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Letter: Disagrees with DA's column

Dear Editor,

St Croix County District Attorney Eric Johnson made his left-wing opinions on gun control clear in last week's guest column in the Star-Observer. Unfortunately, many of the purported "facts" are anti-gun talking points, unsubstantiated or untrue. As a lifetime member of the NRA and a 23-year Army veteran, I find it unfortunate Johnson would characterize us as political extremists.

On the contrary, we simply wish for our government to not overreact with ineffective legislation to the recent violence our nation has suffered. I am not just an NRA member, but a trained NRA instructor who teaches the safe use of firearms.

Johnson claims we have a gun "free-for-all" when nothing could be farther from the truth, unless one considers the federal flop known as "Fast and Furious" that gave thousands of guns to Mexican drug dealers and murderers. When we purchase guns from dealers, we go through background checks. There are many types of guns that we cannot legally own or are highly restricted.

As far as what law enforcement thinks? Sixty-six percent of police chiefs believe that citizens carrying concealed firearms reduce rates of violent crime. Guns cause more crime? Chicago has the most restrictive gun laws of any American city and yet has the highest number of murders. Johnson has never been in a gun fight if he believes his claim that a 10-round magazine is reasonable. Johnson repeats the falsehood that 40 percent of guns are sold without background checks, a claim based on a 17-year old survey that pre-dates the National Instant Criminal Background Check System established in 1998.

The very idea that we must get the government's permission to buy a gun is offensive to most Americans. Should we require breathalyzer checks before people get into their cars since drunk drivers kill more than 30 times more people than "assault rifles" do? Perhaps we should require background checks on hammers, which also kill more often than "assault rifles." I suggest Johnson read McDonald v. Chicago, 561 U.S. 3025 (2010)where the Supreme Court held that the right of an individual to "keep and bear arms" is protected by the Second Amendment as incorporated by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and applies to the states.

Thomas Jefferson wanted us to have guns to protect ourselves, our families, our communities; as did Madison. They both believed in economic freedom and personal liberty. Mr. Johnson, my rifle is not an "assault weapon," it is a modern musket.

Editor's note: District Attorney Eric Johnson runs on the Republican ticket.