Letter: F.W. Lillis, Leesburg

Editor: In a letter in the Aug. 15 issue, “The Problem,” the author of that letter clearly stated the issue, killings by guns, making a distinction between killings in the inner cities and those such as the mass killings in El Paso and Dayton.

That is a valid distinction and suggests that the correction for one might not work for the other. The author places blame squarely on the shoulders of the liberal media, Democratic mayors, Democratic legislators and Democratic presidential candidates. He offers no solutions, only clichés.He shows little concern for the deaths, his sole intent being to blame Democrats.

The killer in Dayton shot 35 people in 30 seconds, demonstrating most emphatically the purpose of such weapons, the efficient killing of many people, quickly. How can such a weapon be justified in Virginia today? There are measures which might bring the Second Amendment, written during the black powder era, up to date. These would not threaten law abiding gun owners.

Ban all semi-automatic weapons. They have no place except in combat.

Have a seven-day waiting period for gun purchases. This might stop many suicides, which are the majority of gun deaths.

A truly universal background check—no threat to those who follow the law.

No fly, no buy.

Ban military ammo, armor piercing, hollow nose, expanding shells. Most woodchucks don’t wear Kevlar.

Likely, there are others.

These simple measures would not stop the killings in the inner cities which might be more effectively reduced with good jobs which pay a living wage, conferring some dignity and hope.

         The matter of guns in our country is worthy of serious dialogue, recognizing there is a problem and that all sides have ideas. Ideas, not clichés, lead to solutions.

 F.W. Lillis, Leesburg 

12 thoughts on “Letter: F.W. Lillis, Leesburg

  • 2019-08-17 at 9:57 am
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    The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun? Right?

    Ok, as demonstrated last week in Philly, maybe 30 good guys with a gun.

    30 good guys with guns can maybe stop a bad guy with a gun but it takes a couple of hours. So maybe 6 good guys get shot but….. they stopped him.

    …..gun hugger ‘logic’ ……. from their cold dead hands. If they say so eh?

  • 2019-08-17 at 11:07 pm
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    The sheer ignorance of this letter is astounding. Ban all semi automatics? Do you even know what they are? Background checks already exist but the ill informed continue to believe the propaganda about all these supposed loopholes.

  • 2019-08-19 at 12:48 pm
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    The violent convicted felon in Philly had a rap sheet stretching into book form. Why he wasn’t in prison is ‘logic” only the Philadelphia district attorney need explain.

    Tell us AFF, you’re a smart guy, which new laws, exactly, would have prevented him from obtaining an illegal firearm in “gun grabber logic?”

  • 2019-08-21 at 1:31 pm
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    “There are measures which might bring the Second Amendment, written during the black powder era, up to date. These would not threaten law abiding gun owners.
    Ban all semi-automatic weapons. They have no place except in combat.”

    Errrm… I don’t understand the argument here? You want to bring the second amendment “up to date” by preventing law abiding citizens access to 134 years old technology? Being up to date is going back in time?

    Can this be applied to the first amendment too? Do you mind writing your letter with a quill on a piece of parchment and deliver it to Loudoun Now on horseback?

  • 2019-08-23 at 12:18 pm
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    I’m sorry Chris. Nowadays when dealing with gun huggers I employ Richard Dawkins’ approach to dealing with creationists. I don’t engage in a public forum because as RD put it “what they seek is the oxygen of respectability”.

    Gun Huggers repeat the “can’t do nuthin’ for that situation so why bother making laws” manta so much that some (perhaps extremely gullible) people buy it. Kinda like some people believing the earth was created a thousand years ago and it’s flat. People are free to believe that the earth is flat just like they’re free to believe that we can’t make any laws to prevent the slaughter of school children, but one opinion is giving cover to great harm to our society so I don’t play.

    With that said I do like mocking the ridiculous “can’t do nuthin’ ’bout guns cause criminals will get them anyway” because it takes me down memory lane and it’s just fun. You see, I got my first gun when I was seven and along with it some lessons at a skeet/trap range. It was there I first saw the ever so popular gun hugger sticker that still gets so much play-

    If guns are outlawed only outlaws will have guns

    Man, I though that was the neatest slogan ever and judging by how many shiny trucks still sport the message the staying power is undeniable.

    The thing is most people who sport that sticker and believe in the premise (present company excluded I’m sure) are way too pansy to actually navigate the black market because the black market is scary. Try getting in a car with 4 strangers and getting whisked into a Caribbean shanty town to buy weed if you want a taste of what I’m talking about. The black market is scary and most people who talk a big game about being able to get whatever one wants underground couldn’t even buy weed in a tourist town.

    Do you think Adam Lanzo or Choo or Dylan Roof would have been able to buy guns on the black market? Even if they weren’t pussies chances are they wouldn’t have the connections and would have had a greater chance of encountering undercover lawmen than actual gun runners. Naw- those guys get their guns the same way you get your guns. They walk down to the store and put their money on the counter. Complete the paperwork and soon afterwards they’ve got the weapon of their choice, legally. No risk to their safety, no risk to the sellers; it’s like buying cold medicine from Rite Aid.

    Again, try and follow because I truly believe you don’t associate with criminals but you do probably understand basic economics- criminals are about making money while minimizing risk to themselves.

    I’ve never been around gun runners but I suspect they’d rather deal with people who they don’t have to worry about doing stupid things with the weapons they sell- like shooting up elementary students. They’d rather sell guns to people who won’t bring the law to their door…. like a crazy acting dude with orange hair WHO COULDN’T EVEN GET INTO A LOCAL GUN CLUB without setting off alarms within the staff when he applied via telephone. Criminals, like gun range owners don’t like dealing with crazy whereas apparently those who sell legal guns seem fine with it.

    So, I’ve come to a place where I realize that there’s most likely nothing I could propose to you- not mandatory safe gun storage, not limiting magazine size, probably not even comprehensive background checks- there’s probably nothing you’ll sign off on, because “the laws are already on the books and why don’t they just enforce the laws”

    I’ve accepted the unwillingness of the gun huggers to negotiate any solution that changes the status quo so I’m a) not gonna play internet armchair debate club, and more importantly b) not going to give the gun huggers a seat at the table while we work towards fixing the mess the gun lobby created.

    ……. from their cold dead hands, but only if you insist.

    • 2019-08-27 at 6:23 am
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      John Zawahri, Kevin Janson Neal, Aaron Luther are only three people to commit what some define as a mass shooting (the definition really depends on the agency or organization), each of whom were denied buying a weapon the legal way but very easily got their hands on them anyway. And nope, they did not need to get into a car with 4 shady men to be whisked away to some dark part of the Caribbean to get them. Instead they used ghost guns, they simply, and I mean simply, made their own weapons for less than a round trip ticket would have cost them.
      A strange thing can happen if one was open and willing to have a decent discussion with a “gun hugger”, one might learn something new. Maybe even better understand why many gun enthusiasts (read “gun huggers”) insist that bad guys can and will get guns if they really want them. The real kicker is the overwhelming majority of ghost guns are 100% legal.

      30% of the guns recovered by the ATF in California are ghost guns, guns that are easily made and have no way of being traced to who made it or where it was manufactured. People continue to be ignorant because they continue to argue and throw tantrums about creating or enforcing legislation that will not do anything to put a dent in the murder rates in this country, they would rather sit on their high horse believing their common sense is what we need and anybody’s who says differently isn’t worth the time of day. Meanwhile ghost guns are becoming increasingly popular, the technology to create them is growing by leaps and bounds, more than 200% each year are being confiscated by federal and many local governments, but let’s keep talking common sense gun safes and background checks shall we? And before I’m accused of being lax it should be known that I do not oppose background checks or gun safes, I have passed many with flying colors and my safes are stocked.
      ~A Gun Hugger who wants to actually see something meaningful happen.

    • 2019-08-27 at 6:48 am
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      Also, if one were to want more information on ghost guns there is an organization called The Trace that can provide it to them.

  • 2019-08-23 at 5:48 pm
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    Lookee’ there AFF. You and I dealing in the very same hour. I get what you’re saying. You have your belief and confidence that words on paper can transform the darkest part of human nature, while I subscribe that evil can’t be legislated away. Fair enough.

    I read a line in a book this morning; ” If laws and standards were not worth enforcing, then they certainly couldn’t be worth following.” I’ve long observed this course of thought. It ties directly into where violent criminals are coming from, such as this guy in Philly. He’s the one with the true ” can’t do nuthin'” to me mentality. And he was enabled by the DA, the very same system, that fails to do it’s job, and when the bill comes due, promptly points the fingers at the law-abiding as the real problem.

    We see it over and over and over. To wit: the entire Parkland event. The system had over 50 chances to take action, and they failed over 50 times. And whats the answer from that worthless, disgraced, (removed from office) and shifty former Sheriff — it’s the law abiding peoples fault! Like you, I think that opinion does great harm to society. It tells us that our public servants are disinterested in doing the hard things, and would just as soon see everybody pay for criminal acts. Like you again, I don’t play around when my civil rights are on the line for the acts of criminals.

    While I appreciate your analogies of crappy Caribbean visit endeavors, I recall the Columbine turds obtained their firearms via a straw man purchase, or in their case, a straw woman. There is a nice big fat Federal and state law which prohibits such an act. Why didn’t it work? Because evil doesn’t care. Criminal intent ignores the over 20,000 firearms laws on the books in America. They don’t care if there are 20,001,or 20,002 laws dictating that you can’t commit violence. They’re well past that point.

    So why should any innocent be punished for the acts of those who given up on the contract with society and the rule of law? It’s plain out immoral.

    To your points, and you always have good ones AFF, what does mandatory safe storage encompass? Can a law abiding citizen have a firearm handy in case of home invasion?
    What about magazine size? (Christ, at least you know the correct nomenclature, which is refreshing.) I can have a car with a 700 plus horse power motor, but I can’t be trusted with a plastic box? How is that logical?

    Hopefully, you can help me here: What is a “comprehensive background check?” Everyone who says that to me, can’t define it. They often just blurt out, “you know.. Like, a background check when you like, buy a gun, or like whateveh…” I’m pretty sure Virginia pioneered the background check, even before the feds got around to it. Just explain it in simple and plain English, because every politician I know, looks like a deer in the headlights when I ask them that. They don’t know, and they don’t care to know. They’re just reciting some gibbereish their even more unknowing staffer told them to say.

    Don’t walk away AFF. I’m not debating, I truly want to know where you’re coming from. I think we have more in common than not. Reasonable people can have reasonable discussions. Can we not? Or have the politicians ruined that too? Don’t give into them.

  • 2019-08-27 at 7:37 am
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    Combat is not the place for a semi-automatic weapon, I do not know a single combat veteran, enlisted or officer who would say otherwise, and sadly I know more than my fair share. With the exception of snipers, there is no place on a battlefield for them, not if the goal for everyone to come home, alive.

    Background checks are a great tool, however it’s never explained how universal background checks could possibly be enforced, seeing that private sales cannot be regulated so easily and there is no real comprehensive tracking system.

    I do not see anything wrong with a seven day wait period, it might actually prevent suicides. I would think a much better mental health system would prevent more than a seven day wait, but it is what it is.

    You cannot have no fly, no buy, it’s unconstitutional. One has the right to own a firearm, not fly in an airplane.

    I would love to know where those few woodchucks in Kevlar have been hiding, picture or it didn’t happen.

    Finally there is a measure to update the constitution and it’s to create a new amendment. If the logic behind updating the second amendment is it no longer applies because we no longer use black powder and muskets then we should probably take a good look at what other amendments need updating, would hate to think that the government is only restricted from abridging free speech in the form of quills and parchment or only needing a warrant to search a person’s home if it’s log or fired clay brick. But I do suppose no fly, no buy could work if we get rid of that pesky outdated amendment requiring government to give people due process.

  • 2019-08-27 at 11:03 am
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    “You have your belief and confidence that words on paper can transform the darkest part of human nature, while I subscribe that evil can’t be legislated away.”

    Chris, I can’t get past your first paragraph.

    Words on paper are literally all we have. The Magna Carte, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, all were just words on paper some of which transformed dark parts of what was then human reality.

    Any law is just ‘words on paper’, yet the rule of law is pretty much what separates us from, say Somalia- words on paper that are actually enforced.

    It’s a slippery slope from ‘laws are just words on paper’ to ‘why bother having laws because no one will follow them’. At what point do we not bother making laws because people might break them anyway? Just because our system (aka your link re the Philly shooter being an informant) is far from perfect doesn’t mean we should throw the whole thing out and go back to warring city-states.

    I’m not sure if you’re a reader of Radley Balko? He’s been detailing the controversial uses of jailhouse informants and informants for years (spoiler alert- cops use questionable sources to conduct no knock SWAT raids all the freakin’ time. They’ll take the word of a person you wouldn’t let mow your lawn and use the info to secure a search warrant, knowing that their source is trying to save their own hide)

    I personally have seen this happen in Loudoun County- a ne’er-do-well that I knew as a teen got in trouble for doing some bad things, not the least of which were forgery, grand theft auto, and possession of a stolen firearm. The LCSD used that person to take an undercover detective around who’s big bust was getting another local kid to sell him a single hit of acid. The kid that got busted had never been in trouble with the law, graduated Valley with honors and was on a free ride to UVA. The ne’er-do-well got off- he went on to knowingly spread an STD to several local girls, the kind that stays with you for life.

    So the Columbine shooters got their guns from a straw man purchase- a kid they worked with at a pizza shop. The kid’s family was horrified (I say kid but I think he was in his 20’s) and with his families encouragement pled guilty and got 6 years. Was straw man purchaser/ pizza guy evil or just unknowing stupid?

    I say the pizza kid was stupid, but not so stupid that if it was made clear when he was buying guns that if he sold those guns to anyone he was going to jail for a long long time, I say there was a chance he wouldn’t have done it. Instead, the purchase was easy and kids died in classrooms.

    Now I hear the ‘evil will find a way’ argument all the time, usually attached to a ‘if they didn’t have a gun they would have used a bomb’, which kinda forgets situations like Columbine where the shooters made multiple bombs but none of them went off. Guns are easy. Bombs apparently not so much. How about not making it so easy to be evil?

  • 2019-08-28 at 6:28 pm
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    You’re right AFF. I am saying evil will find a way regardless of what is put to paper. It always has throughout human history, and it always will. The vast majority of us do our best to follow those pieces of paper. And then there are those who just don’t care. They are living in an alternate universe where nothing matters. They never had a compact with society like you, and me, and most everyone else does. It’s immoral that you, and me, and everyone else must pay with our liberties for their actions. It’s wrong. Yet that’s the first go to by the corrupt establishment politicians and their Mandarins.

    It’s never “Hey, we screwed up. This freak should have been in the can, but we blew it off, and now, we’re gonna accept responsibility for our incompetence.” We never, ever hear that.

    It’s always “All you decent people are responsible, and if you don’t go along with our meaningless proclamations and new laws heaped upon already written laws, which we never enforce on actual bad guys, then you’re the problem.”

    I won’t have it. Nor should you. None of us should put up with lazy and ineffective policies aimed at punishing the innocent for the acts of criminals. With some of your examples, I think we’re on the same page, just missing some chords here and there.

    I’ve read some of Radley Balko’s pieces in the Post. And based on your recommendation, I’m buying “Warrior….” Thanks for the tip.

    As to pizza kid, The “strawman” is the first question on ATF form 4473. It explains clearly you’re on the hook for a whole lotta’ trouble if you step across. Pizza kid likely knew what was up. And they didn’t care. Sounds like they got what the statute prescribes plus a little extra.

    I get what you’re saying about let’s not make evil so easy. But I can’t think of a single instance of using a firearm in any illegal manner which is not already against our laws multiple times.

    So why is it that law abiding people are always blamed and punished via restrictions on our rights for acts of evil? Where does it stop? There’s drunk drivers, so let’s put an interlock on everybody’s cars? You wouldn’t put up with that. There’s people who say slanderous things, should everyone’s free speech be curtailed? (and there’s far too many who want to.) Again, you wouldn’t tolerate that sort of lazy public policy for a second. Some religions have significant criminal actions take place. Should all religions therefore have restrictions placed on their beliefs. Some newspapers write completely fabricated stories, should the Freedom of the Press be impacted? Hell no! Why is it any different when it comes to my rights? Certainly you can see that.

    You and me, should not be punished for criminal actions.

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