyleg
September 16, 2003, 04:34 PM
Thanks for all the advice. I'm doing some re-writing of the article now.

Nobody knows the name of the woman who was raped, except for the obvious parties. If I had more time, I'd try to find out who she is and if she'd be willing to talk publicly about her ordeal and her feelings about concealed carry.

I can't say that no police officer has been shot by a permit holder, because just last year in Texas (Dallas?), an off-duty police officer in civilian clothes working as a bar bouncer was shot in the hand by a permit holder during an altercation. This certainly isn't the same as a permit holder shooting a uniformed cop, but the anti's would seize upon the claim immediately.

Keith, I thought I had rebutted the usual arguments the anti's present: permit holders are dangerous to the public; they're a danger to officers; they don't know how to protect themselves; etc. If you don't feel the article does so, or does so effectively, please let me know.

The one anti argument I'd like to rebut is the VPC's statement that "5,314 permit holders were arrested in Texas for crimes including murder." I've looked at the VPC's stats, I know how they massaged the numbers, but dissecting that argument would require an article unto itself. And it would bore most readers to death.

Matthew_Q
September 16, 2003, 04:40 PM
Maybe when talking about preventing crime by using a firearm in regards to the woman who was attacked, provide that statistic that showed you're less likely to be injured when resisting with a firearm.

Check out the GunFacts PDF over on www.keepandbeararms.com for stats and cites of sources.

Powderman
September 16, 2003, 04:48 PM
Great article!

Here's something else that might take the wind out of their sails.

One of the most often quoted "statistics" the antis use is the Kellermann study. Here is a quote from the NRA/ILA research site, linked at www.nra.org:

"Firearms are used three to five times more often to stop crimes than to commit them,1 and accidents with firearms are at an all-time recorded low.2 In spite of this, anti-firearm activists insist that the very act of keeping a firearm in the home puts family members at risk, often claiming that a gun in the home is "43 times" more likely to be used to kill a family member than an intruder, based upon a study by anti-gun researchers of firearm-related deaths in homes in King County (Seattle), Washington.3 Although Arthur Kellermann and Donald Reay originally warned that their study was of a single non-representative county and noted that they failed to consider protective uses of firearms that did not result in criminals being killed, anti-gun groups and activists use the "43 times" claim without explaining the limitations of the study or how the ratio was derived."

And, the cite for this research is:

Arthur L. Kellermann and Donald T. Reay, "Protection or Peril?: An Analysis of Firearm-Related Deaths in the Home," New England Journal of Medicine, 1986, pp. 1557-1560.

Usually, anti gunners will use the magical "43 times!" as a holy grail when citing anti gun stastics, totally disregarding that Kellermann and Reay admitted that their survey and research might be at fault.

I am in the process of writing a research paper for my class on this very subject. Good luck to those in the Badger State!

Top_Notch
September 16, 2003, 04:57 PM
have restored the right of self-defense to their citizens


I would mention the Second Amendment that grants citizens certain rights, namely the right to keep and bear arms. It gives credibility as to WHY we have the right to CCW.



Forty-five states have now recognized that arbitrary levels of criminal violence are unacceptable, and have restored the right of self-defense to their citizens as stated in the U.S. Constitutions Bill or Rights Second Amendment, namely "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

Double Maduro
September 16, 2003, 05:32 PM
Good article. The things I would change are:

Give her a name eg "We'll call her Nora." Replace "She" with whatever name you choose, everytime it works.

"Had she been allowed to defend herself, she wouldn't have been attacked at all. "

We don't know that "Nora" wouldn't have been attacked. We do know that "Nora" MAY have been able to defend herself.

You need to be careful here, Why wasn't "Nora" carrying pepper spray and if she was why didn't she use it. If "Nora" was carrying pepper spray and used it, why didn't it work?

See how using the name makes it more personal?

When you give statistics it is always a good idea to cite the studies they come from. That way people don't think you are making them up.

Don't use any cute words or jargon, "Darwin Awards" etc.

The phrase, " Opponents argue that armed citizens have no effect on crime." would be better as "Some opponents argue that armed citizens have no effect on crime."

"Other elected officials will vote with the anti-gun lobby to maintain the status quo. They will vote to maintain the current "acceptable" levels of rapes, robberies, assaults and other crimes of violence."

Would be better as, "Other elected officials will vote with the anti-gun lobby to maintain the current "acceptable" levels of rapes, robberies, assaults and other crimes of violence."

As a former newspaper editor I can guarantee that if it is over 1200 words it will be cut. Ask that you be the one to cut it. Better yet, make it 1200 words long, exactly.

Good luck, I hope this helps.
DM

Nando Aqui
September 16, 2003, 08:13 PM
Great!

One change: officers lives >>> officers' lives

Two suggestions:

(1) Even if you are within the maximum length limit, if you could find a way to make it just a bit shorter to make sure it were read in its entirety. Sometimes you can trim a little here and a little there without detracting from the impact, but assuring a more complete assimilation.

(2) Have a side bar with the key statistics:
• 1,100 women raped, 6,800 assault victims in Wisconsin every year
• 45 states have CCW
• CCW is not a new idea - it dates back to 1791
• Fewer than 0.2% of the 828,608 permits issued in Florida were revoked due to their holders breaking the law, while 5% of the general public are arrested for similar offenses.
• 500,000 citizens successfully defend themselves with firearms every year
• and so on - - you get the idea.

Alex

R-Tex12
September 16, 2003, 08:45 PM
Monkeyleg,

You might want to consider emailing your article (a very good one, BTW!) to John Ross for his input. He's a master at this sort of thing.

Good work!

R-Tex

RWK
September 16, 2003, 08:53 PM
Monkeyleg,

Your draft is excellent: articulate, comprehensive, and cogent. I offer a single suggestion. In paragraph four, I would consider adding words indicating, “qualified, law abiding, and so forth citizens”, along the following lines:

Those who oppose legalizing concealed carry -- FOR QUALIFIED, LAW ABIDING, CITIZENS WITH EXCELLENT, PROVEN JUDGMENT -- argue that we do not need a concealed carry system because Wisconsin already has a relatively low crime rate. In essence, these opponents are saying that the numbers of rapes, assaults, robberies, and violent crimes cited above constitute an acceptable level of criminal violence. But, really, what should an acceptable level of criminal violence be? Logic would dictate that the only acceptable level is zero; any number higher than zero is purely arbitrary.

I know many of our brethren will argue that Second Amendment should NOT be constrained based on prior criminal record, incarceration, mental health problems, etc. I thoroughly understand their point, however, I do not believe this OpEd piece should be complicated with those discussions.

In all, a fine job. Congratulations and best regards -- Roy

Monkeyleg
September 16, 2003, 11:30 PM
Thanks to everyone for their input. I've made some of the suggested changes, and kept other parts intact, in large part because I think I know who will be the rebuttal writer and what she will say. I still have to add some things, such as the apostrophes, but this is where I'm at right now.

What's the old saying? "And God so loved the world that he didn't send a committee." ;)

Your final thoughts, please.

**************************
In October of 2002, a 42-year-old woman was dragged into an alley on Milwaukee's north side by five thugs. There, for 45 horrible minutes, she was repeatedly raped and beaten by her assailants. They made a bonfire of her clothing. Neighbors heard her screams and called the police, who scoured the area. Finally, but too late to stop the attack, one officer saw the flames from her clothing.

This woman became one of the 1,100 women who are raped in Wisconsin every year. She will bear the same emotional scars that more than 6,800 victims of assaults in our state have to suffer with each year, the same scars as the 4,500 victims of robbery, the same scars suffered by the more than 12,000 Wisconsinites who are victims of other types of violent crimes every year.

Had she been allowed to defend herself, she might not have been attacked at all. But she was unable to defend herself because Wisconsin only allows law enforcement officers to carry weapons for self-defense.

Those who oppose legalizing concealed carry argue that we don't need a concealed carry system because Wisconsin already has a relatively low crime rate. In essence, these opponents are saying that 24,000 rapes, assaults, robberies and other violent crimes every year constitute an acceptable level of criminal violence.

Forty-five states have already rejected this notion and recognized the rights of citizens to defend themselves against criminal acts. Just ten days ago, Missouri became the 45th state to pass a concealed carry law, after the legislature overrode Governor Holden's veto of a bill similar to that proposed for Wisconsin. In June, Minnesota passed a concealed carry law nearly identical to the one proposed for Wisconsin, just as Michigan did in 2001.

The idea of legalized concealed carry is hardly new. Florida established their concealed carry system in 1987. Washington State did so in 1962. Indiana did so in 1934. And Vermont has had no restrictions on either concealed or open carry since the state was founded in 1791.

In every state where legalized concealed carry has been proposed, opponents have predicted apocalyptic consequences, and have advanced the same arguments almost verbatim. Will their predictions of "blood in the streets" come true in Missouri, Minnesota, or Wisconsin? Will the general population be put at risk, or police officers' lives put at risk? Will law-abiding citizens be transformed into deranged killers simply by obtaining a permit? Will citizens not know how to properly handle their firearms? Will their guns be taken from them by criminals and used against them?

No.

Consider that, from October 1987 to October 2002, Florida issued 828,608 concealed carry permits. During that period only 1,542 permits were revoked for convictions for any offense more serious than a traffic ticket, the majority of which were for offenses unrelated to firearms. That's eighteen one-hundredths of one percent over a period of fifteen years, or twelve one-thousandths of one percent annually. Compare that percentage to the general public, 5% of whom are arrested for the same offenses annually.

Moreover, as of 1996, Florida reported that only five permit revocations were the result of a conviction for a violent crime. Data available from other concealed carry states show similarly miniscule permit revocation rates. Clearly, those citizens who take the time to undergo training, background checks and who are willing to go through the process of applying for permits are overwhelmingly law-abiding, and more law-abiding than the general public.

Opponents argue that armed citizens have no effect on crime. They argue that a citizen with a gun doesn't have sufficient training to thwart a criminal attack. Incredibly, they claim that a criminal will just take the gun away from the citizen, a suggestion that is countered by data from the FBI.

The US Department of Justice estimates that approximately 500,000 citizens successfully defend themselves with firearms against criminal attack every year. This indicates that for every criminal who used a weapon illegally, somewhere a law abiding citizen defended himself or herself. An ongoing study by the criminology department at Florida State University indicates that the number of defensive uses of firearms could be as high as 2.5 million annually, or a five-to-one ratio of defensive versus illegal uses of firearms. The study reports that 86% of the time, no shots are fired; merely threatening a criminal with a firearm is a sufficient deterrent.

The FBI Uniform Crime Report shows that, for the most recently analyzed year, 215 criminals were killed by armed citizens, including concealed carry permit holders. The above data shows that, not only are citizens capable of successfully defending themselves with firearms, but that they do so with remarkable restraint. Permit holders are not the "shoot-'em-up cowboy" types that opponents portray.

Opponents of concealed carry also argue that police officers oppose such legislation, claiming that armed citizens will put officers' lives at risk.

Street-level officers are already trained to approach every encounter with a citizen with the assumption that the citizen may be armed. A concealed carry permit system gives the officer another advantage. He will know, when he calls in the license plate number on the vehicle, if the driver has a permit to carry. The officer can then, at his own discretion, ask the permit holder to turn over his gun for the duration of the stop, or simply leave it holstered. Permit holders have never been, nor will they be, a threat to the lives or safety of police officers. To the contrary, permit holders have come to the aid of numerous officers in trouble, saving officers' lives.

Wisconsin can be proud of our law enforcement officers. Their level of professionalism and dedication is unquestionable. But it is the rare citizen who has an officer arrive in time to stop a violent crime in progress. Usually the officers arrive in time to take statements from witnesses or surviving victims. There's no doubt that the officer who came upon the burning clothing of the rape victim was trying his absolute best to save her. But, with just one officer for every 1200 citizens, police help simply cannot be guaranteed. That's why the majority of street officers support legalizing concealed carry for citizens. They know the limitations of police resources.

Under current Wisconsin law, the only weapon available to citizens for self defense is pepper spray, which is nothing more than an aerosol form of a Cajun condiment. It is effective against an attacking dog, but not against an assailant high on methamphetamines or cocaine. In the event of a criminal attack, a cell phone in the hand means help is ten, twenty or even thirty minutes away. A gun in the hand means help is just a trigger pull away or, far more often than not, that the criminal will turn tail and run away.

In just a few weeks, our elected officials will have to make a decision regarding concealed carry. Some will decide to restore the right of self-defense to trained, licensed, law-abiding citizens who want the ability to defend themselves.

Other elected officials will vote with the anti-gun lobby to maintain the current "acceptable" levels of rapes, robberies, assaults and other crimes of violence.

For the good people of Wisconsin, such a coldly-calculated, purely political vote should be completely unacceptable.

JohnKSa
September 17, 2003, 12:16 AM
In your opening story, you need to introduce us to the victim before you get us to the crime scene.

What was she doing, who was she, what did her family and friends think of her. At least we need to know her name. When you describe the incident, refer to her by name instead of calling her simply "woman" repeatedly and use words like victim when using her name becomes repetitive.

A tremendous amount of impact is lost when you immediately allow the reader to think of her as "a 42 year old woman" instead of "Rhonda" someone's mom/wife/sister. I'd go so far as to pick another example case if you can't personalize this one more.

I agree that the crime is particularly atrocious, but with no personal details it's just another statistic to a person who reads the newspaper or watches the news. Even a paper cut can make you shiver when you empathize with the person with the bandaid...

We need to know something about her attackers. Especially if they were repeat offenders--that means that the system had a chance to deal with them and failed--very important to your point.

Had she been allowed to defend herself, she might not have been attacked at all. But she was unable to defend herself because Wisconsin is one of only X states that denies it's citizens the right to carry handguns in self-defense . or something like that.

Looks pretty good. Dunno if I would call pepper spray a weapon.

Let us know how it turns out.

BluesBear
September 17, 2003, 02:18 AM
I believe the original Washington State CPL (Concealed Pistol License) has been available since 1935. It was "updated" in 1971 and has changed very little in the years since.

Also, the fee for a CPL was only one dollar per year from 1935 until 1971.

And you might want to throw in that now Alaska has enacted a Vermont Style carry law.

BluesBear
September 17, 2003, 02:21 AM
edited to removed double post.

new *$%*@# wireless mouse has a mind of it's own

:cuss:

Hand_Rifle_Guy
September 17, 2003, 07:07 AM
Hokay, as one of those exceptional writers cited at the beginning-ish, compliments gets you free review. Handily, Monkeyleg, you have given me EXCELLENT material to work with. The piece hangs very well in terms of composition and order. I changed very little of that, (See paras. 10, 11, and 12.) as it's fine to start with. What I've done is go through it para. by para., eliminating duplicated words, substituting a few I liked better, easing flow, tightening sentences and tried to make it "roll off the tongue" better, in pursuit of easy readability. I have no idea of the word count, but I tried to eliminate as much as I could, which wasn't much. It's easier for the paper to deal with it being a hair short, as if it's long, they'll chop it! That we cannot have.


Suggestions: [these are editorial comments from me, and are not included.]

PP I:

In October of 2002, a 42-year-old woman was dragged into an alley on Milwaukee's north side by five thugs. For 45 unendurable minutes, she was repeatedly raped and beaten. Her assailants had even made a bonfire of her clothing. Hearing her screams, neighbors called the police, who scoured the area. Finally, after the attack had ended, one officer saw the bonfire's flames and came to the victim's rescue.

PP II:

This woman became one of Wisconsin's 1100 annual rape victims. [it's the READER'S fault!] She will bear the same emotional scars that 6,800-plus victims of assaults in our state have to suffer with each year, the same scars as 4,500 victims of robbery, the same scars suffered by the more than 12,000 Wisconsinites who are victims of other violent crimes every year.

PP III:

Had she been armed, [It's about CCW, yes? No mincing words.] she might not have been attacked at all. But she was unable to defend herself because Wisconsin restricts the carrying of weapons for self-defense to law enforcement officers. [It's the READER'S fault!]

PP IV:

Those [Substitute Legislaters? Blame where it belongs.] who oppose legalizing concealed carry argue that we don't need a concealed carry system because Wisconsin already has a relatively low crime rate. In essence, these opponents are saying that 24,000 rapes, assaults, robberies, and other violent crimes every year constitute an acceptable level of criminal violence. [no change, but added a comma.]

PP V: no change

PP VI:

The idea of legalized concealed carry is hardly new. Florida established their concealed carry system in 1987. Washington State did so in 1935. Indiana did so in 1934. And Vermont has had no restrictions on either concealed or open carry since the state was founded in 1791. [only changed date.]

PP VII:

Opponents have predicted apocalyptic consequences in every state where legalized concealed carry has been proposed, and have advanced the same arguments, almost verbatim, every time. Will their predictions of "blood in the streets" come true in Missouri, Minnesota, or Wisconsin? Will the general population, or police officers' lives, be put at risk? Will law-abiding citizens be transformed into deranged killers simply by obtaining a permit? Will ordinary citizens handle their firearms irresponsably and cause accidental shootings? Will their guns be taken from them by criminals and used against them?

No. [I like "Certainly not". But "No" has a savage simplicity. Keep it]

PP VIII:

Consider that from October 1987 to October 2002, Florida issued 828,608 concealed carry permits. During that period only 1,542 permits were revoked for any crime more serious than a traffic ticket, the majority of which were offenses unrelated to firearms. That's less than one-fifth of one percent over a period of fifteen years, or one-eighth of one percent annually. Compare that to the FIVE PERCENT of the general public who are arrested for the same offenses each year.

PP VIV:

Additionally, as of 1996, Florida reported that only five permit revocations were the result of a crime of violence. Data available from other concealed carry states show comparably miniscule numbers of revoked permits. Clearly, those citizens who are willing to go through the permit application proccess, to undergo training, and submit to background checks are overwhelmingly law-abiding, even more so than the general public.


PP X: [sounds like a new Walther handgun. I want one :)]

Opponents argue that armed citizens have no effect on crime, in direct contradiction to their predictions of "blood in the streets". They argue that a citizen with a gun doesn't have sufficeint training to thwart a criminal attack. Incredibly, they claim that a criminal will just take the gun away from the citizen, a suggestion that is countered by data from the FBI.
[Alternately, no inhibiting/reducing/lessening effect on crime. , without the contradiction line.]

PP XI:

The US Department of Justice estimates that approximately 500,000 citizens successfully defend themselves against criminal attack with firearms every year. This demonstrates that for every criminal who used a firearm illegally, somewhere a law-abiding citizen defended him- or herself legally. An ongoing study by the criminology department at Florida State University indicates that the number of legal defensive uses of firearms could be as high as 2.5 million annually, or a five-to-one ratio of defensive versus illegal uses of firearms. The study also reports that 86% of the time, no shots are fired; merely threatening a criminal with a firearm is a sufficient deterrent.

PP XII: [Switch this para. with PP XI. It works better as a trailer fo PP X, and a lead-in to PP XI. Only change was deleted comma.]

The FBI Uniform Crime Report shows that, for the most recently analyzed year, 215 criminals were killed by armed citizens, including concealed carry permit holders. The above data shows that not only are citizens capable of successfully defending themselves with firearms, but that they do so with remarkable restraint. Permit holders are not the "shoot-'em-up cowboy" types that opponents portray.

PP XIII: [New subject, permit holders and cops.]

Opponents of concealed carry also argue that police officers oppose such legislation, claiming that armed citizens will put officers' lives at risk by "putting more guns on the street". This presents the fallacy that law-abiding permit holders are criminals. [Uh, yeah. Right.]

PP XIV:

Street-level officers are already trained to approach every encounter with the assumption that the citizen may be armed. A concealed carry permit system gives the officer the advantage of showing if the driver has a permit to carry when he calls in the license plate number on the vehicle. The officer can then, at his own discretion, ask the permit holder to turn over his gun for the duration of the stop, or simply leave it holstered. Permit holders are, by definition, law-abiding. They have never been, nor will they ever be, a threat to the lives or safety of police officers. To the contrary, permit holders have come to the aid of numerous officers in trouble, saving lives in many instances.

PP XV:

Wisconsin can be proud of our law enforcement officers. Their level of professionalism and dedication is unquestioned. It is rare for a citizen, however, to have an officer arrive in time to stop a violent crime in progress. Usually the officers arrive in time to take statements from witnesses or surviving victims after the criminals [perpetraters?] have fled the scene. There's no doubt that the officer who spotted the burning clothing of last October's rape victim was trying his absolute best to rescue her, but with just one officer for every 1200 citizens, police help simply cannot be guaranteed. That's why the majority of street-level officers support legalizing concealed carry for citizens; they know the limitations of police resources.

PP XVI:

Currently, the only legal, easily used means of self defense available to Wisconsin citizens is pepper spray, which is nothing more than an aerosol form of a Cajun condiment. It is effective against an attacking dog, but not against an assailant high on methamphetamines or cocaine. In the event of a criminal attack, a cell phone in the hand can mean help is ten, twenty or even thirty minutes away. A gun in the hand means help immediately when faced with the attack or, far more often than not, that the criminal will turn tail and run, rendering further assistance unneccessary.

PP XVII:

In just a few weeks, our elected officials will have to make a decision regarding concealed carry. Some will decide to uphold the right of self-defense to trained, licensed, law-abiding citizens who want the ability to defend themselves. [Uphold, not restore, rights. Restore implies taken, which legiscritters can't (supposedly) do.]

PP XVIII:

Other elected officials will vote with the anti-gun lobby to maintain the current "acceptable" levels of rapes, robberies, assaults and other crimes of violence.

No level of criminal violence should be "acceptable" to the good citizens of Wisconsin. That some elected officials find this "acceptable", and also find that the idea of honest citizens defending themselves against this "acceptable" level of crime is a threat to their position in office is completely unacceptable. [And more properly, contemptible.] The citizens of Wisconsin deserve more from their elected officials than patronization and "Chicken Little" ignorance.

[Ooh, I'm gettin' snide. Feh. The politicians are fired as far as I care. They're fair game, and meat for my roasting. :evil:]

Khornet
September 17, 2003, 08:13 AM
speaking as another of the columnists here, I'd say that each version you've proposed is fine. Some of the reccommendations re: grammar, punctuation, etc. are essential, and most of the other ones are valuable, but don't edit this thing to death. It made the point very well right out of the chute, and we must remember that the audience for this piece will not be educated THR members but the general public who know next to nothing about this.

I especially like the use of spelled numbers, as in "one five-hundredth of a per cent". The eyes glaze over when numerals begin apearing, especially in a document which is usually scanned, as a newspaper is.

Your closing is excellent.

Choose a version, and give 'em both barrels.

And consider more writing, on more topics. You're good at it.

Hand_Rifle_Guy
September 18, 2003, 01:42 AM
Okay, blew my math bigtime. That's what I get for thinking critically at 4 AM.

"Consider that from October 1987 to October 2002, Florida issued 828,608 concealed carry permits. During that period only 1,542 permits were revoked for any crime more serious than a traffic ticket, the majority of which were offenses unrelated to firearms. That's less than one-fifth of one percent over a period of fifteen years, or one-eighth of one percent annually. Compare that to the FIVE PERCENT of the general public who are arrested for the same offenses each year."

Uh, .012 of a percent isn't one-eighth, .12 is. My bad. :o

I would suggest "twelve thousandths of a percent annually", machinist's style. Better roll-off than "twelve one-thousandths".

Trebor
September 18, 2003, 04:10 AM
Excellent article, well written and persuasive. I'm a former reporter and current free-lancer and my advice is given from that background.

Of all the versions presented here, I actually prefered the first version. It was shorter and more to the point. There are some good revisions in some of the later drafts, but the more you massaged it the more wordy you got and you drifted away from the main focus a bit.

My best advice is for you to go through and edit it down until you are slightly UNDER the 1,200 word limit. The longer the article you hand in, the more likely the editor will cut it to fit and the greater chance that the changes the editor makes will weaken the article instead of strengthen it. It is MUCH better to make the changes now while you still have control then to let the editor do it later.

Personally, I think the best place to cut would be the following. I understand the point you are trying to make, but it is off the topic a bit and is overly wordy as-is. If you want to keep this point, at least bring the word count down.

" Opponents of concealed carry also argue that police officers oppose such legislation, claiming that armed citizens will put officers' lives at risk.

Street-level officers are already trained to approach every encounter with a citizen with the assumption that the citizen may be armed. A concealed carry permit system gives the officer another advantage. He will know, when he calls in the license plate number on the vehicle, if the driver has a permit to carry. The officer can then, at his own discretion, ask the permit holder to turn over his gun for the duration of the stop, or simply leave it holstered. Permit holders have never been, nor will they be, a threat to the lives or safety of police officers. To the contrary, permit holders have come to the aid of numerous officers in trouble, saving officers' lives."

The whole thing about how the officers are trained, and that they can take the gun away in a stop, etc, just bogs the piece right down. Stay on focus. Make your point and stop.

Actually, I'll tell you what, here's how I'd edit it. There is slight rewrite here as well, feel free to use it if you wish.

"Opponents of concealed carry also argue that police officers oppose such legislation, claiming that armed citizens will put officers' lives at risk. Permit holders have never been, nor will they be, a threat to the lives or safety of police officers. To the contrary, permit holders have come to the aid of numerous officers in trouble, saving officers' lives. The real danger comes from predatory criminals who already carry guns illegally, not from law-abiding citizens who have gun through the training and background checks to obtain a carry permit."

You did a nice job with this piece and you should be proud. If you'd like any more detailed crtique from me, feel free to PM me.

Rob

Monkeyleg
September 18, 2003, 05:41 PM
Thanks for the latest comments, but the piece went off to the editor yesterday afternoon. We'll see how much of it is left intact. I'm also curious as to whether the anti-gun writer might get a sneak peak at my piece. (Well, with all the input here, it's not "my" piece anymore...)

BluesBear
September 18, 2003, 06:01 PM
Please let us know when and where this gets published.
Also let us know how outrageous the other side gets.

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