Going viral on the internet is a letter written by an 8-year U.S. Marine veteran to U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California), who is the architect of the 2013 Assault Weapons Ban that will be presented to the Senat this year. Following the shootings at the Sandy Hook elementary school in New York State, calls have come from various sectors to further control the sale and possession of weapons such as the .223 Bushmaster rifle that shooter Adam Lanza used to kill 27 people in December 2012. Firearms such as the one used by Lanza have been labeled 'assault rifles' even while they do not have the same fire capacity of weapons used by the military.
Cpl. Joshua Boston, who was deployed to Afghanistan between 2004-05, told CNN that he is opposed to gun registration because he believes it will lead to confiscation by the government. He also asserted that passing more gun control laws will only serve to disarm law-abiding citizens and leave them defenseless. The letter, in part, said “I own the guns I own because I acknowledge mankind’s shortcomings instead of pretending like they don’t exist. There are evil men in this world and there just may be a time when I need to do the unthinkable to protect me or my family.”
Here is the letter Boston wrote, courtesy of CNN’s iReport:
Senator Dianne Feinstein,
I will not register my weapons should this bill be passed, as I do not believe it is the government’s right to know what I own. Nor do I think it prudent to tell you what I own so that it may be taken from me by a group of people who enjoy armed protection yet decry me having the same a crime.
You ma’am have overstepped a line that is not your domain. I am a Marine Corps Veteran of 8 years, and I will not have some woman who proclaims the evil of an inanimate object, yet carries one, tell me I may not have one.
I am not your subject. I am the man who keeps you free. I am not your servant. I am the person whom you serve. I am not your peasant. I am the flesh and blood of America.
I am the man who fought for my country. I am the man who learned. I am an American. You will not tell me that I must register my semi-automatic AR-15 because of the actions of some evil man.
I will not be disarmed to suit the fear that has been established by the media and your misinformation campaign against the American public.
We, the people, deserve better than you.
Cpl, United States Marine Corps
It is not clear Sen. Feinstein has actually seen this letter. No official statement has come from her office as yet.
Here are some provisions of Senator Feinstein's assault weapon bill:
• Bans the sale, transfer, importation, or manufacturing of:
o 120 specifically-named firearms;
o Certain other semiautomatic rifles, handguns, shotguns that can accept a detachable magazine and have one or more military characteristics; and
o Semiautomatic rifles and handguns with a fixed magazine that can accept more than 10 rounds.
• Strengthens the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban and various state bans by:
o Moving from a 2-characteristic test to a 1-characteristic test;
o Eliminating the easy-to-remove bayonet mounts and flash suppressors from the characteristics test; and
o Banning firearms with “thumbhole stocks” and “bullet buttons” to address attempts to “work around” prior bans.
• Bans large-capacity ammunition feeding devices capable of accepting more than 10 rounds.
• Protects legitimate hunters and the rights of existing gun owners by:
o Grandfathering weapons legally possessed on the date of enactment;
o Exempting over 900 specifically-named weapons used for hunting or sporting purposes; and
o Exempting antique, manually-operated, and permanently disabled weapons.
• Requires that grandfathered weapons be registered under the National Firearms Act, to include:
o Background check of owner and any transferee;
o Type and serial number of the firearm;
o Positive identification, including photograph and fingerprint;
o Certification from local law enforcement of identity and that possession would not violate State or local law; and
o Dedicated funding for ATF to implement registration.
Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. He is also a freelance translator.