My name is Josiah Nettleton; I am an educator with the Aurora public school district, an Eagle Scout in BSA, a husband to a loving wife, a registered voter in Colorado and a citizen of the United States. I am writing you because in addition to my many responsibilities above, I am also a firearms owner who is opposed to a federal ban on firearms that is based on the sole merits of a firearm being labeled as an assault weapon.
I am asking for you to consider some facts from the FBI crime reports, in regards to firearms violence in the United States, before making a decision on any proposed firearms ban.
o 1991. The violent crime rate was 758.2 per 100,000, and the murder rate was 9.8
o 2011. The violent crime rate was 386.3 per 100,000, and the murder rate was 4.7
Our nation has had a 50% reduction in violent crime across 20 years, and a 54% reduction in murder rates, which includes the 7 year period since 2004 when the 1994 assault weapons ban expired.
The most recent data from the FBI, showed that in 2010 there where:
o 12,996 murders in the United States.
o 8,775 of those were committed with a firearm.
o 348 were committed with a rifle.
Please consider that data shows less than 4% of all firearm homicides are committed with a rifle. The AR-15, a well known example of an ‘assault weapon,’ is a rifle; as are most proposed banned firearms that have been suggested for firearms legislation.
My argument is very simple, and based on nonbiased data from the FBI regarding violent crime in the United States, not a private group study or any other source.
- America is at a 20 year low for violence, which is currently half what it once was.
- America has less than half the murders we did 20 years ago.
- Rifles are used in less than 4% of all gun violence, and less than 3% of all homicides.
- Violence continues to decrease each year thanks to law enforcement.
- America continues to be a much safer place to live each year.
A firearm ban would be a financial burden in already unstable economic times, would place a strain on law enforcement’s already limited resources, and would penalize law abiding citizens. Please consider that current enforcement agencies have reduced the violence and homicide in our nation consistently for the last 20 years; all by focusing on criminals and illegal activities, not law abiding citizens.
Banning a very small group of firearms is a negligent waste of our national finances, a misuse of our enforcement agencies time, and a breach of trust with the American people. I can only hope that you will see the valid and sensible reasoning of my argument, and agree to vote against proposed firearm bans that will harm our nation.