"Project Exile" Vehicle for Harassment
by William L. Wright, March 14, 2000
After seeing the announcement of Colorado's version of Project Exile on the lower right hand corner of my television screen last night I was in shock. The message of Project Exile, "see an illegal gun call -------," has to be the greatest vehicle for harassment of honest gun owners and NRA members that SAFE, HCI, and friends have ever been handed.
Evidently the leadership of the NRA that I have supported has contracted an extreme case of Hoof-IN-Mouth disease. I have been a supporter of Project Exile as I envisioned it, adding to the sentences of felons using firearms. I see the Colorado version, supported by NRA leadership and members money, as a total disaster for legitimate gun owners and a victory for anti-gun forces.
I can not believe for a minute that this will not become a horrendous tool of harassment by those who believe any firearm is an illegal one.
My immediate attempt at damage personal damage control will be to remove the NRA/HESTON bumper stickers from my vehicles and avoid any activity that will identify me as a gun owner. With even the hint of contact or arrest by officials becoming grounds to deny purchase of a fire arm or granting of a concealed carry permit, I can no longer afford to publicly advertise as a gun owner, NRA or CSSA member, or BRC member.
Ari Armstrong comments: Mr. Wright sent his letter to NRA leaders to let them know his concerns with the project. He also let me reprint it at the Report, so apparently he is willing to assume a little risk in order to publicly express his views. True, taking a public stand for civil arms exposes one to certain risks, but that's the only way we can hope to preserve our civil liberties. If we willingly cower now, we will be forced to cower in the future. The time is NOW to educate our friends and neighbors about the civil right of gun ownership. If we are harassed under "Project Gestapo," the appropriate response is to publicize the harassment to expose the propaganda campaign for the fraud it is. The truth is on our side, and the moral high ground belongs to us. Now is the time to hold our heads high, loudly proclaim the virtues of civil arms, and fight for what we believe in.
William L. Wright Tackles Question, "Where Does it Stop?"
I would like to attempt to answer the question posed in a March 1 headline, "WHERE DOES IT STOP ? Girl 6, killed by Michigan classmate."
I am neither a psychiatrist, sociologist or an expert criminologist. However, I have had access to firearms since I was a young child (I'm now approaching my 70th birthday). At the age of 17 I had the keys to a National Guard armory and the full range of semi and full automatic weapons. I have 7.5 years of military duty, 3.5 of those spent in England and Germany. On two occasions I had to display a firearm with the resolve to use it to end impending violence. In neither case was a shot fired.
This access to firearms did not turn me or thousands of my compatriots into murders.
I believe that the common sense and first hand experience acquired during those 69 years along with the help of what I believe is some of the best research material available on the subjects of gun crime and violence qualify me in some measure to answer the question "Where Does it Stop?"
The short answer is IN THE HOME. I grew up in a home and small town during the depression where nearly everyone had access to firearms. Kids in their early teens spent a great deal of their time roaming the woods in search of meat for the table. The use of a gun to settle a dispute was almost unheard of. We were taught safe gun handling and the fact that WE were responsible for the misuse of that gun and that discipline would be swift and sure for any transgressions.
It has become fashionable in the past 30 to 40 yrs. to excuse misbehavior in our youth and place the blame for anti-social behavior on any number of deprivations, and supply a wide variety of excuses. This has resulted in two things, one... our youth come to believe they have a valid reason for anti-social behavior and two... we as parents escape accepting the guilt for bad parenting.
Placing the guilt for killing and violence on the tool of choice -- a hammer, knife, bicycle, fork, or firearm -- is just another escape from personal responsibility.
This escape from responsibility now endemic in our society has allowed huge chunks of money, time and effort to be spent chasing rabbits while the real break-down in morality and family life go largely unaddressed.
The real question is WHEN does it stop? I fear the answer is never, as long as violence is endemic to human nature. However I do believe that level of violence can be greatly curbed by lowering the level of violence portrayed in the media which encourages copy-cat killings, as well as the level of violence that our youth feed on in TV programming and video games.
A stable home life is essential, and a few moments of "quality time" is no substitute for quantity and quality of parental responsibility and the teaching of individual responsibility.
The current federal administration, with the help of the mass-media, is sensationalizing these tragic and senseless killings for the purpose of pushing through legislation that will result in the disarming of responsible citizens in violation of the 2nd Amendment and our ageless right of self-defense.