A new approach to a Letter to the Editor in these economic times


PDA






ZombieHunter
December 6, 2008, 10:16 AM
As much as I hate to say it, we're beating the "it's our right!" horse to death. You and I both know it's true, the people reading it know it's true, the people against it know it's true. And it's true this tact has worked, we've seen an explosion of shall-issue states and good gun control over the last 20 years. But if over 20 years it hasn't worked in your area or it has worked but you're looking for a new idea, I propose the following:

Write your pro-gun letters to the editor [LTE] and point out what the current gun laws do for the economy and what improved gun-laws could do to raise money or reduce the need to raise taxes.

For example, I've just written a LTE to MD's newspapers explaining that shall-issue laws reduce crime, citing a statistic that the average violent crime costs $50k, then I went on to show that it would raise money without new taxes because roughly 1.5% of the population would jump at the chance to pay a nominal fee to be able to carry.

Other possible ideas:

No NFA items? NFA stamp = free revenue
Rediculous mag capacity limits? No limits = buying bonanza as owners buy up bigger mags sales tax revenues go up.
Specific guns banned in your state? Allowing those guns will allow owners who've wanted them for a long time to be able to buy them...sales tax revenue!

Basically finding something that is costing the state money, finding a way to make money off it, explaining that people would gladly pay this money, explaining that it's money raised without raising taxes. Lastly; word your article in such a way that your immediate concern is the economy and your plan is two-stepped around so as to get the people on your side before explaining that you want to ease gun controls.

For example:

Iíve been giving a lot of thought to Marylandís fiscal irresponsibility in light of our Stateís decision to furlough 64,000 state employees and then spend $70 million on a piece of land that no one wanted. My problem stems from the Judiciary Committeeís treatment of House Bill 2 [HB2] submitted by Dan Riley (D) from Harford County. Available research shows this bill would have reduced robberies by 2%, rapes by 5% and murders by more than 7%. Thinking beyond the obvious, all those lives not destroyed by violence, one starts to wonder about the economic benefits therein. 50,000 violent crimes cost Maryland over $1 billion in 2007. A 2% reduction would save over $20 million a year and 1,000 violent crimes.

In addition to this passive financial gain, HB2 would have brought in actual cash without raising taxes on anything. Extrapolating from similar laws already in place in Pennsylvania and Virginia, states already benefitting from this crime reduction, 1 out of 45 Marylanders would happily pay $30 a year, more than $3.5 million. What could be done with $3.5 million? New schoolbooks, cancer research, Bay restoration, renewable energy research are just a few things that come to mind.

By now I hope youíre asking yourself why you never heard about HB2 and the lives it could have saved and money it would have raised. Well the answer is simple, really. Dan Riley wanted to restore your right to self-defense, he wanted to give you the same right citizens in 40 other states already have; Dan Riley wanted to make conceal carry permits available for all law-abiding Marylanders. Why didnít it work? Because the Judicial Chairman Joe Vallario pigeon-holed it. He ignored it because apparently $25 million dollars and 1,000 violent crimes a year arenít worth a vote.

Now, as for who to send these to:

Find a state oriented gun forum, I know mdshooters.com has an activism section with all the addresses you could need for submitting LTEs. If you can't find these just google your state's newspapers. When you email them it is IMPERATIVE (sp) that you do several things:

1) Spell Check
2) Adhere to their word limits
3) Make absolutely certain that you BCC your letter to EVERYONE
Most papers won't take part in an organized letter writing campaign and might think your letter, sent to 10 different papers, is just that.

I hope you've found this interesting and useful.

If you enjoyed reading about "A new approach to a Letter to the Editor in these economic times" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
stevemis
December 6, 2008, 12:36 PM
I see your point, although I think explaining things like permits and tax stamps as "revenue enhancers" is a slippery slope. Think of all of the money they could raise with a $1/round excise tax on ammunition?

Extolling the virtues of taxes and fees on a basic human right seems kind of petty. There's got to be a better way.

withdrawn34
December 6, 2008, 05:09 PM
It might work, but honestly I can see it now -

"OMG! You think we should KILL CHILDREN just to make moeny?! YOU MONSTER!!!1111~~~"

People still associate guns with violence, especially in those long-time anti-gun areas.

John_galt
December 6, 2008, 10:53 PM
I would tend to shy away from that approach on a couple of levels.

First on principal I would never advocate or encourage increasing taxes. In fact I would take the opposite approach. As it has been affirmed by the Heller descision (kind of, I know) as a right, it should not be taxed. The same way you cannot be taxed for public speech. I would go so far as comparing taxing the right to keep and bear arms to poll taxes.

Second if they buy your argument it opens the door for taxing them out of existence. And although they have already thought of this, if you take this tact in an argument it ultimately ends up supporting policy that defacto eliminates the right. As they raise the taxes they quote the argument saying "See, even the supporters of the 2nd amendment agree with us."

Finally a right is a right. The Founding Fathers went to great lengths in their discussions to establish these as God given, beyond the ability of the government to infringe. I know this is idealistic in this day given the degree of perversion we've seen to the Constitution, but I would rather not add to a line of thought that makes Rights conditional on taxing or any other test or justification.

I personally think the better approach is to argue it as an "inalienable right" the way it was intended. The key it seems to me is staying with strict interpetation of original intent. I always thought the argument used in the past and now adopted by some to be percieved as 2nd ammendment friendly of supporting hunting and sports is ridiculous. And we have ourselves to blame for it partly. For a long time it seemed to be the lynch pin of the defense given by those defending the 2nd ammendment. Now is used by politicians to jhustify opposition to gun rites. It would be better to couch it in terms of the whole Constitution, particularly the Bill of Rights. I can think of several ways to present it off hand but have never totally thought out as to how the argument could be made without alienating a large number of people in a public forum. One way that I know would be understood in this forum, is maintain the right and ability to resist a tyranical governement. Any one who thinks a few determined well armed men and women couldn't stand up to a modern army need only look to the Iraq and the Middle East in general for proof that is not the case.

I would add this, although it is off topic just a bit. The screening of indiviuals for aquiring firearms is a good thing. "The Constitution is not a suicide pact" and there are plenty of people in this day and age who should not be allowed firearms for legitimate reasons. (mental illness, criminal record, age). Voting should undergo the same scrutiny. We as a society spend a massively obscene amount of money on education. If you are not willing to improve your own life and contribute to in society by earning a free high school education and learning to read and do basic math - you forfiet your right to vote. If you register to vote and can't pass a simple test (in English) and show proof of a highschool education - you don't get to vote. Imgaine how much life in this country would improve if uneducated couldn't vote! Think of how much better their lives would be once they did get that very basic education.

As much as this seems very common sense to most that read it here on this forum - imagine the labels given someone espousing these opinions in the public square.:what:

If you enjoyed reading about "A new approach to a Letter to the Editor in these economic times" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!