17014 Broadway ave.
Snohomish, WA 98296-8031
(360) 668-5342
July 4, 2004

Senator Patty Murray
Senator Maria Cantwell
Representative Jay Inslee
FAX: (425) 259-7152, (425) 303-8351, (425) 776-7168

Senator Murray, Senator Cantwell, Representative Inslee:

I feel that it is very appropriate to write to you on Independence Day regarding one of the fundamental freedoms this day commemorates: the right to keep and bear arms in defense of Liberty against tyranny and in defense of self and country against aggressors. The right to keep and bear arms is again under attack, and those who would see American citizens disarmed and helpless are again proposing legislation to proceed towards that end.

Sen. Feinstein has proposed two bills (S.2109 and S.2498) to extend the 1994 “Assault Weapons” ban another ten years, and will probably also propose an amendment to whatever popular or “must pass” bills that become available in the next two months, even if totally unrelated to firearms. Rep. Castle has proposed a similar bill (H.R.3831) in the House. Several older bills are also still on the legislative calendar.

The Assault Weapons Ban is a bad law. It uses cosmetic features to invent and then demonize a class of firearms that in truth are no more destructive or dangerous than firearms that do not possess those cosmetic features. It was proposed as a way to reduce violent crime when the firearms it bans were involved in only a tiny percentage of violent crimes – less than one-half percent of all violent crimes, and less than two percent of firearms-related violent crimes. It violates the Second Amendment by being a blatant infringement on the right of the people to keep and bear arms, and it violates the Fifth Amendment by depriving citizens of liberty and property without due process of law.

The Assault Weapons Ban has been ineffective in its ostensible goal of preventing violent crimes. Numerous studies since the ban went into effect, including multiple studies by the Justice Department, have shown that it has had no measurable effect on violent crime rates. It is ineffective in reducing or preventing violent crime because criminals do not care whether the law bans guns – if they want guns, they will obtain them illegally. Only law-abiding citizens are affected by this ban. Please stop wishing the ban would reduce violent crime – it does not.

The Assault Weapons Ban is only effective in its true, unpublicized goal – as a “good first step” towards total disarmament of law-abiding citizens, as a way to get people to accept in small bites what they would choke on if forced to swallow whole. Always remember Sen. Feinstein's comment: “Mr. and Mrs. America, turn them all in!” In response, let me quote Theodore Haas, a survivor of the Dachau concentration camp:

There is no doubt in my mind that millions of lives could have been saved if the people were not “brainwashed” about gun ownership and had been well armed.

The Assault Weapons Ban is not “reasonable.” The ban is not “fair.” It is the first small step towards tyranny in our nation. If you wish to reduce violent crime, then punish those who commit violent crimes. Do not punish peaceful, law-abiding citizens like myself by disarming us. We have not committed a crime.

As my representative and as someone sworn to uphold and defend the Constitution, I call on you to oppose any attempt to renew or expand the Assault Weapons Ban, whether as an independent bill or as an amendment to any other bill, and oppose any attempt to institute a similar or even more restrictive ban.

Yours sincerely,

John Hardin