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Truth Squad Newsletter - Special Edition
Tom wrote a special Truth Squad newsletter in the aftermath of the murders in Newtown, CT last Friday, December 14, 2012. Read it below:
If you missed the live show on Sunday, December 16, 2012 check it out here:
THE HORROR AND THE HYENAS
While we all are still weeping at the horror and evil which visited Newtown, CT, last Friday, the hyenas wasted no time in feasting on the bodies. Before the slain children had even been removed from the school, gun control proponents were calling for sweeping new restrictions... all in the name of "we must DO something." Never mind that what they propose has been tried and has failed. No need to actually look at the record of what works and what doesn't.
When your goal is to ban guns, you follow the advice of Rahm Emanuel. "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste."
On the Sunday morning news programs, proponents of removing your gun rights lined up to toss out tired old ideas. Senator Diane Feinstein, the author of the "assault weapon ban" (AWB) which went into effect in 1994 and expired in 2004, announced that her office has been writing the new AWB for a year, and she would be introducing it the first day of the new session of Congress. I guess she was waiting until there was enough blood for her to stand in before making her announcement. Ghoulish. Difi has been smarting since 2004 when her beloved gun ban was not renewed by Congress. It is her signature bill, and she intends to make it her legacy.
We all mourn the loss of the children and the adults who died at the hands of this mentally ill person. Note, though, that mental illness does not mean someone is incapable of high-levels of thought or of planning and carrying out a complex scenario.
The NRA has been smart to not make any statements, yet. It's not time for that. And yet, the President hints at measures he will call for (he did, remember, say he wanted to ban semi-autos, and he also said no one should be allowed to own a gun).
I wish to hell we didn't have to talk about this. I wish there was a mental health system where the mother of this troubled young man could have gotten help. But we must talk about this now, because a tsunami is headed our way.
The largest assault ever on gun rights and the Second Amendment is about to be launched. The misinformation pours over the airwaves like the water over Niagara Falls. This morning I heard a "reporter" on Fox News say that the Bushmaster rifle was the most powerful weapon in America. (Note: The old .30-06 cartridge has almost three times the energy of the .223 cartridge.) This is a trap, however, that we must avoid.
If we get caught up in trying to correct the misinformation about calibers, rifles, the name of a magazine versus a clip, and other such technical details, we waste the chance to affect the outcome.
Additionally, if we do nothing but say "Well, nothing can prevent these attacks," we will be pushed to the side, and others will tell us what laws they will pass. We simply will lose all credibility, we will lose our voice, we will lose our seat at the table.
We must be ready to offer solutions.
We are the people who have taught firearms safety to millions. We are the ones responsible for the dramatic reduction in accidental gunshot deaths of children over the last five decades (to its lowest point ever, right now). We are the ones who created the Eddie Eagle program which teaches young children to AVOID guns and tell an adult if they find one.
In other words, we are the experts on gun safety. As such, we must be ready with suggestions of things which can be done. We must also have the information on things which have been tried, but which have failed. This includes all the gun control measures which will be paraded before the public under the banner of "If you love the children, you will do at least this."
We will have suggestions to offer. Smart people are working on this right now.
We also know what doesn't work -- registration, licensing, more background checks, bans on guns which look bad but which function the same as they did 100 years ago (semi-automatics).
We do know that a suicidal monster intent on killing as many people as possible will usually find a way to at least start. How it ends is a variable. We have the record of a number of school and church shootings being stopped by someone -- a principal, students, a trained woman who volunteered as church security, a concealed carry permit holder (just last week in the Portland mall shooting) -- who took action.
When a monster starts shooting, we can either wait until the "approved" security people show up, or someone on the scene can address it. It is unconscionable to suggest that we should wait for people in uniform (while innocent people are being murdered) because we are "uncomfortable" with the idea of a regular citizen (even if trained) being able to shoot the bad guys. This attitude is despicable.
I just wish that the brave principal who charged the shooter last Friday had been able to do it with a firearm. How many children could have been saved if there had not been an insane policy requiring everyone there to be defenseless?
Here is what I know. You have never seen an assault on gun rights like the one that has started. Even the huge push in the 1960's, following the deaths of JFK, MLK, and RFK, which produced the sweeping Gun Control Act of 1968, will pale in comparison to the coordinated attack that is coming.
We will see specials on guns. We will hear politicians groveling for votes by declaring that we must ban guns. These will be Republicans as well as Democrats. The media, of course, will parrot all of this. It will create phony video as it has before, confusing the public about full-auto and semi-auto. You will hear "No one needs..." thousands of times.
Just this morning an NRA-endorsed (Democrat) Congressman from West Virginia said he doesn't know anyone who uses an AR-15 for hunting. I bet he's wrong on that. The AR-15 is the most popular type of firearm being sold in the U.S.. Surveys show that about 70 percent of people buying them say it's for competition, hunting or recreational shooting. Most others say it's for personal protection.
There already is a run on buying guns, ammunition and magazines. If you didn't pay attention to me over the years when I said to buy at least a half-dozen magazines for every semi-auto firearm you own, you will now pay more, assuming you can find them at all.
What can you do? Talk to every person you know about this. BUT... please don't use the tired (and failed) arguments I hear so often. "If guns create crime, then spoons make people fat." If you say that, you are lost. Such silly statements make you sound 1. callous, 2. insensitive, 3. shallow, 4. dull-witted, and 5. irrelevant.
Remember that most people are not into guns as much as you are. They simply don't know. They don't know the difference between semi-auto and full-auto. They believe it when the media says there is no legitimate purpose for a semi-auto "military style" rifle. You have to bring them along gently. There is a mile of distance between what they believe (actually, if you asked, it would be what they "know") and what the facts really are.
Bring them to the facts gently and in baby steps. Once they say something like, "Well, I don't see why anyone needs an assault rifle," don't hammer them with the definition of assault rifle. Start out with, "Well, I can understand why you might feel that way if you were to believe what the media says, but there's actually a lot more to it. You might not know that these are not really military weapons. They look like military guns, but that's kind of the same thing as a 'replicar' which is a Volkswagen chassis with a fake Corvette body. You might also not know that this kind of rifle is used in national shooting competitions and by hunters all over the country."
One step at a time.
Asking questions is a good way to bring someone over.
Wouldn't it have been wonderful if a police officer with a gun had been able to shoot this murderer before he killed so many children?
Wouldn't it have been wonderful if a trained security officer with a gun had been able to shoot this murderer before he killed so many children?
Wouldn't it have been wonderful if a trained volunteer with a gun had been able to shoot this murderer before he killed so many children?
Wouldn't it have been wonderful if a trained teacher or administrator with a gun had been able to shoot this murderer before he killed so many children?
If you agree with the first, what would prevent you from agreeing with the last?
In the coming fight in Congress, individual members will be weighing the impact -- how will each vote affect him or her. Each member will measure the influence of the groups reaching out. How many members does this group have versus that group? How powerful is it?
On the gun issue, they always take the measure of the NRA. What do they ask? Short and sweet -- How many members are there?
Answer: Not enough.
Gun owners have widely-varying opinions of the NRA, but I would suggest this. If the group is only half as effective as you think it should be... heck, if it's only a quarter as effective as you think it should be, that would still place it 100 times more effective than any other gun owner group in the halls of Congress. In the Courts, I'd bet on the Second Amendment Foundation. In Congress, it's the NRA.
Every gun owner must not only belong to the NRA, but must sign up friends and family. As part of buying guns, ammo, magazines, etc., a $25 annual membership is small.
You can sign up here. You get a $10 discount (normally $35), and we get a commission from each membership. I then take that commission and send it to the Second Amendment Foundation, so you are contributing to both groups!
What else can you do? Don't shrug. As a member of the Gun Talk Truth Squad, I know you are dedicated to our "No Shrug" policy. Don't allow a single instance of a local newscaster talking about "assault weapons" or "easy access" or "most powerful" or "no one needs" without challenging it. Each time -- every time.
PLUS -- Be ready for a call to action. I would not be surprised to see a return of the "Million Mom March" on Washington. This march will call on Congress and the White House to ban the sale of the most popular guns in the U.S. It will call for a ban on magazines which hold more than 10 rounds. It will also (and this is new) call for a prohibition on the transfer of semi-auto firearms and standard-capacity magazines, meaning you could not sell them, give them to anyone, or pass them on after you die. This, it would be a one-generation confiscation scheme.
The call to action? Get ready to go to Washington, D.C.. If we don't, we give them the platform by themselves. The last time they had this march (with far fewer than a million people), the Second Amendment Sisters were there to ensure that the media didn't report that all women, and all mothers, favor repressive gun control measures.
Yes, it's inconvenient. Yes, it's costly. Yes, it's a PITA.
I'll refer you to the last line of the Declaration of Independence.
"And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor."
Can we do any less?
-- Tom Gresham
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