Vail Daily letter: Critics can’t take me on directly
Ryan Summerlin March 27, 2013
On Jan. 3 and Feb. 13 letters I wrote to the editor were published. The first letter discussed a specific subject matter described below. The second letter was a response to some of the negative letters attacking me, but responding to nothing I wrote and only espousing their opinions on unrelated issues.
In fact, in the past two years or so (except for Fred Butler), no one has ever directly responded to the issues I raised using any relevant, credible, verifiable named sources directly contradicting what I wrote. None.
The Vail Daily has published at least 12 letters responding directly or indirectly to my two letters. It appears that gun ownership may be becoming the most important issue in the lives of Americans, including those in Eagle County. As I previously stated, there are 310 million guns in the hands of people in the United States. The current population is estimated to be 315 million. This means that the number of guns is equal to 98.4 percent of the population.
Many of the respondents make reference to the Second Amendment, by alleging it is justification for allowing anyone to possess as many guns of any type, including military weapons, semi-automatic and automatic, the few exceptions being criminals and the mentally ill.
But before I continue, to put these various arguments in a proper perspective, I provide you with my background. The following information is from the major source of rating attorneys in the United States: Martindale-Hubbell.
They rate attorneys by number on performance in legal knowledge, analytical capabilities, judgment, communication ability and legal experience. AV Preeminent (4.5-5.0) means that a lawyer’s peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence. BV Distinguished (3.0-4.4) is an excellent rating for a lawyer with some experience. (I have omitted the lower ratings.)
The Law Offices of Henry A. Bornstein’s peer review rating: AV Preeminent, 5.0 out of 5.0.
In law school, I took all of the constitutional law courses available. In private practice, I worked for the Poverty Program my first year. After that, I started a law firm with two friends who practiced only criminal law. I practiced only civil law. One of my areas of practice was constitutional law. I have been involved in this specialty for more than 30 years.
I do not know for sure, but I believe that none of the writers of the letters who have responded to my letters is an attorney except Butler and Terence J. Quinn, who is also a very highly rated attorney: BV Distinguished, 3.0-4.4. My understanding is that Quinn is a municipal judge who appears one Tuesday a month in court. M-H lists his areas of practice, and constitutional law is not listed.
It also appears that the writers of the letters, particularly those who cite portions of the Constitution in support of their arguments, know absolutely nothing about the Constitution, historically or legally. This includes Karl Lundgren, Dick Gustafson and Michael Cacioppo.
Lundgren did not directly respond to either of my commentaries. All three of his letters deal with protecting the gun owners’ alleged rights to possess as many guns as possible: “Going after legal gun owners because of what some madman did with a stolen gun is like going after doctors because some loser was selling Oxycontin to school kids” (Jan. 14). “As predicted, President Obama and his flock of liberals have made a major move toward gun control in his second term” (Feb. 8).
Lundgren also refers to the National Firearms Act of 1968 and the harsh penalties for violating this act. This argument and the cited statute are totally irrelevant to the Sandy Hook shooting (and also the Aurora shooting). With respect to my letters, every violation of this act was not prevented because of the existence of this law. This law only has meaning upon the arrest of anyone who violates this law.
Lundgren also states the following: “There weren’t magazine restrictions until President Clinton signed the Federal Assault Weapons Ban in 1994. The ban expired on Sept. 13, 2004, as part of the law’s sunset provision” (Feb. 8). Lundgren also said, “The fact is, if someone at Sandy Hook would have been armed with a 12-gauge shotgun instead of their cell phone, everyone would most likely be alive today” (Jan. 14). This comment is as ludicrous as it is wrong.
“Prior to its expiration, experts provided statistical evidence that concluded the 1994 ban did nothing to reduce crime. …” Lundgren, of course, did not provide the names of these so-called experts and they if they exist, he and they are wrong.
Jan. 31, New York Times, “Myths about gun regulation”:
“This was clear at the opening Senate hearing on gun controls this week, where Judiciary Committee members seemed to have largely swallowed gun lobby propaganda that the evidence shows the original 10-year ban on assault weapons was ineffective. …
“A long-range, independent study issued as Congress allowed the ban to expire in 2004 found criminal use of assault weapons had fallen by one-third or more as a share of gun crimes in major jurisdictions. … After the ban expired, 37 percent of police departments reported noticeable increases in criminals’ use of assault weapons, according to a 2010 report by the Police Executive Research Forum.
“In Virginia, the number of guns with high-capacity magazines seized by police dropped after they were included in the 1994 weapons ban, but then rebounded sharply after the ban expired, according to a 2011 study by The Washington Post. Maryland enacted its own more stringent ban on assault weapons in 1994, and a 55 percent drop in assault pistols from crime scenes was reported by the Baltimore police.”
Feb. 16, Lundgren states in part: “After reading Henry Bornstein’s rant last week, it is clear that liberals have drawn their own skewed conclusions about guns. … For people like Bornstein, here is something to ponder: We defend our president, congressmen, governors, celebrities, sporting events, jewelry stores, banks, office buildings, courts, factories, and airports with guns.”
All I can say to Lundgren is go reread my letters, and if you still are incapable of understanding them, call me. I will be happy to explain them in very simple English. This letter is a direct response to your letters and to selective claims you made. The readers would learn more if you responded to what I actually wrote.
By way of example, you mention guns at banks. Here are some statistics I am sure you know nothing about. From the Federal Bureau of Investigation: From Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2011, there were 5,014 bank and credit union robberies. The loot taken was $38,343,502. The amount recovered was $8,070,867, roughly 21 percent. It appears that bank robberies are a profitable venture despite the presence of armed guards. Substantially all of the banks were in cities or towns that had armed guards, unlike 1st Bank or Wells Fargo, which do not. The armed guards are almost always visibly present in the bank where the customers are. The presence of these guards obviously were not a deterrent.
There were 13 deaths over one year in the 5,014 robberies. The 13 deaths were 10 perpetrators, two law officers and one bank guard. This was 50 percent of the deaths in the Sandy Hook shooting alone. The effectiveness of the armed guards was nil. But no bank customers were killed, and the armed guards were present before the robbers entered the banks.
One-hundred percent of the school shootings identified in my prior letters occurred prior to anyone’s knowledge until after they started. The arrival of an armed guard, the police or any security officer is always after the shooting. No individual armed guard can be everywhere at once in any school. Even Superman could not be everywhere at once.
I also repeat that my two articles discussed the worthlessness and total waste of money of arming 98,817 guards in every school in the United States, as it will accomplish nothing. Just look at the comments and statistics in my two letters, for which no one has provided anything that proves either to be wrong. The 18 school shootings (K-12) in 98,817 schools over 13 years represent 0.00018 percent of the schools in which shootings occurred and are 1.38 shootings per year. I ask again, what benefit will arming 98,817 guards provide? Absolutely none.
If I am wrong, prove it with some credible, verifiable verifiable facts. Tell me and the readers of our respective letters of the existence of a single shooting that was anticipated in advance and was prevented by any armed guard or police officer.