The Lynchpin

New Dimensions Magazine/Special Issue (1990)

By David Kupelian

Leroy Pyle is a 16-year veteran of the San Jose Police Department, a recognized firearms expert, and police gun safety training officer. But on April 6, he was yanked out of the training class he was teaching, told he was being investigated by Internal Affairs, and relegated to a lowly telephone answering job. What did Officer Pyle do wrong?

Two days earlier, on April 4, Leroy Pyle had the audacity to go before the California Legislature's Public Safety Committee and testify against banning "assault weapons" in that state. It happens that Pyle's boss, San Jose's Police Chief Joseph McNamara, is one of the nation's top spokesmen and fund-raisers for gun control organizations. (He is also a vocal lobbyist in favor of the legalization of illicit drugs, including cocaine and heroin.) It seems that Chief McNamara, threatened by Pyle's exercise of his first amendment rights of free speech, attempted to intimidate him.

Pyle was exercising his first amendment right to defend everyone's second amendment rights, while his boss was trying to deny Pyle his first amendment rights, in order to deny everyone their second amendment rights. Let's take a closer look at what is really involved here.

The first amendment to the Constitution guarantees freedom of speech, press, religion and assembly. The second amendment, Constitutional scholars agree, was meant to be a linchpin which would "lock in" the rights guaranteed by the first. "The strongest reason," said Thomas Jefferson, "for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government."

The issue of banning so-called "assault weapons" has captivated the news media, politicians, and much of the public today. An emotional tidal wave has swept the nation since the schoolyard killings by a deranged criminal named Patrick Purdy. Hundreds of pieces of proposed gun control legislation are presently being debated passionately across the country in city councils, county commission meetings, state legislatures--and in the U.S. Congress. These bills would make unprecedented, far-reaching, and highly restrictive changes in the nation's gun laws.

New Dimensions has spent several months researching this issue and has conducted countless interviews with top spokesmen on both sides of the issue. What has become increasingly clear is that the entire issue is a massive fraud.

FACT: It is not well known that President Jimmy Carter and his people wanted to push a major gun control law through Congress in the late '70s. They decided that the best way to accomplish this would be to have an exhaustive scientific study conducted which, in the end, would proclaim that gun control laws were effective in reducing crime. Two highly respected, pro-gun-control professors from Massachusetts, James D. Wright and Peter Rossi, were hired to conduct the study. Wright and Rossi spent four years and hundreds of thousands of dollars to produce the most comprehensive, critical study of gun control ever undertaken. In 1981, they published the results of their research: an exhaustive, three-volume work entitled "Under the Gun." Their findings, and I quote co-author Wright: "Gun control laws do not reduce crime."

FACT: According to the Federal Government's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF), there is no way to differentiate between "assault rifles" and the 20 to 30 million sporting and hunting firearms owned and used by Americans. "The assault weapon has a very menacing appearance to it, ' testified BATF official Edward Conroy to Congress, "but this gun pretty much the same as a sporting semiautomatic rifle--with the exception that this firearm has an exotic type appearance to it."

FACT: Overwhelming statistical evidence shows that crime actually decreases where citizen gun ownership increases. In Orlando, Florida there were 33 rapes in a 9 month period. After people began flocking to the gun stores to protect themselves, the local newspaper got together with the police to offer a firearms safety course. This was all very well publicized; everybody knew that in Orlando there were 6,000 women who had handguns and who knew how to use them. The result In the following 9 month period, there were only 3 rapes. In addition, crime in general declined. The fact is, Orlando, Florida was the only U.S. city with a population of over 100,000 that had a reduction in crime that year.

Gun control is an emotional issue. And it is the very nature of emotional arguments, such as those passionately put forth by well-meaning gun control advocates, that they bypass reason. Strangely, this same emotionalism somehow blocks the believers in such arguments from seeing their own contradictions and lack of logic.

Americans are in grave danger of losing their rights to keep and bear arms. If it comes to pass that law-abiding, armed citizens are considered criminals, while real crime continues to grow uncontrollably guess which "criminal" will be pursued by law enforcement. A vast gun-control police will go after citizens in violation of the law, because they are easier to catch than real criminals, and they satisfy the need for a scapegoat.

We are told that rights have to be balanced with responsibilities. An armed citizen is the very symbol of the acceptance of individual responsibility--a responsibility which many people today do not accept, and who feel very threatened when you do accept it. To see just how much attitudes have changed, consider the words of President George Washington: "Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people's liberty teeth and keystone under independence...To ensure peace, security, and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable...The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference--they deserve a place of honor with all that's good."

Truly, the issue is not guns. It is your freedom. Remove the linchpin from the bill of rights--the Second Amendment--and the next rights to fall will be those guaranteed by the first amendment. If you think that's an exaggeration, just ask Leroy Pyle.

Leroy Pyle is a career police officer,
NRA Training Counselor/Instructor, and Internet Activist WebMaster, &