Last night as I was getting ready for work I was listening to an internet replay of a local morning radio show called “The Commentators”. Local right-wing station, KVI 570, put together it’s afternoon drivetime host, John Carlson, and a local general commentator, Ken Schram, to do this show from 9am to Noon.
I’m usually asleep during their regular broadcast time, but I was listening to the new drivetime host, Bryan Suits, via the web, got up to go eat when his show was over, came back to the computer room and their show was on. They were talking about the shooting that took place at the Amish school in PA, so I decided to listen.
Sure enough, it turned into a gun-bigot vs. gun rights argument, with Scham on the bigot side and Carlson supporting gun owners. I was having fun listening to the bigots getting their asses handed to them via reason and knowledge when Schram said something so insulting that I felt I had to write an email to the show’s producer (neither Schram or Carlson have a direct email addy).
I can count the number of times I have written a radio host on one hand and still have two fingers and a thumb available. Not any more.
You can read my email to Schram’s producer, Dave Carson (who will hopefully forward it on to Schram) below the fold. There you will find out what he said that made this “One of those times”.
Dear Mr. Carson,
I ask that you please forward this on to Mr. Schram as it involves something he said during the 10/03/06 broadcast. If you could also forward this on to Mr. Carlson, maybe he can remember to point out when Mr. Schram makes insulting comments towards an ever increasing number of the American population.
Mr. Schram, yesterday during the discussion about the shooting in the Amish schoolhouse, a comparison arose between firearms and automobiles. After a caller said that you were a “gun-hater” because of your stance on the topic, you tried to disprove him by making a statement that I, along with probably a large number of others found quite insulting.
If I may paraphrase, you said that “I have stated before that I think DUI laws should be made tougher. I also believe that laws pertaining to the purchase of firearms should be made tougher.”
While it is not an exact transcript of what you said, I do believe that the above statement contains your key words and captured your sentiments accurately.
I would like to say that I agree with you about the need for tougher DUI laws, but I believe that I need to remind you that while DUI is a crime, purchasing a firearm is not.
In fact, the purchase of a firearm is a Constitutionally protected right. Yet, before I can take delivery of a firearm i have purchased, I have to show state issued identification, swear that I am not a criminal, a habitual drug user or mentally defective. After that, the seller of said firearm has to call the FBI and confirm with them my testament to the fact that I am “Fit” to purchase a firearm. And then after that, if the firearm I am purchasing is a handgun, the paperwork I signed has to be mailed to the county in whose jurisdiction the gun retailer’s shop resides, where they too look into my background.
If any one of these organizations (the seller, the FBI or the local constabulary) has any question about my background, the purchase can be delayed until their questions are fully satisfied.
I make this lengthy statement to point out that though no crime has been committed, I am treated as guilty and have to prove myself innocent so that I can buy something that the US Constitution declares to be a right for American citizens.
You sir, by your statement of wanting more restrictions on the purchase of firearms, have said that anyone who wants to purchase a firearm should be treated more harshly than someone who has committed a crime. I find that highly insulting.
I am 34 years of age and have shot competitively since the age of 12. During the 22 years which I have handled firearms on a daily basis, my firearms handling record is flawless, thanks in most part to the safety rules passed on to me by my father. Also during those 22 years, not one single firearm I own has ever been used to harm a person, not even in self-defense.
Yet not only do you and your gun-bigot cohorts agree that treating me as though I am about to commit a crime once I leave the gun retailer’s store is a good thing, you profess that if you had your way, you would make said process even more exhaustive; making me wait days or even weeks before I could take delivery of my new property and/or restricting the number of firearms I could purchase in a particular time period, determined not by sane and rational thought, but by people who dislike firearms. One of your supporters in yesterday’s discussion even went so far as to suggest that my firearms and I be “registered” with the government, to which I believed you agreed.
I am not and have never been a criminal. Yet because of a miniscule minority of the population who profess that they would break any law you threw in their way, myself and the rest of the community of law abiding firearms owners are treated as criminals before-the-fact whenever we make a firearms purchase.
Your opinion has no basis in logic because you have no facts to stand it upon. It is hysterical banter which, if spoken in the presence of people who think rationally, would be laughed at as overly simplistic. But because you have a soapbox and a few feebleminded fellows who enable your irrational train of thought, it sounds reasonable.
Except that your “reasonable” solution would be to deny those who only wish to compete in legitimate sport or provide for their own protection. In denying the latter, you are not only violating their Constitutional rights, you are denying them the most important human right: Self-Defense.
I am sorry, Mr. Schram, but I refuse to believe any solution which denies a human right is “reasonable”.
And with having said that, I have just one question I would like to ask of you, Mr. Schram:
Can you demonstrate just one time, one place, throughout all of human history, where restricting the access of handheld weapons to the average person made them safer?
Phil @ Random Nuclear Strikes
Did I leave anything out?