Honorable (Rep’s name)
PA State Legislator
Dear Representative ___________
I am writing to you regarding your support of house bill 641, the Castle Doctrine. Under current PA law, a gun owner can be prosecuted for using a firearm in the act of protecting himself, his family or his property. The legal system (at the prosecutor’s discretion) can file a variety of criminal and civil charges against a person for the defensive use of a firearm to stop criminal actions. This places an unjust risk and financial burden on the gun owner, along with proving his/her innocence in the current legal system that in urban areas maintains an institutional bias against lawful self-defense.
After attending the Pro 2nd Amendment Press Conference in the Capitol May 24th, it’s painfully obvious there are 3 groups of thought at work here. For the sake of comparison, let’s identify them as “groups”.
Group one is composed of people that strongly support our God given right to self defense & the ability to own firearms in accordance with the guarantees outlined in both our Federal and State Constitutions. As a whole, I would classify this group of people as law abiding and want criminals off our streets.
Group two also consists of law abiding people who want criminals off our streets. Than being said, it’s obvious both groups share this sentiment. Group two sees the solution as gun legislation that limits everyone’s right to self defense & firearms ownership. They wish to turn a right into a privilege. A quick lesson in history will show that excessive firearms regulation will result in their eventual confiscation from law abiding gun owners. In doing so, we may as well say goodbye to our right of self defense of ourselves & our families against criminals. The right to gun ownership & self defense will become an old story of how things were a long time ago, sadly recited by grandfather-to-grandchildren. “…and we lost our God given rights to own guns & defend ourselves against bad guys with the stroke of a pen”.
It’s true we have a problem with criminals committing felonies with firearms in some parts of the state. How can far-reaching Anti-gun legislation possibly ever hope to effectively solve the problem against criminals who care nothing of which laws they break or who they harm in the process? Anti-gun legislation will only succeed in turning law abiding citizens into victims; except their victim status will be two-fold. First, they’ll lose their Constitutional rights, and secondly they’ll have no chance at all when confronted with a violent criminal who wishes to inflict harm & possibly take their life during the commission of a crime.
This brings us to Group three: Criminals. Most people don’t wish to discuss the mindset of the criminal. They are not law abiding & have no allegiance to the law when they see an opportunity to benefit at the cost of someone else’s loss, usually financial in nature and often times much worse. No Anti-gun legislation can hope to stop their desire to commit a crime, much less one with a firearm. A dedicated & well resourced criminal will knowingly & willingly break the law no matter the circumstances, as long as the situation fits his immediate need. More Anti-gun legislation will create a much larger target area for the “bad guy”. The Supreme Court has ruled numerous times that the police have no obligation regarding our individual safety & security, and that the responsibility of Self Defense rests with the individual.
The real problem here is Criminal Control, not gun control. So we should consider this problem of criminals with guns in our streets. One begs to ask, what about the legal system? Plea bargaining away mandatory sentencing, early releases for good behavior or overcrowding in our penal system has inadvertently led support to this “revolving door” of the criminal justice system. Why can we NOT fund more prison facilities for these “bad guys”? We have no problem funding privately owned sports venues for our entertainment, so why can’t we invest in our very own safety & security?
I have heard the slogan “Save Our Streets”. That slogan needs to be revised to read “Save Our Streets from Criminals”. I feel our commonwealth would be off to a great start with support of House Bill 641. This Bill was brought up in the committee of the whole & passed with an overwhelming majority. Your added support would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you very much