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Thread: Letter to the Mayor

  1. #1
    Regular Member ep0k's Avatar
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    Letter to the Mayor

    Just sent this out.

    UPDATE: Mayor responded. Confirmed that he will take all written and verbal comments under consideration.


    Mayor Mavodones:

    As you are no doubt aware, myself, other members of the Maine Open
    Carry Association and a great number of concerned citizens have spoken
    in opposition to Resolve 3-10/11 during the course of its progress
    through the Public Safety Committee. I feel I have no choice at this
    juncture but to appeal to you directly regarding an ongoing pattern of
    behavior on the part of Councilor Skolnik which shows that he is not
    acting in the interest of public safety, as is his responsibility, but
    rather from an ideology which has become so entrenched that he will
    not allow it to be challenged in any way.

    I ask that you take into consideration my background and qualification
    to speak on this matter. I am a disabled US Army veteran of Operation
    Iraqi Freedom with extensive military training. I am a certified
    weapon safety instructor. When I speak on the topic of firearms, I
    speak with the authority of having worked with them daily for close to
    a decade. I also speak from the very unique perspective of a combat
    veteran who has experienced first-hand the life-changing ramifications
    of the use of deadly force. I am, notably, NOT a member of the
    National Rifle Association, nor will I ever be.

    I am also a member of the James Randi Educational Foundation and both
    a skeptic and a working scientist in training at the University of
    Southern Maine. I believe that any testable hypothesis must make
    predictions and be falsifiable. It is with regard to this basic test
    of the scientific method that Councilor Skolnik is failing his
    constituents by pushing this resolution.

    Myself and Mr. Belanger have made available to Councilor Skolnik, in
    meetings at city hall, many of the hard statistics which demonstrate
    that in the United States, depriving law abiding citizens of the right
    to bear tools of self defense always results in an increase of
    victimhood. Firearm ownership, per capita, has increased nationally by
    about 1% per year in the last 15 years. We now have 9 guns for every
    10 people in the United States. During this same period, violent crime
    has decreased significantly on a national level, but remained highest
    in areas with comprehensive gun bans such as Chicago and Washington,
    D.C. This data presents, at its simplest, a direct refutation to the
    idea that more guns equate to more crime. It also strongly implies
    that more guns, in fact, lead to less crime, which I intend to explore
    in greater detail.

    In 1987, the State of Florida enacted shall-issue concealed carry
    legislation, much to the chagrin of gun control advocates who stated
    that the prevalence of firearms would lead to "fender-benders turning
    into shootouts.” At the time of this writing, Florida has the highest
    per-capita issuance of CCW permits of any state. A “shall-issue” state
    must issue a permit if there is no legal reason not to, while a “may
    issue” state may refuse on any number of grounds, or even decline to
    provide justification. Maine is also a “shall issue” state, in
    accordance with our long tradition of firearm rights.

    What happened in Florida was a remarkable drop in violent crime.
    Furthermore, Florida CCW holders have proven to be the most
    law-abiding segment of the state population, with only 1.08 per
    100,000 licensed concealed carriers having their permit revoked for
    firearm-related offenses in a given year. If the entire nation met
    this standard, that would result in 3,240 firearm-related revocations
    per year. Note that a "firearm-related offense" covers many behaviors,
    from carrying unlawfully in a designated "gun-free zone", to
    brandishing, negligent discharges, and ultimately continuing through
    homicide. As the US had over 17,000 gun-related homicides in 2007 (the
    most recent year on record) it is clearly not the law-abiding citizens
    who are committing even a significant fraction of these crimes. The
    brute fact of the matter is that law abiding citizens who choose to
    arm themselves remain law-abiding citizens once they have done so in
    over 99.99% of cases.

    This information has been made readily available to Councilor Skolnik
    on more that one occasion. We have also made available to him reports
    from the FBI uniform crime statistics showing that guns are used
    defensively in the prevention of a crime as many as two million times
    per year. The terminology of "defensive use" in this context does not
    necessarily require firing the weapon, but also covers the spectrum of
    passive deterrence (high issuance of CCW permits and the practice of
    open-carry deters criminals before they act), verbal deterrence ("I
    have a gun"), and active deterrence ("stop or I will shoot").
    Ultimately the defensive kinetic use of a firearm in the prevention of
    a crime accounts for about 162,000 shootings a year, or just over 12%.
    The deterrent, non-lethal effect of an armed population constitutes
    the other 88%.

    Councilor Skolnik's response to this information has been to assert
    that he "doesn't want people waving guns around at the civic center"
    (12 October Public Safety Committee meeting) before asserting
    (counter-intuitively) that such verbiage was in no way inflammatory.
    Yesterday, on WLOB radio, he said there was no evidence that an armed
    citizen had ever defended themselves in an active shooter scenario (in
    glaring contrast to the reality that a number of citizens did exactly
    that at the University of Texas in 1966, one of whom even accompanied
    police forces into the tower). He is openly oblivious to the fact that
    law-abiding citizens do not carry their weapons into "gun-free zones"
    such as Virginia Tech and are therefore incapable of using them in
    self defense when someone violates these invisible boundaries and
    starts executing his classmates. Councilor Skolnik would create more
    of these "victim zones" through this misguided resolution. In a very
    real sense he has allowed his fear and hatred of guns to subsume his
    analytical thinking on the topic. The hypothesis that prohibiting
    carry will reduce crime has been shown to be false, and in fact the
    reverse is supported by all the evidence.

    Almost 40% of convicted felons interviewed (again, from the FBI
    uniform crime statistics) stated that they had been scared off,
    detained, or wounded by a potential victim who was armed. 80% stated
    they knew someone for whom this was the case. These statistics alone
    speak volumes about the efficacy of firearms as a crime deterrent.

    There also remains perhaps the most relevant issue in this whole
    debate, the Constitution of the State of Maine, Article 1, Section 16,
    which states:

    "Every citizen has a right to keep and bear arms and this right shall
    never be questioned."

    I raise this issue now because I am an advocate for "evidence-based
    politics" and my position is based first and foremost on factual and
    statistical grounds. Recourse to the primacy of the state constitution
    is, to me, a secondary objection but it remains an abject reality that
    this article and section clearly prohibit any legislation which would
    be based on the proposed resolution. The boundary imposed on the
    legislature by this one sentence is clear and unambiguous, more so
    even than the text of the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution.

    Councilor Daniel Skolnik is ignoring factual reality, willfully and to
    the detriment of the public safety, in contravention of the state
    constitution, and I ask that you oppose this measure and succeed where
    he is failing.

    Thank you for your consideration of this matter.

    Submitted respectfully,

    Forrest Brown
    Co-Founder, The Maine Open Carry Association
    http://maineopencarry.org
    Last edited by ep0k; 07-19-2011 at 03:31 PM.
    v/r
    Forrest Brown
    Webmaster, Maine Open Carry Association
    forrest@maineopencarry.org

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by ep0k View Post
    Just sent this out.
    Well written. Though I'm beginning to worry that statistics and facts don't matter to any politician and that their minds are already made up on this issue.

  3. #3
    Regular Member ep0k's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by boyscout399 View Post
    Well written. Though I'm beginning to worry that statistics and facts don't matter to any politician and that their minds are already made up on this issue.
    i am inclined to concur. This matter is far from settled but hopefully the Mayor is not an ideologue the way Skolnik is.

    I will also make a point of making this letter public record so that if the measure passes and becomes legislation, when crime at the civic center goes up I can wave my big "I told you so" sign in the air.
    v/r
    Forrest Brown
    Webmaster, Maine Open Carry Association
    forrest@maineopencarry.org

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    Quote Originally Posted by ep0k View Post
    i am inclined to concur. This matter is far from settled but hopefully the Mayor is not an ideologue the way Skolnik is.

    I will also make a point of making this letter public record so that if the measure passes and becomes legislation, when crime at the civic center goes up I can wave my big "I told you so" sign in the air.
    have you made the sign yet?

    You should submit it to a paper as an editorial...

  5. #5
    Regular Member ep0k's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by boyscout399 View Post
    have you made the sign yet?

    You should submit it to a paper as an editorial...
    With a few revisions, I intend to.

    I've still got my "Iraq Veterans say **** PARADES" sign from a few years back. Nothing like being fresh back from the sandbox and having your sleep interrupted by a parade that is notionally honoring you...
    v/r
    Forrest Brown
    Webmaster, Maine Open Carry Association
    forrest@maineopencarry.org

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    Outstanding piece of writing, Forrest.

  7. #7
    Regular Member ep0k's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhenriksen View Post
    Outstanding piece of writing, Forrest.
    Thank you. The mayor did acknowledge that he read and received it, hopefully my argument proves persuasive.
    v/r
    Forrest Brown
    Webmaster, Maine Open Carry Association
    forrest@maineopencarry.org

  8. #8
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    BTW, Written response needed to be presented before noon on November 11th.


    Received last week and similar ones from each councilor.
    Paul,

    Thank you for taking the time to send along your thoughts concerning the resolution that is before the City Council tomorrow evening. I will give consideration to the written comments that have been submitted, as well as oral testimony that will be provided during the public hearing, when deliberating on the Public Safety Committee's resolution.

    Thanks again for providing me with your opinion regarding this matter.

    Nick

    Nicholas M. Mavodones, Jr.
    Mayor, City of Portland
    389 Congress Street
    Portland, Maine 04101
    nmm@portlandmaine.gov
    207-874-8689
    Last edited by Maine CWP Training; 11-15-2010 at 04:26 AM.
    Paul J. Mattson
    NRA Certified Instructor / RSO
    #63731855
    Maine CWP Training
    101 Main St.
    Harrison, ME 04040

    www.mainecwptraining.com

    (207) 583-4723
    CELL 232-7063

  9. #9
    Regular Member ep0k's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maine CWP Training View Post
    BTW, Written response needed to be presented before noon on November 11th.


    Received last week and similar ones from each councilor.
    Paul,

    Thank you for taking the time to send along your thoughts concerning the resolution that is before the City Council tomorrow evening. I will give consideration to the written comments that have been submitted, as well as oral testimony that will be provided during the public hearing, when deliberating on the Public Safety Committee's resolution.

    Thanks again for providing me with your opinion regarding this matter.

    Nick

    Nicholas M. Mavodones, Jr.
    Mayor, City of Portland
    389 Congress Street
    Portland, Maine 04101
    nmm@portlandmaine.gov
    207-874-8689
    Sportsman's Alliance of Maine sent theirs in yesterday as well.
    v/r
    Forrest Brown
    Webmaster, Maine Open Carry Association
    forrest@maineopencarry.org

  10. #10
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    Informational packets on today's hearing were distributed to council members Friday morning.
    Paul J. Mattson
    NRA Certified Instructor / RSO
    #63731855
    Maine CWP Training
    101 Main St.
    Harrison, ME 04040

    www.mainecwptraining.com

    (207) 583-4723
    CELL 232-7063

  11. #11
    Regular Member papa bear's Avatar
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    good job epOK, this is similar to what i needed help and suggestions on recently. i knew there were other people in the nation who were fighting their city hall, and this has given me an idea.. thanks

  12. #12
    Regular Member damienrr's Avatar
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    Great job Forrest, hopefully his head isnt as far up his a$$ as Skolnik's.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by damienrr View Post
    Great job Forrest, hopefully his head isnt as far up his a$$ as Skolnik's.
    apparently it is. He voted for the resolution

  14. #14
    Regular Member ep0k's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by papa bear View Post
    good job epOK, this is similar to what i needed help and suggestions on recently. i knew there were other people in the nation who were fighting their city hall, and this has given me an idea.. thanks
    I hope you've found it useful.

    Something I need to do more when I speak in public is cite my references and encourage listeners not to take my word for it, but to confirm my sources and do their own research.
    v/r
    Forrest Brown
    Webmaster, Maine Open Carry Association
    forrest@maineopencarry.org

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ep0k View Post
    I hope you've found it useful.

    Something I need to do more when I speak in public is cite my references and encourage listeners not to take my word for it, but to confirm my sources and do their own research.
    The problem is they don't give enough time to make your case. 3 minutes is not enough time to make your case and cite your sources. Also, on other issues they allowed for question and answer by the "expert" They didn't allow us the same opportunity.

  16. #16
    Regular Member ep0k's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by boyscout399 View Post
    The problem is they don't give enough time to make your case. 3 minutes is not enough time to make your case and cite your sources. Also, on other issues they allowed for question and answer by the "expert" They didn't allow us the same opportunity.
    I agree. Public comment on an issue like this should be done in debate format. The other problem is that it takes seconds to create a lie or distortion that requires minutes or hours to deconstruct.
    v/r
    Forrest Brown
    Webmaster, Maine Open Carry Association
    forrest@maineopencarry.org

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