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Vin Suprynowicz

Saturday, January 1st, 2000

Nationally syndicated columnist Vin Suprynowicz, Assistant Editorial Page Editor of the Las Vegas, Nevada Review -Journal, is the designated recipient of the CCRKBA Gun Rights Defender of the Month Award for January.

In nominating Suprynowicz for the Award, John Michael Snyder, CCRKBA Public Affairs Director, noted that “with this months Award, we enter not only a new year, but a new century and a new millennium as well.

“There has been a lot of unwarranted editorial abuse heaped upon law-abiding firearm owners over the years from people in the media. It is noteworthy, though, that there are, in fact, a number of people in the media who not only do not fit the anti-gun stereotype but who do, in fact, look at the issue from an objective vantage point and see the value of gun ownership on the part of lawabiding citizens. Such a journalist is Vin Suprynowicz, whose writings indicate he is most worthy of this Award.”

While admitting frankly that he himself is not a particularly good shot, Suprynowicz, with equally good humor, advances the conviction that “the average American can and should make up for any such deficiency by purchasing and stockpiling a lot of really BIG guns, as such founding fathers as Samuel Colt and John M. Browning obviously intended. I’ve been told that there may be as few as 200 million firearms in private hands in this nation, and what I want to know is, how may fishing reels do you guys need? We’re talking about preserving our heritage here. If your children are too young for their own shotguns … why do you think Winchester invented the M-1 carbine?”

In a more serious vein, though, Suprynowicz reported recently that Donna Hernandez, after going to court and getting protection orders against her former husband, “Was found stabbed and strangled in her home. Her ex-husband is now in jail, facing murder charges.”

He reported also that Maureen McConaha and Brenda Denise James, after obtaining protective orders against their former boyfriends, also were found murdered, and that the ex-boyfriends

are awaiting murder prosecutions in those cases, too.

Suprynowicz writes that “while court-issued protective orders are ‘a good tool for law enforcement, they don’t stop a bullet or a knife, and we need to make sure everyone knows that,’ offers Clark County (Nevada) Domestic Violence Commissioner Patricia Donninger.

“‘We have to find a better way to protect people like Donna Hernandez,’ says a frustrated District Judge Nancy Saitta.

“But that better way has long been available. God may have made women, but Colonel Colt made women equal, and carrying the tool he invented remains the constitutional right of every American.

“The problem is, so far as can be determined, Donna Hernandez, Maureen McConaha, and Brenda Denise James did not do everything they could to protect themselves and their children. They did not buy and carry handguns, and acquire the skill to use them.

“Police cannot provide an armed bodyguard for every woman who’s been threatened. Therefore, police should actively recommend that such women acquire appropriate, effective weapons for self-defense, and the minimal training necessary to handle them safely.

“In fact, if any ‘background check’ or ‘concealed carry permit’ paperwork delays stand in the way of a woman who holds such a valid’ protection order’ and wishes to acquire a handgun, our state lawmakers, and particularly U. S. Rep. Shelley Berkley, a proponent of women’s rights and an avowed supporter of the Second Amendment, should immediately introduce legislation to provide for an instant waiver of any such waiting periods or bureaucratic delays, authorizing the immediate, legal placement of a handgun in any such woman’s purse.

“Those with an irrational fear of firearms…will whine that ‘a woman is in greater danger if she has a gun; the assailant will just take it away and use it on her.’

“In fact, Gary Kleck, Professor of Criminology at Florida State University in Tallahassee, examined the statistical evidence for that concern in his book, ‘Targeting Guns!

“Guns are taken away from their owner and used by an assailant in fewer than one percent of defensive gun uses, Professor Kleck determined. Nor is there any indication that more widespread gun ownership would turn our neighborhoods into ‘shooting galleries! Dr. Kleck also found that in more than 90 percent of defensive gun uses, the weapon wasn’t even fired.

“‘If s one of the great lies of the antigun people, that people are so incompetent that they’re going to have their guns taken away from them,’ says David Kopel, Research Director of the Independence Institute in Golden, Colorado and author of the book, ‘Guns: Who Should Have Them?’

“In fact, if the authorities would send out a notice that the victim is now armed, along with the court ‘keep-away’ order, most of these attacks might never occur at all.”

Suprynowicz graduated in 1972 from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut with a degree in Art and a concentration in Filmmaking. After working for several years as a non-union film editor, lighting director, playwright, disc jockey and sporting goods salesman, Suprynowicz went to work the Hartford Advocate.

He went on to become a star reporter at the daily Willimantic Chronicle, Wire Editor of the Norwich Bulletin, Managing Editor of the Northern Virginia Sun, and Founder and Publisher of the Providence Eagle.

He was named three times to the Golden Dozen, the top 12 weekly editorial writers in the United States and Canada, by the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors.

Suprynowicz finally moved to Phoenix, Arizona in 1986, where he helped found the West Valley View. He moved to Las Vegas in 1991 to take his current position.

His twice-a-week syndicated political column runs in about 20 newspapers around the country.

His first book, “Send in the Waco Killers,” published last year by Huntington Press, scored in the top 10 of non-fiction books selected by the readers in the Random House on-line poll.