GOC Responds to Slurs on Personal and Organizational Character

June 15, 2016

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Legislators Hall and Low Blame Terrorist Attack on Pro-Gun Groups
By Sam Paredes, GOC Executive Director

The reason they were murdered is because of your organization….”

These “heartless people care not about individuals or people…they care mostly about holding a weapon in their hand…and [they] defend senseless acts of terror….they are heartless, vicious and dirty with filthy mouths…”

Decorum and professionalism took a serious holiday in the Assembly Public Safety Committee on Tuesday (June 14) when Senator Isadore Hall (D-South Bay/Los Angeles) and Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Cupertino) publicly held me and my 2nd Amendment colleagues responsible for the 49 deaths in Orlando – each of whom were slaughtered by a radical Islamist terrorist.

I could write a book on legislative procedure and protocol – how the rules are dismissively ignored, and those of us on the more conservative side are bullied, disrespected, misrepresented, ignored and lied about.  But in my 35 plus years of walking the halls of the California Capitol, I have never been personally blamed for the deaths of anyone.  Some have come close – pointing an angry finger in my face when I’ve talked plainly about who the perpetrators of gun violence really are, but no one has ever charged me – or those I represent as the Executive Director of Gun Owners of California – with defending acts of terror and murder.

I’m a big boy and I have no trouble debating the issues with those of opposing views, but the charges levied by Low and Hall have gone so far beyond the pale that GOC refuses to let such remarks hang unchallenged in the proverbial public air.  They have not only impugned my personal character, but that of every member of my organization well as our partners in the NRA, CPRA and Firearms Policy Coalition.

To deflect the blame to innocent people for the deaths of other innocent people is not only outrageous, it’s profoundly ignorant.  Statistics and data aside, it’s pretty difficult to imagine that someone who is willing to brutally – and illegally, for that matter – slaughter a club full of people isn’t too interested in obeying any other law.  If someone can get their hands on a functioning firearm while sitting in a cinder block cell in prison, why would anyone think for a nanosecond that a terrorist couldn’t get his hands on whatever he wanted – whenever he wanted – and wherever he wanted?  It’s a mindset that the millions of law abiding gun owners throughout the state and nation quite literally can’t wrap their heads around.

Terrorists, by their very nature, are zealous in their hatred; thus, they are intensely committed to an ideology of destruction.  And they are enormously patient.  They will never let reason nor compassion deter a murderous act, and they certainly won’t let ineffective laws keep them from fulfilling their jihadist goal

Politicians like Hall and Low refuse to look past their own agenda and instead make this all about guns – averting attention to things and even people that bear no responsibility whatsoever.  This ugliness has nothing to do with guns.  This has everything to do with evil.

Sadly, evil is today’s cultural “four-letter word” that makes a lot of folks very uncomfortable – especially our political leaders.  They have a fear of appearing “judgmental” – they certainly have a fear of being labeled “politically incorrect.”  We must, however, move past the initial, devastating crush of emotions that threaten to overwhelm us; until we can have an honest and sincere dialogue about the real enemy – the fingers that pull the trigger, the hands that yank the cord to the suicide vest, or the feet that accelerate a car bomb into a building – the horror will continue.  As will our tears.

I will personally never abandon the true victims of crime.   There are far more people who protect themselves with a firearm than those who commit crimes with a firearm, and I will always stand with these Americans rather than some verbose politician working overtime to deprive both victims and survivors of violence a means to not become a victim.

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