Opinion article in college newspaper

Opinion article in college newspaper

This is a discussion on Opinion article in college newspaper within the The Second Amendment & Gun Legislation Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Assault rifle discovery raises questions for Purdue students, city >>Print View Publication Date: 01/24/08 sponsored by I have noisy neighbors; that I can deal with. ...

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  1. #1
    Member Array Knight's Avatar
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    Opinion article in college newspaper

    Assault rifle discovery raises questions for Purdue students, city
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    Publication Date: 01/24/08

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    I have noisy neighbors; that I can deal with.

    And if I discovered one of my neighbors had pot in his or her apartment, honestly, I probably wouldn't fret.

    But last week, police found a loaded AK-47 assault rifle in one of my neighbors' apartment. And that I fret about.

    West Lafayette Police Chief Jason Dombkowski said the gun was loaded with 30 rounds, with additional magazines of ammunition nearby, "ready to go."

    Police responded to a noise complaint at a sophomore's apartment, where they found drugs and drug paraphernalia. Dombkowski said that during a subsequent search, police found not only the AK-47, but nearly two pounds of marijuana and $3,800 in cash. Which one of these things is not like the other?

    As of right now, the student is facing only drug charges. Why are there no charges concerning the weapon? Answer: The gun was probably in the residence legally.

    I spoke with Dombkowski last week and he said the state requires permits for handguns but not necessarily for other weapons, such as rifles. Because the federal assault weapons ban expired in 2004, if you can pass a background check, you can legally own such automatic guns.

    Several other states, including New York and New Jersey, have enacted legislation banning the sale of assault weapons. But Indiana has extremely lax gun laws with no such provision.

    We don't need to get into the cliche debate of general gun control, but I hope few would argue the need for automatic assault weapons within city limits.

    Yes, the Constitution protects the right to bear arms, but we know that is not a license to hold exceptionally dangerous weapons such as bazookas, machine guns or assault weapons. As the federal government decreed in 1994, assault weapons just don't belong in our communities.

    I urge the city council to further investigate this matter and consider, at least, passing a measure requiring all owners of assault weapons to be registered with the police department. I would personally advocate a ban of such guns within the city.

    It is the responsibility of city officials to do what they can to prevent another Virginia Tech incident; mandatory registration would be a logical step.

    A second cause for my concern is whether other people knew about the gun in the student's apartment. Although it is legal to hold such a weapon, that doesn't mean it's right.

    In New York City, there's a slogan, "If you see something, say something." Every member of the Purdue community needs to follow this guideline. If your friend has such a gun, is doing drugs or things that just aren't right, tell them you think so.

    I praise the police department in their success of discovering last week's situation, but police need our help and our eyes too.

    The old saying goes "Good fences make good neighbors."

    Let's keep that from becoming "Kevlar walls and bullet-proof windows ..."

    Mike Westervelt is a junior in the College of Liberal Arts. He can be reached via e-mail at mike.westervelt@purdueexponent.org.
    I just walked in from a toasty 0 degrees hike and my blood started to boil when I read this article. I'm debating on what to write in response to this simply because this is the typical bovine fecal matter that these people spew . Really gets me going too because apparently since no one "needs an assault weapon" he "advocates a ban of such guns".

    I've got to cool off for a bit...

    *edited to add*
    I just found out he is from North Jersey, NJ... keep your %@#!$ gun laws over there.


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array matiki's Avatar
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    What an idiot. Another boob making an assumption that all 'miltary-esque' rifles are automatic.
    "Wise people learn when they can; fools learn when they must." - The Duke of Wellington

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    VIP Member Array friesepferd's Avatar
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    yet another example of someone who knows nothing about guns pretending they do. obviously his neighbor isnt the best guy, but the gun he had was legal, and should be. i had to laugh at the following quotes:
    "you can legally own such automatic guns."
    "We don't need to get into the cliche debate of general gun control, but I hope few would argue the need for automatic assault weapons within city limits."
    "but we know that is not a license to hold exceptionally dangerous weapons such as bazookas, machine guns or assault weapons."
    "It is the responsibility of city officials to do what they can to prevent another Virginia Tech incident; mandatory registration would be a logical step."
    "Although it is legal to hold such a weapon, that doesn't mean it's right."


    ..anyone who calls and AK an 'automatic weapon' or an 'assault weapon' is just dumb
    Wo die Notwehr aufhört, fängt der Mord an
    (Murder begins where self-defense ends)
    Georg Büchner

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    Member Array 500Mag's Avatar
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    The author "frets" over a rifle, but not over pot? I think that goes to show you the mental makeup of the individual. Legal firearm, I don't like it...illegal drugs, it's cool with me.

    He was also from the College of Liberal Arts...shocking. No offense to liberal arts majors but stereotypes don't appear out of thin air.
    "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the PEOPLE to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

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    VIP Member Array David in FL's Avatar
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    Gotta watch out for those exceptionally dangerous weapons......


  6. #6
    BAC
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    Hm.

    Dear Mr. Westervelt,

    As the subject indicates, I am writing to you concerning your opinion article in The Exponent (Purdue's Student Newspaper), titled "Assault rifle discovery raises questions for Purdue students, city". Being a student of Purdue, a junior no less, you should be ashamed at your lack of research on a matter as serious as this.

    First, I encourage you to look up the ATF Form 4473 (DRAFT ATF F 4473 (5300.9)), specifically, question 12c, part 'e'. Then look at the conditions outlined at the bottom of the first form. "I understand that a person who answers 'yes' to any of the questions 12b through 12k is prohibited from purchasing or receiving a firearm." Despite what you claim, this individual was not a legal possessor or purchaser of a firearm because he is in clear violation of the drug-related conditions outlined by the ATF.

    Second, the FBI crime statistics has long linked unlawful possession and use of firearms with drug-related crimes. Your claim of "one of these things is not like the other" is false and misleading, because by all appearances the individual was in line with that exact trend of drug-related crimes and firearm possession. This is not simply an American problem, either, as a January 12th article in the BBC, titled "Gun crime soars by 35%", wherein it is described that the rise in drug crime is closely linked to the rise in gun crime.

    Third, your lack of research regarding the "assault weapons ban" (truthfully called the "Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act") of 1994 is insulting to anyone who does even casual research, for school, work, or pleasure (I say this as a fellow college student who does research for two of the three). Search for this act, specifically Title XI, Subtitle A, "Assault weapons". You will find nothing that you described mentioned therein. This law did not for one moment "ban" possession or purchase of anything. It barred manufacturers from making new weapons with two or more of the following features: "a folding or telescoping stock; a pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon; a fixed magazine capacity in excess of 5 rounds; and an ability to accept a detachable magazine." Even the weapons it described as "assault weapons" were never banned from possession or purchase. The law has nothing to do with automatic weapons, and applied only to semi-automatic weapons.

    Lastly, your knowledge of Constitutional law and appropriate court decisions is unscholarly at best, ignorant at worst. The U.S. Constitution's Second Amendment protects exactly those "exceptionally dangerous weapons such as bazookas, machine guns or assault weapons". Read United States v. Miller (1939), wherein his weapon is deemed not protected by the constitution specifically because it was not "any part of the ordinary military equipment." (It should be noted that in the decision, the specific model and type of shotgun is referred to as a weapon not a part of "ordinary military equipment", but it is not clarified if Miller's shotgun was not protected by the Second Amendment because of its specific make and model or because of its qualities. At the time, it was well-known that short barreled shotguns were in widespread use by the US military as "trench guns", which would lead one to believe that Miller's specific make and model of shotgun were not protected by the Second Amendment, not that it had a short barrel.)

    Mr. Westervelt, while your article is simply an opinion piece, and you are certainly entitled to your opinion, you are urging legal support for your opinion but have provided zero evidence to support your opinion, and zero explanation for your opinion beyond appeal to emotion. That is unacceptable. Virginia Tech didn't happen because of a failing in the law. It happened because a disgruntled individual had criminal intent and lied. I urge you to remember that Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold only started shooting when Plan A had failed.

    From one college junior to another, please stop giving the rest of us a bad name because of your inability to conduct research and your ignorance of the law.

    Sincerely,



    -B

  7. #7
    Distinguished Member Array nutz4utwo's Avatar
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    i too just wrote him a little note:

    Mr. Westervelt,

    I just came across your Purdue article that details your neighbor being arrested for marijuana possession and your discussion of his assault rife.

    I implore you to explore to improve your understanding of the topic at hand and use your newspaper to wire informative, accurate, and useful articles.

    Bazookas have never been legal to own in the United States. Machine guns have been highly regulated since the National Firearms Act of 1934 and are nearly impossible for an average person to own. Those extremely few individuals who do legally own a machine gun have intense oversight by the ATF.

    The 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban was a very poorly written piece of legislation. It is ineffective, likely unconstitutional, and ambiguous. The NY and CA bans are identical. They detail "assault rifles" by classifying their cosmetic features without any attention towards how effective a gun is. Does the shape of a handle (a pistol grip), a barrel shroud (a plastic tube around the barrel), or a flash hider (to reduce the light the gun produces) really made the gun less deadly? Does regulating these features really make us safer?

    If you take the time to learn a little about firearms you will see "Assault Weapons" (that you have an irrational fear of) have no differences from the many hundreds of types of legal firearms (i.e. hunting rifles).

    A CDC study found the federal assault weapons ban caused no reduction of gun crimes or murder when it was on the books. The FBI says only 2% or gun crimes are committed with assault weapons. By far, most gun crimes are committed with illegally owned, handguns.

    You may have great fear because of "mass shooting" that have occurred recently. Enacting gun control legislation is inherently flawed, because people who don't obey the laws regarding murder and drug selling are certain to ignore any gun laws. Similarly, if someone is willing to commit murderer (Cho in Virginia Tech, the Omaha Mall shooter, or the CO church shooter) creating a "gun free zone" will do nothing to stop them. Gun laws and regulation are only followed by people who already follow the law and pose no danger.

    Remember Cho bought both his guns going through perfectly legal means.

    In the CO Church incident, a private citizen, acting with her own handgun prevented the shooter from causing great loss of life. It is often up to individuals to protect freedoms.

    I believe IN State law greatly restricts local authorities from enacting gun control legislation more strict than the State. If you were successful in petitioning to city to ban assault rifles, it may well be a violation of State law.

    The Supreme Court is reviewing a 2nd amendment case in March. It is DC v. Heller and involves DC's handgun ban from the late 1970's. Reading the 1939 Miller Supreme Court case might be valuable too. I put great faith in our constitution and the framers that wrote it. The bill of rights is one of the most unique and insightful governing documents ever written. I implore you to really think about why it was written and why each amendment was chosen to be included. You might just discover something that you ought to know.


    respectfully,

    ...



    PS:

    "AK-47, but nearly two pounds of marijuana and $3,800 in cash. Which one of these things is not like the other?"

    Answer: the marijuana, because it is illegal.

    "assault weapons ban expired in 2004, if you can pass a background check, you can legally own such automatic guns"

    False: The NFA of 1934 drastically regulates "automatic" guns. The 1994 AWB only regulated "semi-automatic" firearms.

    "And if I discovered one of my neighbors had pot in his or her apartment, honestly, I probably wouldn't fret." ... "If you see something, say something." Every member of the Purdue community needs to follow this guideline. If your friend has such a gun, is doing drugs or things that just aren't right, tell them you think so."

    Ironic: Maybe you should take your own advice and take some responsibility for the safety of your campus. Illegal drugs are the cause of much other illegal activity.


    "a reminder that no law can replace personal responsibility" - Bill Clinton 2010.

  8. #8
    Distinguished Member Array nutz4utwo's Avatar
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    the level of thought in that article really surprises me. The author obviously has no knowledge or regard to the laws he discusses and trips over himself in irony. He even shows contempt toward the constitution...

    what is that Ben Franklin quote: "They that give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor justice"

    maybe we should send this kid to North Korea for a little foreign exchange study.
    "a reminder that no law can replace personal responsibility" - Bill Clinton 2010.

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    VIP Member Array goldshellback's Avatar
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    "It is the responsibility of city officials to do what they can to prevent another Virginia Tech incident; mandatory registration would be a logical step"

    For some reason this blurb stuck out to me more than the rest of the article:

    -Maybe the city officals should start allocating monies to fund a "no VT massacre watch"?
    -Perhaps the artical's author should propose a plan to the city and university officals to rid the campus of drugs and drug dealers (criminals) who 'must' need that kind of firepower to protect thier business and themselves from each other (other 'business minded' criminals)? Belay that, he dosn't "fret" the drugs or the dealers....it's just the assult weapons that are 'bad'.

    What a goober this 'author' is.
    Last edited by goldshellback; January 24th, 2008 at 04:00 PM. Reason: Oops
    "Just getting a concealed carry permit means you haven't commited a crime yet. CCP holders commit crimes." Daniel Vice, senior attorney for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, quoted on Fox & Friends, 8 Jul, 2008

    (Sometimes) "a fight avioded is a fight won." ... claude clay

  10. #10
    Senior Member Array Gun Bunny's Avatar
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    My e-mail was a little more emotional:
    This is not hate mail!!! This is anger mail!
    If you feel that NYC, Maryland and Jersey have such great gun laws then PLEASE do feel free to move there!!! I'm am sure there are really great schools there for you to go to, and I assure you that Indiana will not miss you at all! Please do NOT come to my state and try to change the laws (which you can't because it is against the Constitution of Indiana) just because YOU are misinformed about these rifles!
    Please do NOT come to southern Indiana because I assure you, you would be scared to death if you knew how many people down here have such weapons!!! And blood hasn't ran in the streets either! You would be MUCH safer here than in the states mentioned above, trust me, I have lived or visited them and seen the crime there!
    Do some research before you sound off about something you know NOTHING about! And make sure that you do a web search and find you a school in a state that you would feel more comfortable in!
    Thank You,
    David

    P.S. don't for get to rent one of these:
    Kahr CW9
    Sig P239/9mm
    Ruger LC9 (when the girlfriend lets me carry her gun)


    "First Duty is To Remember"

  11. #11
    VIP Member Array LongRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knight View Post
    I just walked in from a toasty 0 degrees hike and my blood started to boil when I read this article. I'm debating on what to write in response to this simply because this is the typical bovine fecal matter that these people spew . Really gets me going too because apparently since no one "needs an assault weapon" he "advocates a ban of such guns".

    I've got to cool off for a bit...

    *edited to add*
    I just found out he is from North Jersey, NJ... keep your %@#!$ gun laws over there.
    Do you have a link to the source of this editorial, would be nice to see some of these letters posted there. if they have a comments section.
    Abort the Obamanation not the Constitution

    Those who would, deny, require permit, license, certification, or authorization for me to bear arms are as vile, dangerous & evil as those who would molest, abuse, assault, rape or murder my family

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    Senior Member Array ronwill's Avatar
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    It's alright to have drugs around me but don't dare own a gun. This kind of thinking mystifies me. Drug use is the root of many gun crimes and should be the concern, not simply owning a firearm.

  13. #13
    Member Array Knight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LongRider View Post
    Do you have a link to the source of this editorial, would be nice to see some of these letters posted there. if they have a comments section.
    Whoops! Forgot to add it.
    The Exponent - Purdue's Student Newspaper

    They may print some of the articles that people will write back in with in a few days. I'll post those when I see them.

  14. #14
    Distinguished Member Array nutz4utwo's Avatar
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    I was sorta hoping this kid would respond...I emailed him at both his newspaper address and school address. I submitted my letter to the paper to be published as opinion as well. I haven't heard anything yet...

    don't see anything new about it published on the site either...
    "a reminder that no law can replace personal responsibility" - Bill Clinton 2010.

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    "It is the responsibility of city officials to do what they can to prevent another Virginia Tech incident; mandatory registration would be a logical step."

    Pot is not legal, but it was in the apartment.
    Last time I checked I think I have a right to own a firearm, but dang if I can find it in the bill of rights, "keep and bear pot".

    Making laws only works with a moral populace...

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