MCSM Response To Washington Post Article
"A Case For More Gun Control"
Article Written By Michael J. McManus
Response By Bob Culver
Article Date: April 29th, 2007
Please consider the following letter in response to the Opinion piece
cited below, as a letter to the editor or an Opinion piece.
In the Sunday Times, April 29, 2007, Michael J. McManus wrote of "A
case for more gun control". He begins by posing the question, would
more gun control, on the type of guns and to whom they are sold, make
us safer, and then saying the answer is a "resounding yes". Lets
look at the information he presents.
First, lets look at the background for his position, which he
establishes from his youth. He says the issue is not about "bad"
guys vs. "good" guys, so we are lead to believe his understanding of
the issue is about objects, or guns, and not about people. He is
implying that objects alone promote crime, the only other topic he
discusses as causative factors for the rest of his article.
He tells us about living in a home with a drunkard and abusive father
who he had to confront at age 14 to defend his mother. His action to
defend her was to take the pistol his father had used to threaten her
and hide it from him. I guess the confrontation was somewhat
secretive, that he found and hid the pistol without actually taking
it from his father. By his statement he did not move further to
remove his father from a position in the family from which he could
continue his abusive actions. Instead he focuses on the object, the
gun, swearing to never have a weapon in my home when I grew up and
says, "I have kept that pledge."
Unfortunately he also never grew up to gain the ability to understand
the issue of personal responsibility for human actions that cause
injury. What of the other "Weapons" available in the home that were
not hidden? Having to deal with marriage conflicts, as his by-line
suggests, implys that he understands conflict between husband and
wife and the utility of even bare hands as "weapons" in that
But I digress, on to some of the several other facts he offers.
The next paragraph starts with some average numbers of firearm deaths
over some broad dates, from 1990 to 1994 and 1995 to 2004. He
discusses the 1994 "U.S. ban on the sale of assault weapons...". The
next statement is, "Then the law expired in 2004." After some
gratuitous comments about those weapons and ammunition "clips",
nothing more is stated. By the way, it's Magazine, not clip - but
you have heard this before too. The inference however is left
hanging. He is attempting to imply without saying it, that because
of the expiration of the 1994 ban, crime has gone up or will go up.
No facts, no figures, no cause and effect or reasoning, only the
inference and not even a statement of firearm deaths after 2004.
Guilt by inference I guess.
If you are interested in the statistics on death, you can get a good
start on the Web at . A serchable database at
the Centers for Disease Control site will tell you much.
Finally there is one good piece of information, though it will take
some adult ability to understand the lesson in the statement, "We
will always have crazies and felons who get their hands on guns." At
first I assumed that he understood what he had just said, but
unfortunately he dives back into talking about background checks and
laws to deny access to weapons.
The proper analysis of, "We will always have crazies..." is to remind
people that Personal Protection is a Personal Responsibility. You,
the victim, will always be the first person on the scene of your
attack. No matter how effective the background check, no matter how
high the wall or how much barbed "wire" is used to attempt to form a
barrier to keep the "crazies" away from the rest of the population,
some will always get inside that wire. When that happens, and the
population lacks the means, the ability and the will for self
defense, it is a slaughter. Witness Virginia Tech.
Now look at the Lubys Cafeteria incident in October 1991 where
Suzanna Gratia Hupp was in a position to defend her family, but was
disabled by Texas law. Twenty three were killed, and she could have
stopped it, but she obeyed the law. Now look at the Appalachian Law
School incident in January 16, 2002, where armed self defense was
successful and a shooting spree was stopped. If you want something
more recent look to the Trolley Square incident. Just weeks before
VA Tech, on February 13, 2007, a shotgun wielding trench coat clad 18
year old, strode into the mall in Salt Lake City and killed 5. An
off duty Law Enforcement Officer from Ogden, Utah, outside of the
Salt Lake City jurisdiction, was carrying a concealed firearm, in
contravention to Mall policy. He used it to defend his family and
disrupt a mass killers attack. Understand this, the Trolly Square
savior was most likely violating the letter of a few laws and clearly
the Trolly Square facility policies.
The lesson here is that armed resistance at the point of attack,
defending from the "crazy" who gets inside the wire, is more
effective than any law disabling the crazy, or police saturation of
an area. The crazies are not so crazy as to not carefully pick the
un-armed targets, the easy targets with many people to slaughter, the
gun free school zones which for the crazies are just a target rich
safe working environment.
Statistics continue in the article. It says, "There are 51,500
people living today who would have been murdered without the Brady
law and the 10-year ban on assault weapons". Just where did this tid-
bit come from? No explanation is offered, it is just left to the
reader to assume that the Brady law and the ban somehow miraculously
delivered 51,500 people from death. I'm sure some statistic was
extrapolated to arrive at this number, but we will never know.
After many more statistics of crime vs. the 1994 Assault Weapon ban,
but still un-related to any events after 2004, a comment is made by
Mr. McManus about the ultimate "loop hole" - the dreaded Gun Show.
The statement, "No background checks are required if a gun is
purchased at a gun show." is Totally False. The gratuitous
rhetorical questions that follow, "Why not" and "Are they any less
lethal", attempt to bolster the argument to give it the appearance of
Let me explain this one more time. I'm sure you have heard this
before, but; ANY ATF licensed dealer at a show must have a
purchaser complete ATF Form 4473 and then conduct a NICS background
check. There is no such thing as an "unlicensed dealer". There ARE
private individuals who, depending on the show and local regulations,
may visit the show and even establish a show table from which to
legally sell private firearms from their personal collection to other
private purchasers in that same state and Following All Laws. These
private citizens are NOT in the business of trading in firearms, they
are NOT ATF Licensed Dealers and they are NOT permitted to conduct
NICS checks because of this. It's the law, only licensed dealers are
required and permitted to access the NICS system.
In closing, I will not argue with any individual who chooses his own
path to "..never have a weapon in my home...", or even one who choses
to not respond to an attack on himself or his family with deadly
force. I admire his personal conviction and wish him good luck; He
will need it. However, anyone who tells others that they too may not
use any type of self defense is making an immoral demand. Chose for
yourself how to act, but do not condemn others to your chosen fate.
Thank you for your time.
Bob Culver, MCSM
Bob Culver is Chairman of the grass roots discussion and action group
Montgomery Citizens for a Safer Maryland. More information can be found, and
the author can be contacted at the web page