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Guest columnist: Teri Davis Newman

A correspondence about guns

December 13, 2013

[Ten days ago, Esquire published a blog by a Lt. Col. Robert Bateman. This inflammatory piece advocated gun control and even went so far as to promise, "We will pry your gun from your cold, dead, fingers," a play on the words Charlton Heston used to conclude NRA conventions. Bateman's piece generated controversy nationally and a great volume of written responses, including this correspondence between the colonel and Teri Davis Newman, who is threatening to be a regular guest columnist here at JPAttitude.com.]

Esquire piece: It's Time to Talk About Guns and the Supreme Court.

Sun, 8 Dec 2013 10:45:23

I find it reprehensible that a person who takes an oath to defend and uphold the Constitution of the United States of America thinks that it's OK to pick and choose WHICH parts you think should be upheld. The Second Amendment is the lynchpin of all the freedoms we have in the country. God forbid a situation arises where armed rebellion against a tyrannical government becomes necessary, but if it should, an armed populace is the only way to do that.

You, of all people sir, should be aware of the value of an armed and patriotic populace. Your despicable plan to curtail our Second Amendment rights makes you unworthy of the rank you hold and the trust placed in you by the citizens of this great nation. Your disrespectful attitude toward the document that codifies our God-given rights and freedoms makes you no better than the lying scum occupying 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue who spends most of his time trampling the Constitution and the rule of law.

For my entire life I have looked at members of the military as American heroes worthy of my utmost respect and support. My late father-in-law was a retired USAF fighter pilot who sat in an F-101 Voodoo jet in 1962 during the Cuban missile crisis waiting for orders to go. You may share his rank, but you aren't worthy of the privilege of shining his shoes. You sir, are a disgrace to your country and your uniform. Shame on you.

Sit on that.

Teri Davis Newman
Sun, Dec 8, 2013 10:56 am

Teri, At least you sign your own name. That's fairly unique and I respect that. But did you read what I wrote, or what somebody else said that I wrote?

Bob Bateman
Sun, 8 Dec 2013 15:48:45

I read every word that you wrote from the printed source, Esquire magazine. I have never been one to allow anyone to make up my mind for me; nor have I ever been afraid to speak up or sign my name to something I've written. My outspoken defense of a Constitutional government is what nearly won election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010 as the Republican nominee. I come from a long line of feisty women, all of them proud American gun owners. My mother is 75 and holds a concealed carry permit, as I do and have for the last 17 years.

Teri Davis Newman
Sun, Dec 8, 2013 2:52 pm

Teri, My op-ed does not come out in the printed source. Only online. But I won't quibble. I am guessing that is what you meant. And I trust that you did read the essay.

And like I said, at least you have the courage to sign your name. Many, if not most, of your peers do not, and I respect that you do attach your name to your opinions. Moral courage means a lot in this age of anonymity.

As you probably sussed out, the whole "plank" thing was deliberately done very much in order to get people to talk. And you will please excuse me for the brevity of this response, the number of your peers who have been willing to threaten my life (and threaten to rape my wife and slaughter my baby daughter) is quite interesting. OTOH, they also illustrate my point about the need for such changes, because it is evident that quite a few people who own guns are willing to at least threaten murder.

Second, thanks for engaging in a rational debate. It is useful for both of us, but if you would, might I suggest you also read this.

It puts forward the idea that Madison actually threw in the Second Amendment as a sop to southern anti-federalists since it was they who feared the disestablishment of local militia due to the presence of a standing army. And not because they wanted it to confront any future government, but because local militias were the tool used to suppress slave rebellions. Had you seen this analysis before? It was too complex for a "general audience" readership on a blog, but you might be interested.

Third, and just FYI, the "Running" thing is a longstanding joke on Esquire, that Pierce (a comedy writer) and I (a military officer of no political affiliation) should "run for President/vice" once put forward by readers. That is the "We" in the article. It's not real. I have no desire to ever hold political office, mostly because I am moderately lousy at compromise, and I sure as hell could never be (nor would ever want to be) anything higher than town dog-catcher. That it is a longstanding joke with the readers of Esquire is lost on people who were not in on it.

Look, it's not about *all* guns. That .50 Barret somebody cited on the comments would still be legal, for example. Scopes? Perfectly fine. Shotguns are perhaps the perfect home defense weapon: Easy to aim, a wide variety of munition choices (esp bird or buckshot...because those won't go through walls and kill your kids or your neighbor), great stopping power. And I am not talking about total eradication of all violence, that is impossible. But 31,000 or 32,000 people killed by guns (in all uses) is too much. No, you wouldn't stop all suicides, but you would certainly reduce the number. (Although there is also some scholarly evidence to suggest that suicide is very much more about a cultural inclination. Japan, for example, has a crazy-high level of suicides, almost none of which is committed by guns. But they have a culture which also includes, historically, the idea that one must commit suicide if you have been dishonored. So there is that.) But you would certainly cut down on the nearly 1,000 people a year who die accidentally.

(Here is the source for most of my numbers, it's from the University of Sydney. Justso you can see where I am getting my numbers, and dispute them if you like.)

And, of course, we haven't even touched upon the woundings. Statistically our experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan would suggest that that should be about 7x greater than the actual deaths, but it is actually only a little more than 2x as high. I don't know why. In 2008 78,622 were wounded. so call it "more than 100,000" Americans are shot, each year, as a rough ballpark.

In other words we lose the economic, military (dead can't be recruited), creative, and social equivalent of a city larger than Portland, Maine, for at least some of every damned year. How do we stop that drain on our national resources.

I'm willing to listen, and if your ideas are better than mine, I'd even put them forward. Obviously "education" is not working. So what would?

Regards, Bob Bateman
Sun, 8 Dec 2013 16:24:27

"In other words we lose the economic, military (dead can't be recruited), creative, and social equivalent of a city larger than Portland, Maine, for at least some of every damned year. How do we stop that drain on our national resources."

We lose 50K a year to the influenza virus. We lost 38K a year to auto accidents, should we also ban cars? The people killing each other with gang violence aren't exactly upstanding law-abiding citizens either. I am a lawful and peaceful gun owner than keeps a weapon with me at all times for self-defense if it should become necessary. Violent crime dropped markedly in every state that has a shall-issue concealed carry law, including my native state of Florida. If I wanted to kill someone, I could do so with a ballpoint pen, but I have the right to have a gun in this country. I've lived in Japan too, by the way. People who want to kill someone or commit suicide will do so with whatever means available. I simply wish to be able to defend my life and the life of my family members (or strangers if I happened to be a public place someone decided to shoot up) and have the means to do so. Every CCF permit holder I have ever met feels the same. Japan did not invade the USA during WW2 because the military knew the vast majority of American owned a gun and said "In America there is a gun behind every blade of grass." It's a deterrent against our enemies and a deterrent against criminals. While I am not a murderer, I would not hesitate to defend my life. I wish to have the means to do so at all times. It is my RIGHT as an American.

Teri Davis Newman
Sun, Dec 8, 2013 4:46 pm

Teri, What is your source for the "50K" to influenza?

What is the economic benefit, please, in Trillions, of Trucks and Cars?

Most of the deaths by gunfire are white, lower and middle class, rural. How did you not know that? Seriously, you did not know that?

How do *you* propose we reduce the economic, national defense, and social loss to the nation of the 100,000+ Americans shot every year. You are a politician, please give us a solution.

Bob Bateman
Mon, Dec 9, 2013 8:48 am

"What is your source for the "50K" to influenza?"

World Health Organization.

"What is the economic benefit, please, in Trillions, of Trucks and Cars?"

What's the economic benefit of gun sales, ammo sales, hunting licenses?

"Most of the deaths by gunfire are white, lower and middle class, rural. How did you not know that? Seriously, you did not know that?"

I'm big on personal responsibility and people will kill each other no matter what. I worked my way through school as a waitress in a Waffle House on the midnight shift. This is America, people choose their own destiny.

"How do *you* propose we reduce the economic, national defense, and social loss to the nation of the 100,000+ Americans shot every year. You are a politician, please give us a solution."

Again, people manage to injure themselves just as frequently with cars, sports, knives and many other means. American ingenuity is not limited to altruistic pastimes. I am not a politician, I am not currently nor will I ever seek public office again. Neither of us is going to convince the other, so I'm going to call it a draw. I'm not interested in pursuing an ongoing discussion about it, I don't have the time and what I lack in time, I make up for in lack of interest.

Merry Christmas to you and yours.

Teri Davis Newman


From Missouri, USA       



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