Ze Older Stuff

An Open Letter to All Members of Gun Owners of America

This was sent to the GOA today accompanying a candidate questionairre I was asked to fill out:

An Open Letter to All Members of Gun Owners of America

from Aaron Turpen, candidate for Utah State House of Representatives, District 40

March 30, 2004

Hello, my name is Aaron Turpen and I am a Libertarian Party candidate for the Utah State House of Representatives.

I received a candidate questionnaire from the Gun Owners of America today asking questions of me, as a candidate, about various gun control issues affecting our nation and our freedoms.

To be blunt, I found answering this survey to be very easy. However, I do not believe that the survey itself addresses my core beliefs and the core issue at hand: what did the Founding Fathers mean when they drafted our Second Amendment protection as part of our nation’s Constitution?

In my estimation, both the Utah State and the United States Constitutions are very explicit in their wording of our right to keep and bear arms. Before 1934, it was possible for anyone in this nation to purchase any military surplus item he or she wished to own, provided that person had the money to afford it.

It used to be that fully automatic weapons were available freely and shooting clubs and organizations abounded around the nation as a great way for enthusiasts to spend off-hours and weekends. Automatic weapons accounted for very few of the nation’s firearms use in crimes (despite the Al Capone image given to some of them) and still account for less than one half of one percent of them today.

I believe strongly that the right to keep and bear arms is fundamental to the protection of our freedoms from tyranny and that is exactly why the Founding Fathers made sure to include it in the Bill of Rights. Those ten amendments were meant to keep our government from getting out of hand; they enumerated and protected the fundamental rights a free people require to fight back and keep themselves free: speech, weapons, and privacy.

Today, however, we find ourselves in just the situation the Founders hoped to protect us against. We find ourselves unable to own many types of military firearms as the Second Amendment has been misconstrued to apply only to “hunting” and “sporting purposes.”

Today we find ourselves unable to speak freely, subject to unannounced searches and seizure, and even to forfeiture of our property at the whim of federal law enforcement despite the protections we have against those infringements.

I believe that all of these boil down to that single decision made by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1934 to uphold the Department of the Treasury’s ability to tax and control a certain type of weapon simply based on how it looked.

Today, they continue to ask for the removal of weapons from private citizen’s hands based solely on how they appear: so-called “assault weapons.” It’s nothing but another form of bigotry.

As a legislator, I would advocate and propose legislation for the State of Utah to instill Vermont-style carry (as it was meant to be all along) to replace our current CCW requirements—part of which is to submit to a daily BCI check!

As a legislator, I will support all pro-freedom legislation which would remove governmental restrictions and put us back to our Constitutional roots: both federal and state!

It’s time to return our nation to its roots and, as our gubernatorial candidate Richard Mack says, “fight for the holy cause of freedom!”


Aaron Turpen

Candidate, Utah State House District 40



Got comments? Email me, dammit!