As I sit reading The P-J with cable news on in the background this early Friday morning, it's being reported that authorities continue the search for former LA police officer Christopher Dorner. The man believed to be heavily armed on a killing rampage in southern California. The split-screen picture shows Dorner screen left and three armed law enforcement officials screen right. The three law enforcement officials shown look to be in full combat gear; as should be as they have been targeted in the manifesto written by Dorner, labeled now a domestic terrorist, with a $1 million reward offered for his capture. A closer look at the weapons the authorities are carrying look to be semi-automatic and more likely full automatic weapons with high capacity magazines; again as should be. It is being reported that hundreds or possibly thousands of these heavily armed officials are searching for this one heavily armed man. It is also reported these officials are conducting a very dangerous door-to-door search for the suspect. Imagine being one of the homeowners of the very dangerous door-to-door search Dorner may be conducting, looking for a place to hide! These law enforcement officials have with them the fire power they know is necessary should they and Dorner meet. Now imagine Dorner, or a group of heavily armed men attempting to do harm to you or your family. Do you believe a five- or six-shot revolver; a pistol with a 10-round magazine; a shotgun; or owning no gun at all is going to end the confrontation in your favor? These law enforcement officials believe not!
Now, if in your opinion you have no need to own a gun; and it's your opinion that law enforcement will come to save you; I respect your opinions. Our opinions greatly differ. I have a plan to survive! What is your plan? Let's use for example the incident that occurred just a few weeks ago; that 37-year-old Loganville, Ga., mother with 9-year-old twins working out of her home, with a plan to survive, when the break-in occurred. Armed with a revolver, Mom and the twins fled upstairs and hid in a closet. When the intruder discovered them, the mother began shooting, hitting the intruder with five of the six shots fired saving her life and the lives of her children. Now let's use the same scenario, as home invasion is a common occurrence. Only this time, as recently happened in Southern California, involving a heavily armed killer; heavily armed intruders break into a home with a mother and children. When discovered, the armed mother begins firing. When the crime scene is discovered, what's found are two dead intruders, a dead mother and her children. It is later discovered the mother and her children were killed with a weapon of caliber not found at the crime scene. Killed obviously with a weapon, used by the intruder(s), that got away. Further investigation identified the mothers legally owned weapon; a pistol; and nearby the empty 10-round magazine. She fired until out of ammunition. And while attempting to reload her federally regulated weapon equipped with a federally regulated magazine, both in compliance with new federal gun control legislation enacted by congress reacting to a crisis, which allowed the criminal more fire power than the victim, she and the children were killed! A very possible and deadly chain of events! Some ask; maybe she and the children would be alive today if they had planned not to confront the intruder(s) with a weapon? Yes, and maybe some of you, planning not to set an alarm, would wake up to be to work on time. In both cases; some would ... and some would not!
Do you really think criminals will use only law abiding guns and magazines? Do you really think criminals even care to know what weapons and magazines are unlawful? And do you think ANY criminal will allow you time to reload and shoot back? Now please, let's not be ignorant of the fact that lawless criminals by definition, DO NOT abide by the law; an absolute and undeniable fact!
A statement this week by Senator Rockefeller at the Senate confirmation hearing for director of the CIA, I believe, pretty well sums it up. The senator was giving praise to the operatives of the CIA who spend their lives in public service, yet none of the population knows who they are or what they do; unlike those of us, elected public officials, Mr. Rockefeller stated, who want everything we say and do known by as many people as possible. Yes, politicians attempt to lead us to believe they have answers to fix just about anything. Then continue to pound that drum over and over again. And far too many people believe; that Congress can create legislation curing the ills of our society. Effective legislation, enacted by congress, would prevent a person like Christopher Dorner, a former Naval officer and LA police officer, or any good and honest person from becoming a lethal criminal. The reality of the matter; no form of legislation from Washington, or government at any level, will result in good and moral behavior. That begins at home. And that's a topic for another day. Bad people will do bad things no matter how much and what type of legislation is enacted! I try to be a well thought out and reasonable man. I have tried to reason out the proposal that; more gun and magazine limiting legislation, will result in fewer killings. Each time I return to the undeniable fact that criminals do not abide by the laws. Politicians want you to believe they can do something about the problem, especially in the wake of a crisis, when new legislation, regulating guns and magazine capacity will again regulate ONLY the law abiding citizen.
Many in Congress, including even some of our neighbors ask; why would anyone, including law abiding citizens, need to own semi-automatic weapons with high capacity magazines? I offer a respectful, honest, sincere and legitimate answer. The likes of Christopher Dorner! The likes of him does exist, and the likes of him will always exist. If I lived in the SW United States today, I would feel much safer, prepared similarly to those law enforcement officials searching for him! Wouldn't you? Takes me back to my Boy Scout days ... Be Prepared! Why law abiding citizens, especially those who deeply respect the value of Liberty this Country has to offer, should be restricted by legislation allowing crazed killers like Dorner to vastly over power them, is a travesty of justice!
It's apparent some of you believe chipping away at FREEDOM provides you a larger blanket of SECURITY. I see it this way. Allowing Americans less freedom, in fact makes Americans less secure!
A common denominator in many of the recent mass shootings is the mental health condition of the shooter. I believe there, would be an appropriate place to begin a logical discussion for legislation, agreeable, to a huge majority of Americans; keeping weapons out of the hands of those diagnosed with mental health conditions. Right now, congress is proposing legislation limiting guns and magazine capacity while the medical records of those with mental health conditions, are protected by federally enacted legislation. Among that legislation; Hipaa.The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. Following is a brief summary of the law I feel relative to the current gun control debate:
From U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services web site; HHS.gov.
Health information privacy
Summary of the Hippa privacy rule
What information is protected? Health information. The privacy rule protects all "individually identifiable health information" held or transmitted by a covered entity or its business associate, in any form or media, whether electronic, paper, or oral. The privacy rule calls this information "protected health information (PHI)." 12. "Individually identifiable health information" is information, including demographic data, that relates to: the individual's past, present or future physical or mental health or condition.
Health information records for individuals, including those with mental health conditions are protected, legally hidden, in legislation enacted in past years by congress. Think about this; Congress hides and protects within federal legislation, those with mental health conditions that we all agree, should not have a gun. And now congress, while ignoring the above legislation regarding those with mental health conditions, proposes legislation, outlining guns and the capacity of magazines that law abiding citizens with no mental health condition, are forbidden to own. Imagine that! Any individual, right now, today, with a mental health condition, (and because that condition is protected, kept hidden by federal legislation), that individual can pass the same background check to which I am subjected and legally possess a deadly weapon! This conglomeration of enacted and proposed legislation provides illogical insensible confusion to this issue and no real solutions. Washington must do better. A sensible plan at the core of any proposed legislation would make available to those conducting background checks, the complete medical records of individuals with mental health conditions. We ALL agree. Those with mental health conditions must not have a gun!
I have a plan if threatened, to remain a survivor. Those of you "without a plan" if threatened, will most likely become victims. I hope here in America, this Land of Liberty; those of us "with a plan" far outnumber those of you "without one"! You should hope so, too!
I watched on television the other day as advocates for gun control protested in Washington, D.C., demanding more gun laws. What I saw there, were American citizens begging government to again take away more of their rights. That is not a good plan!
Please, do not mistake my; passion for logic and common sense, as a bitter and forceful confrontation of words. That is not my intent. My intent is to inspire logical thought, leading to logical and sensible discussion and solutions, during the debate of this very important issue. I believe concerned Americans, like myself, am, and have been for some time now, starving for logical and sensible solutions that are missing from the many serious issues that face America today and beyond.
Jon M. Babcock is a Clymer resident.