Dear Senator Warner
I would like to thank you for your letter in reply to my request that you oppose the Assault Weapons Ban, HR-1022. It was assuring to receive a letter that specifically addressed my concern, and not to have received a pre-written "cookie cutter" reply.
In your letter, you stated that the previous ban on specific weapons deemed assault type weapons, or accessories deemed unnecessary was in no way a hindrance to the law abiding citizens of this country. On the other side of the argument, I submit that it also did very little if any to prevent criminals from carrying out there business as usual. So it became once again a law obeyed only by those whom choose to, and coincidentally are not the citizens to be concerned about.
The current version of (HR-1022) has a lot of provisions that will negatively effect the law abiding citizens of this country in legitimate sporting, hunting, and personal protection uses.
As a sportsman, you are aware of the need for properly fitted firearms, My wife and I currently shoot clays with the same shotgun, being 6+ inches shorter than I, we achieve this through the use of a telescoping stock, which is prohibited by HR-1022. The rifle we use for dealing with varmints on our farm is similarly equipped; and has an equal need to be a properly fitted firearm. What advantage does a criminal obtain by utilizing this feature; that he couldn’t otherwise obtain by cutting of the existing stock? Same reason on the folding stock, this feature allows citizens to store the firearm more conveniently and accessible for ready use in a defensive situation inside the home, also easily countered with a hacksaw by criminals who have already proven their inability to abide by the laws already on the books.
As for other restrictions such as high capacity Magazines, heat shields, and other features such as pistol grips, and fore end vertical grips. This seems to be the answer to a question not asked or an effect with no cause. These specific features while giving firearms an “evil” appearance, do also aid disabled citizens and provide the ability to participate in shooting events, and allow them greater effective means of self protection that standard equipped firearms would not.
Statistics already show that the weapons mentioned specifically in HR-1022 have been used in a very low percentage of firearm incidents. The most recent tragedy at Va Tech, the worst mass shooting in the US was carried out with two handguns, and at least some of the magazines fitting the proposed ten round restrictions, there is no reason to believe the outcome would have been any different with the proposed restrictions in place.
The bottom line, as far as I see it, there are far better ways for yourself and your fellow legislators to fight crime, such as stronger enforcement of current laws, stronger penalties for committing crimes while using a weapon, or reducing parole options for violent offenders, you simply CAN NOT legislate the criminal intent out of criminals, they must be put away, and kept there. We as citizens of the United States will be made no safer by being handicapped in our ability to protect ourselves, while the stack of laws against crime grows ever taller, and are just as ignored by the criminals today, as they were Ten, a Hundred and even a Thousand years ago.
I thank you again for your time.