James M. Purtilo

Wednesday, October 1st, 1997

James M. Purtilo, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Computer Science at the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland, is the designated recipient of the CCRKBA Gun Rights Defender of the Month Award for October.

In nominating Dr. Purtilo for the Award, John Michael Snyder, CCRKBA Public Affairs Director, said that “Jim has volunteered his many talents in an absolutely dedicated way to defend and promote the rights of law-abiding firearms owners in the State of Maryland. He could serve as an example to other people throughout the State of Maryland and, indeed, throughout the United States, as a truly modern defender of our freedoms. He is most deserving of this Award.”

About a year ago, Jim founded and still edits TRIPWIRE, which he terms “a Maryland gun rights advocacy newsletter.”

Jim told POINT BLANK he thinks gun owners have got to “focus on the message that in the elections next year for Governor and other offices in Maryland the most important thing to understand is that everyone in the pro-gun movement has to get involved in the fight to win the General Assembly in 1998.”

He says further that all too often “bad guys propose bad legislation and are promoted through the political ranks while the good guys who try to defend our rights are forgotten by gun owners at election time. We have to turn this around. TRIPWIRE is dedicated to that.”

Born January 2, 1957 in Pennsylvania, Jim received a BA from Hiram College in Ohio in 1978, an MA from Kent State, also in Ohio, in 1980, and his doctorate in Computer Science from the University of Illinois in 1986.

He and his wife, Christine, who have been married for 15 years, are parents of two sons.

Truly a computer whiz, Jim is the author of SOFTWARE SPECIFICATION, A COMPARISON OF FORMAL METHODS, published in 1994 by Ablex, as well as a large number of technical articles in scientific and computer journals.

He came to Maryland in the mid-1980s and became active in the gun rights movement in the early 1990s because he just got fed up with continual media-inspired political attempts to undermine the individual right of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms.

Since at least 1990, in fact, he has been involved in the discussion of firearms issues on the internet. Since then, he has been Moderator of REC.GUNS, which he describes as the largest bulletin board on technical issues regarding firearms in the world.

Available on net news to subscribers to AOL and “all the big providers,” he says, REC.GUNS receives between 350 and 600 messages PER DAY!

He says that while most of the posters, who post from all over the world, are concerned primarily with technical matters, the bulletin board also receives any number of questions regarding personal protection, collecting and “the whole gamut.”

In a recent issue of TRIPWIRE, Dr. Purtilo wrote that Maryland Governor “Parris Glendening’s gun laws are now rigorously enforced by the Maryland State Police, but the spread of new state restrictions was slowed in legislative session. Federally, a marginally pro-gun Congress was saved, but Clinton-backed gun banners made gains (right here in Maryland, for example). It’s been a wild year.

“The last year flew by, as will the next. Elections will be on us faster than we want to believe. Now is the time for us to become informed about issues, reach out to concerned citizens, and build infrastructure. Now, because it’s too late to educate voters the day they head to the polls.”

“Educate, network and build. These are our watchwords. However you choose to pitch in – whether through TRIPWIRE, another group or on your own – begin it now. We can’t afford not to.”

Dr. Jim Purtilo and TRIPWIRE may be reached by writing to P. O. Box 1071, Beltsville, Maryland 20704.