About this iReport
  • Approved for CNN

  • Click to view usmcdiorio's profile
    Posted January 7, 2013 by
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Gun control debate: Background checks

    Gun worshipping Marine veteran an embarrassment to those who've served


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     usmcdiorio served as a combat correspondent in the U.S. Marine Corps. He felt compelled to respond after reading about former Marine Joshua Boston's open letter on CNN iReport to Sen. Dianne Feinstein saying that he would not register his weapons with the government even if a ban on assault weapons was passed in his state. Boston's letter gained mass attention online and he has made multiple appearances on CNN to explain his position. (Read more here.)

    This iReporter said of Boston's letter: 'Marines or anyone who has served should always strive to uphold the law. He outright said that he would disobey the law if gun-control legislation passed. This could be misconstrued by readers to assume that many or all Marines share this kind of attitude towards the law, that we follow it only when it suits us. It's embarrassing because it makes it seem that all Marines think their service justifies special treatment of some sort.

    'Second, his letter seemed to disregard or not address the real concerns of gun violence and the horrible recent tragedy in Newtown. This is embarrassing because he makes Marines seem insensitive and uncaring. I was devastated when I heard about Newtown and devastated when I heard of Aurora, and all he could talk about was his right to own a semi-automatic weapon.'

    This iReporter believes that the semi-automatic, assault style rifles used in the Newtown, Connecticut, and Aurora, Colorado, massacres should be banned, as should high-capacity magazines. That said, he is pessimistic that 'meaningful' gun legislation will actually get passed. 'There are so many guns that banning new sales may not make much of an impact. We would have to follow Australia's lead and enact a retroactive ban, but I don't see that happening in today's political climate.'

    What's your take? Should any weapon sales be banned? What about a retroactive ban? Join the debate on iReport.
    - dsashin, CNN iReport producer

    When I read about the open letter that former Marine Joshua Boston sent to Sen. Dianne Feinstein regarding his gun rights, I couldn't help but feel temporarily ashamed of also sharing the title of former Marine. Boston defiantly refuses to register his guns even if laws are passed requiring him to do so. In this refusal, he comes off as tone-deaf and unsympathetic to the victims of mass shootings in Newtown, Aurora, and so many other places. His ranting letter is paranoid exhibition of one concerned not with preventing the deaths of more innocents, but of maintaining his rights to own devices of war. I want to set the record straight, not all Marines are so insensitive to the recent tragedies, or ignorant about the need for arms restrictions.

    While I did not experience combat, I served in Afghanistan as a Marine, exiting the service as a Sergeant in 2008 to enter college. My experiences in the Marine Corps of course led me to train with semi and fully automatic weapons, and yet, I have no desire to own these weapons now that I am out of the service. I can't see why any civilian needs semi-automatic, high-capacity weapons designed to kill as many people as quickly as possible, and I support a ban of future sales in addition to a retroactive ban that would force Joshua Boston to relinquish his weapons.

    Boston's attitude towards authority is frankly disgusting and his open letter is wrong in both its assumptions about why the gun-control debate has become heated, and the reasons why we should care about his opinions at all. It implies that because he served in Iraq and Afghanistan as a Marine, that he can choose which laws to obey while at home. This is of course, incorrect, and gives other veterans a bad name. Regardless of his personal beliefs about gun-control, Boston should obey the law, or stop using the title of Marine veteran so proudly.

    Perhaps my criticism of Boston seems harsh. This is as intended, for in speaking out as he did, Boston revealed a profound ignorance to the pain suffered in Newtown. The survivors lives will never be the same, and the reason for that is because a deranged individual had access to a weapon that shouldn't be accessible by the general populace. I speak out also because, as a former Marine Sergeant, I abhor any action that tarnishes the name of the Marine Corps. Boston has done that with his letter, and he should apologize to every veteran who obeys the law in good faith and intends to do so in the future.

    Add your Story Add your Story