My (frequently misguided) friend Paul Ogden replied to my May 2 blog about guns. None of my 14 opponents in the June 2 GOP primary for Indiana’s 5th Congressional District (INCD5) has replied, so I shall address points Paul raises.
1) Ogden: “You're counting suicides in with people who are victims of gun crimes. That's a bit misleading. Pretty sure someone intent on killing themselves could find other ways of doing the deed.”
Moi: a) The blog was about health implications of gun deaths. On suicide: “In 2017 approximately sixty percent (60%) of gun deaths were suicides (23,854).” Neither “victims” nor “crimes” appears in the context of suicides.
b) As for guns as specific means: It would be interesting if we had stats that compare ease of use as a factor - a variable that could be determine - and that’s the point of the May 2 blog. The Dickey and Tiahrt amendments prevent CDC from conducting research.
The language of the Dickey amendment has remained in subsequent appropriations bills, even though Dickey advocated its repeal. Tiahrt still is with us. CDC funding provides more than money. Standards are imposed and overall the work is more coordinated.
2) Ogden: “I don't think proposed restrictions would do much to change the numbers. A criminal who needs a gun to commit a crime isn't going to be dissuaded by the fact having the gun is illegal.”
Moi: a) The May 2 blog was not about “proposed restrictions” on guns, but about “the numbers.” To begin your sentence “I don’t think” shows - in context of the sentence - you only can speculate. We need more studies.
b) You need to be more specific about “restrictions.” There are categories of crimes - robbery, domestic violence, mass murders - and restrictions might vary with each. Again, it would be nice to know, but Dickey and Tiahrt amendments prevent CDC from conducting research.
c) As an example, ban on sales of assault weapons - semi-automatic long guns easily modified to fully automatic can fire rapidly with very little aiming - could lead to reduced numbers of mass shootings.
3) Ogden: “The notion there wouldn't be a black market so a criminal wouldn't be able to get a gun is as silly as conservatives who think making marijuana illegal will stop people from getting it.”
Moi: Illicit markets are one aspect of gun violence. This is where Tiahrt hurts. If a handgun is stolen during a burglary and the owner reports the theft, use of the weapon could be tracked, in a way similar to tagging a Great White Shark.
4) Ogden: “Not everyone who owns a gun is a ‘gun nut.’ Many of them legitimately own one for self-defense. It's easy to not own a gun when a person lives in a safe neighborhood. It's something else entirely when a person is living in a crime-infested neighborhood.”
Moi: a) The premise of this statement is that a gun is effective for self-defense. The NRA has claimed for years that guns prevent more crimes than are caused. Statistics for this position either could validate it - or not.
b) Interesting point on a neighborhood not “crime-infested”: what other means of crime prevention are extant? Have been tried? Are available, are far less expensive in cost of purchase or cost of effects?
5) Ogden: “Let's take for example, an elderly woman living on the southside of Chicago. She has had her house been broken into before, and even been beaten up by intruders, maybe even sexually assaulted. The person lives every day in fear. Certainly not even the most left-wing politician (in their right mind) would say she not be able to legally have a gun to defend herself. Wait...Chicago used to have such a ridiculous law.”
Moi: a) The south side of Chicago got a bad rap from “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown.” The west and north sides have pockets, just as does every (and minor) major city. People on the east side are under water.
b) Unless the elderly woman of whom you speak has training in how to use a firearm, she could face greater harm from the weapon - are more people & loved ones harmed by handguns than there are crimes deterred? It would be nice to have studies.
c) In my interactions with people who have been involved in the burglary trade, they: 1) Avoid breaking into residences when someone is home - they want to take stuff with as little hassle as possible, but 2) Love handguns.
d) Handguns are so easily fenced, they’re almost fungible. I represented individuals who broke into a condo because they knew the owner (who was at work) had handguns. This would be a nice subject, too, for research and study.
e) According to a 10/5/17 “fact check” by NPR - that left-wing radio network you don’t listen to, Paul - “a 2014 Chicago Police Department report found that Indiana accounted for 19 percent of all guns recovered by the department between 2009 and 2013.”
Indiana got a D- from the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. One of those pesky things about the model of Federalism you advocate - people can buy in one State and import back to another.
At least Mr. Ogden took the time and was concerned enough to reply. My 14 opponents in the June 2 INCD5 GOP primary seem more concerned with showing how much they love trump (and hate knowledge, science, and other similar things).
I am Mark Small, a candidate for U.S. House INCD5. I favor study of deaths and injuries from guns. I do not like guns, so I never have owned one. I approve of this blog. Hell, I wrote it.