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Thread: Open Letter To Our Nations Leaders Re:Gun Control and Violence

  1. #1
    Senior Member hiss srq's Avatar
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    Dec 2005
    Around here and near there.

    Open Letter To Our Nations Leaders Re:Gun Control and Violence

    This was written by a NYPD Cop and I find it to be very on point so I thought I would share it here.

    I will start off by saying that I know that this letter is being typed in vain, as it will be glanced over, forgotten about, or completely dismissed. As politicians, you know what’s best for the safety of this Country. You know what exactly has to be done in regards to violent gun crimes, but I as a Police Officer, who faces the prospect of getting my head blown off on a daily basis, do not know what needs to be done to help prevent such crimes.

    As our elected leaders, you are doing nothing in terms of representing the best interests of the safety and well being of our citizens. Why do I say this? Because it is plain to see that the decision process and grandstanding is nothing more than a reactive and emotional response to a real problem that needs real solutions with a logical approach, not an emotional approach mixed in with larger political aspirations and ideals.

    I’ll start off by saying that gun violence is a real problem that this Country faces. However, the solutions being put forth will do nothing to curb that violence and you know it. I know it because you have failed to address the biggest percentage of gun violence, inner-city gun violence using black market weapons that were stolen, sold by “straw-men”, or shipped from South America, China, and former Soviet States. Most of these weapons are not “assault weapons” and are handguns, with serial numbers defaced, and were never on the shelves of gun shops, or sold during gun shows.

    On a daily basis, these weapons are used to kill and maim our inner-city youth, innocent bystanders, and law enforcement personnel. The statistics of dead and inured that pile up on a daily basis in our major cities would make the Newtown monster, the Virginia Tech psycho, and the Aurora maniac blush. Meanwhile, the focus and attention shifts away to “assault weapons” which are rarely used in gun related crimes. We as Police Officers, know what needs to be done to help curb the violence. I use the word curb because anyone knows that you can’t stop every violent crime, especially when the criminal is hell bent on committing such crimes without fear of consequence.

    Ask most Police Officers that have walked the streets of any big city or major metropolitan area and they will all say the same thing, society as a whole has changed. Our collective attitude as a Country has changed, with indifference to violence, respect for the law, respect towards others, respect for oneself, respect for other peoples property, privacy, and things such as our inability to keep a simple promise or vow we make to our loved ones and friends. All of these problems we face as a nation culminates into the society we created for ourselves today, a large group of people that are selfish, lack empathy, or the ability to solve real problems with real solutions. Once we as a Nation take a good look in the mirror and realize that we are part of the problem, then and only then can we start the mission of solving our issues.

    First and foremost, we need to establish respect for the laws already in effect before establishing new laws. District Attorneys need to stop the practice of plea-bargaining when it comes to dealing with violent crimes and gun related crimes, including simple ones such as possession of an illegal firearm even if not used in a violent crime. Judges that interpret the law as written instead of letting criminals off with light sentences, only to walk the streets and go back into the business of preying on innocent people once they get out of jail. If the judges and DA’s can’t play by the rules, then they should be replaced with those that can do their jobs competently just like any other job in the private sector.

    We are a Nation of laws and not opinions. If judges and DA’s want to push a certain political agenda with their decisions, then they go can into the business of politics or writing editorials. We need to start putting our violent criminals away for good. I am tired of hearing about Cops being killed or innocent civilians being killed at the hands of a piece of garbage that has been arrested 47 times and did 3 years for attempted murder.

    Along with fixing our judicial system, we also need to address our mental health system. Every week on patrol, I was called to the same homes, for the same violent emotionally disturbed people, people that we escorted to psych facilities the week before. Every week the same disturbed people would violently act out on their loved ones, innocent bystanders, and/or first responders coming to assist. One of the hardest things to do is to have to make that decision in putting a loved one away in order they don’t hurt themselves or someone else. However, that decision should be an option to families across America. We need to overhaul our system so that these people could get the help they need, without the stigma attached, and in facilities that they know are safe and without abuse to patients. These people, their families, and their neighbors are being put in harms way because of political correctness and the lack of care that comes with such policies. Giving emotionally disturbed people psych meds and sending them on their way is one of the policies that got us where we are today.

    We are also failing our Children, the last and final kick in the gut. Today’s outlook on society and selfishness has created en entire generation that lacks parenting. Our children need to be parented, not given the freedom to make their own decisions. Parents are not meant to be a child’s friend, their job is to parent. It is our duty to protect our kids, watch what they eat, watch what they drink, watch their TV and video game intake, try our best to keep them from drugs, alcohol, and be careful of the friends that they make. We need to instill a set of values in our children, so that they have an appreciation and respect for the things that our Nation does not respect and appreciate. While there is a time to “cut the chord”, that time does not come at any age less than 18, during the years that they are most influenced.

    As a Police Officer, I can talk about all of the logical ideas that will help take the steps towards minimizing the chances of gun related violence. As a politician, you can tell me that my ideas are logical and without emotion, but you are wrong. I have an emotional card in this game too. I am a father to be and in a several years, my son will be going to public school and exposed to the same dangers our young children are exposed to today. With the laws that you are proposing, I can tell you that my son will be no safer tomorrow than our children today.

    That being said, the goal of this letter is not to say that we may as well do nothing if we can’t prevent every gun related violent crime, so I give to you some very realistic solutions that will minimize the risk and lower the damage we are doing to future generations –

    1. Enforce the firearm laws that are already on the books. – No plea bargains, no bail, no early parole
    2. Make possession and or use of an illegal firearm more strict in terms of punishment. 10-20 years for possession, 25 years to life for use of a firearm in a violent crime – i.e Robbery, Burglary, Assault ~ Life sentence for Rape or Murder.
    3. Make the same punishment to “straw-men” buyers who’s weapons are used in such crimes.
    4. Mandatory safety classes and qualification for all licensed gun owners every 3-5 years. Gun owners must show proficiency in safety and weapons handling in order to keep their license. If not, they have 1 year to re-qualify or lose their guns/license for a period of 5 years.
    5. Close the loopholes that allow transfer of weapons person to person without a background check – but allow American Citizens to own whatever type of weapons that are currently legal, as well as any hardware such as magazines.
    6. Overhaul the Mental health system, creating a safe environment that keeps violent emotionally disturbed people away from the general public and discontinue the practice of mass distribution of “psych meds and go.”
    7. Let schools and parents decide if they want to include in their budget (making the necessary cuts to afford), armed, trained, plain-clothes personnel that are either off-duty or retired Police Officers to enhance the safety of their schools.
    8. Treat excessively violent movies no different than the porn industry. These movies should either be rated NC-17 or rated X, and should receive no tax incentives or state funded monies to help cut production cost.
    9. Pull off the game store shelves our excessively violent video games that are no different than the simulators that our armed services use to train our men and women to kill in a time of war. They should also be treated as the porn industry and only available to adults.
    Here are nine sensible steps in trying to minimize the violence we face on a daily basis. It’s time for a common sense approach to dealing with the issues that face our Nation instead of a series of knee-jerk reactions that impede on our rights or a set of laws that don’t do anything at all to solve the issue of gun related violence.

    It is time that people hear our voices, the ones in the trenches, that know the actual dangers, that deal with the actual criminals, not the ones from the podium who’s kids go to private schools and have 24/7 security.
    Southwest Airlines-"Once it pop's it's time to stop" Southwest Airlines-"Our Shamu's are almost real" Southwest Airlines -"We blow our top real easy" Southwest Airlines- "You can't top us..... really"

  2. #2
    Senior Member megatop412's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Philadelphia(south Jersey, actually)
    A well-intentioned effort for sure, but unfortunately guns and violence have been steeped into American culture for DECADES. It will probably take the same amount of time to wring that out of the national consciousness, and then only if there is a major buy-in by the American people. But that would require major changes in the mindsets of those people, and based on my experience in the mental health field, I'm sorry to say it but it ain't gonna happen.

    Gun violence in our country is a complex, multifaceted problem that defies simple 'step 1-2-3' answers. The entire gun 'control' argument is completely illogical, yet people are clamoring for MORE gun control, as if that would ever be the solution, because they are desperate to throw anything they can at it. People who are hell-bent on destruction are hell-bent on destruction, period. They could care less if there are laws forbidding what they aim to do.

    I'll just address the part I personally have knowledge of, our 'mental health system'. I have to say that I'm a little bit irritated at how many ill-informed people are trumpeting that 'we have to fix the broken mental health system'. It is like they have no recollection of the conditions which brought us to this point. Remember way back when there were State Psychiatric Hospitals? The ones that were closed because patients were getting 'institutionalized' and all of a sudden there was no money to run them? Well, those decisions sure came back to haunt us, didn't they? I say, you want more effective, comprehensive treatment? Then SHOW ME THE MONEY FOR THE TREATMENT. I'm sick of all of these politician talking heads on TV trying to place blame anywhere but where it squarely belongs, themselves. Unless this country(which now doesn't have a pot to piss in, as my father would eloquently say) is willing to commit the resources to radically overhaul this dysfunctional system, nothing will change. We have to first be willing to place mental health treatment needs on par with physical medicine instead of treating it like a bastard stepchild, and that requires a recognition that mental health treatment deserves as much financial support as medicine gets.

    When I entered the field in the 1990's, the medication and go strategy he talks about was in full effect. I saw the same sick people get admitted over and over and over and over again, because the way the law is set up, you can only compel people into treatment if there is a danger to self and/or others. As soon as that danger is passed, because of the 'least restrictive setting' doctrine, they have to be released. We tried to keep them in the loop by setting up comprehensive aftercare(outpatient treatment with a psychiatrist and a therapist, as well as family support systems. But in many cases, these very sick folks would just stop their medications and then lie to case managers. And before long, they'd be right back to the same conditions. Ineffective. This is the same set of circumstances that led to a trip to the ER for me after being attacked by a patient.

    I can't speak to the other aspects of this hydra-headed demon such as violent video games, music, and movies, but I do know that we need to do a lot of soul searching as a country to decide where we want to go from here, and be prepared to make whatever sacrifices necessary to get there.

  3. #3
    Senior Member NIKV69's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    As with any attempt at gun control what happens is the fringe takes over. For the right it's people that don't want any gun laws. For the left it's for taking all guns out of the picture. It's a shame both parties can't get together and pass some common sense laws without bowing to the nutbags in their party.

    We do need laws but we also need to keep our rights intact. At this point I would be a bit more happy if we can get our spending under control so maybe I have a shot at seeing my Social Security. That is a bit more important than trying to pacify the Piers Morgans and the Fareed Zakarias who have been trying to turn us into Europe ever since they immigrated here.
    'My idea of a good picture is one that's in focus and of a famous person doing something unfamous.' Andy Warhol

  4. #4
    Senior Member gonzalu's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    The Bronx, New York
    I got it!!

    --Make ALL GUNS, no matter how small or big, LEGAL... heck, they should be available with your Milk at the Supermarket!!!
    --Make all ammunition of ANY KIND, illegal and destroy whatever exists today...

    Would be fun!!!
    Manny Gonzalez
    Thrust Images | General Photography | R.I.P. Matt Molnar 1979-2013

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    honstley as being 17 i do agree with what he said is what we need sadly theres so many crimes commited Not only in ny but in the deep south which is where i live sadly instead of living in israel and or st maarten :\,i do agree with what he said about the laws.theres also cases of anti semtic rising in the south..which is sad But i do agree with what he said should be taken effect Just a shame that both parties democract and republican cant sit down and make really is a shame these days.but this has been in our countrys for decades. it just really is a shame that both of our parties cant sit down and Make rules without republicans arguring about gun laws..

  6. #6
    Senior Member RWB's Avatar
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    Oct 2012
    San Antonio, Texas
    Quote Originally Posted by Just_Lucas View Post
    it just really is a shame that both of our parties cant sit down and Make rules without republicans arguring about gun laws..
    Let's look at the last "assault weapons ban" from the Clinton (democrat) era, I could still buy a AR15 but it couldn't be sold with certain 'cosmetic' features like a flash suppressor, collapsible stock or a high capacity mag., all those items could be purchased legally at a different table and put on the gun.

    I agree with the Police Officers letter, especially the part about no more plea bargains, I've seen that too many times! A felon with a weapon has mandatory sentences but somehow those charges get dropped in the plea deal.


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