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Jews For The Preservation of Firearms Ownership, Inc.
P.O. Box 270143
Hartford, WI 53027

Phone (800) 869-1884
Fax (425) 451-3959

October 7, 2002

The Maryland-DC Shootings


What could be more terrifying? An unknown shooter is on the loose, striking apparently at random in broad daylight from no fixed location. Women, children, men, whites, blacks, Asians, professionals, working people -- no one is safe.

For ordinary people, the ongoing murders in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC, are a nightmare. For the nation's media, they are high drama. For those who hate firearms ... these murders are the best thing that's happened since Columbine. The horror is tailor-made to further their agenda. And it WILL further their agenda if the public remains ignorant and gun owners remain too

trusting of politicians.


Our sympathies go out to the victims and their families and to the tens of thousands who suddenly wonder if they're carrying invisible targets on their own backs. Our hearts are with the police who are charged with solving a type of deadly crime no one has ever seen before.

But to anyone who cares about rights and freedom, we say, "Watch out." This situation is dangerous to tens of millions -- and to freedom itself -- and not just to the thousands who are directly at risk.

The timing is too "good" for the victim-disarmament crowd. And without yielding to paranoia, let us count some of the ways:

So either way -- "assault weapon" or "long-range sniper rifle" -- there's something perfect in these horrible shootings for people like Sarah Brady, Josh Sugarman, or the handful of well-funded people who call themselves the Million Moms.

The more helpless terror there is on the streets of the nation's capital and its surrounding suburbs, the better for them.


Ignoring the prominent role Republicans have played in "gun control" from the Brady Law (pushed through by Bob Dole) to the horribly abusive enforcement programs Project Safe Neighborhoods and Project Exile (See the Cato Institute Policy Analysis, "There Goes the Neighborhood", many gun owners are still snoozing, figuring George W. Bush and John Ashcroft will protect their rights.

But why should we expect that? Remember:

And anti-gun activists like the Bradys and the Million Moms recognize weasel words when they hear them. They may dis the Bush administration publicly, but privately they know that Bush, Ashcroft, and the vast majority of other politicians will not oppose them -- especially when they can point to horrors like the current east-coast shootings. In the emotion of the moment, anyone who points out that "gun control" doesn't stop criminals, or that it's unconstitutional, or that it only creates more victims, is shouted down as a cold, uncaring, crime-loving monster.

This is how freedom is lost: Pressure groups push, using emotion to overcome facts and logic. Politicians -- who don't have any principles to ground them, anyway -- cave in. And as the song says, they take just "A Little Bit More" (


We grant that this type of run-and-hide murder, where victims are picked off by a nearly invisible shooter, is very difficult even for a well-armed, well-trained citizenry to combat. But with firearms, we have a chance to protect ourselves. Without them, we're just waiting to be victims.

And what if these shootings are acts of terrorism, and not merely some twisted new form of freelance crime? What a horrible time to want Americans to be even more helpless then they already are! If these criminals are also terrorists (and certainly they are inflicting terror, whether for political reasons or otherwise), they must be laughing at anyone who believes we can help ourselves by giving up even more of our self-defense tools.

As individuals in this dangerous moment, there may be little we can do to protect ourselves and our loved ones except to be extra alert to what's going on in our environment -- to be watchful for threatening circumstances.

But as citizens with a long-term view of our rights and freedoms, there's a lot we can do.

We can keep ourselves educated and continue to educate those around us to recognize how horrors like the current shootings are cynically used by control-minded politicians to turn a once-free country into a fiefdom. Go back and read the articles linked from this alert. Stay aware of the tactics and the weasel words the anti-freedom crowd are using. Send the best articles to your friends and neighbors. Keep reminding yourself and everyone else who cares how freedom is lost and how it can be regained.

Potential victims of a long-range killer need to keep an extra watchful eye out for this villain. But we all need to keep a perpetually watchful eye on those far more dangerous individuals -- those who want us to be disarmed and helpless before every kind of killer and thug in the world.

The Liberty Crew


see also the follow-up Alert: Our Readers Comment on the Maryland-DC Shootings

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