My Name is Jack Kelner and I am the PR representative for the CCSU Riflery and Marksmanship Club. I am writing this letter in opposition to the erroneous allegations and poorly founded argumentative statements lodged in a previous letter by Mr. Tim Mckee.
Our club has always been, first and foremost, a group with a primary goal of educating the general public on Second Amendment rights and gun safety. We have never hidden our support for the National Rifle Association or the Concealed Campus organization and we are proud to admit that all of our members are active in opposing superfluous or overzealous anti-firearm legislation.
Yes, we posit the argument that level headed law abiding citizens should have the right to carry a concealed firearm on campus, and to be honest, this concept is far from being ridiculous or frightening. Thousands of Connecticut residents are licensed to carry a firearm and every day they do just that. Whether you are visiting West Farms Mall, a supermarket or even a public park, chances are you are less than 100 meters away from someone who is carrying a concealed weapon. This does not mean that these activities are more dangerous because of the presence of a firearm though; rather they are made safer.
In order to obtain a carry permit in the state of Connecticut a stringent certification class and an in-depth background check are performed in order to evaluate mental state, criminal records and citizenship. The government of the state of Connecticut does not just hand out these licenses as Mr. Mckee would have everyone believe. The individuals who earn these licenses are sworn to protect the government and to uphold and obey the law and it is not an oath which any of us take lightly. We chose to take these courses, not for power, or to feel cool. We carry because we value our lives and the lives of those around us and we feel that it is our duty as American citizens to protect our rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Mr. Mckee also attempted to bastardize the message that the NRA University was attempting to convey at last year’s seminar it seems. To clarify, the NRA U was detailing the difference between an assault rifle model of an AR-15 and the civilian legal variant which is approved by government law. Had he been listening to the presentation instead of feverishly taking notes on what scared him, he most likely also would know that the supposed “cop killer” bullets, as he called them, have a real world application that is vital for personal defense, and in no way is meant to be used against officers of the law. Full Metal Jacket (FMJ) bullets are what Mr. Mckee was slandering and though they can puncture body armor they are far more versatile in personal defense than Mr. Mckee would like to admit.
Allow me to offer a scenario:
Let us assume that you are a concealed carrier, driving home from work one evening and passing through Hartford. You come to a red light and a man approaches your car door with a gun drawn demanding your wallet. You feign reaching for your wallet and instead draw your weapon next to the door and fire twice through it. If you are carrying hollow point, then the man laughs and shoots through the window killing you. But if you have FMJ rounds then they pierce the car door, do not alter trajectory and strike center mass and you get to go home to your family.
Many concealed carry specialists advise carrying a combination of FMJ rounds and hollow points because situations often differ and being prepared is the best method of survival. While it is a sad fact that these bullets can be used by the wrong people to the wrong effect, it does not detract from the lives they save by doing what they are intended to do. If we are going to start taking things away from American citizens because they kill people in the wrong hands, then perhaps Mr. Mckee should start with motor vehicles, cigarettes and fried foods, seeing that they all seem to kill in the hands of men and women with impulse control issues.
Additionally, we are not in any fashion individuals hoping to promote some hidden agenda by a “specialist group.” The NRA is a single-issue organization whose goal is safety and education about Second Amendment rights. It is written in their charter for heaven’s sake. They are no different in their respectability and honesty than the NAACP or any First Amendment organization. The NRA is an organization that simply betters the community’s understanding of a basic right guaranteed by the United States constitution in order to further the average citizens’ interest and appreciation in the privileges their country grants them and to protect them from that right being taken away. Any persons who would attempt to tell you otherwise are either misinformed or have a hidden agenda all of their own, isn’t that right Mr. Mckee?
Since the very beginning of our club I must say that the Student Government Association has been more than fair with their allotments and evaluations of the clubs that come before them with budget requests. Though we could be far more active in the community and benefit the campus more if we had a greater allotment, we are appreciative of the SGA’s effort in making sure that every club gets enough money to operate and strive. Thus to Mr. Mckee’s statement that the SGA is “clueless,” and that we are a small group, I simply must object and protest his ignorance.
The SGA tried to distribute roughly $5,000 to every campus club as a base operating budget with no favoritism. Any additional money is either given due to necessity or due to a club showing promise or talent in promoting the school’s well being. We are by no means a small group either. We have upwards of 25 plus active members that participate in our weekly meetings and events and we have brought notoriety to our school through our participation in events both on and off campus. The members of the CCSU R&MC and I take particular offense to Mr. Mckee’s last statement as well.
“Who needs a clueless student government that wasted $5,000 a year of CCSU student fees on a handful of students obsessed with guns?”
Apart from being entirely ignorant to our accomplishments, Mr. Mckee has resorted to childish insults by mistaking enthusiasm and legitimate passion for a civil right with obsession. We are in no way obsessed with guns and to mistake us with fringe lunatics as so many often do is something that all would be remiss to do. We are simply passionate about this topic and just as any other citizen, we have a right to be passionate about something. This year we educated new members, CCSU students and the general public on gun safety and took a trip to the capitol of the United States which offered myriad of educational opportunities for us to partake of. If Mr. Mckee is positing that education and self-improvement is a waste, then I believe he may need to reevaluate his logic.
I believe the only topic that Mr. Mckee brings up that was not as flaccid in its logic as his other points was his comment about 30-round magazines. While I can understand that a 30-round magazine on something like a handgun is somewhat excessive, the state of Connecticut has discussed a bill that would limit all firearms to a 10-round magazine, which makes things more difficult on rifle owners. When one goes to the range to practice with a carry pistol, they generally have magazines that are between seven and 18 rounds depending on the model that they carry. The dilemma here is that this law would force Connecticut residents to purchase aftermarket magazines that are poorly field tested at best, and then use them in life threatening situations. Additionally, a criminal is not going to be the one obeying a 10-round magazine law. Chances are your attacker(s) will be carrying as much firepower as they see fit and they won’t politely remove bullets from their magazine to make it a fair fight. I am not advocating that a 30-round magazine is anything that should ever be used outside the range, but to be perfectly honest, 10 rounds will only be good enough to safely defend you from three people at best and one person at worst.
The CCSU R&MC is, and always will be, an advocate of safety, responsibility and of the protection of our Second Amendment rights. Anyone who is interested in joining our club or participating in the upcoming NRA U events should feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or come to a weekly Tuesday meetings at 7 p.m.
Riflery and Marksmanship Club