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Letter to Triggerlock Happy Congresscritter

by T. Dave Gowan, Ph.D.

Originally published on this website August 28, 2000

Dear Congresswoman Carson:

I found your poll regarding requiring trigger locks on the web site at

Should my new target pistol, that I actually compete with, and is high-quality Olympic model from a foreign maker, come with a trigger lock? No!

I don't have any kids, and my firearms are locked up. No one is going to make a trigger lock for this pistol, so the effect of your law will be that Americans will not be able to buy these Olympic-quality firearms suitable only for competition because they won't be available with trigger locks.

I think you're making a nonsense public relations ploy here, and not a commonsense proposal. It's as bad as the cop-killer-bullets ploy... which because it was so nonspecific, if it had been enacted, would have banned all hunting bullets used in rifles -- because all of them will penetrate a policeman's vest (I was a deputy sheriff). The cop-killer bullet proposal would have gone much better if the authors had proposed to ban only the possession, import, manufacture or sale of any teflon-coated bullet, or specifically the KTW bullets which caused the ruckus. Such a ban as that would have been attacking a real problem. I can just see the "Committee" appointed by the federal government to decide which bullets to ban -- if past experience is any guide (see the makeup of the Committe supervising the Civilian Marksmanship Program, which had a HandGunControl member forced into it), the new Ban-The-Bullets committee would have had on it a member who was totally opposed to hunting.

For me to agree to your trigger locks proposal, I'd want to see you propose legislation to attack the real problem in a way that would not attack a nonproblem, i.e., not require it universally; be specific what firearms you want them on; define it clearly in a way that persuades the people what problem you are really attacking. In any event, here in the south, we are spread a little further apart, so we occasionally get home invasions and burglaries, and I would never use a trigger lock under any circumstances even if I were forced to buy one.

Honestly, your lack of specificity causes your hidden motives show through clearly... People keep guns in the home (a) because they use them elsewhere (like hunting), and need to lock them away for protection between uses, and (b) they want them handy for self-protection.

So, what your proposal really does, is ban self-protection uses by citizens in their own home, or prevent them from using them when they need them urgently. And since I'd never think you were that stupid, I guess what your real motive is, is to simply take all firearms away from law abiding citizens. I HOPE you DO understand that the worst thing of all about your proposals is that you are attacking only law-abiding citizens. Criminals will never have, use, or purchase trigger locks, and no law the Congress will ever pass will persuade them to.

Frankly, if your proposal were actually passed, and I had to buy one, I'd give it right back to the dealer so he can GIVE it to the next firearm purchaser. The end effect of your law would be that there would be such a glut of trigger locks available on the market, that every criminal would get all they want, for free!

T. Dave Gowan, Ph.D.
Crawfordville, FL. Note:

We agree with this letter save one thing:

"The cop-killer bullet proposal would have gone much better if the authors had proposed to ban only the possession, import, manufacture or sale of any teflon-coated bullet, or specifically the KTW bullets which caused the ruckus. Such a ban as that would have been attacking a real problem."

As a matter of fact, citizens have the right to own, carry and shoot any type of bullet the police or military own, carry and shoot, period. The point of the second amendment was and is to be able to, if needed, quell the assaults waged by a dictatorial and/or tyrannical government. What good would come of allowing cops and the military to have bullets that would be more effective than the citizenry's? What good would it do to ban citizen access to bullets that will penetrate the bullet-proof shields or clothing of the government that may one day need to be put in its place by force? Bear in mind that there are already restrictions on citizen access to bullet-resistant materials in some areas of the nation, indicating that some of the "leaders" in the country believe they should be more bullet-resistant than you should.

Other than that, our dear brother Gowan, great letter. Keep on writing!!


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