Web Blast: Crossfire November 2007
Thoughts On Gun Control
Thanks to all you readers who took the time to write and comment on the letters from John Hansell and E.Y. Morris. There were far too many to print in the magazine, so I took the liberty of printing them here.
Another torrent of response was created by John Connor’s column on the Virginia Tech shootings. Read one letter from a VT employee full of rage and grief followed by a response from Connor.
Thanks for participating!
Jeff John, editor
Letters from September 2007 Issue
No Religion Zone
I get your magazine to read about guns and not religion (Odd Angry Shot). I also do not want to read about Invaders hitting pay dirt in the desert (News).
Connor’s little history leaves a little history out. He forgets to mention the Crusades in which millions of Muslims were murdered in the name of religion by the West, they may have long memories. Of course the Great Satan (as they like to call us) was not around then but, the English were and who could not dislike them for what they did to the world?
Connor does not tell us why we are hated by most of the world. Could it be we cannot mind our own business and invade nations based on lies? I, too, have traveled a good deal of the world and, believe me, most of the world hates us. Why?
Any more garbage like this by the likes of Mr. Connor that only stirs the pot of hate and I will be forced to cancel my subscription and I have been reading your group of magazines longer than I care to remember.
E.Y. Morris, former US Marine
Hampton Bays, New York
More Gun Control
Having owned guns and been an active hunter for over 60 years, I feel qualified to speak on the subject of guns. Why do I own a gun in the first place? I can think of only three possible reasons: 1. To go hunting. 2. To use for target practice. 3. For self defense.
I can’t think of any other reason. That being the case, why do we gun owners need assault weapons? Is it just for kicks? Isn’t it time we told the NRA to take the lead and call for a ban on the manufacture of all automatic and assault weapons of every caliber?
During WWII a manufacturer had to have a DO (Defense Order) to produce anything for the armed forces. If we reinstated such a requirement we could eliminate the manufacture or importation of these “toys” except for armed service or police use and put an end to multiple slayings like Virginia Tech and Columbine. The NRA could expand its membership and win over many anti-gun folks by taking this lethal bull by the horns. The NRA needs to hear it from us gun owners.
John P. Hansel
Keene, New Hampshire
I must disagree. First, the 2nd Amendment isn’t about hunting or personal defense. It’s about the right of a free people to defend themselves from a tyrannical government. Good citizens can be entrusted with all manner of arms — even machine guns — and many enjoy same. The anit gunners seek total gun confiscation, not “reasonable retrictions.”
Must I point out the obvious? The VT slayings were done with a handgun, not an “assault rifle.” Ditto for Columbine, where the monsters used pistol-caliber carbines illegally obtained. On a final note, I bet the letters column will be quite lively as other readers chime in. For that, I thank you. — Jeff John
Response to above letters
John Hansel and E.Y. Morris
Reader Hansel in NH is going to get his ears beat down on this one! He really ought to read the Federalist Papers in which the Founding Fathers explained their reasoning in constructing what turns out to have been one of the most durable Constitutions ever.
The complaint leading to the 2nd Amendment was the British government kept to itself the power to confiscate any weapon from any person at any time, and they did. That was the issue at Lexington and Concord.
Now, the home government in what’s left of the British Empire has decided handguns are too dangerous for civilians to have, so they have collected them all, to the delight of the criminal element, which abhors being shot at there as here.
The number of people in the US who use guns to commit crimes is a tiny fraction of the total, less than 1 percent.
I am a responsible citizen — don’t treat me like a criminal ready to explode.
Like Mr. Hansel of New Hampshire, I’ve owned and used guns most of my life, but have him bested in that I’ve done so for 75 years or more. I agree with him 100 percent in the matter of ownership of full-automatic firearms for civilian use. Nearly all of them are as ugly as sin to begin with and they have one purpose only: to kill people. I’m also a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and have been a life member of the NRA since shortly after Word War II. I firmly believe in responsible individuals owning guns for hunting, target shooting and defense, but let’s face it: ridiculous is ridiculous any way you look at it.
I don’t happen to be a former Marine, so perhaps my word doesn’t mean as much, but I am a former Army Combat Infantryman who has also been in many parts of the world. Mr. Morris says the Crusaders killed millions of Muslims. Wonder where he got that figure? Could it be from the same source that claims America has killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians in the past four years? Nah, surely not.
A. W. Henderson
Santa Rosa, California
New Hampshire resident John P. Hansel’s comments in the September’s issue attempting to make a case to ban all assault weapons left me grasping for air and banging on my keyboard in anger. John, you don’t get it, and after your acclaimed 60 years of “active hunting,” I guess you never will. Try defending your family against an all out assault with that bolt gun or shotgun you cherish. You will not be around long. The AR-15, M1A and the like are the common man’s most efficient shield against evil, chaos and tyranny. Leave free or die John. Isn’t that a familiar motto in New Hampshire ?
Craig A. Williams
Unfringed gun rights are protected by US and some state constitutions. If I ignore that fact and use Hansel’s reasoning, I could make a good argument he only “needs” a single-shot long gun or handgun, or even no firearm at all.
Using his “need” based criteria, as was practiced in the Communist Soviet Union, with little effort Hansel can demonstrate there is no real “need” for any of the rights we Americans enjoy. Especially not the ones unprotected by US and some state constitutions.
Regardingn E. Y. Morris’ diatribe in the September issue, clearly Mr. Morris’ time in the Marine Corps was a fruitless one. He obviously learned nothing from the experience. First, I would remind Mr. Morris this is still a free country, and anyone may discuss religion or politics at their leisure. While I agree such discussions are not necessarily within the purview of a gun magazine, they can be germane to the broader discussion of the society which breeds gun control and other acts of stupidity. Mr. Connor, as usual hits the mark quite well.
So I wonder of Mr. Harris could enlighten us. What precisely were those “lies” we went to war over? As I recall, the existence of WMD in Iraq was a constant among the intelligence services of most of the western world, not to mention our own National Intelligence Estimate. Nobody “lied/” That idiocy was thrown out with the rest of the sewage years ago by those of us who understand these things. That Mr. Morris continues to spew it further demonstrates his ignorance.
How can somebody who professes to have read all of your fine publications for so long fail to comprehend why this nation is great, why it’s free, and what must be done to protect it? Maybe, in the end, this is why Mr. Harris is a “former Marine.”
B. David Wilson
Ex-Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class, USN
Being a medically retired law enforcement officer, you can imagine how many more pain pills I had to take after bolting off my seat due to Mr. Hansel’s statements.
After calming down and reading your response, I suspect you might have planted Mr. Hansel’s letter, just to get a rise out of your readers. The mistake is the number of years he has ‘owned guns and been an active hunter’.
The year is now, 2007. Less 60 years is 1947. Even if we allow him a ripe young age of 12 to own his first gun and hunt, he was there for WWII, Korea, Vietnam, etc. If he never associated with other people interested in guns and/or hunting, never read a magazine or newspaper, had his ammunition delivered to his home or the components to roll-his-own delivered, rather than going to the gun shop to buy what he needs (thereby associating with people), he might come to his letter’s stated conclusion.
The only chink in my argument is the listed town and state.
It’s very hard for me to believe someone who owns guns to hunt, target shoot and defend themselves could possibly come to those conclusions. Doesn’t “self defense” implicitly include rogue bears, unsavory human beings and a unfettered government (aka: the WWII Nazi Government)?
My response to these types of arguments from people who don’t own or want anything to do with guns is quote former Congressman Robert Dornen: “And by the way, Mr. Speaker, The Second Amendment is not for killing ducks … It is for hunting politicians like (in) Grozney and in 1776, when they take your independence away.” — Robert K. Dornen, US Congressman, 1995
I must respond to the letter from Mr. Morris of Hampton Bays, NY. It appears that Mr. Morris is another one of the “blame everything on the USA and Christians” type. Anyone who believes the muslims are a peaceful group if left alone is greatly deluded, likewise anyone who wants to blame “religion” for all of the wars of the world forgets one important fact: the “religion” of atheism has killed many more innocents than all of the Christian conflicts put together. Stalin, Mao, Hitler, Nero and the like also liked to blame Christians for the ills of the world.
On another note, I agree with most everything in your publications, am educated by most of the rest, and respectfully disagree on a tiny portion of the content, however, I will not cancel my subscription on that basis!
Tedd R Haas
What a beautiful response Jeff John had to John Hansel’s “More Gun Control” article in September’s “Crossfire.” AMEN to that! I hope that didn’t offend Mr. E.Y. Morris. He was also in the September issue. Remember, the guy that buys GUNS magazine to read about guns not religion? Oh well, he’s going cancel his subscription, so I guess it doesn’t matter.
Also, I wonder if Mr. Hansel is the same Hansel we find in the fairy tale “Hansel and Gretel”? Because just like the fairy tale, Mr. Hansel is living in a fairy tale world. Doesn’t he realize almost any form of gun control is dangerous to the law abiding citizen?! They don’t “just” want our assault rifles. They want all of our guns!
Thank God for our Country, our troops, GUNS magazine, and the NRA! Oops! Sorry Mr. Morris. I did it again. I used the word God.
In his September Crossfire letter Mr. Morris shows a further reading of history might be in order. The Crusades were at least in part a response to the expansionism of Islam. Right from the time of Mohammed, jihad was carried out with Islam taking over the middle east, much of the Balkans, all the way into India, North Africa, Sicily and Spain with ongoing raids into Italy and France. The crusades took back some of that. How much has jihad changed?
Duane G. Amundsen MD FACS
In regard to John P. Hansel, if I may quote the great Clint Smith,” Ignorance is cured by education, but stupid is forever!” After 60 years of owning guns and being a active hunter, Hansel should be aware the anti gunners are after total confiscation of all firearms . however I don’t think Hansel can be educated on the 2nd Amendment so, that leaves the latter. “These toys” Hansel referred to are nothing more than rifles with different furniture such as the hand guard, stock, grip, etc.
After reading Hansel’s nonsensical letter to Crossfire I decided to add a new EBR to my collection , in fact the AR-10. OH HOW EVIL!
Lesson 1: AR stands for “Armalite” not “Assault Rifle.” Lesson 2: the AR-10 is chambered in .308, the same as Hansel’s hunting rifle. Lesson 3: Never refer to firearms as “toys.” See? You’re learning already.
Clifton, New Jersey
If we are so hated by the rest of the world, why do so many people risk their very lives to come here? If Mr. Morris were to read anything about Islam, he would understand why it is that they hate everyone who is non-muslim. If he cancels his subscription, let me know. I’ll gladly donate a gift subscription to one of my high school American History students.
In reference to Mr. John P. Hansel’s “More Gun Control” letter in the September issue, I would like to submit the following: When I googled Hansel’s name, I came up with a blog site called “A Keyboard and a .45. It seems that Hansel is known for the same letter in many places. I ran across his letter in both of the local newspapers in the town I grew up in, Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. I subscribe to both. It irked me so much that I responded to both papers with the letter below. Both published my response and I would like to respond here, too.
In his comments “From One Gun Owner To Another” Hansel states that he can only think of three possible reasons for owning a gun: (1) To go hunting, (2) To use for target practice, (3) For self defense. I agree with these and would like to add two more, the pleasure of collecting and competitive shooting.
He goes on to promote the banning of “Assault weapons” and suggests that by a ban on these the slayings in WV Tech and Columbine would have been avoided. The Virginia Tech killer used a .22 semi-auto hand gun and a 9mm semi-auto hand gun. The Columbine killers used pipe bombs, rigged up propane bottle bombs, two shotguns (a double barreled shotgun and a pump shotgun), a 9mm handgun and a 9mm semiautomatic carbine rifle. Does he really believe that an assault gun ban would have stopped these people? How does he define an “assault weapon”?
Webster defines Assault Weapon as: any of various automatic or semiautomatic firearms ; especially : ASSAULT RIFLE By this definition, .22 semiauto rifles, semiauto hunting rifles, all semiauto handguns, all semiauto shotguns would be “Assault Weapons”.
I think it would be quite a task to convince the young rabbit hunter in the field, the home defense folks, and the sporting clay shooters / skeet shooters they were toting “Assault Weapons”.
Mr. Hansel says the NRA should take the lead in calling for a ban on the manufacture of all assault weapons. Again, please define “assault weapon.” The anti-gun groups are trying to add definitions such as guns with detachable magazines, vertical handles, select type of sights, “military looking” and on and on. The definitions used could include any gun at some point.
Although I have no desire to have an AR-15 (civilian model) or any similar in design, I do believe there are those who enjoy shooting them as much as I enjoy my old SAA’s (sixguns like Roy Rogers and Gene Autry had) and for similar reasons. They should have that right.
You mislead, Mr. Hansel. Without the NRA and similar organizations, you probably would not be allowed to even own the guns you own, much less use them.
What the NRA needs, Mr. Hansel, is more gun owners joining to protect their rights and clarify all of the misinformation put out by the anti-gun crowd.
Jack L. Campbell
In opposition to Mr. John Hansel’s letter, I’m a God-fearing, pro-American, responsible gun owner of an AK-47-stylee SAR-1, semiautomatic rifle (so-called “assault weapon”). My friends and I love going to the outdoor range at Markham Park. We do get a kick out of shooting and have a blast! We better, as I’ve spent lots of time and money on parts and gunsmiths to have what might be considered the most radical AK in America!
Yet, Mr. Hansel has me guilty by association, a tactic used by anti-gunners, and would leave me without my God-given right to defend my family from today’s ever-increasing criminal element or our ever-increasing enemy within.
If our troops are allowed to leave Iraqi families who are no threat an AK for self defense, shouldn’t decent American be allowed the same?
Pompano Beach, Florida
Mr. Morris also “left a little history out” in his letter to the editor in the Sept. issue of GUNS. Such as the fact that the Crusades, far from being an unprovoked attack on Islam, were in part defensive wars, intended to slow the MUSLIM invasions of Europe! The first of which Was Tarik ibn Ziyad’s Moorish invasion of Spain. The Moors conquered all of Spain by 712, FORCIBLY converting an entire Christian nation to Islam (i.e. convert or die!). This muslim invading army then conqured most of southern France before being turned back by Charles Martel at Tours in 732. Muslim invasions of Europe continued for the next three hundred years or so. The First Crusade took place in 1099.
The real truth is that the stated goal of Islam has been, from it’s creation, the conquest of the world, in the name of Allah. That is why they hate us. Conner is absolutely right, It’s because they hate our freedom, because it conflicts with Shariah Islamic law, just as they hated the freedom of Christian Europe in the Eighth Century!
What you call ‘garbage”, Mr. Morris, is recorded history, whether you like it or not, or whether it fits your world view or not.
As both a Vietnam and First Gulf War veteran, I applaud Mr. Connor, my fellow veteran, for having the guts to tell the truth in his “little history”. I Iook for ward every month to his articles in this magazine, and will continue to do so.
Donald G Schrecengost, MSgt, USAF, Ret.
I thank you for your service to this country. I spent 22 years in the military and understand your position, somewhat.
Maybe you should recheck your information sources. The crusades were responsible for a few hundred thousand Muslim deaths. But these same Muslims in their conquest of the Middle East, Africa and Southern Europe were responsible for well over a million deaths. A fact the politically correct seem to either forget or ignore.
I have also traveled the world extensively and in my experiences, very few people hated us, for the most part they like us and respect us. It is only the lunatic fringe that hates us. If they truly hated us, then why are so many risking their lives on a daily basis to come here illegally?
Connor has opinions, just like you and I. One thing I have noticed is his opinions are generally supported by the facts, something you should try.
In the September issue of Gun Magazine E.Y Morris takes Connor to task for forgetting history and not mentioning the Crusades and their effect on the long memory of Muslims. Mr. Morris is also forgetting his history.
The Muslims invented the concept of the religious/military crusade. After converting North Africa to Islam at the point of a sword, they invaded Europe in about 711 AD and were pushing into France until they were stopped at the battle of Tours by Charles Martel in 732, saving Europe from Muslim domination.
Those European Crusaders also had a long memory. One could argue that when the Europeans launched their crusade in 1096, that they might have regarded it as a pre-emptive strike to keep Muslims from trying to invade Europe again from their base in Spain.
Maybe in these times of politically correct/revisionist history, some people are afraid of hurting the feelings of the so called, innocent, peace loving Muslims by telling history as it really was.
The letter by Mr.Hansel was published in Guns Digest and my response to this letter was also published there. Suffice it to say that Mr. Hansel is a horses patoot. As for Mr. Morris, his credentials are suspect. There are two kinds of people, Marines and those who are not. I am not a Marine but I have been a lot of places.I have never met a “former Marine.”
I am always amazed at “the world hates us” mentality. I have found that very few people hate us and, in fact, most emulate us and wish to live as we do. Many are willing to risk their lives to have a small part of what is called “America”.
The Crusades have been over a long time, get over it already. Mr.Conner is an excellent writer with a fine sense of humor. If Mr.Morris cancels his subscription let me know and I will pay for mine twice.
Both these horses fannies should get together. They could enjoy each others misery. Keep up the fine work.
Will someone please remind Mr. Hansel that slightly different versions of his bolt action hunting rifle have been responsible for the deaths of tens of millions of people in several wars? Add a bayonet lug, and a bit more wood, and guess what you have! For that matter, self loading firearms have been used by hunters since before World War ONE.
“A sword is not a killer, it is a tool in the hands of a killer.” — Cicero.
By the same token, judging a firearm by it’s looks instead of by who uses it, is silly. Even the title “assault weapon” is a misnomer, because by definition an assault weapon is capable of automatic fire. Such firearms have been tightly controlled by the government (ATF) since 1933.
I own several semiautomatic firearms, among them a M1 Garand. Is that an EVIL a-salt weapon? I did own an M1 Carbine, did the15- and 30-round magazines make it evil as well?
The killings at Columbine WERE NOT done with A-salt weapons and as noted, the nutcase at Virginia tech used a handgun.
To sum up, I am damm sick of “hunters” telling me just what I can shoot on a target range, or have in my collection. Perhaps you should remind him of the words of Pastor Niemoller, a protestant minister who said nothing when the Nazi’s came after the trade unionists, the jews, and then the catholics. When they came for HIM. there was no one left to protest. If he thinks his hunting rifles are “safe” he is in for a big surprise, and there will be no one left to protest when they take his guns. I also got my first gun 60 years ago and I am old enough to know when the politicians are lying to me.
John F. Sukey
No disrespect to Mr. Hansel, but I see he is only worried about HIS GUNS and not ALL Guns being banned! I agree with you Mr. Editor. I live only 60 miles from the Va Tech Campus. After the shooting there, I heard no mention of any type of gun ban because the shooter was useing pistols! Not locally anyway! Thanks for listening.
Rocky Mount, Virginia
P.S. I am a life member of the NRA , I don’t think Mr. Hansel’s idea stands much of a chance of becoming reality!
I must respond to the letter from Mr. Morris of Hampton Bays, NY. It appears that Mr. Morris is another one of the “blame everything on the USA and Christians” type. Anyone who believes the muslims are a peaceful group if left alone is greatly deluded, likewise anyone who wants to blame “religion” for all of the wars of the world forgets one important fact: The “religion” of atheism has killed many more innocents than all of the Christian conflicts put together. Stalin, Mao, Hitler, Nero and the like also liked to blame Christians for the ills of the world.
On another note, I agree with most everything in your publications, am educated by most of the rest, and respectfully disagree on a tiny portion of the content, however, I WILL NOT cancel my subscription on that basis!
Tedd R Haas
This is the first time that I have ever written a letter to any gun magazine, and I am not a letter writer per sey, but I could not stand it any longer. I have read and received your magazine for several years now, and want to respond to the letter written by E. Y. Morris in your September 2007 Issue.
I was greatly disturbed by this anti-American, Commy Pinko, liberal piece of trash, and his anti-American, moral value hating views expressed in his letter. We know there are many idiots like him in our country who we have to put up with every day (I believe Jeff Cooper call them Goblins), and we don’t need to see letters from his type in an otherwise great and fantastic magazine such as yours. He seems to be upset about the article “Odd Angry Shot” by John Conner, which in my opinion is one of the best if not the best article in your mag.
I always look forward to reading John’s opinion, as I agree with him 99% of the time or 100%, and since I am approaching the half-century mark, I think it’s about time we speak out against these lunatics which would run our country into the ground. I’m tired of having to be “P.C.” and having to always watch what I say, when I say it, and where I say it. I’ve given up on this completely, and speak my mind whenever the urge hits me.
I am a true American patriot loving God, guns, and guts, which made America free, and am proud of it. It’s no wonder E.Y. Morris is a “former Marine,” if in fact he was one at all, and I would suggest to him and all his kind to buy a one way ticket to Africa or Iran, and get the heck out of our country and leave us alone. I like John’s column so much, I will gladly pay extra for it, and since I know that you folks are truly honorable, I will leave the amount up to you. Just send me a bill. All I ask is that we speak out like we used to 200 years ago when we built this country, and let’s stomp out weak kneed, yellow-bellied scum like E.Y. Morris and have our country back in the hands of righteous, moral, honest, and good people. I mean every word of this, and again, I say thanks for a great magazine, I will pay whatever it costs. Just please don’t change a thing except speaking out more about the way things should be and not printing any more letters by subhumans like this E.Y. Morris.
Charles F. “Chuck” Brown
First, I’d like to affer thanks to all those responsible for putting out such a great magazine. Guns, and the sister publications are consistently a top quality product. Kudos!
Second: To respond to Mr. E.Y. Morris (former Marine) I would like to thank you for your service to our country. Having said that, I do have to ask why you care if “we” (the United States) are “hated by the rest of the world”? Personally, I’m willing to settle for scorn and malice, so long as those two are accompanied by fear and respect.
Third: To Mr. Hansel, anti-gunners don’t care what sort of gun it is that you have, they want them all. Your logic about a lack of ‘need’ for certain firearms is flawed, and following that line of reasoning quickly shows us why. It could be argued that there is no ‘need’ for hunting firearms either. After all, we all have readily accessible grocery stores, right? Appying that logic to self defense shows a similar faulty outcome, as the police are just a phone call away. Correct?
By your stance, I assume that you don’t own an ‘assault weapon’. Can I further assume that gun confiscation and/or gun banning is OK, so long as it isn’t your gun being taken? Throwing fellow gun owners (of any stripe) under the bus to appease those who would take our guns isn’t the answer. In so doing, you play right into the anti’s hand, and worse still, by their rules! Don’t think so? Ask an anti-gunner what they think about your scoped bolt action. (Can you say “Sniper Rifle”?) Why would anybody need such a gun? What about your favorite turkey gun? Well, since it has a synthetic stock with a camoflage pattern and it’s a semiautomatic, it’s obviously a terrorist gun. Don’t forget it’s bore is larger than the much maligned .50 BMG. (gasp!) Better still, ask them about the .38 snubby you keep in your sock drawer. (Isn’t that a “Saturday Night Special?”) Only criminals use those, right? Now remember, there is no ‘need’ for these engines of destruction, so you make sure you’re the first in line to hand yours over. As for me and my house, we will keep ours.
Dear Editor, in response to John P Hansel’s letter, Mr. Hansel do you not realize the Antigunners will not stop banning guns until there is nothing left to ban? I recommend reviewing current British and Australian gun laws to discover guns are no longer available to ordinary citizens. The same anti-gunners want to start by banning our assault weapons, and then move on to your 60-year-old firearms. Finally, to answer your question Mr. Hansel, why yes, I do collect and own assault weapons “just for kicks,” which is the same reason why I purchased a new Chevrolet Corvette. What’s wrong with a responsible law-abiding adult owning a big toy, whether its a car, motorcycle, plane or an AR-15?
Sugar Land, Texas
I felt I must write in regards to comments by one, E.Y. Morris of New York regarding John Connor’s articles on the Islamic world.
Personally, I thought Mr. Connor’s articles were terrific and were absolutely correct as to the nature of the threat they present. I am a retired Naval Aviation Officer who served in Vietnam and traveled throughout much of the world. I also taught high school history for over 20 years and I am a proud Vietnam veteran and a firm believer in the hard-line approach.
I noticed Mr. Morris signed his letter as a former Marine, not a veteran of any conflict. If you lose him as a subscriber based on his views, it would be good riddance. I hope Mr. Connor continues to provide us with other great articles.
About once an issue, someone launches a salvo to say how disgruntled they are with one or another of the good writers of your magazine, and threatens to cancel his subscription. I guess that is all well and good as everyone has the right to his or her own opinion, but when one of our so-called brotherhood attacks any portion of my right to keep and bear arms just because he doesn’t like the style of firearm under discussion, well, case in point, I hereby take keyboard in lap and cancel my subscription to John Hansel of New Hampshire. Please John, be reasonable. By decrying “assault weapons” (also, please note — an AR-15 is not an assault weapon! It is nothing more and nothing less than any other semiautomatic firearm, just packaged differently), you are helping to destroy my freedoms here! I shoot prairie dogs with my AR.
I must speak out about the letter suggesting we give up our “assault weapons.” First, one must recognize what an assault weapon is by definition. Is it barrel length, magazine capacity or stock type, trigger weight, sighting mechanisms, caliber, bullet feeding mechanism, type of ammunition or a host of other criteria? Remember, the people who are defining “Assault Weapons” are the liberals. They may not know what an assault weapon is, but they do know one thing. They want our guns and they don’t just want some of them. They want them all and they will begin by defining assault weapons gradually to broadly encompass all the guns and ammo.
If we give into these people on anything they will continue to broaden the definition. That is how these things work. “Divide and Conquer” is one of their methods. If they can get some of us to agree a certain type of weapon is bad or “OK” to give up they’ve begun to chip at our base.
Oh yeah, I can think of lots of other reasons to own a gun. Let’s see: Sentimentality (as in my father who fought for our freedom left me his WWII 1911), Collecting (A Colt .45 from the Old West), Aesthetics (I just like the way it looked, This is what got my grandson started liking guns even though he is only 7-years old and is being raised by a liberal single mother who is afraid of guns because of lack of exposure and ignorance). I’m sure if I took the time, there are many other reasons to own and keep a gun.
Honest gun owners are the first ones to stand up and speak out against the illegal use of a gun to commit any crime, (although there is wiggle room here, too, for liberals).
Jeff John is right, the 2nd Amendment is about our right to defend ourselves from a tyrannical government. Let’s wake up and “smell the liberals.” If we give in and give up our assault weapons, they still won’t be happy until they have ALL OF OUR GUNS. I would think someone who has been hunting for 60 years would be better educated on this unless this guy is a plant by the liberals.
Klamath Falls, Oregon
Did you guys invent this idiot or is he for real? I’ll bet his last paycheck was signed by Sarah Brady. Unfortunately, there are way too many people like Mr. Hansel, who believe giving up one firearm type will save the rest of them. This has proven to be untrue as the latest introduction by Carolyn McCarthy shows. Assault .22 caliber rifles ? Threaded shotgun barrels? I thought that these were for choke tubes. I guess I was wrong, these threads turn a good bird gun into and assault shotgun. If he has really owned firearms for 60 years and had paid attention to the happenings in the political world, he would not feel the way he does. I hope.
I want to urge the good people of Keene, NH, to make sure Mr. Hansel doesn’t miss his next doctor’s appointment! Obviously his medications have gotten crossed up, and he has lost his sense of comprehension. “… tell the NRA to take the lead and call for a ban on the manufacture of all automatic and assault weapons of every caliber …” Clearly this man is medicated beyond reason and desperately needs help.
And there are only three reasons to own guns? How about No. 4? ’Cause I damn well like to own guns!
And I have nearly as many as what he would refer to as “assault” weapons as I do anything! I love to hunt. Deer, DUCKS and ‘yotes! But even more, I love to shoot! Just to be shooting, whether informal plinking or training for self-defense. So please get Mr. Hansel the help he needs so he can be a productive gun owner once more.
And while I’m here, can you suggest to Clint Smith he need not quantify his opinions and beliefs? I love his articles, his writing style, and subject matter. He simply need not take up valuable type space to apologize for his opinions. Those who do not get his intentions and meaning will NEVER understand, and will forever be mired in “turd sucker mode”. No apologies or explanations should be needed for them.
To the rest of the staff…. keep ‘em coming and I’ll keep reading ‘em! Thanks for the great magazine.
Det. Sgt. Scott Snyder
I have also owned firearms for most of my adult life. I received my first rifle as a gift from my dad when I was a young boy. I also agree people own guns for one or more of three reasons, hunting, target, or defense. This is where my agreement with Mr. Hansel of New Hampshire stops.
I am a collector of military style firearms, not the more common liberal media term “assault weapons.” How could a self proclaimed gun owner ever call for an NRA sponsored ban on any type of firearm? Does this so-called gun owner realize if you ban one type of gun, others will shortly follow? The NRA would never win over more membership either. Support for a ban like this would only cause true freedom-loving gun owners to run from one the only real supporters of firearm owner’s rights. I do not understand how any gun owner could even think of supporting a ban on one type of gun just because he doesn’t like them.
If you do your homework, you would know true assault type firearms are restricted to law enforcement, military, and “Class 3” owners. The common guy or gal going to buy a firearm at the local gun shop would not be able to buy or order these weapons. After I read the letter from Mr. Hansel, I was outraged to see a gun owner calling for a ban on any type of firearm. How about we ban-high powered bolt action firearms next, after all they could be used as sniper rifles.
Christopher M. Zappa
Oceanside, New York
John P. Hansel claims he has “owned guns and been an active hunter for over 60 years. If both are true, he must be at least 74, so might be a little bit excused for his ignorance. (I’m 65, so I can say that).
However, that raises a question: Should the BATF add a senility test or an IQ test to background checks before allowing us to buy a firearm? If so, I don’t think Mr. Hansel would qualify.
Love your magazine, and particularly John Connor!
I am disappointed that a former US Marine (E.Y. Morris) would tell someone else what not to talk about. Isn’t there an amendment about that or something? If he doesn’t want to read Connor’s excellent articles, just turn the page.
I’m glad that the writers are encouraged to explore new subjects (as you stated in another issue).
For me, it was most encouraging to see Conner was writing about those things that raise my blood pressure — things largely unsaid by the mainstream media. He saved many the hassle of finding alternative reliable news sources and condensed the content giving it to us in a concise to the point manner. The issues he raises affect Americans and our country. The many wars currently going on basically have to do with religion. Wars to control the world and conquer nations are not what we see today.
I always read Crossfire first when my magazine arrives, then look to see which gun I won’t win, then Conner. I do read every article, not bad for an old soldier who did near three decades with the Army.
A couple letters bothered me in September edition. Mr. Morris of New York didn’t sound much like the Marines I fought beside. Most of them had a sense of humor and never called themselves “former US Marine.” I would like to ask him if the country I defended for many years is so bad, why are so many people trying to get here? Can he name one Middle Eastern nation where people are trying to get in? People hate us because we are here and they are not.
Mr. Hansel of New Hampshire is like one of the mass mailings from the anti-gun folks. On April 19, 1775, when members of my family stood at a little Bridge near Concord, it wasn’t because the government wasn’t passing enough laws to disarm them. Most carried the equivalent of the English Brown Bess, if they could obtain one. He seems to have bought into the Second Amendment being about hunting. Sad that our concept of history has gone so far downhill.
Those years in the military were spent defending their right of free speech and press. Of course, now that I am again a civilian, I have the freedom to disagree.
Kingdom of Daley, People’s Republic of Illinois
Regarding E.Y.Morris’ letter in the September issue, the first Crusade called by Pope Urban II in 1095 was a response to a call for help from the Byzantine Emperor Alexus for aid against muslim aggression against existing Christian countries. By the early eighth century, Christians had already lost Palestine, Syria, North Africa and almost all of Spain to Muslim armies.
The Crusades began as self defense against Muslim conquests. Yes, there was a theological component but, <I>duh<I>, the Muslims were attacking Christians (and everyone else) simply because they weren’t Muslims.
Not everyone hates us. Just ask the border patrol how many illegals repeat attempts to enter the US. All those millions can’t be wrong. Perhaps the Marine Corps. should teach history as well as marksmanship.
PS: When’s Connor gonna write a book?
Hernandez, New Mexico
To the writer of the letter titled “No Religion Zone,” most of the world does not hate us, they envy us. If they cannot make their country like ours, their citizens want to come here. The ones that do hate us, hate us because of our influence — read the previous sentence. Our nation has not only civil rights but economic rights as well. That means entrepreneurs have the right to travel to other nations to create business opportunities. Again, that thing about influence. It’s funny about dictators, they hate their subjects to be influenced with ideas about freedom and liberty.
The Crusades did have a lofty undertaking. You can like it or not, that’s up to you. Christianity, you know, I’ve come to the conclusion that overall, it’s a good thing. It is my opinion the types of governments that honor the personal freedoms we enjoy in the West would not be possible without the influence of Christianity. And that opinion is coming from an Agnostic. A true Agnostic. I’m willing to accept either side if it can be proven. However, politically, I’m the old-fashion Baptist I was raised. That’s because of the statement in the Declaration of Independence, “We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their CREATOR, with certain unalienable Rights . . .” The point is, I don’t mind talk about religion. We happen to be in a religious war. Not of our making, but theirs.
As far as lies used to invade nations? I don’t know if Bush lied or not. Saddam did use chemical weapons against the Kurds and the Iranians. But I do insist that we fight them over there and not over here. I also don’t mind that we “nation (re-)build” Iraq to be an example of what non-Christian countries could become; that is, if Iraq stabilizes into a reasonable democracy.
I just opened the September issue, started reading Crossfire and am compelled to write and voice an opinion on the letter by John P. Hansel of New Hampshire.
Mr. Hansel, and many like him, fail to come to the rationalization that those in America want to deny any gun owner the right to own a firearm, hunter or not.
With the recent Zumbo fiasco, I was able to glean just how far off the thinking of the hunting community is. They believe that their over/under, lever-action rifle, or muzzleloader is safe and the Evil Black Rifles should go. That seems to be a common theme with many hunters, and especially the older ones. I cannot get over the thinking from that crowd about what “ I really need.” This is elitist thinking and will continue to divide our community when unification is needed most. Look to England.
It is high time that all Americans unite to preserve our rights, because Mr. Hansel’s “hunting weapons” are on that list as well.
When I read the letter from E.Y. Morris in the September issue I thought it read more like a Muslim propaganda sheet than a “history lesson.” Morris states Conner leaves a little history out, but I wonder if Morris has even a basic knowledge of the history of the Islamic religion?
The fact is the first crusade was started as a response to a plea for help from the Byzantine emperor to Pope Urban II. Pope Urban II saw it as a Christian duty to render assistance even though the Byzantine Empire was not on the best of terms with the church.
Morris also makes the claim millions of Muslims were murdered during the crusades. Morris fails to mention all of the victims of the Muslim wars, which conquered two-thirds of the Christian world prior to the start of the first Crusade. Check the locations of the battles and you will see many were not fought in the Middle East or in Palestine.
As for being hated by the rest of the world, all I can say is if we are so hated by the rest of the world, why do we have tens of millions of illegal immigrants from every region of the world? Those that do hate us hate us for the freedom and opportunity our great country offers to all who live here.
Keep it up Conner, for all of us who believe in freedom and commonsense.
I finished reading the “Crossfire” section of September’s issue a couple hours back. I would’ve written sooner, but I just now got the blood pressure back down to normal. The letters from E.Y. Morris (a “former” Marine? I didn’t realize there were any “former” Marines… except John Murtha, of course!) and John P. Hansel (I have some pretty clear ideas of what that “P.” stands for.)
Folks, we’ve been had. These are clearly seminar writers; leftist twits who send in crayon scribbled missives from their east coast digs in the hope of breaking a few weak links off the chain. Mr. Morris whines “we are hated by most of the world …” Perhaps. So what? I doubt the world at large thought highly of us when we entered and resolved the last world war, or the first.
The approval of Euro-ninnies and third world crazies is low on my list of what matters. High on my list of what matters are the underpaid and under appreciated men and women whose boots are currently treading sand on two separate fronts. They aren’t there because a politician fibbed, they’re there because they VOLUNTEERED (God bless ’em!) and because they possess the honor and dignity necessary to serve their time in OUR defense. The very least we can do is support their effort and admire the bravery and dignity displayed by them every damn day. I applaud <I>GUNS<I> and <I>American Handgunner<I> for informing us of the positive events the rest of the media won’t cover. Yes, the crusades were a horrible and dark period in world history but that was 800 years ago. Sorry, but the events of September 11th are a little more fresh in my memory — along with the Cole bombing and the first attempt at the WTC.
As to Mr. Hansel (where is Gretel?), we had an “Assault Weapons” ban under the previous administration. The only effects it had were a precipitous rise in the cost of Ruger 10-22 magazines, a brief attempt by the BATFE (and sometimes “Y”) to stop the importation of Italian clones of 19th century pistol-caliber lever guns (remember that?) and a steady drumbeat for more “reasonable” legislation.
Thank you for a great magazine.
Virginia Tech Tragedy
This was a topic on which John Connor and I agonized over doing for the very reasons set forth below in the first letter. Yet to ignore the tragedy in the face of the continuous scheming by the anti-gunners to work this into new gun control law was, in the end, the justification for the column.
If you’d like to refresh you memory and re-read Connor’s column first, click here:
Who Killed Our Kids? John Connor will reply below. — Jeff John
I’ll get right to the point: you don’t know what the hell you are talking about.
Not only am I a proud VT employee, I was actually scheduled to work in Librescu’s class that day. By some bizarre coincidence, my student in that class emailed me thirty minutes prior to class to tell me that their grandfather (also a Holocaust survivor) had just died, so they wouldn’t be attending Librescu’s class. Even then, I was heading over to Norris (Spring semester, I provided services to 8 classes; 4 were on second floor Norris) to get some work done. Norris 200 — right next to Librescu’s class in 204 — was empty during that time period and I worked there whenever the class was cancelled.
At the last moment, I decided to go to Randolph…500 feet away. An unusual decision that saved my life. Trust me—had I been on that floor, I would have seen to it that all the students in 204 were out the window … and I wouldn’t have hesitated to trade my life for Librescu’s. He was a hero long before 4/16.
He was an extraordinary scholar, a devoted teacher (he spent hours tutoring my student and he always made sure that I was understanding him as well) and a citizen in the highest sense of the word. I was genuinely fond of him and the only reason I came across your article is because I have Google set to alert me to any mention of Librescu in the media.
I also worked with Kevin Granata, who locked students in his office on the third floor and walked downstairs to confront Cho, worked in classes with Jeremy Herbstritt, Matthew La Porte (another unsung hero who tried to grab Cho from behind), and I sat a mere 5 feet from Minal Panchal — the only student who didn’t survive in Librescu’s class. I know about a dozen of the wounded, including the brave, proud survivors of Librescu’s class who immediately returned in wheelchairs, crutches and slings when they all had the option of receiving a passing grade for the semester and leaving the school. Virtually all of the engineering students from Norris were in support of keeping Norris open, despite many voices on campus and in the community who wanted to tear it down.
True Americans and proud Hokies. The point of all this is that your solution is ludicrous. Hinckler (a fine man … and you should keep your mouth shut about him because you obviously don’t know what the hell you are talking about here, either) may have seemed “dismissive” to the obnoxious gun nut kid (who is free to go to any of the other fine universities in Virginia if he doesn’t like our policies), but it’s not like this subject wasn’t up for debate. My colleagues—all of whom work in classrooms, not some safe office somewhere—and I have had a long, rational discussion about it. Not one of us are anti-gun. In fact, as soon as I can afford a truly quality gun, a secure lock box and in-depth lessons in gun safety, laws and target practice, I’m going to buy one myself.
Here is the issue, though — Virginia’s gun laws are not strict. Just about any moron who is felony free and has never been COMMITTED — in which it has to be proven that you are a CLEAR and present danger to yourself or others (leaves a lot of leeway for semi-lunatics like Cho) and you are 18 years old, then you can carry a gun.
The day that guns are allowed in the classroom is the day I quit. Here’s why: you don’t have to have any special skill or proof of mental stability to carry a gun. I personally refuse to work in a classroom full of gun-happy nuts. In fact, I would be more concerned about one of them going berserk than some random nut appearing with a gun. Secondly, maybe more people would’ve survived 4/16 (presuming the unlikely scenario that there would be no “friendly fire”), but how many of these students would end up killing each other? Don’t get me wrong; our student body consists of some the most intelligent, articulate, conscientious, compassionate people in the country. I’m proud to work with them and work amongst them. However, these are also their party years. What the hell is going to happen at the biweekly frat parties if everybody is loaded (pun fully intended)?
As it stands now, our crime rate is almost nil. The most common infractions are minor posession charges, DUIs and an occasional kid complaining that someone broke into their unlocked dorm room and stole their iPod. I’ve lived in Huntsville, AL, Penscacola, FL, Richmond, VA, and San Diego and though I’ve lived here for 10 years, I’m still astonished by how truly safe and peaceful it is. Your claim that most of the people in the movie houses are armed? Bullshit. I just plain don’t believe you. If so, prove it instead of espousing The World According to John Connor.
But what angers me is not your proposition to allow weapons on campus. I would not be totally opposed to that—if it was limited to certain faculty/staff members with an extensive military back ground or at least held some special sharpshooter certification…along with biannual mental health checks and extensive background checks, including juvenile records.
No, what angers me is for you to use a horrible tragedy — I know I’ll never get over it — to promote your slimy agenda. Never mind the goddamn facts; just point at grieving, dedicated people who carefully crafted their policies after long and continued discussions before making their (correct) decision. In fact, for you to term Virginia Tech as being “politically correct” literally made my colleagues laugh. I assure you, for a university, it is quite conservative. Our Corps of Cadets (of which Matthew LaPorte was a proud member) is second only to Texas A&M…hardly a bunch of dreamy liberals.
Other than that, the only people I want armed at Virginia Tech are our fine campus police who did an extraordinary job under the circumstances…as well as any metropolitan area could do for a tragedy you simply cannot foresee. By the way, reaction time of law enforcement and emergency personnel was incredible. Remember, I was only 500 feet away. A friend of mine who works for the fire department called me as soon as he heard the first 911 call. I looked out the window and I’ve never seen so many cops in my life: VT police, Blacksburg police, Montgomery County Sheriff’s department, Virginia State Police (another one of my friends is a state police investigator who was a first responder and is still having nightmares every night … and he served in Iraq), FBI, SWAT … cops as far as the eye can see — immediately.
So that crap you’ve heard about how much time it took is pure heresay. Continue spreading your paranoid rantings about response time if you must, but I WAS THERE. From the time the first call came in to the time it took my friend to call me (immediately, since he knows how much time I spent on second floor Norris and was truly concerned about me), they were there.
Incidentally, genius, did it ever occur to you that — had they checked into Cho’s history of mental illness — that he would’ve been unable to buy a gun and THAT might’ve saved 32 lives and dozens of injuries?
Of course not…you don’t care about the truth. You don’t bother to learn ANYTHING about Virginia Tech (which, out of the four universities I’ve worked, is BY FAR the best in terms of educational standards, world-renowned professors and is a top thirty research university). You don’t stop to think how your inflammatory bullshit is hurting people who walk about here like grief-stricken zombies…or maybe you just don’t care. I don’t think you are overly concerned about facts; you certainly don’t have any facts to support your bloated, mindless, unforgiveably stupid rhetoric.
I’ve been truly overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support that we have received from literally all over the world. In all of the thousands of notes, placards, paintings, quilts etc that we have received, you are only the SECOND person who has truly angered me. The other was a Korean girl at Princeton who wrote an article about the “backlash at Koreans” here at VT…which was and is nonexistent. Her sources were Facebook, MySpace, a blog and a rumor she heard from a friend that her cousin’s Korean friend at Tech was hit for no reason. Spurious, childish nonsense with laughable sources, but hey — AT LEAST SHE HAD SOURCES. Where are yours?
Incidentally, the email I sent to her makes this one look like a love note … just so you know I’m not attacking you because I’m some slobbering, Phil Donahue liberal. I’m attacking you because — again — you don’t know what the hell you are talking about, you are hurting countless people with your vicious, moronic babble, you have absolutely no facts, no sources, no statistics, no proof whatsoever to back your claims. If you wrote a paper like that here, you would get laughed out of class — not because of the subject, but because there is absolutely NO valid research, no evidence to support your claims, it is unnecessarily cruel (you could have easily made your point in a lucid manner that would have been worthy of debate and not contempt) and, worst of all, you are a terrible writer.
Again, I’m not anti-gun; far from it. But because of so many reactionary, frothing-at-the-mouth morons like you represent gun collectors, the gun industry, and the NRA, is exactly why people push for stronger gun laws. It’s impossible to take you seriously: you’re stupid, almost comically enraged (you might make your point more effectively if you hurl stone tablets on the sniveling idolators), you dismiss people who might not agree with you as “psychological cripples” who, by the way, are at least armed (again, pun intended) with some sort of formal research. More ominously, you sound crazier than a shithouse bug. I find it rather terrifying that someone like you is armed.
Why don’t you come visit us here in the fall, when all 26,000 students and 10,000 faculty/staff members are here? God knows I don’t want you here…you’re an embarrassment. However, if you actually have the stones to come here and still feel compelled to walk about in a paranoid fugue, fondling your gun and babbling Doomsday gibberish to anyone ignorant enough to listen…then at least you would not be completely uninformed. Of course, you would go on to pervert the true situation to suit your deluded, pathetically paranoid agenda, but you would have to know somewhere in that wasteland of a mind that you are tragically mistaken.
Please take this as personally as possible,
Michael S. Duvall
John Connor’s rebuttal to Mr. Duvall
I’ll keep this brief because first, I have to presume you weren’t really seeking a response, otherwise, you might have been less pointedly insulting and offensive. Admittedly, I’m relying on certain rules of civil discourse you may not be familiar with. “If you want answers, don’t lead with insults.” Second, I think if you re-read both my article and your scathing letter with a calm and open mind, you might — just might — re-think some of your accusations.
I saw the events of April 16 through the eyes of one with over a decade of metropolitan SWAT experience; service as a participant, not a bystander, in similar situations; someone trained and a veteran trainer for such emergency response at local, regional and national levels. You may disagree with my views, but in fact I do know what the hell I’m talking about. For you, April 16 was a singular event in your life. I have spent a great deal of my adult life studying, training for, and actually responding to such scenes. Yes, we see things differently.
My sources were accredited news agency reports, official law enforcement press releases, and statements gained from confidential sources available to me as a former officer. All were checked for consistency. You might note that I did not criticize police response, as you implied. Among other things, I did not comment on their “breaching” of the building, because in the immediate aftermath it was not confirmed whether Cho had chained those doors himself, if the officers responding had the proper equipment and training for breaching, and what level of communications they had for coordinating their efforts. Since then, my focus has been on examining these issues for ongoing training in “mobile shooter response” with appropriate agencies. I feel this is more important and productive than simply trashing people I disagree with.
Your presumptions and predictions about possible irresponsible actions by lawfully armed students and faculty are not supported by the record. Your fellow Virginians who legally engage in concealed weapon carry have an admirable record for restrained and responsible conduct. I never claimed, by the way, that “most of the people in movie houses are armed,” did I? That was just one of your many misrepresentations. But the fact is, anytime you are off campus, you do move in a statistically rich environment of rational, responsible armed citizens, whose mere existence in society makes daily life safer for you whether you trust them or not. That includes people like Brad Gates, whom you characterized as “the obnoxious gun nut kid.” Who’s the paranoid?
Enough. I will yield the floor to our readers now, and close with this: It is one thing to say that someday, someday, you will buy a gun, and get adequate training. It is quite another to actually do it, and to shoulder the responsibilities of a free, armed citizen, which carries with it the duty to protect innocent others as well as yourself. You are not qualified to criticize those who do. — John Connor
John Connor is absolutely on the money in placing the blame for the VT shootings. This will, or at least should, remain timely. It might be worth noting that after a number of school shootings in Israel teachers and staff were encouraged to carry weapons. Since then there have been no more school shootings.
Duane G. Amundsen MD FACS
Just finished my September Guns and have to comment on Connor’s article about VT. FINALLY someone has the spine, guts and balls to tell it like it is. He put into words what I have been preaching for years. By placing the blame on all levels of the Idiocracy (idiots in the bureaucracy) where it belongs he hit it dead center (pun intended). Maybe the article will start people thinking about the assininity of this whole gun control sellout.
Oh, by the way, DO NOT let Connor get away. Keep him at all costs (including his inflated expense account). Give that man everything he wants as long as he keeps writing gospel as he is now. He’s one of the main reasons I keep my subscriptions to Guns and American Handgunner.
I read John Connor’s article and couldn’t agree more. I live in Utah and the University of Utah tried to have a gun ban; it was slapped down by the State Legislature. Sometimes the government does it right. What amazes me is that even after the Trolley Square incident there are still those in Utah who think gun bans make us safe. These people are sheep asking the wolves for protection. After all, it can’t happen here … right? Me, I’d rather be a bear.
Sirs, In the September issue Connor wrote about the VT shooting. To those who said do not write I say shut up. To Connor I say Bully Good show. You have said something that needed saying. Keep it up. Thanks I am not a sheep.