Civil Discourse Now

Where the far left and far right overlap for fun and enlightenment

Guns & violence: we need to be able to learn the facts

My opponents in the June 2 primary for Indiana’s 5th Congressional District (INCD5) GOP spot are fixated on the 2nd Amendment. A lot of money is awash in this primary. Some of it might go back to the NRA. (Ninety percent (90%) of large bills would have traces of cocaine.)

Three questions about guns: (1) Can a person have too many guns? (2) Are there people who should not be allowed to have guns? (3) Are there types of guns that people should not be allowed to own?

(1) If someone owns so many guns they fall out her or his windows and the bed of the family pickup truck, we should reasonably infer that is too many guns for that person. The harm is that a kid or a “bad guy” who needs a gun could grab one of the weapons.

Another measure of “too many” guns is a number of guns greater than the uses to which the person’s guns are put. If “self defense” is the purpose, a gun for each room in one’s dwelling might not be the proper measure.

Self-defense includes the notion of home security. Statistics and epidemiological studies that are peer-reviewed might be nice, but Federal law (Dickey and Tiahrt amendments), as a practical matter, precludes such studies.

Those amendments prohibit Centers for Disease Control from conducting, or others from using results of, research into gun violence as a health problem. CDC funding provides more than money. Standards are imposed and overall the work is more coordinated 

From cases I have handled in the practice of criminal law, I know burglars (a) try to break into houses when NO ONE is at home, thus guns do not deter, but (b) they love handguns to steal because they are quite easily fenced.

(2) Only the most obtuse gun “advocate” would say everyone should be able to own a gun. Categories of people who shouldn’t could include people who have said they want to emulate Charles Whitman (1966 sniper at University of Texas).

Other categories might include convicted felons (even though they have served their sentence), people with histories of perpetrating domestic violence, and other people with patterns of behavior that make guns in their hands problematic.

(3) Seriously - there is a line to be drawn on types of weapons. If you believe everyone should be able to own a nuke, then we can’t have a serious discussion. Let’s lower the bar: fully automatic weapons became a problem in this country after WWI.

The War Department had ordered 10,000 Thompson submachine guns (“tommy guns”), but they were not delivered until the war was over. They became available on the market to people like John Dillinger (a Hoosier) and others with a proclivity for withdrawals from banks.

Machine guns are not used to hunt deer and antelope, but were designed to kill people. There are other categories of weapons of similar application. At least - I think so. That’s the problem: Dickey and Tiahrt prevent studies.

Answers would be nice, but the NRA wants us to be ignorant. Maybe that’s why Putin pumps so much money into the NRA. (Putin doesn’t want to gain power, he just loves for us to have guns!)

My 14 opponents in the June 2 INCD5 GOP primary say how much they love trump (and hate knowledge, science, and other similar things) and their precious 2nd Amendment. How about we try to gain knowledge about how to prevent deaths from guns?

I am Mark Small, a candidate for U.S. House INCD5. I favor study of deaths and injuries from guns and would seek full repeal of Dickey and Tiahrt. I do not like guns, so I never have owned one. I approve of this blog. Hell, I wrote it.

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