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Your Views: Facts show that more guns mean less crime
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In his July 9 column, Bill Shipp made a number of unsubstantiated claims regarding the new Georgia law that expanded the number of places that a concealed weapons permit holder can carry a gun. He went into a rant about carrying a gun into the Atlanta airport.

While the new law allows permit holders to carry a gun into restaurants, parks and on public transportation, airports are governed by federal law, which trumps the state law. This simple fact renders his rant about guns being carried into airports null and void.

Shipp then made the comment that "Even some lawmakers, who must know that more guns lead to more shootings, are afraid to speak against E-Z Duzit permits for concealed weapons."

Apparently he does not like to be confused by facts. He has obviously not read the book by John R. Lott, "More Guns Less Crime." In this book, Lott, a professor at the University of Chicago Law School presents statistical proof that allowing law-abiding citizens to be armed actually reduces crime. Ever since Florida originally pioneered the shall-issue type concealed weapons law that required the issue of a permit to those who passed the background check, the gun haters have been screaming that there would be a bloodbath, a shootout at every traffic accident, a return to the Old West, and that every street corner would be a return to the OK Corral.

That simply did not happen. In reality, just the reverse has been the case. In literally every state that has passed laws that allow law-abiding citizens to be armed, crime has decreased. There have been fewer shootings, assaults, robberies and rapes; in fact, all confrontational type crimes have decreased.

The fact is that Shipp and others who choose not to avail themselves of a permit to carry a concealed weapon are made safer by those of us who do. Since the weapons are concealed, bad guys can’t tell the difference between possible victims who are armed and those who are not. As a result, they have to consider that everybody could be armed. The bad guys are generally not real brave, and the possibility of getting shot is not very appealing to them. As a result, there is a shift to nonconfrontational crimes.

Shipp would seem to allude that those of us who carry a gun everywhere else would somehow turn into homicidal maniacs when we go into a restaurant, park or on public transportation. The fact is that one day he could just live to thank God that one of us "gun nuts" happened to be there to save his hide.

Shipp commented: "Wouldn’t it be nice if the NRA sponsored a crusade for tough sentences for offenders who use firearms in the commission of a crime?" Hello! Is this a blonde joke? He apparently has not been listening when the NRA is talking.

I am 67 years old and have been an NRA member for most of my adult life, and this is exactly what the NRA has been saying for as long as I can remember. The NRA’s focus has been to punish criminals, not law-abiding citizens. They have always pushed for tougher penalties for the use of firearms in the commission of a crime. Shipp would be well advised to get his facts straight before he writes.

I would like to convey my condolences to Mr. Shipp for the loss of his wife.

Jerry Callahan


We can’t give away what others try to earn

By his or her actions, a thief declares your life, your valuables and your needs to be unimportant. Last year, there were thousands of these uninvited guests in our homes shattering our sense of dignity and destroying a lifetime of work.

A home invasion is, at a minimum, an attack on your family. In those cases where the invaders believe that they are entitled to take anything they choose from you, things can be worse.

It is a certainty that society can sometimes descend into strife, conflict and depravity. It has been said that without law, life would be "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short." Laws are designed to curtail poor behavior and ensure a foundation where a meaningful, purposeful life can exist. Our laws are meant to make our country a better place.

Yet some find laws to be inconvenient for their purposes. They sneak across the border knowing that their actions declare that they are willing to ignore U.S. law. They are willing to declare that American values are unimportant to them. They enter our country (our home) as uninvited guests. They believe if they can take something, then it belongs to them.

They envision a way to pry citizenship from Lady Liberty’s hand. They want to forcibly take what is given away to those who are patient. Our country is built on those who want to be here, who respect our laws, who value freedom and who value equality. Our immigration laws should follow the pattern of good law by making our country a better place.

We are a diverse people, and we welcome those who respect our laws to join the American family. Laborers and craftsmen are the backbone of our country, but we also need a more educated immigrant. The modern world is a complex place. Technology will mold and shape our future, and we need very young people who have the potential to make technology work for them.

The currency of tomorrow is innovation, which is fueled by imagination. Certainly, we cannot ignore the immigrant who offers potential and understands the value of the American experiment.

Our country understands that as we help others to new heights we find new heights. As we help immigrants become their best, we achieve our best. We need to find the best and brightest and be the country where they can shine.

Mickey Maddox


It’s wrong to condemn those who enforce law

I have to say I agree with several of the letters already submitted to the The Times regarding the recent story about the Gonzalez situation. I have sons who like to fish and hunt, but if they do so without a license, they shouldn’t be surprised or indignant if they get caught.

I find it absurd that anyone could criticize the local government for upholding the law simply because this man’s spouse thinks he was mistreated in some way.

Gonzalez broke the law, plain and simple, and not just one law. Why do illegal immigrants even entertain the idea that they should be allowed to do as they please without any consequences? Americans are not offered such amenities if we break the law.

Oh sure, we can pay the fine, hire an attorney if necessary, or go to jail, but beyond that, our options are pretty much zilch. There have been a lot of good ol’ Georgia boys who tried fishing without a license and got caught. Their stories are not on the front page, and their spouses are not speaking up and demanding leniency, and even if they did, it would fall under the category of "get over it."

May I quote a line from the movie, "Liar, Liar:" Stop breaking the law! And that includes the one about immigration.

It is such a slap in the face and a disservice to the immigrants who come here and do the work to be here legally. It’s a shame and disgrace, plus it’s stupid and ridiculous, for any person who is clearly in the wrong to "speak up and criticize" Hall County or any other municipality in this country for upholding the laws.

I also find it hard to swallow that there are those in places of government who agree with the attitude of illegal immigrants. If you think that other countries are lenient, try going there and breaking their laws and see what happens. Apparently these lenient do-gooders are so
naive they think they will be afforded their basic civil rights. Guess again.

Atha Dalton