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    Posted January 17, 2013 by
    Anywhere, USA
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Gun control debate: Background checks

    A Letter to Congress


    Dear Congress:


    I am a 43-year-old man who is neither Republican or Democrat. I consider myself to be a level headed person who uses a basic, common sense, right or wrong approach to make all of my decisions. I am a professional with a great job, I live in Massachusetts with my wife and 12-year-old daughter. I am a concealed handgun permit holder and carry my pistol every day for personal protection, not because I "work in a bad neighborhood" or "drive through a bad part of town", but because an assault can happen anytime, anywhere. I equate being armed to carrying my medical insurance card in my wallet, I hope to never need it, but if I do, it's there.


    I am a stickler for gun safety and take the time to talk to my daughter, wife - and just about anyone who  will listen - about gun safety, gun handling and the importance of personal protection. I have required that both my wife and daughter take the Concealed Carry class even though they don't handle guns outside of the gun range. I believe all citizens need to become informed, educating themselves and their children about gun safety and the importance of our second amendment rights. I believe in universal background checks for "ALL" gun sales, and I think all permit applicants should have to meet "face to face" with the local police chief. I believe our current gun laws are restrictive enough.


    As a responsible gun owner, I keep my guns locked-up in a quick access safe, this is for my child's safety, theft prevention, and the "quick access" part is in case I ever need to protect my family in my home from a violent criminal. With all of the negative rhetoric and fear surrounding guns in the media, politics, and in our daily lives, no one seems to stop and think of the big picture. People shoot guns, guns don't shoot people. There has to be a person pulling the trigger. When we hear of gun violence in America, people seem to forget that criminals commit these violent crimes. Somehow gun ban supporters view these crimes with guns as a “gun issue” or that guns are bad or are somehow, "on their own" a threat to society. When in reality it's the criminal thats the threat, not the gun, it's an object.


    I carry a handgun, not to commit crimes, or to feel tough or reckless, but to protect myself and my family from ruthless, cold-blooded criminal behavior. If I ever become a target, I am prepared to defend myself, to avoid becoming a statistic or victim of crime. If it comes down to my life or theirs, I'll choose mine and my family's life without question, and I'm sure you would too. I think too many people live in denial or with the "hope" that nothing bad will ever happen to them, but "hope" is not a plan, nor is it a substitute for preparedness. A person can't "hope" something into reality. You have to understand that if you support laws to take away the gun rights of honest people, you will be taking away the means of legal personal protection.


    Stricter gun laws and expanded gun bans will never effect criminals like home invaders, car jackers, armed robbers, rapists, child sex offenders, or murderers. They make their living breaking laws. Gun bans and more restrictive laws will only erode the rights of law-abiding citizens. If these laws are passed, criminals will have free reign to do as they please knowing that our gun rights have been restricted or worse, taken away. They will no longer fear breaking in to our homes or schools, raping or murdering our helpless "gun free" families in the least safe areas -- "Gun Free Zones". It only takes a common sense look to realize how quickly the crime rate will rise when citizens can no longer protect themselves. For the very few criminals that try to buy guns at legitimate gun shops, our current laws and licensing procedures work great. Gun laws and gun bans only affect the law-abiding citizens because they are the only ones bound by the laws.


    I hear the argument that if you are attacked, "Call the police" or "Run away", and I agree, if you can get away - do it, but that's not always a viable option, things often happen too quickly. In December of 2012 my father was followed home by 2 men, they ran up to him and demanded his money, once he gave it to them, they shot him,  BANG! just shot him. He had no time to "Call the police" or Run away", he was simply shot.  The truth is most criminals are cowards and if confronted will run, if he had been armed, he may have had a chance to scare them away or defend himself.  The story is hard to hear, but now imaging it happening to your wife, or your child.


    After reading this, please reflect on the affects of supporting additional gun laws and expanded gun bans. Think of how peaceful this world "won't" be when criminals have no fear of committing crimes against you and your family. While you're reflecting, consider this; Our country keeps a strong military presence around the world, not to be aggressive and promote war, but to show our enemies that "we" the United States of America are ready to defend ourselves, thus deterring most aggressors. I can’t imaging what would happen if we eliminated our military and just "hoped" our enemies wouldn't attack us, or if our enemies knew we could only repel their advances with 10 or fewer bullets. I urge all supporters of stricter gun laws and expanded gun bans to really read and take this letter to heart. Talk to your friends and families about this and really think about what your supporting and how these so well intentioned, peace and love inspired gun laws may affect you and yours someday.


    Thank you for reading.

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