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Del. Boteler: Gun Control Is Not The Answer

Gun control is not the issue. Concerns need to be refocused to mental health issues and better ways to address the needs of those citizens who need help but are not able to obtain help on their own.

The General Assembly is set to begin hearings this week on the most controversial gun legislation it has seen in more than a decade. Since the December massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary the national gun debate has changed night and day and Maryland is pushing for lights out on guns. Governor Martin O’Malley’s proposal would require a license for handgun purchases, expand background checks, ban the sale of assault weapons and limit magazines to 10 bullets.

The problem is Maryland already has some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation, particularly in Baltimore. However, it also has one of the highest rates of gun crime. The Sun's Justin George reported this weekend, only about 1 percent of the weapons Baltimore police seized last year would qualify as assault weapons, and the overwhelming majority of weapons used in Baltimore crimes are handguns. The requirement to purchase a license for all handguns would mean Marylanders would have to pay a $100 licensing fee, in addition to other costs and training. This is severely limiting the scope of those who are able to purchase a gun, putting law abiding citizens in harm’s way because they are not able to defend themselves. Guns are going to become a luxury that only the rich can afford, while criminals will still be able to find ways to purchase guns on the black market. 

So instead of throwing our citizens into harm’s way, we should be focusing on the basic problems plaguing our nation. Concerns need to be refocused to mental health issues and better ways to address the needs of those citizens who need help but are not able to obtain help on their own. Our job as Legislators should be dedicated to funding mental health facilities in Maryland. The horrible massacres that have occurred are a result of unstable individuals not getting the help they need, not guns. The issue of mental health is only addressed after something has gone wrong, not as a preventative measure and this is our nation’s biggest mistake. We should not punish law abiding citizens and take away their ability to defend themselves just because we have failed to take the proper steps in preventing massacres that are only committed by mentally unwell individuals. 

We also need to work towards accountability for our children. Parents need to be aware of the type of violence that their children observe in the video games and movies that are deemed acceptable today. Advocating violence by glamorizing it is only adding to the problem of altering the scope of how our children view the world in which they live. 

Sincerely,

Delegate Joe Boteler III

"To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them."
-Richard Henry Lee

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FIFA February 06, 2013 at 02:19 AM
You forgot to include Evets in your listing, just an oversight I guess?
FIFA February 06, 2013 at 02:29 AM
One right kills kids and adults and the other is a vote? Hmm, false equivalency come to mind anyone? Normal Joe stuff, happens every time he doesn't do copypasta.
gregg phillips February 06, 2013 at 11:50 AM
you are right. innocent children die because of too much restriction on legal guns for law abiding people. did you not understand that maryland has some of the toughest laws concerning guns but the highest gun crimes. those tough laws do not work...
Mark Patro February 06, 2013 at 12:25 PM
The focus of this legislation is to reduce gun violence not to take self defense guns and rifles from law abiding citizens. The scream from folks who own guns come from gun manufacturing companies. That voice is amplified by the NRA. This is another example of too much corporate money in the political system. In order to reduce gun violence we SHOULD require a license to buy a gun. This requirement will not stop, but it will greatly reduce the purchase of illegally obtained hand guns. It you can legally obtain a hand gun you should have no problem with this new restriction on criminal access to guns. The loudest voices perpetually broadcast the idea that we always want to take gun from law abiding citizens and this is simply propaganda from the gun lobby. Mt Boetler is wrong on this.
Steve February 06, 2013 at 12:51 PM
Crime doesn't increase when guns are banned. That's a myth.
Sanchez February 06, 2013 at 12:54 PM
Not comparing the equivalency but a nagger like you would not understand.
Sanchez February 06, 2013 at 12:56 PM
Why did you DELETE your comments on the molesting teachers issue Evets? Did your employer come down on you? Or were you embarrassed about being ill informed?
Brian Hanlon February 06, 2013 at 01:35 PM
How is making it more difficult for a law abiding gun owner to have a gun going to decrease firearm violence? The only benefit of mandatory firearm education class is that the gangbangers will become better shots....hence there will eventually be less of them. Headline "GANG MEMBERS LINE UP FOR MANDATORY TRAINING WITH THEIR ILLEGAL FIREARMS."
Tim February 06, 2013 at 01:52 PM
When exactly was the last war we fought to protect our constitution?
Tim February 06, 2013 at 02:00 PM
Neil, you are NEVER fullyprotected against your government. At some point, reality needs to sink in for a subset of you. If our government wants you dead, no amount of guns will save you. Rational minded folks like myself, those who don't fall far right or far left, recognize that there's a balance to be struck in adhering to the spirit of the second amendment. I am all for gun ownership. I am all for heavily regulated conceal carry. I am a big, big believer in home gun ownership and Castle Doctrine. However, I'm also for the high cap magazine ban, and I'm also for full assault rifle bans. These are not weapons for self defense, nor will they do you any good whatsoever at protecting yourself against "an oppressive government". Boteler's last paragraph about video games just cracks me up though. More ignorance. What's on TV isn't any better. You want to see the dumbing down of our society, look no further then our television content. Seriously. Although he brings an accurate point about the real issue - parenting and being responsible for their children's upbringing.
Honeygo Hal February 06, 2013 at 02:41 PM
From the headline, Del. Boteler is correct. Gun control is not THE answer, it is PART of the answer. I will support having a 2nd Amendment vigorously, but when abuses of rights granted by the 2nd Amendment deny people of their rights (Life, Liberty, Pursuit of Happiness) endowed in the main body of the Constitution we have a problem. Very simple game.
Mark Patro February 06, 2013 at 06:11 PM
By making it a little more difficult for law abiding citizens you make it nearly impossible for criminals to get these weapons. Its that simple.
Mark Patro February 06, 2013 at 06:12 PM
My response to Del. Boeteler http://perryhall.patch.com//blog_posts/solutions-to-gun-violence-that-work
FIFA February 06, 2013 at 07:25 PM
@gregg - "tough laws do not work", so your recommendation to stop the killing? More guns maybe?
FIFA February 06, 2013 at 07:27 PM
@Joe/Sanchez - you stand on the bodies of dead children and scream "it is my right to own as many guns as I want, this is price of liberty!",
FIFA February 06, 2013 at 07:28 PM
Never fails, copybagger Joe/Sanchez report to the ignoramus class.
HLV February 06, 2013 at 10:34 PM
Ohhhhh myyyyyy, dear, sweet, naïve liberals, you mean so well! "By making it a little more difficult for law abiding citizens you make it nearly impossible for criminals to get these weapons. Its that simple." Oy vey. It that why cities in the US with the strictest gun control laws and gun free zones are the MOST DANGEROUS? Educate yourself. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/feb/4/chicago-murder-rate-far-worse-strict-gun-control/ http://johnrlott.blogspot.com/ Until then, hush.
HLV February 06, 2013 at 10:38 PM
"NRA members and the American people are in favor of new gun control regulations." Really? Cite your source, sweetie.
HLV February 06, 2013 at 10:45 PM
Fifa, if I may suggest, post a sign on your property with your quote: To preserve liberty [Second Amendment]", many children and parents and others must die. And many more after those are gone. That is the legacy of the Second Amendment. It is a simple fact of death." You will feel so much better, and anyone who passes by your home might feel compelled to stop in and thank you.
Steve February 06, 2013 at 10:46 PM
LOL John Lott was thoroughly discredited years ago. Try to keep up.
Mark Patro February 06, 2013 at 11:34 PM
Evets, the licensing and finger printing process spelled out in this Firearm Safety Act will be the only credible way to prove who the buy of the gun was. Its good to have penalties to dissuade the straw purchases of gun, but the sysytem we have now does not allow us to identify your "person A".
Mark Patro February 06, 2013 at 11:35 PM
really, your\'re going to quote the washington times? Oh my my my....yourself. LOL
FIFA February 06, 2013 at 11:40 PM
HLV, argue my point. Am I correct or not?
Steve February 06, 2013 at 11:52 PM
LOL LInking to the Moonie Paper that owns almost half of the Firearms manufacturing industry and discredited John Lott.
DougW February 07, 2013 at 02:45 AM
It doesn't matter what kind of new laws we make, if we do not address the mental health crisis. 4600 young people a year die by their own hand across the US (CDC statistic). That is a mental health crisis. The shame of it is the three or four that want to make headlines as they go down, which causes a whole country to go down a path that leads to so much contention..
Gregg Roberts February 21, 2013 at 09:34 AM
Gun control is not an American stance. "Firearms stand next in importance to the constitution itself. They are the American people's liberty teeth and keystone under independence … from the hour the Pilgrims landed to the present day, events, occurences and tendencies prove that to ensure peace security and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable … the very atmosphere of firearms anywhere restrains evil interference — they deserve a place of honor with all that's good." George Washington First President of the United States "The supposed quietude of a good man allures the ruffian; while on the other hand arms, like laws, discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as property. The same balance would be preserved were all the world destitute of arms, for all would be alike; but since some will not, others dare not lay them aside … Horrid mischief would ensue were the law-abiding deprived of the use of them." Thomas Paine "Those who hammer their guns into plowshares will plow for those who do not." Thomas Jefferson Third President of the United States "The great object is that every man be armed." and "Everyone who is able may have a gun." Patrick Henry American Patriot Utah was very smart is not attempting to control guns by law abiding citizens but ARMING teachers as a reaction to increased gun violence. Yes, we need to treat the mentally ill. We need to pay for it with our taxes.
Gregg Roberts February 21, 2013 at 09:38 AM
But not everybody that uses guns is mentally ill. They are just evil. Knowing that their fellow, peaceable citizens are armed will make hooligans, mentally ill or otherwise think twice and if he still doesn't then the good man can shoot him before he is shot ..as well as potentially others like in a school shooting incident. "The constitutions of most of our States assert that all power is inherent in the people; that … it is their right and duty to be at all times armed; … " Thomas Jefferson letter to Justice John Cartwright, June 5, 1824. ME 16:45.
Mark Patro February 21, 2013 at 10:22 AM
Its very simple math. The more guns there are the more gun incidents there will be. SOME of them will be incidents of self protection. As much as folks would like to talk about self protection, the conversation should be focussed on reduction of misuse. We need to find a way to reduce suicide by guns that parents leave laying around unattended. We need to talk about how to reduce straw purchases of illegally obtain hand guns. And we need an honest conversation about the use of semi automatic guns in these horrific mass shootings. The only way to do that is to put tighter rules on accessing guns in the first place. The "mentally ill" conversation is part of this conversation, but it is not the only answer. It appears to me that gun proponants are only focussed on themselves as gun owners. We need to balance the rights of all the rest of us that want to live in a less violent society. Gun COntrol IS part of the answer, not the entire answer.
Mark Patro February 22, 2013 at 08:08 PM
this will help Move Maryland in the right direction: https://www.change.org/petitions/support-solutions-to-gun-violence-that-work#
Leon March 01, 2013 at 03:50 AM
As always Joe Botler is rigt on, he shows great leadership, I think we the taxpayers are geting or money worth with Joe, I wish I could say they about the other ones, My hats off to Joe , Leon Benner

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