Evan Todd, who was among the 21 students wounded in Colorado during the 1999 Columbine High School Massacre which saw 12 students and a teacher murdered, has written an open letter to President Obama concerning his proposed firearm restrictions.
Don’t expect to see it in the Philadelphia Inquirer or Delaware County Daily Times.
Here it is:
As a student who was shot and wounded
during the Columbine massacre, I have a few thoughts on the current gun
debate. In regards to your gun control initiatives:
Universal Background Checks
First, a universal background check
will have many devastating effects. It will arguably have the opposite
impact of what you propose. If adopted, criminals will know that they
can not pass a background check legally, so they will resort to other
avenues. With the conditions being set by this initiative, it will
create a large black market for weapons and will support more criminal
activity and funnel additional money into the hands of thugs, criminals,
and people who will do harm to American citizens.
Second, universal background checks
will create a huge bureaucracy that will cost an enormous amount of tax
payers dollars and will straddle us with more debt. We cannot afford it
now, let alone create another function of government that will have a
huge monthly bill attached to it.
Third, is a universal background check
system possible without universal gun registration? If so, please
define it for us. Universal registration can easily be used for
universal confiscation. I am not at all implying that you, sir, would
try such a measure, but we do need to think about our actions through
the lens of time.
It is not impossible to think that a
tyrant, to the likes of Mao, Castro, Che, Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, and
others, could possibly rise to power in America. It could be five, ten,
twenty, or one hundred years from now — but future generations have the
natural right to protect themselves from tyrannical government just as
much as we currently do. It is safe to assume that this liberty that our
forefathers secured has been a thorn in the side of would-be tyrants
ever since the Second Amendment was adopted.
Ban on Military-Style Assault Weapons
The evidence is very clear pertaining
to the inadequacies of the assault weapons ban. It had little to no
effect when it was in place from 1994 until 2004. It was during this
time that I personally witnessed two fellow students murder twelve of my
classmates and one teacher. The assault weapons ban did not deter these
two murderers, nor did the other thirty-something laws that they broke.
Gun ownership is at an all time high.
And although tragedies like Columbine and Newtown are exploited by
ideologues and special-interest lobbying groups, crime is at an all time
low. The people have spoken. Gun store shelves have been emptied. Gun
shows are breaking attendance records. Gun manufacturers are sold out
and back ordered. Shortages on ammo and firearms are countrywide. The
American people have spoken and are telling you that our Second
Amendment shall not be infringed.
10-Round Limit for Magazines
Virginia Tech was the site of the
deadliest school shooting in U.S. history. Seung-Hui Cho used two of the
smallest caliber hand guns manufactured and a handful of ten round
magazines. There are no substantial facts that prove that limited
magazines would make any difference at all.
Second, this is just another law that endangers law-abiding citizens.
I’ve heard you ask, “why does someone need 30 bullets to kill a deer?”
Let me ask you this: Why would you
prefer criminals to have the ability to out-gun law-abiding citizens?
Under this policy, criminals will still have their 30-round magazines,
but the average American will not. Whose side are you on?
Lastly, when did they government get
into the business of regulating “needs?” This is yet another example of
government overreaching and straying from its intended purpose.
Selling to Criminals
Mr. President, these are your words:
“And finally, Congress needs to help, rather than hinder, law
enforcement as it does its job. We should get tougher on people who buy
guns with the express purpose of turning around and selling them to
criminals. And we should severely punish anybody who helps them do
Why don’t we start with Eric Holder and thoroughly investigate the Fast and Furious program?
Furthermore, the vast majority of
these mass murderers bought their weapons legally and jumped through all
the hoops — because they were determined to murder. Adding more hoops
and red tape will not stop these types of people. It doesn’t now — so
what makes you think it will in the future? Criminals who cannot buy
guns legally just resort to the black market.
Criminals and murderers will always find a way.
Mr. President, in theory, your
initiatives and proposals sound warm and fuzzy — but in reality they are
far from what we need. Your initiatives seem to punish law-abiding
American citizens and enable the murderers, thugs, and other lowlifes
who wish to do harm to others.
Let me be clear: These ideas are the
worst possible initiatives if you seriously care about saving lives and
also upholding your oath of office. There is no dictate, law, or
regulation that will stop bad things from happening — and you know that.
Yet you continue to push the rhetoric. Why?
You said, “If we can save just one person it is worth it.” Well here are a few ideas that will save more that one individual:
First, forget all of your current
initiatives and 23 purposed executive orders. They will do nothing more
than impede law-abiding citizens and breach the intent of the
Constitution. Each initiative steals freedom, grants more power to an
already-overreaching government, and empowers and enables criminals to
Second, press Congress to repeal the
“Gun Free Zone Act.” Don’t allow America’s teachers and students to be
endangered one-day more. These parents and teachers have the natural
right to defend themselves and not be looked at as criminals. There is
no reason teachers must disarm themselves to perform their jobs. There
is also no reason a parent or volunteer should be disarmed when they
cross the school line.
This is your chance to correct history
and restore liberty. This simple act of restoring freedom will deter
would-be murderers and for those who try, they will be met with
Mr. President, do the right thing,
restore freedom, and save lives. Show the American people that you stand
with them and not with thugs and criminals.
Severely Concerned Citizen, Evan M. Todd
Columbine Survivor Addresses Gun Issues