- Northern Illinois to get $8.3 million for state construction projects
- Tree-lighting festival kicks off holiday season in Machesney Park
- Roscoe Boy Scout Troop’s tree stand at new location
- Tips for selecting safe toys for kids this holiday season
- Prayer service for World AIDS Day Nov. 30
- Food Bank joins national #GivingTuesday movement
- Lee Hamilton: What lies ahead for Congress
- Rockford Public Schools faces $8.8 deficit, board OKs flat tax, HR chief
- Literary Hook: A holiday tradition: ‘This Thanksgiving, Remember’
- Cold snap does not negate global warming
Guest Column: Response to David Pedersen on gun control
By William J. Lee
This is in response to the Guest Column titled
You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out,
(Sept. 2-8, 2009 issue) by David W. Pedersen.
Mr. Pedersen assails
those unwilling to part with their ‘God-given’ right.
I assume he means to own guns. If so, Mr. Pedersen, do you not believe that self-defense is a fundamental human right? The right to own firearms is even enshrined in the Bill of Rights.
It is, of course, inaccurate to accuse anyone of opposing
any kind of gun control.
Legal gun owners want possession only by law-abiding citizens.
those who feel the need to carry around a tool of death are those who feel they cannot control anything.
Tell me, sir, do you have a need to purchase health insurance? Wouldn’t only a paranoid hypochondriac purchase health insurance? Do you have a spare tire in your car? Do you have automobile insurance? Possessing the means for self-defense is merely an insurance policy against the unexpected. Studies put the number of citizens using firearms for self-defense at a minimum of 500,000 up to 2 million times per year. (Gary Kleck and Mark Gertz, Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, January 1996; also John Lott Jr., More Guns, Less Crime.)
We can certainly control our actions—it is the actions of others that we cannot control and must guard against. As for Arizona permitting lawful gun carry in bars, why should someone leave their means of self-defense outside? The conditions of this new policy are essentially the same as before. Patrons in the bar are still prohibited from drinking alcohol if they are carrying a weapon.
Would you bring your AR-15 to church?
Well, no, that would be silly. It would be cumbersome, and the projectile may cause over-penetration. A Glock or Smith & Wesson handgun loaded with hollow points or frangible ammunition would be more appropriate for indoors.
Do shootings occur in churches? In 1999, a shooter murdered seven in a Fort Worth, Texas, church. Some attendees of that church chose not to prepare for any contingency. By contrast, two years ago, a female parishioner at a Colorado Springs church stopped a gunman who earlier in the day shot eight. (I have attached a list of church shootings.) [Editor’s note: It was attached to his column sent to The Rock River Times.]
Jesus Christ have carried around an AK-47,
you ask. No, I don’t think they were in common use in His time. In fact, I think the rifle was put into production in 1947, hence the designation. However, He is quoted as telling His disciples,
he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one.
Next, you claim that concealed carry supporters are opposed to pay to help stop criminal activity and are
averse to funding education and helping those in impoverished areas.
Speaking for myself and for those I know, we are all for helping others. We just want policies that actually work and don’t perpetuate a culture of helplessness. Those in favor of concealed carry of a firearm (CCW) are actually acting as auxiliary police officers, helping to protect their fellow citizens from predators. How are you contributing to public safety?
You also remark on
those…who carry weapons outside of town hall meetings given by their president.
The weapons were lawfully carried on private land by citizens exercising a constitutional right, no different from those displaying posters; some people are afraid of both types of displays coming from free people.
Finally, Mr. Pedersen, I am sorry that you live in such fear and have a phobia against an inanimate object. I think your outrage would be better used against those who mean to do others harm, and not those who are committed to protecting society.
William J. Lee, a Rockton resident, is a member of the NRA and a retiree of the U.S. Air Force with 20 years of experience. He was deployed to Afghanistan, Bosnia and other areas.
From the November 11-17, 2009 issue