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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I just sent to the local paper. I am waiting to see if I get a call back...:dontknow:

TO BAN GUNS OR NOT TO BAN GUNS…THAT IS THE QUESTION

Last week’s shooting in Florida, like all past mass shootings, is tragic. I cannot begin to understand what parents’ feel, who lose a child, how they cope, or how they function after living through the worst day of their lives.

I am not trivializing victims of criminal activity but I am pointing out how the media and public leaders at all levels are trivializing certain criminal acts by not providing the same amount of media coverage and showing their hypocrisy with their solutions and calls to action.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Uniform Crime Reporting tool for 2016, there were 15,070 murders reported in the United States. This report is broken down by state and type of weapon used to commit the murder.

The media, public leaders, and others are calling for a ban on assault weapons in order to stop mass shootings. The protests by students and public leaders are given constant coverage by television news channels and front page headlines on the internet and news papers.

The term assault weapon and semi automatic is misleading when talking about the AR platform and rifles in general. The key items aside from being semi automatic and having a detachable magazine are; folding or collapsible stock, pistol grip, bayonet lug, grenade launcher, barrel shroud, and a threaded barrel for a flash suppressor, sound suppressor, or compensator. The term semi automatic gives non firearm people an impression that there is a way to make the firearm fully automatic and AR does not stand for assault rifle. AR stands for Armalite, the company who created the platform in mid 1950’s. The folding or collapsible stock, pistol grip, bayonet lug, grenade launcher, barrel shroud, and threaded barrel for a flash suppressor, sound suppressor, or compensator do not make the rifle shoot farther or faster. A grenade launcher is considered a “destructive device” under the National Firearms Act.

You can buy “hunting style” rifles that are semi automatic and have detachable magazines in the traditional calibers that AR platforms are sold. A prime example is a Benelli R1. It looks like a pellet gun but has the same shooting characteristics as an AR style rife. A “hunting style” rifle can have its barrel threaded to accept a flash suppressor, sound suppressor, or compensator. I personally own a Savage .22 magnum that has a threaded barrel to accept a sound suppressor.

In 2016, there were 374 murders committed in the United States by suspects with rifles. The Federal Bureau of Investigation does not breakdown the types of rifles in this table. To quell any arguments, let’s just assume that all of the rifles used were semi automatic AR style platforms. The AR platform is currently the most popular platform in the United States.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation Uniform Crime Reporting tool for 2016 reported there were 4,066 people who were killed in the United States by knives or cutting weapons, other weapons, and hands, fists, or feet.

Where are the protests and news coverage for those 4,066 victims and their families? Where are our elected leaders expressing their outrage over these killings? Where are the calls to ban knives, clubs, bats, and hands, fists, or feet? How do we prevent future deaths of these forgotten crimes for these 4,066 victims?

How do you regulate behavior? We are human beings and not robots. The government cannot control what people think and how they act no matter what is banned or made criminally liable. Alcohol was once outlawed and drugs are currently illegal in all 50 states under Federal law.

We have laws in the United States for traffic offenses, theft, robbery, rape, murder, etc. The punishments range from fines, jail time, and the death penalty. You can’t get more harsh than the death penalty, yet we had over 15,000 people murdered despite the penalty for murder being death in certain states.

According to the National Highway transportation Administration there were 10,497 drunk driving deaths in the United States in 2016. I have never personally seen anyone in the media or a public official blaming the car for driving drunk and killing an innocent person. The drivers are blamed.

After the Boston bombing, I saw no one blaming the pressure cookers for killing 3 people and maiming approximately 264 people. The Tsarnaev brothers were blamed. Why? Because they committed the crime.

The Los Angeles Times published an article on October 2, 2017 about mass shootings in the United States. They chronicled shootings that occurred from 1984-2017 in public places, schools, workplaces, and churches. In 33 years there have been 50 mass shootings. All of these shootings were equally tragic but the fact remains we don’t have hundreds of mass shootings every year despite gun ownership in the United States and rifles were not used in all 50 of these shootings.

Why do guns get blamed for deaths people caused by firearms? Cars don’t kill people without drunk or distracted drivers behind the wheel, pressure cookers don’t kill people unless they are turned into bombs by terrorists and placed into a crowd, and guns don’t kill people unless they are being handled by a criminal who is pulling the trigger and trying to kill innocent people. The only time a shooting is not blamed on a gun is when a law enforcement officer shoots a bad guy. The law enforcement officer is blamed.

Gun Control is not the answer. Some say gun control is like trying to reduce drunk driving by making it tougher for sober people to buy cars. I am a huge fan of the cartoon American Dad. The creator, Seth Macfarlane did a segment on guns kill people. In the segment, the dad, Stan Smith who works for the CIA took out his gun and threw it on the table and told it to kill in front of his liberal daughter who had told him guns kill people. The gun laid on the table did not fire after Stan’s repeated instructions to kill. I know it’s a cartoon but there’s a whole lot of truth in that segment.
I have heard people say that citizens in the United States don’t need guns because we have police. That makes a much sense as me saying you shouldn’t have a fire extinguisher because we have firemen. I live in a rural setting, if my home catches fire, my home will burn to the ground before the fire department can arrive and extinguish the fire.

When both of those items are needed and the police and fire departments aren’t readily available, and you don’t have either one, you kind of screwed. I am a proactive type of person. I try to live by the Boy Scout motto and the Marine Corps slogan.

The official motto of the Boy Scouts of America is Be Prepared. These two simple words require tremendous responsibility. A scout is required to be mentally disciplined and physically fit as to be able to do the right thing at the right moment which sometimes can be a life threatening situation.

The unofficial slogan used in the United States Marine Corps is Improvise, Adapt, and Overcome. This is simply a mindset that allows you to deal with any physical, mental, or spiritual hardship.
The citizens of the United States have more freedom than most other people in the world. Our freedom requires that we as Americans have a responsibility for our own preservation.
I am not saying you have to retain a private security team or carry a gun, but you must be aware of your surroundings have a plan for potential undesirable events. The days of “ignorance is bliss” are over.

During former President Barrack Obama’s Newtown Connecticut speech, he said “If there’s even one step we can take to save another child or another parent or another town from the grief that’s visited Tucson and Aurora and Oak Creek and Newtown and communities from Columbine to Blacksburg before that, then surely we have an obligation to try.”
I agree with his statement. My interpretation of his statement is probably not what he had in mind.

Stadiums, Casinos, and government buildings (all types – i.e, Social Security office, Department of Motor Vehicles, Smithsonian, etc.) have armed security. Last time I checked, our public schools are government buildings. It is time to put armed security officers and / or armed teachers.

There are numerous news articles showing good guys with guns stopping bad guys with guns. These stories are not widely published in the main stream media but with the internet you can search news at the local level and read about these heroes who saved a large number of lives.

To use part of former President Obama’s quote “If there’s even one step we can take to save another child or another parent or another town… then surely we have an obligation to try. It’s time to try a different solution."

Five California school districts: North Cow Creek, Kern High School District, Kingsburg Joint Union High School District; Folsom Cordova Unified School District; and Anderson Union High School District allowed teachers to be armed.

Democrats in California’s state legislature passed a bill stripping authority to arm teachers away from the districts. Governor Jerry Brown signed it into law. So much for President Obama’s approach to try a different solution.

I have not seen one gun free zone sign protect people from a mass shooting to date. If trained armed personnel are not the answer to help protect kids in schools, what new federal law will prevent mass killings?

I am a patriotic American, former Boy Scout leader, former United States Marine, active Federal Law Enforcement Officer, and most importantly I am a father of three children who attend public school and husband to my wife who is a public school teacher.

Respectfully Submitted,
John L. Maddock III
 

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There has been endless media coverage on every shooting over the last few years where they disclose the suffering of the victims and their families. They profile the shooter in microscopic detail with stories and photos going back years. The shooters name and photo becomes public knowledge and a household word. They become hero’s to many disturbed individuals.
I finally heard a statement from one newscaster who says it all without having a clue. He said “the news media has covered these mass shootings for years and it just seems to be getting worse”.
When there is an arsonist in an area and the news media starts doing story after story about it the number of copycat arsonists skyrocket.
Has anyone wondered if the news media started running endless coverage about how horrible and wrong it is for someone to wear dirty underware for a hat in public? Half the people in America would be doing it.

I believe in the first amendment, but isn't this part of the problem?
 

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Not only do I blame the crazy person who picked up a gun and started a slaughter, I blame the people who insisted that a sign be posted on every school that says "firearms prohibited on this site". Crazies read that and see "Easy unarmed targets with no possible means of stopping you whatsoever". A gun free zone is a place where you are free to use a gun and commit atrocities unopposed. You can't blame the gun and you can't blame the sign. It's the policy. LIBERALISM: Find a Cure.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Very well written and thanks for your service. That would do well sent to President Trump.
Please forward it to him. I have a chain of command issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I got a call from the Cedar Rapids Gazette today. They going to publish the article as a guest column. I had to knock it down to 600 words. It was tough to do but I still made my point.
 

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15,070, According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Uniform Crime Reporting tool for 2016, there were 15,070 murders reported in the United States.
374, In 2016, there were 374 murders committed in the United States by suspects with rifles.
4,066, The Federal Bureau of Investigation Uniform Crime Reporting tool for 2016 reported there were 4,066 people who were killed in the United States by knives or cutting weapons, other weapons, and hands, fists, or feet.

15,070 Total Murders
-374 Rifles
-4,066 Knives, other, hands, fists, feet
10,630

Are you able to discern from the 2016 FBI, Uniform Crime Reporting tool for 2016 how the other 10,630 were murdered/killed? I suppose the answer could be something on the lines of handguns (of any type) since the data you sited doesn't list handguns in your letter (unless these are listed as "others"). I tried to look this information up on the FBI site and got quite confused on their site, admittedly it was a quick look.

I have no clue what would work to reduce the number of deaths by firearms. Not even a total ban on all weapons would probably eliminate weapons deaths (murders).

I suppose if we banned all automobiles we could eliminate all types of automobile deaths since there would no longer be any automobiles. However, the death rates for other types of transportation would probably increase (trains, horses, camels) etc. Same goes if we banned all airplanes which would eliminate all airplane related deaths but other modes of transportation related deaths would increase.

Thanks for providing your letter as it gives us something to think about.
 

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be Thankful you don't live in Syria, you would want to ban cruise missiles.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
15,070 Total Murders
-374 Rifles
-4,066 Knives, other, hands, fists, feet
10,630

Are you able to discern from the 2016 FBI, Uniform Crime Reporting tool for 2016 how the other 10,630 were murdered/killed? I suppose the answer could be something on the lines of handguns (of any type) since the data you sited doesn't list handguns in your letter (unless these are listed as "others"). I tried to look this information up on the FBI site and got quite confused on their site, admittedly it was a quick look.
Yes I am able to discern. I was making the point how rifles is a very small number compared to the overall number of murders. Shotguns are even lower. The LIBS would really want to ban shotguns if they saw what would happen to a room full of people that were killed with a motivated killer with 12 gauge.

When I search using the internet I type out what I want: "fbi ucr murder by weapon table 12"

I use the FBI UCR on a regular basis and still get lost. Here is the link to the table: https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2016/crime-in-the-u.s.-2016/tables/table-12

The table lists; handguns, rifles, shotguns, unknown firearms, knives or cutting instruments, other weapons, and hands, fist, feet.

Handgun deaths = 7,105
Shotgun = 262
unknown firearms = 3,263
knives or cutting instruments = 1,604
other weapons = 1,806
hands, fist, feet = 656
rifles = 374
 

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There's two sets of conflicting stats...stats are often manipulated.

I support rights to own guns but do not like them. I believe authority should have no more rights then the people they serve. I wish no one had guns but that's not the reality we live in.

That said I think opposition to guns is largely due to the shock factor of fear that they provoke. They are the off button to your life. Most other attacks can be defended against or fled from....but even your most skilled martial artist or unarmed marine has very small odds of defending themselves against someone packing heat. I'm not saying any fool can fire a gun with deadly accuracy, but it seems to me an easier method of attack then any other. So the fact that overrides statistical logic is fear. People fear guns more then any other hand held weapon. And with good reason. But their reasoning in seeking a solution is often overridden by fear. When knives and martial arts weapons are banned it's not even based on how dangerous they are, it's how dangerous they are perceived to be.

Both sides of the partisan political divide will find any way to take away your right and even though I lean left I will admit this is one of their ways of taking away one of your rights. Then the right side will take a little more, then the left, then the right again...people need to unite to solve these issues rationally in a way that satisfies all concerns. And don't let a partisan system divide you on it with polarized solutions. There are middle ground solutions that won't compromise your rights.
 

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Yes I am able to discern. I was making the point how rifles is a very small number compared to the overall number of murders. Shotguns are even lower. The LIBS would really want to ban shotguns if they saw what would happen to a room full of people that were killed with a motivated killer with 12 gauge.

When I search using the internet I type out what I want: "fbi ucr murder by weapon table 12"

I use the FBI UCR on a regular basis and still get lost. Here is the link to the table: https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2016/crime-in-the-u.s.-2016/tables/table-12

The table lists; handguns, rifles, shotguns, unknown firearms, knives or cutting instruments, other weapons, and hands, fist, feet.

Handgun deaths = 7,105
Shotgun = 262
unknown firearms = 3,263
knives or cutting instruments = 1,604
other weapons = 1,806
hands, fist, feet = 656
rifles = 374
Thank you, this clears up what I was thinking. When I saw the different tables I gave up looking but I appreciate the time you took to conduct your research.
 

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I would think hand guns and cutting tools might reflect inner city gang action as well as suicides.... An assumption for sure... Rifles even with a 16" barrel are cumbersome.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I would think hand guns and cutting tools might reflect inner city gang action as well as suicides.... An assumption for sure... Rifles even with a 16" barrel are cumbersome.
The table that I referenced the statistics from was for murders only not suicide. You have to go to the Center for Disease Control for that information. For your information - there are between 12,000 to 15,000 suicides with firearms. That is in addition to the murder rate.

In regards to 16" barrels. I train to shoot with collapsible stock under my arm pit and over the top of my shoulder to make the platform smaller when entering rooms. I also train to shoot with my weak hand for maneuvering and survive-ability.
 

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The table that I referenced the statistics from was for murders only not suicide. You have to go to the Center for Disease Control for that information. For your information - there are between 12,000 to 15,000 suicides with firearms. That is in addition to the murder rate.

In regards to 16" barrels. I train to shoot with collapsible stock under my arm pit and over the top of my shoulder to make the platform smaller when entering rooms. I also train to shoot with my weak hand for maneuvering and survive-ability.
Ya I would think that is the type of fire arm you would train on, where rifles are engaged a hand gun of any caliber is a bit like bringing a knife to a gun fight. I would think a 16" barrel in a 458cal running soft points with toe to tail 10 round magazines would be a great choice. Penetrate a tactical vest and move the target back a fair distance. Might also help with unintended wall penetration in a building full of people.

Interesting that the suicide are held out separately... Does that hold in the case of murder/suicides
 
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