Granting the wish of a ''Million'' Mom

Those who are following the fight to restore our right to bear arms for self-defense closely will be familiar with the name Lori A. O'Neill. O'Neill is President of the "Million" Mom March's Cleveland Chapter, and one of the few vocal anti-self-defense extremists in our state. What you may not know is that she is a regular visitor of this website, and frequently shares thoughts with members of the OFCC steering committee.

In late September, O'Neill was upset after we pointed out that two Ohio newspapers had succumbed to gun control extremists' demands to stop selling classified ads for firearms.

This week, she has a new axe to grind, and specifically requested that she make it public on this website. We couldn't be happier to grant her wish.

Commentary inserted in blue.

From: Lori O'Neill
To: Chad Baus
Sent: Thursday, November 06, 2003 3:21 PM
Subject: You can do better than that, can't you?

Chad, Chad, Chad:

You are so exasperating! "The Lengths They'll Go to Spread Their Anti-Gun Message"? As you know, we're not anti-gun, but it seems that the only way you have of inciting your members to passion is to make false accusations and place false labels on my group. Sad, but telling.

"False accusations and false labels"? Would you prefer "anti-self-defense"? We can change it if you'd like. We'll take a suggestion that describes your stance on self-defense. Saying you're anti-gun violence won't cut it - because so are we. It's not descriptive of the work you do.

Sorry, Lori, but the gloves came off after you wrote that attack letter in the papers, with inflammatory and false statements, such as:

"It's all guns all the time, regardless of how many children, law enforcement officers and ordinary people die each year because of easy accessibility to firearms" and "In their desperation to get a liberal concealed-carry weapons bill passed in Ohio, (Ohioans For Concealed Carry will) say anything. Even accuse law-enforcement officers of deliberately endangering the people they're sworn to protect."

As you will recall, Lori, we brought our concerns about these false statements to you in private, requested that you issue a retraction, and you refused.

Even the letters to the editor that your guys wrote continue to spew the big lie that people like me think there will be shootouts in the streets if Ohio falls to the siren call of the NRA and passes CCW. Please. Can't you come up with something better than that? As you know, we don't think the streets will run with blood--really a very naive way to look at the whole problem of gun violence. But, you guys will insist on perpetuating those myths. I wonder why. Perhaps it's because you have no cogent argument in favor of carrying hidden, loaded guns so you must resort to portraying us as extremists to build support for your cause.

Here are some "blood in the streets" quotes which "people like you" have offered that are "perpetuating the 'myth'" that there will be wholesale violence in the streets if CCW passes:

“I was in Florida where they have the law, and people would say, ‘Don’t flip the bird on the road,’” said Terry Griffith, referring to freeways and intersections where "road rage is a possibility".

"Carrying a handgun is like walking around with gasoline in one hand and a lighted match in the other. It's only a matter of time before it explodes," said Jim Vambreck, a former crisis counselor. Allowing people to carry weapons makes it too convenient for them to act on violent impulses, Vambreck said. "It would be too hard to go out and get one while you're agitated. But if you have one handy, it's too easy to put it in your pocket and walk out the door," he said.

George Bloom says, "We see road rage happening all the time and I would think it would be very easy for someone to take a gun and go bang, rather than throw a rock or hit them with something else."

Eric Larson says, "How are you going to control all the people that can't control themselves, let alone carry a gun?"

"Think of all the mayhem caused by malicious teenagers, road-rage drivers, drunken sports fans and so on. Adding loaded pistols to that mix doesn't seem a way to make America safer." said David Horsley.

Toby Hoover (Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence): "We are looking to prevent accidents, homicides and suicides. When you increase access to something, you increase the things that can happen." and "A person who has a gun sees danger. We will have more shootings, more accidents."

"Particularly with incidents of road rage, increasing traffic congestion, the increasing pace of society, and high emotions on our highways, there is ample evidence why concealed weapons should not be allowed in motor vehicles." - Superintendant Paul McClellan, Ohio State Highway Patrol

"An armed society is an at-risk society. Many permit holders have been stripped of their permits for criminal behavior - and even law-abiding people get angry, drunk, careless or confused, make mistakes, and escalate minor arguments into deadly gun-play" - Million Mom March/ Brady Campaign website

Oh, and please remind your buddy, Joe Rosenberg, that not one member of Million Mom March/Brady has ever shown up at one of your "Armed Man Walking" events--so we couldn't possibly have heckled him. We're not there for a reason--you have the right to assemble and you have the right to carry. There's nothing for us to protest.

Regarding my "buddy Joe Rosenberg": I've don't know Joe and didn't ask him to submit his letter, but I assume he was referring to the people in Alliance (if memory serves) who held signs saying "Moms against guns". Don't forget the hecklers in Cincinnati who tried to grab some Walkers' firearms.

You should stick to espousing your own opinions, not trying to guess at ours. We can speak for ourselves, thank you.

With all respect, is that why you had to have Ms. Spector submit your letter, rather than writing her own?*

One more thing--tell your members that they already have a way to defend themselves--it's called open carry--what you've been doing the past few weekends. No harm, no foul, right? So why not just start carrying? It's legal and it allows you to protect yourselves. So what's the problem?

I know you read the website, so I know you KNOW what the problem is, Lori. The Youngstown Police Chief (and others) say even though they knows it's legal, they'll arrest anyone who does it. Toledo and others have a law which is direct conflict with the Court and with Ohio law - it bans open carry. From the Million Mom March/Brady/Handgun Control website: "the very sight of a gun can escalate a situation, so that instead of simply losing your wallet, you can lose your life."

It amazes us that you are so hung up on visibility that you are willing to give up background checks and training, for which you have lobbied so strenuously. Since you're so pro-open carry, we'd like to formally request that you lobby Sen. Fingerhut and Rep. Jerse to introduce an "Open Carry" bill that specifically bans cities from harassing people who openly carry, and opens the option up to "openly carry in the car" since visability seems to be your one and only concern with armed citizens.

You are welcome to post this on your site, Chad. You won't though, because that would remove the myth of extremism you've tried so hard to build around our group. If you post this e-mail, please post it in its entirety--that way I'll know that you're honest enough to print everything I've said here, not just the parts you think you can exploit.

Lori O'Neill

Not sure we've removed the "myth of extremism" about groups like "Million" Mom March, Brady Campaign/ Handgun Control Inc./ or the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence by posting your letter, Lori, but your wish has been granted.

*In a separate letter, O'Neill admitted the reason her letter was published in the Cleveland Dealer under another persons' name was so that she could circumvent that paper's policy on only printing one letter per person per 30 day period. The Columbus Dispatch has been banning people from their paper for submitting things under their name that someone else wrote.

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