November 19, 2009 Issue


Clements on gun control

Dear Editor:

You awake from a sound sleep when you hear a thump outside your bedroom window. Half-awake and scared you hear muffled whispers. At least two people have broken into your house and are moving your way. With your heart pounding, you reach down beside your bed and get your shotgun. Sliding a shell into the chamber, you ease toward the door and open it. You make out two shadows, one holding something like a crowbar. When the intruder holds it as if to strike, you raise your gun and fire. The blast knocks both thugs to the floor. One manages to crawl to the door and escape. You call the police...you know you are in trouble.

In your country, most guns were outlawed years ago. The few remaining guns are so rigidly regulated as to make them useless. You never registered yours.The police inform you that the second burglar has died. You are arrested for first degree murder and illegal possession of a firearm. You talk with your attorney. He says, “Don’t worry, authorities will probably plea bargain the case down to manslaughter.” What kind of sentence?” you ask him. “Only 10 to 12 years and you will be out in seven if you behave yourself,” he replies as if that’s nothing. You make the headlines in the next day’s paper and somehow are portrayed as an eccentric vigilante while the two burglars are presented as choirboys. Their friends and kin can’t find an unkind word to say about them. Buried deep in the news article, authorities acknowledge both “victims” have been arrested numerous times. However, the next day’s headlines say it all. “Lovable rogue son didn’t deserve to die.” The thieves have now been transformed from career criminals to Robin Hood-type pranksters.

As the day wears on, the story takes wings. It is picked up by the national and the international media. The surviving burglar has now become a folk hero. Your attorney informs you that the thief is preparing to sue you and will probably win. The media reports that your house has been burglarized several time in the past and you have criticized police for lack of effort in apprehending the suspects. After the last break-in you told your neighbor that next time you would be prepared. All this is used by the district attorney to allege you were lying in wait for the burglars. Months later you go to trial. The charges have not been reduced as your attorney had confidently predicted. As you take the stand, your anger over the injustice of it all works against you and it doesn’t take the jury long to convict you of all charges. The judge sentences you to life in prison.

Can’t happen in today’s world you say. Wrong. It really happened to Tony Martin of Emneth Norfolk, England who, on Aug. 22, 1999, killed one burglar and wounded another. In April 2000, he was convicted and is now serving a life sentence. How did it become a crime to defend one’s life in the once great British Empire?

It started with the Pistols Act of 1903, which sanely enough forbade selling pistols to minors or felons and was legal only to those with a license. This was modified by The Firearms Act of 1920, which required licensing of all firearms except shotguns. Other laws, passed in 1953 and 1967, outlawed the carrying of any weapon by private citizens and mandated the registration of all shotguns. The Hungerford mass murders were perpetrated in 1987, by Michael Ryan, a mentally disturbed man using a Kalashnikov rifle. He walked down the streets shooting anyone he saw, which left 17 dead. The British public, already desensitized by 80 years of “gun control”, demanded even tougher restrictions. The objective was to seize all handguns although Ryan used a rifle. Nine years later in Dunblane, Scotland, Thomas Hamilton used a semi-automatic weapon to murder 16 children and a teacher at a public school. The media gave up any pretense of objectivity and demanded a total ban on all handguns (Is this beginning to sound familiar yet) and after the Dunblane Inquiry private handgun ownership was gone. While taking away all their guns the British government took on the notion citizens rights to an armed self-defense was pure vigilantism.Authorities refused to grant gun license to people who were threatened saying self-defense was no reason to own a gun. Citizens who shot burglars, robbers or rapists were charged while the real criminals were released. After the Dunblane Inquiry citizens were given three months to turn in guns. Most did but the others were visited by police and threatened with 10-year prison sentences if they didn’t comply. How did they know who had guns? Their guns had been registered and licensed...kinda like cars.

Wake up America. This is why our founding fathers put the second amendment in our constitution. “It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brushfires in people’s minds.” (Samuel Adams)

Those of us that are paying attention have been keenly aware of this type activity for many years but we must win over our fellow citizens if we are to avoid becoming a Tony Martin, serving a life sentence for trying to protect what was his, including his life. Each of us know someone who has experienced these type criminal acts and in some cases, innocents have lost their lives. A prime example is what occurred at the home of our friend and neighbor, Alton Snider, recently. Had he not been delayed by an acquaintance pulling in behind him when he returned home, it is likely he would not be alive today. It is my passion to have everyone join the NRA (National Rifle Association) because they have fought diligently to strike down legislation that would infringe on our right to bear arms for our protection. People, this costs money. If you realy care, get involved. If you want to feel that you have at least a chance for survival against intruders into your own home you should do something constructive towards that goal. Join the NRA because they/we can’t do it without your support and participation. Let your voices be heard and do not vote to elect any politician at any level who would not strongly support your right to be a law-abiding, gun of your choice, owner. To do nothing means you are actually aiding the gun grabbing politicians in their goal to make all of us criminals, similar to what happened to Tony Martin in 1999 and 2000.

Robert Clements



Eames enjoys visiting Louisville

Dear Editor:

I had the pleasure of returning to Jefferson County last weekend to present a program at the public library. A special thanks to Janice Daniel and Eva Evans from the library and Louise Abbot and Rosa Green for also attending.

I have such fond memories of my time in Louisville. I was the Director of the Jefferson County Library from 1982-1988 and was also very active in the Lions Club and Episcopal Church.

Most instrumental in my coming to Louisville from Ohio in 1982 were Dr. Julian and Elinor Veatch as well as the Abbot family who made my family very welcome, indeed.

I have lived in Waycross since 1988 but always enjoy returning to Louisville and Jefferson County, my first home in Georgia. You have a beautiful community that you can be proud of!

Charles Eames


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