Dear Media and Members of Congress,
I know you want to paint all gun owners as cold hearted people with no compassion, who do not care about the innocent lives that have been lost due to gun violence. And many of you claim that this so called heartlessness is the reason we refuse to back any of your proposed “common sense” gun control measures. But this could not be further from the truth. We care. We care deeply. We are sickened by mass shootings and we mourn for the victims. The reason we do not support any new gun control legislation is not a lack of compassion. It boils down to one simple fact: we do not trust you.
Trust is the cornerstone of a democratic republic. Our representatives need to be honest and straight forward with us. The Constitution established a framework of how we want to be governed. It is your responsibility to follow that framework. The media plays an important role in ensuring our freedom. It is their job to tell the people when the government is not doing their job. We need to be able trust that the media is giving an unbiased critique of our elected officials. And let’s face it – both of you have failed. You have broken our trust.
The first reason we do not trust you, is because you do not recognize the 2nd Amendment as a right. When legislation is coming down the pipeline, gun owners ask, “What consideration did you give to my rights?” To which you answer, “Damn your rights”. Our rights are not given even a token thought. Then you propose laws that will accomplish little in the way of stopping crime. The only thing they really succeed at is restricting the freedoms of law-abiding citizens.
Every time a tragedy happens -before the dust even settles – calls are made to ban certain types of guns, certain accessories or certain types of ammunition. Those are soon followed by calls to increase background checks and close “loop holes”. All this before any investigation has happened. Can we find out what happened first? Can we find out how the perpetrators of mass killings acquired their weapon(s) before we propose changes to current legislation? All of these calls for bans and regulations are reactionary at best. It is like you know the solution before you even know the problem, which in turn tells me you do not want to get it right. You just want to be able to say you did something. You do not care about our rights. You only care about the next election.
The second reason we do not trust you is because you have repeatedly been caught misrepresenting the facts, and in some cases resorted to downright lying when it comes to guns. A few weeks ago Katie Couric had to apologize for deceptively editing interviews in the documentary “Under the Gun”. If the pro-gun interviewees had not secretly recorded that same interview, their attempt to manipulate the viewer’s perception would have never come to light. Then, a few days later, New York Daily News reporter, Gersh Kuntzman stated in a piece that firing an AR-15 “bruised his shoulder and gave him PTSD”. I have fired both civilian model AR-15 and Military M4 and M16 and it is physically impossible for it to bruise your shoulder, and claiming PTSD from shooting a gun is just beyond the pale. These are just two examples of misrepresentation of the facts from the last few weeks, but this has been happening for years.
I am not asking you to have the same view on guns as I do. I am asking that you set aside your agenda and report the truth. Tell both sides of the story not just the side that you agree with. I know that is asking a lot in this day and age, but if you claim to report the news, then report the news, and not your agenda. Leave the opinion pieces to the Rachel Maddows and Sean Hannitys of the world.
The third reason we do not trust you is you know nothing about guns. How can you try and regulate something when you do not know the basics? Guess what? The “AR” in AR-15 does not stand for assault rifle. It stands for ArmaLite, the company that came up with the design. Not every assault rifle is an AR-15. The military does not use AR-15’s. They may look similar but they operate differently. An AR-15 is not a machine gun or an automatic weapon. There is a difference between a magazine and a clip. Words have meaning and when you consistently use the wrong words you come across as ignorant, and when you use the wrong words on purpose you come across as dishonest and untrustworthy.
I ask you, why should we support you when you do not support us? Just once I would like to see someone stand up and say, “I believe in the 2nd Amendment, and will work to protect the rights of law- abiding gun owners, but we can make the system better”. He or she will then sit down with the NRA and other gun groups and find out how we can keep the criminals from getting guns, while not infringing on the rights of gun owners. There are things that a majority of gun owners will support, but first we need to find someone that will protect our rights with the same dedication that they do in trying to improve the system. The majority of gun owners are not unreasonable people. We are willing to work with you and make things better. But before we do, you need to work on rebuilding our trust.
We will not die the death of a thousand cuts as you slowly chip away at the 2nd Amendment. We will not sacrifice our freedom for your personal ambition.
American Gun Owners