Letter: Kristin Jones, Ashburn

Editor: The Ashburn Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department’s mission is “to protect the lives and property of Ashburn and Loudoun County residents and visitors by providing the best possible fire, rescue, emergency and medical response services.”

Why then would these first responders raffle off a “beautiful Beretta 686 Pigeon Silver I over-under shotgun” to raise money for the department? This is directly contrary to the department’s mission statement.

True, a background check will be performed but that isn’t really the point.

Just last week, an Ashburn man was arrested for shooting his girlfriend during an argument. The victim was held at gunpoint before she was shot. She was treated for non-life-threatening injuries and her boyfriend has been charged with malicious wounding, use of a firearm during the commission of a felony and abduction.

At least 52 percent of American women murdered with guns are killed by intimate partners or family members, according to Everytown for Gun Safety. Women are 11 times more likely to be murdered with guns in the U.S. than in other developed countries.

Even more alarming: In 2014 alone, 2,549 children and teens were killed by guns, according to research by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. Of those, 4 percent were unintentional shootings like this one in May: An 11-year-old Roanoke boy found a discarded gun with a friend and unintentionally shot and killed himself.

Unintentional shootings don’t always result in death but in injuries that can last a lifetime. In July, a 4-year-old Norfolk boy found his mother’s handgun on a shelf in his home and shot himself in the hand. A Harvard study found that 70 percent of children living in gun-owning households knew where their parents stored them. Thirty-six percent reported that they had handled the gun without their parents knowing.

Adults unintentionally shoot themselves also. Just last week, a Sterling resident suffered a gunshot wound while unloading a handgun.

But far too many gun deaths are due to suicide, more than 21,000 a year, according to Everytown.  September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and I know Loudoun County Public Schools is committed to addressing children’s suicide.

In all of these situations, first responders were called to provide emergency and medical response services. How does Ashburn Fire and Rescue know that the beautiful Beretta 686 Pigeon Silver I over-under shotgun will not be unintentionally discharged injuring an Ashburn resident? How do they know that because of adult negligence that a child will not handle the beautiful shotgun and unintentionally shoot a friend?

There are 300 million guns in America. Why put another one out there with the chance of having to respond to an emergency medical situation later? I will buy a ticket if you stop your gun raffle.

Kristin Jones, Ashburn

11 thoughts on “Letter: Kristin Jones, Ashburn

  • 2016-09-13 at 9:38 am

    How many times have you contributed to Ashburn Fire before Ms. Jones?

    As an annual contributor to Company 6, I’m bummed out I wasn’t in on this raffle. Where do I buy a chance?

    • 2016-09-14 at 5:25 pm

      You can purchase raffle tickets here: bit.ly/AVFRDguntix.

  • 2016-09-13 at 10:58 am

    I see that most of your statistical research came from organizations that are anit-gun.

    You are able to speak your mind with this post based upon your first amendment rights but want to infringe on a persons second amendment rights to make yourself feel better. This is a tab bit hypocritical don’t you think? Oh wait? of course you aren’t thinking. You are just spouting off your liberal agenda in order to force your opinions on someone else.

    The Fire and Rescue company is not doing anything wrong as they will comply with all Federal Firearm Laws and have a person complete all necessary background checks.

    • 2016-09-13 at 10:47 pm

      Anit-gun? Your writing is as flawed as your argument. Advocating for the safe use of guns has no effect – no bearing – on your second amendment rights. That’s like suggesting that telling someone to wear sunscreen before they exercise their right to assemble somehow takes away their right to assemble. It does not. Just makes them more protected while doing so. You are wrong if you think the second amendment assures guns anywhere, at anytime, to anyone. It does not. And if you don’t like simple common sense measures to keep yourself, your loved ones, and the rest of us safe and alive, then maybe you’re one of those folks that really shouldn’t have a gun.

      • 2016-09-14 at 11:44 pm

        If you read the 2nd Amendment as written in the Constitution, you will find no restrictions on gun ownership.

        There are, however, restrictions on voting, such as the requirement that you be a U.S. citizen, for instance, and yet Democrats keep fighting Voter I.D. laws. Identifying who is voting and verifying that that person is a U.S. citizen is the only sure way of ensuring that ONLY U.S. citizens are voting, and that they are only voting once. So my question to you is … are you equally concerned about the integrity our voting system … “making them more protected” … so that we can trust that the votes of U.S. citizens are not being outweighed by people who should not be voting? Do you support Voter I.D. laws?

  • 2016-09-14 at 1:35 pm

    I’m curious Ms. Svillegas, exactly what “gun safety” programs does the Billionaire supported “EveryTown for Gun Safety” operate?

    How about the long time civil rights prohibition group “Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence” (formerly known as Handgun Control Inc. until focus groups revealed their branding choked)…. How many programs do they support that teach the safe and legal use of firearms to the people? How many classes do either of these groups conduct on actual firearm safety in your community?

    The number is zero. Both are civil rights prohibition groups. Their only answer is always to ban firearms from law-abiding citizens. When you peel back the layers of the rotten onion, that’s always their final offer.

    Tell us about these “common sense measures” they advocate, which according to you, if others don’t go along with, should lose their civil liberties?

    There are over 20,000 gun laws in the United States. Everything that should be against the law already is, many times over. Tell us; will it be 20,001, or 20,002 gun laws that make the difference to criminals? Do I hear 20,003?

    If you’re for a total prohibition on firearms ownership, fine. But cease the cheap deception with real, thinking, people. The last time I checked, we have a problem in Chicago, Baltimore, LA, NYC, and a plenty of other violent zones in our country. Why aren’t these groups focused where the real problems are? Is it because they find rich suburbs easier pickings?

    • 2016-09-14 at 5:20 pm

      My understanding from their website is that Everytown for Gun Safety supports the 2nd Amendment and has no interest in repealing it, or banning guns at all. They simply want exactly what more than 90% of Americans (gun owning and nongun owning) want, which are background checks that keep guns out of the hands of people who should not have them in the first place. There may be 20,000 gun laws in the US. I’ll take your word for it. But none seem to keep guns out of the wrong hands. Here in Virginia, some of our gun laws enable guns in bars, restrict buyback programs and restrict the penalty for not carrying a concealed permit. So, from what I see, gun owners benefit greatly from these laws. When more people die each year from gun shots than from vehicle crashes, something needs to change. A few more laws that protect the safety of your loved ones can’t hurt. Thanks for the dialogue!

  • 2016-09-15 at 7:18 am

    Ms. Svillegas, “EveryTown for Gun Safety” was founded and is financially supported by Billionaire nanny state, know-it-all, bully, Mike Bloomberg. Mike would be just fine with banning civilian gun ownership, so long as his armed security detail is not affected.

    You see, it’s good enough for Mike and his family, but not good enough for you or your family. I doubt Mike would give 50 million bucks to a group that didn’t conform with his ideology.

    Reasonable people know we already have background checks on firearm purchases. Virginia (of course) pioneered the system now used nationwide. Criminals, by definition, do not submit themselves to background checks. They’re criminals, and have thus exempted themselves from any law, you, me, some state guy, or any federal jaberese congress can come up with. They. Don’t. Care.

    The moral obligation to defend my family doesn’t stop at a restaurant door. The Commonwealth recognizes that fact. It has long been against the law to consume alcoholic beverages in a public place while in possession of a firearm. Remember, when seconds count, the police are only minutes away.

    Since we’ve already discussed criminals and their rather dim outlook on laws, please tell us what your “couple of more laws won’t hurt” are, and what affect exactly they will have on criminals?

    Sadly, you, and everyone who falls for these banalities are being sold a bill of goods by a hyper-partisan effort to restrict your civil rights, while remaining silent on the real gun problems our cities face. When has anybody from “Everytown” or the Brady bunch, ever walked the streets of Chicago? Baltimore or S.E.? When have they ever called for strict sentencing requirements for violent gun using offenders?

    They haven’t and they never will. These K-Street groups would rather prey upon wealthy suburbanites who lack the intellectual curiosity to ever question the gibberish they come up with.

  • 2016-09-15 at 7:29 am

    Thanks Josh. I’m going to swing by and get a few tickets, and encourage all of my neighbors to do the same. Ashburn is our first due, and they deserve all of the support this community can give.

  • 2016-09-15 at 10:55 am

    Thank you Ms. Jones, I was unaware of the raffle. I will buy myself a few tickets while at the same time supporting the efforts of our fire department to respond to emergencies in a timely manner.

  • 2016-09-15 at 2:14 pm

    Indeed, thank you Ms. Jones! I just bought three tickets to support my local fire company on my lunch break. I would have missed this raffle if not for you. Please keep us informed of other raffles you hear about.

    You know, this is a great opportunity for all you civil rights hate group folks. You should put your money where your mouth is and buy up all the tickets. You’d be supporting a great local community organization.

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