I got a response from him about my email
|where in my column did i suggest that it was "scarey" for policemen to arm |
themselves with AR-15s or the like? and you were worried about me twisted your
|Dear Mr. Grimm,|
I don't know or understand your reasoning but I am highly insulted and angered by your article "What’s a few dead cops to the gun lobby?” I am the son of a Police Officer and I myself am a Police Officer. I will not say what PD I work for because I know that you will more then likely simply twist my words anyways.
When I became a Police Officer I took an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America. Part of that oath is protecting the 2nd Amendment. The Right for the people to keep and bear arms; the people by the way Mr. Grimm isn’t the police or the military. It is the citizenry that I as a public official serve.
As for your ideas that “assault weapons” are the major threat to the lives of Law Enforcement Officers, I find that laughable sir. You mentioned the death of Miami-Dade officer Jose Somohano. I remember that day as if it was yesterday. It was September 13, 2007. I was there at that scene. I was one of the first officers on that scene. And even though it was a horrible event, the idea of outlawing a type of firearm from the legal ownership of the law abiding citizen will not or would not have prevented that horrible day to happen.
The main issue with criminals is that they do not follow the laws sir. Law Abiding Citizens do. So do you really think that a criminal that breaks a number of laws already will go and not break one more law? These firearms, the so called “assault weapons” are nothing different then the common semi-automatic hunting rifle or plinking rifle used by millions of citizens for hunting, camping, target shooting, and other sports and activities. The only difference is their looks.
The civilian version of the AK-47 rifle or the M-16 (AR-15) cannot be converted to automatic fire with just the flick of a switch or by using a paper clip as the rumors so say. The sale and possession of Automatic Weapons has been heavily regulated since 1934 when the National Firearms Act was passed. All Automatic Weapons in legal possession have been registered and controlled by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, & Explosives. Since 1986 no automatic weapon made after that year can be sold to civilians. Every single Automatic weapon owned in civilian hands was made before 1986 and a $200 Tax Stamp must be paid for it. Top get said tax stamp, the person must have a clean background, go through a long and rigorous background check by the BATFE which takes a number of months, and must keep the paper work with said firearm. The owner of such firearm cannot sell it to anyone unless they themselves file for the same tax stamp and go through the same procedure with BATFE. And for every automatic weapon a person owns they must do the procedure again. It’s not a one time thing. On top of all that, no legally owned automatic weapon has been used in the commission of a crime since 1934.
The civilian copies of the automatic weapons are 100% not machine guns. BATFE enforces the National Firearms Act with zeal that I wish Immigrations & Custom Enforcement enforced immigration law.
As for someone buying a civilian AK-47 or AR-15; they must do the following within the State of Florida. They must be over the age of 18, must be a citizen of the United States of America or a Legal Resident with proof of Residence. Have Legal State issued ID. Must file a BATFE Form 4473 background check and have a Background Check performed by Florida Department of Law Enforcement through the Florida Crime Information Center and the National Crime Information Center. And then wait a five day waiting period if they do not have a conceal carry permit. Law Enforcement Officers like myself must wait three days if we do not have a conceal weapon permit. Also a person cannot be any of the following.
* Anyone who has been convicted in any court of, a felony punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding 1 year, excluding those crimes punishable by imprisonment related to the regulation of business practices.
* Anyone who is a fugitive from justice.
* Anyone who is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance.
* Anyone who has been adjudicated as a mental defective or has been committed to a mental institution.
* Any alien illegally or unlawfully in the United States or an alien admitted to the United States under a nonimmigrant visa. The exception is if the nonimmigrant is in possession of a valid hunting license issued by a US state.
* Anyone who has been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions.
* Anyone who, having been a citizen of the United States, has renounced his or her citizenship.
* Anyone that is subject to a court order that restrains the person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner or child of such intimate partner.
* Anyone who has been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.
* A person who is under indictment or information for a crime (misdemeanor or felony) punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year cannot lawfully receive a firearm. Such person may continue to lawfully possess firearms obtained prior to the indictment or information, and if cleared or acquitted can receive firearms without restriction.
As for citizens in possession of a conceal weapon permit. They must go through a background check by FDLE, have their finger prints taken, and take a weapon safety course given by a nationally recognized firearms instructor. The same type of firearm instructor that teaches police officers on how to use firearms.
The AR-15 and AK-47 are used in a large number of sports. The AR-15 is the most popular rifle for the Camp Perry National Rifle Matches which is held by the Civilian Marksmanship Program; which is a government run organization. It is held at the National Guard training facility located on the shore of Lake Erie in northern Ohio near Port Clinton. The AR-15 is also a very popular hunting rifle for game such as hog and deer. Remington Arms, America’s oldest firearm company since 1812 builds an AR-15 for hunting. Remington Arms is the name of the classic hunting rifle. Also there are numerous sports that focus around the AR-15. Bench Rest Shooting, Steel Target, IDPA, and the classic target shooting and plinking.
The civilian copy of the AK-47 is also very similar in terms of popularity. It is not a long distance shooting but it is very popular because it is priced less then the AR-15. It is a very popular rifle for hunting also in shorter ranges like heavy woods. It is a very simple firearm to operate and clean. Very robust and well made. It is also very popular for sport shooting. 3 Gun Matches, IDPA, Steel Shooting, etc….
As for crime, I have never come across a large number of criminals armed with said rifles. If they are armed it is usually with a small cheap pistol chambered in .32 ACP or .38 Special. The prices of these firearms are around $100. What you in your industry call “Saturday Night Special”. The average price for a civilian copy of the AK-47 is $500-$600 and the AR-15 from $900 to $2500. While law abiding gun owners prevent or deter crimes more than 2,000,000 times per year in this country, according to the National Institute of Justice, most of the time without even firing a shot. Sadly I cannot say that those in my chosen profession don't have such an outstanding track record.
These so called “assault weapons” are hard to conceal, large, awkward to carry, and priced very highly. Your average criminal wants something small and concealable. They want to be quick and fast. Carrying a large rifle is not quick and fast.
As for you part in your article about the police being armed with rifles is something scary…. Firearms are tools. Different tools for different tasks. I carry a pistol, I carry a shotgun, and if I can I would carry a rifle. I’m sorry to inform you but the pistols we carry cannot do everything. If I run across a wild large bull, yes a bull. Rodeos still happen in Miami and there are even cows in Miami Lakes. My pistol will not stop the creature. It will only make it angrier. Now my shotgun or rifle would. If you have ever seen what a 2000lbs animal can do you would understand why. That is just one of the many issues that firearm are used as tools. If you have a criminal that is shooting at officers, with anything, a pistol, shotgun, or rifle; you want us, the police to prevent that criminal from harming the public correct? But you also want us to god forbid, shoot the criminal without missing and striking an innocent bystander. A rifle will do a far better job then a pistol. Rifles are more accurate then pistols or shotguns. And every time I see a police involved shooting in the news. The media always says that the officers were dangerous because they could not hit the target etc.
The 2nd Amendment is just that; an Amendment. It is a legal right that We People have. It is just of equal importance as the 1st Amendment and the 4th Amendment, and the 5th Amendment and every other of our 27 Amendments. As I said, I took and swore an oath that I would defend and uphold the Constitution of the United States of America and the rights of the people that I serve. By doing so, I cannot say that the public can speak freely but cannot have the right to bear arms.
The 2nd Amendment isn’t about sports or hunting. It is about the Right to keep and Bear Arms. Our founding fathers meant that we the people are the militia and that we should have the same access to the same style of firearms as our soldiers and soldiers across the world. That was meant so that the people can defend themselves against foreign invasion but also against an unjust government.
All of the world’s most vile governments all started by one simple action. Removing the right for the people to keep and bear arms. Nazi Germany disarmed its citizenry and Jews by passing firearm laws. The Soviet Union did the same as did Communist China, North Korea, Cuba, Eat Germany, the Sudan, and every other two bit thug dictatorship. It is happening as we speak in Venezuela. We cannot in anyway allow our rights to be altered. Because if you remove one right, what makes you think that the rest will not be? Have you ever heard of the domino effect or the slippery slope?
Our own National Defense. Our military and our police use firearms correct? Well where do they get them from? Private Industry. Every single firearm in the hand of a soldier or police officer was made by a private company. The United States of America no longer has a government run armory. The rifles in the hand of our soldiers in the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan were made by FN Hertsal in South Carolina. The rifles that Fort Lauderdale PD is buying are made by Colt, another American Firearms Company. The pistols that Department of Homeland Security issue. The Sig Arms P229 and the H&K USP are made in America. The shotguns that our police and soldiers used to protect us and our families? Made by Remington Arms and O.F. Mossberg & Son Inc., another American owned company.
Why do I mention that? Because by passing laws that restrict the civilian ownership of firearms. You put a number of companies and jobs out of business. The civilian market is what drives the firearms market. It’s not government contracts or purchase orders. So if you put these businesses out of business you just hurt America’s National Defense. If we have a major conflict in the scale of World War II; where are our troops going to get their arms needed to defend our freedoms? No where because there are no factories or businesses that can make them. But I guess that even though you more then likely spout that it’s President Bush’s fault for a bad economy. But you must believe that by closing down businesses that you’re improving the economy. But wait! It doesn’t work that way. You would be putting people out on the streets without a job, great way on improving our economy.
I as a police officer cannot be everywhere at once. I cannot watch you or your family 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year. But law abiding civilians with firearms can defended themselves. It takes on average 3 to 5 minutes for the police to arrive to a burglary call. It takes less then 10 seconds from a thief to go from a thief to a rapist or murderer. Are you going to hide and wait in a locked closet with 911 on the line while you wife or children are being harmed, raped, or worse… killed? Or are you going to defend them?
As for crime rates, ever since Florida passed the Conceal Carry Weapon Permit back in 1987. Florida’s crime rate has been dropping like a rock. Same with just about every other state that has copied Florida. Strange though that the Cities that have the more restricted firearms laws have a higher crime rate. New York City, Washington DC, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Washington DC, with the most restrictive gun laws in the country. Laws that model those of the United Kingdom have the highest crime and murder rate in the Country. Strange that the laws that restrict civilian ownership of firearms is in no way effecting the criminal element. Oh wait, I know why. Because criminals don’t follow laws. Washington DC is so buried in their righteous gun free laws that they are going to set up check points and demand people for ID. And I’m not talking about check points like those at air ports. I mean check points in regular neighborhoods and streets. Public roadways and sidewalks, much like how the Soviet Union or Nazi Germany did. Last time I checked sir, we as American citizens have the right to freedom of movement and we have the right now to be asked for our “papers” on the spot. But you in the media of journalism must take great pride in know that you have the freedom of speech and the freedom of movement. But do you want to know the scariest part about this little experiment that they are doing? The Peter Nickles (Washington DC Attorney General) said "I’m not worried about the constitutionality of it." So if restricting the freedom of movement is no longer an issue because they no longer worry about the constitutionality of it then I guess pretty soon it’s going to be the same with restricting the freedom of speech because they are not worried about the constitutionality of that right either. As for why is that important? Peter Nickles is the Washington DC Attorney General. The Attorney General is the highest law enforcement position in the land. That’s right, Florida has a Attorney General also and he is the head chief of all the chief of police in our state. Same with Washington DC. Their Attorney General is the head chief of all their law enforcement.
In the end Mr. Grimm, I want to let you know that your facts are wrong and that you need to understand that Gun Control isn’t about firearms or crime. It’s about control. It’s about destroying rights and basically getting our Constitution and burning it as if it were confetti paper. The 2nd Amendment is a right of the People, not the State. The People in the 1st mean the people, the People in the 4th means the people. Yet according to some like you the People in the 2nd means the State. Sorry Mr. Grimm. But as a Law Enforcement Officer I will enforce and protect all of the People’s rights. Not just a select few.
The People have a right to keep and Bear Arms. Whether they are "assault weapons" or simple single shot shotguns for bird hunting. The 2nd Amendment is a Constitutionally Guaranteed Right.