Author Topic: Message from a person about guns  (Read 1906 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline TheQ

  • Website Content Manager
  • MOC Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 4263
    • Michigan Open Carry, Inc.
  • First Name (Displayed): Phillip
Message from a person about guns
« on: December 15, 2012, 08:32:13 PM »
This note appeared in my personal email box (one of them).  I'm not sure how he found the address.  My wife agreed to respond to this person even though he seemingly has a less than favorable view on firearms.  Please keep your responses respectful, remember we are representing gun owners.

I'm locking this thread until my wife responds to him so her response can be the first reply in this thread.

Quote
Mr Hofmeister:
 
I saw you mentioned as a leader of the movement for open carry of guns in Michigan and I have some questions for you in the wake of the latest tragedy involving guns in this country. I don't expect you to have satisfactory answers, I simply need to ask the questions. Quite frankly, I don't even care if you don't read the rest of this letter. I am simply very sad that more violence has occurred because of a gun and it doesn't seem to change how we view guns in this country. So here goes.
 
Why do we need guns in schools and hospitals? Do you expect an employee/teacher/nurse to fire back at a gunman?

Why do we have easier and cheaper access to guns than mental health care?

Why did we change our national security after 9/11 that killed around 2000 people once while people with guns kill 10000 per year and yet we make it easier each year to own a gun? (By the way, I lived halfway between DC and NY at the time and know people who lost family in that tragedy so don't try to tell me I don't what it felt like. I was placed on call at my hospital that day waiting to see what else transpired)
 
Why do other countries have stricter gun laws and less deaths from guns? People in other countries like Canada, West Germany and Australia manage to hunt and still not kill people in mass quantities.

Why does someone need an automatic or semi automatic weapon? Why do they need clips with more than 6 rounds? Isn't that enough to do the job? If your goal is mutual deterence, how much is enough?
 
How did the recent legislation regarding carrying guns in schools, hospitals and daycares make MI a better place? How does the change in who registers a person to carry a gun make us safer?
 
When can we have a reasonable conversation about gun control in this country? How many more people have to die from a gun before we start the conversation? 10,000, 50,000, 100,000?

If you read this far, thank you for listening.
 
Sincerely and Sadly
 
Dave Errickson
I Am Not A Lawyer (nor a gunsmith).

Offline TheQ

  • Website Content Manager
  • MOC Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 4263
    • Michigan Open Carry, Inc.
  • First Name (Displayed): Phillip
Re: Message from a person about guns
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2012, 10:02:52 PM »
Good evening, Mr. Errickson.

My husband, Phillip, asked me to respond to your e-mail.  There's so much going on right now and he wanted to make sure that a response was made in a timely fashion.

First, I'd like to thank you for your questions.  Especially after horrific events like the shooting in Connecticut or Aurora it's far too easy for people to make accusations rather than open up a line of dialogue.  The issues surrounding firearms are often very sensitive and provoke heightened emotional responses, no matter which "side" of the issues you're on.  Also, before I jump into anything else, I just want to share my feeling that there is no completely right answer to any of these questions.  I'm sharing my thoughts, opinions and feelings and I'm not going to try to convince you of anything.  We're certainly not going to be able to solve all of the world's problems in an exchange of e-mails, but I think an open, honest and respectful exchange of thoughts and ideas is a step in the right direction.

Before I get to your specific questions, let me tell you a little bit about myself and my personal beliefs.  I believe that no person should ever initiate the use of force against another, for any reason.  That being said, I believe that everyone should take responsibility for their personal safety and the that of their loved ones.  If my life is being threatened I will do whatever I have to in order to stop the threat.  My first thought will be to leave the situation whenever possible.  After that, I will do whatever I have to do, with whatever tools are at my disposal, to ensure that I survive and that my family is safe.  I'm the mother of a 12-year-old boy, and there is nothing that I will not do to keep him from harm.

Do I think that there is danger lurking around every corner and hiding in every shadow?  Of course not.  However, my training as an EMT and a martial artist have instilled in me the necessity for situational awareness and the knowledge that unexpected and unpleasant things can happen with little to no warning.




Quote
     
I saw you mentioned as a leader of the movement for open carry of guns in Michigan and I have some questions for you in the wake of the latest tragedy involving guns in this country. I don't expect you to have satisfactory answers, I simply need to ask the questions. Quite frankly, I don't even care if you don't read the rest of this letter. I am simply very sad that more violence has occurred because of a gun and it doesn't seem to change how we view guns in this country. So here goes.
     
Why do we need guns in schools and hospitals?
Why do we need guns anywhere?  I, personally, would love it if people everywhere unanimously decided that violence was a bad idea.  If someone could promise me that I would never, ever, be the victim of a violent crime I wouldn't feel the need to carry a gun.  If, despite my efforts to stay in safe, well-lit, populated places, I am ever attacked how am I supposed to defend myself until help arrives?  Should I politely ask the bad guy to wait until the police arrive before he hurts me?

Please don't take this as a criticism against police officers.  I think that they are wonderful people doing the very best that they can and would like nothing more than to keep everyone safe.  However, there isn't a cop hovering around every person in the country to make sure that we're all safe... and I'm glad for that.  I'm a responsible adult and I don't want a shadow following me around.  If the price I pay for not having a police officer watching my every move is that I have to take responsibility for my own personal safety I'm happy to pay that price.
 
Quote
Do you expect an employee/teacher/nurse to fire back at a gunman?
I don't expect anyone to do anything that their conscience will not allow them to do.  A person's response to a self-defense situation is a very personal decision.  I would, however, like for people to have that option available to them.

I worked for two years in a public high school.  I was the assistant teacher in a Basic EMT class.  I have sat in a classroom while the school was on lockdown due to a threat in the area.  Not a drill, an actual lockdown.  It was quite unnerving having to sit there, in the dark, just listening... hoping not to hear anything.  In order to get to my classroom you had to actually walk through another classroom, which was the Law Enforcement class taught by a retired police officer.  Next to that classroom, and directly across the hall were two JROTC classrooms where the teachers were active duty Army officers.  All of those men had the training and mental capability to protect us if it came down to it, yet none of those men were allowed to be armed because it was a school.  There was one person at the school who was armed, and that was the police officer assigned to the school.  One man can't be everywhere at once.  Many schools don't have the luxury of armed personnel in every building.
Quote
   
Why do we have easier and cheaper access to guns than mental health care?
It's very hard to do an apples to apples comparison for that question.  The only thing that springs to mind is that when I buy a gun I am purchasing an intimate object where the basic laws of supply and demand dictate the price.  When I see any health professional I am paying for his time, training, malpractice insurance, overhead for whatever facility I'm in, the expenses the health professional incurs while jumping through all the regulatory hoops set up by the government... and the list goes on.

Quote
     
Why did we change our national security after 9/11 that killed around 2000 people once while people with guns kill 10000 per year and yet we make it easier each year to own a gun? (By the way, I lived halfway between DC and NY at the time and know people who lost family in that tragedy so don't try to tell me I don't what it felt like. I was placed on call at my hospital that day waiting to see what else transpired)
I am truly sorry for your losses.  You're right, I couldn't begin to know what you went through on that day or in the aftermath.

I don't know what you mean when you say that it's easier each year to own a gun.  I don't know of any gun control laws that have been repealed, or new laws created to make purchasing or owning a gun any easier.

Quote
     
Why do other countries have stricter gun laws and less deaths from guns? People in other countries like Canada, West Germany and Australia manage to hunt and still not kill people in mass quantities.
I haven't really researched the statistics in this country or any other country.  All I know is that people intent on harming others will find a way to do it, and people can do plenty of damage to one another... even kill one another... with things other than guns.  I know that as an EMT I've seen far more assaults with fists, bats and knives than I have with guns.

Harming another person is illegal.  That doesn't stop people from doing it all the time.  How do stricter gun laws do anything other than stop law abiding citizens from having another set of tools with which they can defend themselves?

Quote
Why does someone need an automatic or semi automatic weapon?
I believe that people have the right to use whatever tool they feel comfortable with to handle a job.  Why does my husband need to have a fancy sports car to drive when a more sensible sedan is available?  It's personal preference.

When bad things happen, the gun is not the problem.  The person doing bad things with the gun is.

This is the point when I question your familiarity with firearms.  Most every pistol on the market is a semi-automatic.  A semi-automatic weapon means one trigger pull leads to one round fired.  You can't get multiple rounds out of one trigger pull.  The only difference between a revolver and a semi-automatic is mechanical.
Quote
Why do they need clips with more than 6 rounds? Isn't that enough to do the job? If your goal is mutual deterence, how much is enough?

My husband likes to say, "Having the most ammo doesn't mean that you're going to win, but running out first means that you lose."  How much is enough?  As much as it takes.  I don't know.  I've never been in that situation and hope that I never will.  I personally carry a gun that holds 6 rounds in the magazine... which means that I carry extra magazines with me just in case.  With proper training and practice reloading doesn't take very long at all, so, really, magazine capacity is irrelevant.

Quote
     
How did the recent legislation regarding carrying guns in schools, hospitals and daycares make MI a better place?
How does it make Michigan a worse place?  I believe every law that grants more rights to responsible, law-abiding citizens makes our state, our country, and our world a better place to live.  By the way, as the holder of a concealed pistol license, I can already carry my firearm into all those places as long as I'm carrying openly.  All this new legislation does it make it so I have to take some extra training, and now I have to cover my gun so that people can't see it.
Quote
How does the change in who registers a person to carry a gun make us safer?
The change from a county gun board to the sheriff's office was designed to streamline the process of issuing a concealed pistol license.  Michigan is a "shall-issue" state which means that, by law, anyone who meets the requirements to have a CPL must be granted one.  This doesn't really have any impact one way or another on safety... it just ensures that the law is followed properly.

Quote
     
When can we have a reasonable conversation about gun control in this country? How many more people have to die from a gun before we start the conversation? 10,000, 50,000, 100,000?
I suppose that depends on what you consider a reasonable conversation about gun control to be.  I think that the conversation has already started.  It happens every day when people ask questions and debate about gun-related issues.

Quote
     
If you read this far, thank you for listening.
   
Sincerely and Sadly
     
Dave Errickson
Again, Mr. Errickson, thank you for taking the time to reach out.  No change can happen when we don't open ourselves up to communication... especially with people who have different views and beliefs.  No one can change another person's mind and I believe it is disrespectful arrogance to try.  All we can (and should) do is listen to each other with open minds and hearts, take what we can from the words of others, and grow from there.

I invite you to continue this conversation.  Your initial e-mail, and my response, have been posted on the Michigan Open Carry forum at:

http://forums.michiganopencarry.org/index.php/topic,2451 where other members of our community can share their thoughts and insights as well.

I wish you all the best and hope you have a wonderful holiday season.

--
Anne Hofmeister
Assistant to the President
Michigan Open Carry, Inc.
http://www.miopencarry.org
« Last Edit: December 15, 2012, 10:11:27 PM by TheQ »
I Am Not A Lawyer (nor a gunsmith).

Offline bobn911

  • Posts: 7
Re: Message from a person about guns
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2012, 02:32:19 PM »
Mr. Errickson, I would like to extend an open hand to you. I also would like to invite you to either a outdoor range or an indoor range that I belong to so you can see first hand the other side of firearm ownership. As long as you have not been convicted of a felony, I will allow you to handle and or shoot whatever I have. You let me know. Thanks, Bob
Anne, you did an excelant job of responding to Mr. Errickson. Thank you.
Life Member: NRA (Benefactor), GOA, SAF, MUCC, Case Collectors Club