Living in Illinois, there are very few states that I can point to as being even worse for gun owners than Illinois, but Massachusetts could arguably be considered to be on that short list. However, just as it would be a mistake to look at Illinois' draconian gun laws and conclude that no one is fighting back here (have I mentioned that SAFR is tomorrow?), it would be equally erroneous to believe that no one is fighting for gun rights in Massachusetts.
The Gun Owners Action League (GOAL) notes that July 23rd of this year will mark the ten year anniversary of MA's draconian 1998 Gun Control Act (Chapter 180). GOAL also notes some interesting figures:
Before the 1998 law was passed, there were approximately 1.5 million licensed gun owners in the state, but because of the persecution and the expense ($100 for a gun license), the number has been reduced to about 240,000 and the armed criminals are having a field day.GOAL urges Massachusetts gun owners to not allow this unfortunate anniversary to go unmarked.
GOAL cited a 2007 report from the Mass. Dept. of Public Health showing that firearm-related assaults have increased 78 percent since 1998. And Injury Surveillance Program reports showed: a 67 percent increase in firearm-related homicide from 1998-2006; a 236 percent increase in assault-related firearm hospital discharges since 1998; a 331 percent increase in assault-related emergency room visits since 1999, and a 590 percent increase in assault outpatient observations since 2001 (the most recent report available).
The erosion of our rights and the increasing violence on our streets are proof that change is needed. To mark the anniversary of the disastrous gun law, GOAL is planning The Boston Tea Party of 2008 and urging citizens to send the message to our elected officials that we are still waiting for reform — if not outright repeal — of Chapter 180.An organization with a laudable GOAL, it would seem.
Gun owners are asked to take a symbolic step by sending a letter of protest to their legislators, along with a tea bag, to arrive at the State House on July 23.
Jim Wallace, executive director of GOAL, said, "Our forefathers dumped tea into Boston Harbor to protest unfair taxes. You, too, will be protesting the unfair treatment we all receive as lawful gun owners. Let's send the message that these laws — like the tea in 1773 — need to get dumped!"
A sample letter is available at GOAL.org.
Days of Our Trailers has more.