Hello, my name is Fred Theiss. I have lived in Wheeling my whole life and yes I hunt, target practice, shoot competitively and train people on a daily basis about gun safety. I have never used tobacco products nor do I drink alcoholic beverages. However, I would never think to confiscate cigarettes or bring back Prohibition. I know that both of them have their harmful characteristics but God gave us free will to do as we wish.
It pains me anytime a criminal or crazed lunatic uses a gun to terrorize innocent people in this country. Not only because of the potential loss of life but it also gives the left just one more reason to demand new legislation to ban guns or try to introduce even more legislation to control gun ownership. The left use these acts by crazy people to create fear in all Americans and try to prove the point that guns are the end-all and be-all of the problem.
I am not a fear monger and I will make no attempt to predict the future. I will, however, present you with just the plain facts on guns and let you make your own intelligent decision. In conjunction with Cabela's I will also be offering a freefirearm safety class for all young people between the ages of 11 and 17. Chief Instructor Wayne Shook and I are taking a pro-active approach and will be holding a three- to four-hour course starting in September in the hopes of educating the area's youth on proper firearms etiquette. Each student will graduate with a certificate and a lot of information to study on firearms safety. If Wayne and I can eliminate just one firearm accident then all of our hard would have been worth it!
On April 8, 2012, the state of Ohio marked their eighth anniversary of passage of the state concealed-handgun license law. There were many predictions from the anti-gun left which included, "If 200,000 to 300,000 citizens begin carrying a concealed weapon, common sense tells us that accidents will become a daily event." Or, "The widespread carrying of concealed handguns, however, will result in far more cases of senseless killings that occur simply because a loaded gun was readily available."
If anything is to be celebrated on this anniversary it is the fact that none of these things ever happened. FBI reports state that through 2010, the nation's murder rate has decreased 52 percent to a 47-year low, and the total violent crime rate has decreased 48 percent to a 37-year low. The FBI preliminarily has reported that violent crimes decreased another 6.4 percent in the first half of 2011. This was all achieved during a period when firearm ownership and states with right-to-carry laws are at an all-time high.
The FBI statistics also show that accidental gun injuries are decreasing. In fact, according to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), guns are not even listed in the top 15 leading causes of death in the U.S. for 2010, the last full year that numbers were available. The leading causes of death are as follows from 1 thru 15: diseases of heart, malignant neoplasms, chronic lower respiratory diseases, cerebrovascular diseases, accidents (all), Alzheimer's disease, diabetes mellitus, nephritis, influenza and pneumonia, suicide (all methods), septicemia, chronic liver disease and cirrhosis, essential hypertension and hypertension renal disease, Parkinson's disease, pneumonitis due to solids and liquids.
Fact: Sales of guns by dealers at gun shows already go through the National Instant Check.
Fact: The Supreme Court ruled that "the inherent right of self defense has been central to the Second Amendment right."
Fact: Right to Carry permit-holders are more law-abiding than the remainder of the population.
Fact: Congress allowed the federal "assault weapon" ban to expire in 2004 because a study of the ban concluded that it had done almost nothing and there was no significant reason to renew it.
Fact: Uganda established gun control in 1970. From 1971 to 1979, 300,000 Christians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
Fact: Germany established gun control in 1938. From 1939 to 1945, a total of 13 million Jews and others who were unable to defend themselves were killed.
Fact: In 1929. The Soviet Union established gun control and from 1929 to 1953, 20 million dissidents were murdered.
Fact: China established gun control in 1935. From 1948 to 1952, Over 10 million people were killed.
Fact: Guatemala established gun control in 1964. From 1964 to 1981, 100,000 Mayan Indians were exterminated.
Fact: In 1956 Cambodia established gun control. From 1975 to 1977, one million people were killed.
Fact: In 1911, Turkey established gun control. From 1915 tom 1917, 1.5 million Armenians were rounded up and killed.
Fact: The United Nations imposed gun control after civil war broke out in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1992. The town of Srebrenica was designated a U.N. "safe area." In July of 1995 more than 7,000 unarmed Muslim men and young boys were murdered by Serb forces.
Plain and simple, gun control simply does not work. Any attempt to force more regulation on firearms only serves to prohibit law-abiding Americans from protecting themselves. Guns in the hands of honest citizens save lives, period. A recent article by a guest columnist admits that "no attempt to totally eliminate their use in criminal activity can be completely successful." I have a question for the author: If I am confronted by a criminal or crazed madman intent on causing me or my family harm should I accept the fact that it is just my day to die?
God bless America and safe shooting.
R. Fred Theiss Jr.
NRA certified firearms instructor