Reader Matthew Carmel shared an email he sent to the head of Getting Out and Staying Out, a program that advocates for criminal defendants, and then if they get time plans for their release with education, etc. For some reason, however, they refused Mr. Carmel's request:
"I read about your organization Getting Out and Staying Out in today's WSJ and thought your group might be an appropriate resource to locate a potential speaker.
I am a Second Amendment activist and part-time NRA instructor. I recognize you may hold views regarding legal firearm ownership and the Second Amendment very different from my own. However, the general premise upon which my search relies is that gun control laws have very little effect upon criminal behavior and attitudes. Criminals intent on engaging in crime will always have access to firearms and any controls simply restrict the rights of the law abiding.
Perhaps you personally disagree with this premise but if one wishes to be intellectually honest, the public should have an opportunity to listen to the voice of the criminals themselves. And this brings me to the reason for my correspondence.
I would like to locate a repentant individual who has a prior criminal conviction involving the illegal use and possession of firearms. No doubt you have come across speakers who are former alcoholics that lecture to teenagers on the dangers of driving while under the influence, former drug addicts that try to scare kids straight, former computer hackers that become industry consultants, etc. I have personally attended a lecture by a former Palestinian terrorist, sponsored by the American Jewish Committee here in New Jersey, where he discusses his crimes against Jews in Israel. I am pursuing a similar theme, namely, a former criminal who can honestly share his views regarding the effectiveness or lack thereof, of gun control in mitigating illegal use of firearms. His views on how he would reduce criminal behavior would especially be of interest.
While I cannot offer any speaking fees, there perhaps may be a way for the right individual who is well spoken and presentable to parlay any experience gained by this early exposure into paid speaking engagements. If you are willing to help me in my search, without regard to any personal viewpoints, it would be most welcome.
Matthew M. Carmel, NRA Certified Instructor
Constitution Arms - Handgun Training and Sales