Mike Stollenwerk

Thursday, October 1st, 2009

Mike Stollenwerk, a gun rights activist and U.S. Army retired veteran located in the Washington, D.C. area, is the CCRKBA Gun Rights Defender of the Month for October. In nominating Stollenwerk for the Award, John M. Snyder, CCRKBA Public Affairs Director, said “Mike has repeatedly demonstrated his articulate and incisive capability in defending Americans’ gun rights against various opponents. In so doing he certainly has shown he deserves the recognition implicit in the conferral of this Award.” Stollenwerk recently criticized columnist Bill Moyers, a senior writer at the Public Broadcasting System, for editorially equating gun ownership with violent crime. “As in most anti-gun rhetoric,” notes Stollenwerk, “Moyers forgets to note that there are millions of defensive uses of guns each year which save lives. Moyers also ignores peer reviewed studies from Harvard and elsewhere consistently finding that neither the overall degree of gun ownership in a community nor the lack of gun control regulations are correlated with higher criminal and suicide death rates inside or outside the United States.” Stollenwerk noted in showing the illogic of Moyers and others who blame guns for deaths caused by the misuse of guns that, “Every year there are over 40,000 car deaths and 10 million car assaults. Cars don’t kill people, they say. People kill people. True. People kill people – with cars. Enough’s enough.” Stollenwerk also blasted travel writer Arthur Frommer for advocating a travel boycott for the entire state of Arizona because Arizona permits law-abiding citizens to carry firearms. Frommer wrote that, “I will not personally travel in a state where civilians carry loaded weapons onto the sidewalks.” He stated that, “I not only believe such practices are a threat to the future of our democracy, but I am firmly convinced that they would also endanger my personal safety there. And therefore I will cancel any plans to vacation or otherwise visit in Arizona until I learn more. And I will begin thinking about whether tourists should safeguard themselves by avoiding stays in Arizona.” Stollenwerk wrote in response that Frommer “is basically telling Americans not to travel in, well, ‘most of America.’ I don’t want to have an online ‘macaca moment’ here and use the term ‘real America’ but well, let’s get real: outside of New York, Chicago, and Washington, D.C., us mere ‘civilians’ (including the police, who are also civilians) can pretty much own and carry guns anywhere we want, sidewalks and all, from Pittsburgh to Seattle and most parts in between. “And why pick on Arizona? After all, Arizona is just like most states where folks can legally open carry guns without any permit, and can carry concealed guns if they have the proper permit. Is Mr. Frommer also going to urge a travel boycott of the entire inter-Mountain American West where folks can legally carry concealed guns in their vehicles without any permit from Canada to old Mexico? What about Florida and the East Coast? Motorists on I-95 can freely carry guns in their vehicles from Virginia all the way down to the Conch Republic without any permit, and all of those states issue and recognize permits to carry concealed guns while on foot as well, meaning it’s highly unlikely that anyone can walk more than 20 paces even on Ocean Drive near Wet Willies or the South Beach promenade without brushing past a fellow American legally carrying a concealed weapon.” Stollenwerk wrote also a new phobia “has arisen over the last few years that afflicts some elected officials: pistolgriphobia, the unnatural fear of pistol grips on otherwise ordinary looking guns. In a few states, state legislatures have gone so far as to say that a rifle or shotgun with a pistol grip is an ‘assault weapon,’ requiring special registration, or perhaps banned from private ownership.” After spending 20 years in the United States Army, Mike entered the Georgetown University Law Center, and now has nearly completed there his preparation for a Juris Doctor degree. He already has an MBA in Economics and Financial Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology – Sloan School of Management, and a BS in Economics from the United States Military Academy at West Point. When Mike left the Army with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, his selected training had included Airborne School, Air Assault School, Armored Cavalry Officer Basic Course, and Infantry Officer Advanced Course. Mike was coordinator of current operations analysis at the Center for Army Analysis re Operations Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.