Representative Joe Wilson (R-SC 2nd)
9th-term Republican from South Carolina.
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Letters To Leaders
All messages are published with permission of the sender. The general topic of this message is Guns/Weapons:
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Sen. Tim Scott
Rep. Joe Wilson
Sen. Lindsey Graham

March 9, 2013

To begin I am a Sergeant First Class in the Army Infantry. I grew up in the foothills of North Carolina, brought up by great parents, great teachers, and to keep the list short, great community role models. These people instilled me with many ideals; one being that in the United States of America, a person who sets their mind to something can be or accomplish anything. Another thing they taught me is that the country I live is the greatest in the world because of the people in it. From our founding fathers who stood to gain early Americans their freedom and rights, to the men and women who uphold those rights today.
Over the past few years, and more so over the past few months, the news that I’ve seen and read has began to terrify me. With the push for a new weapons ban and more gun control, we are chiseling away at the stone that is our constitution. Unlike the day it was made, the people who hold the chisel have no expertise in the matters which they are concerned. They are taking their opinions, which are formed out of ignorance and inexperience with weapons they chastise and presenting those opinions as fact. They are conducting streamed and televised interviews, giving household safety tips and advice in respect to weapons (shotguns). These “tips” are highly dangerous, ineffective and would place anyone that exercises them in prison. They blame crime on weapons and cry out to make more restrictive laws.
I see many news reports on television of crimes involving guns. A few months ago these reports would have been passed over by the evening news, but now they’re inflated and shown repeatedly. At the same time I can search the internet and find a greater number of reports were a gun actually saved the life of a “would be” victim. Given the media’s reach, and ability to sway personal opinion, I find failing to air these reports major injustice. As I’m sure you have heard before the criminal, by definition of the word, has little if no regard for the law in place or the one to come. If the new law comes, the theoretical criminal that would have bought his gun legally, will merely buy one under the table in the back alley where the other 99 percent get theirs already. If I, an abiding citizen follow this law, I’ll have to stand back and wait. I have to watch what happens after my government has substantially raise the stakes on the gamble that is my family’s safety. This breaks my heart because the two things I love more than anything in my life is my family and my country.
One thing I have taken from the Army and had great success with in my day to day life is summed up in the saying, “the problem started with piss poor planning”. If I don’t want my home, my wife or my young daughters to become prey to a criminal’s imagination, we must prepare. Let me be clear, I’m not trying to come off as a “gun nut” or some type of “doomsday prepper”. My profession through its nature has added a great amount of training to the weapon safety and handling I was taught in my childhood through hunting and marksmanship for sport. My father and mother had no fears of having a child that would accidentally harm himself with a firearm, those fears were replaced with the knowledge that my father handed down to me. They also felt comfort that this knowledge would help protect me in their absence.
My children are still very young, but I feel great comfort and pride as I slowly pass this same knowledge down to them. I pray they also inherit this country with the same wonderful freedoms we have all enjoyed thus far, for each one has been paid for by the blood of our forefathers. My favorite President to read and discover new facts about has always been George Washington, but I would be ashamed to meet the man if I were somehow given the chance today. I would be ashamed to give him a history lesson of this nation that he started. I would be ashamed to tell him how great this country became just to finish my story with the path we are walking down now. I would be ashamed to show this to a man that turned down the chance to be a king of servants in order to be a leader of men.
To conclude, I’m passing my words, thoughts and beliefs to you in hope of stop this weapons ban. If we let someone alter our 2nd amendment in anyway shape or form, we’re telling them they can change any part of our constitution they desire. The day we let someone change the document our nation was founded on, that is the day we give up the right to truly call ourselves “Americans”.

Thank you so much for your time,
a fellow American

“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves”. " Abraham Lincoln

columbia , SC