Reader responds to Dr. Townsend’s letter

November 22, 2017

Dear Editor:

The letter by Dr. Robert Townsend requires a response. As usual, the anti-Second Amendment argument starts out with the “I am a gun owner, but…” justifier. He claims that the pro-gun argument that there are serious proposals for gun “buy backs”, seizures and bans is only a “straw dog argument.” Senator Diane Feinstein of California, a very popular Democrat and a role model for our Democrat Senators from Michigan, famously declared that, if she had the votes in the Senate,  she would enact a law that requires “Mr. and Mrs. America, turn ‘em all in,” referring to semi-automatic rifles.

A sitting Supreme Court Justice, Stephen Breyer, openly declared that the Second Amendment does not protect an individual’s right to keep a gun by his bed. He’s is telling you, that if he had his way, no federal law would keep any State or locality from making you a criminal if you decide to keep a gun in your home.
Following the recent mass shootings there were a long list of politicians and editorialists who proclaimed their belief that the Second Amendment should be repealed. Dr. Townsend’s assertion that the “Good Guy with a Gun stopping a Bad Guy with a Gun” scenario is just a fantasy.  Whether your legally owned firearm is ever used to actively stop a crime or not, it is still a deterrent to criminal activity. Somewhere, every day, many times, a villain is dissuaded from practicing his villainy because he thinks the potential victim MAY be armed. Whether it is a street crime, car-jacking, home invasion, store robbery or potential mass killing, the perpetrator goes to the place where he will meet the least resistance. If he thinks there is a good chance his potential victims will be able to shoot back he will pick another victim.

That’s why these crazy killers go to schools and churches, they believe they will be able to amass large body counts with no armed resistance. People who do not own guns may think they do not have a stake in this argument, but they do. They are protected, in the form of deterrence, by the fact that MANY people do have guns, and the bad guy is not able to know who has the guns.

Dr. Townsend also seems to advance the “It Can’t Happen Here” argument by calling it a fantasy that guns may be used to protect us from an out-of-control government. The trouble with that argument is that IT has already happened here. During the 1800s our government, under the same Constitution and whose citizens practiced the same religions that they do to today, systematically killed or relocated the original inhabitants of this continent, one of the most effective tools they used to do this was to keep Native Americans from obtaining guns.

85 years ago, Germany, a western country with western culture, religions, industry, universities, science and art, disarmed its citizenry in the name of “safety”. It then proceeded to invade its neighbors,  outright murder six million persons and started a war that killed 45 million people. It is interesting to note, that the one neighboring country that Nazi Germany did not invade was Switzerland. Switzerland is loaded with guns, including fully automatic rifles, in the hands of civilians. Human history, and common sense, tells us that guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens are deterrents to aggressors of all types, be they criminal, internal threats or external threats.

But, I do agree with Dr. Townsend that the government can do more to keep us safer. Is it unreasonable to think that more should be done to keep persons who are known criminals or dangerously mentally ill out of society in general? The recent multiple-shooting in California was done by a person out on bail for a violent felony. Can’t we find a way to keep these people segregated from the rest of us so they don’t get a chance to shoot us, or stab us, or bomb us, or run us over with trucks?

Dale Grigg
Harrison MI 48625

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