“We take gun rights seriously in the 5th District, someone said Thursday during a Madison County Tea Party town meeting to which I was invited. I pointed out: guns do not have rights. People have rights.
Actually a lot of people - in the 5th District and across the country - are sick of whack-os with a fetish for guns. Too many people own guns and too few know about gun safety. That doesn’t matter to gun manufacturers.
Care to see people fall over each other in defense of “gun rights”? One need only look at the positions taken by my 14 or so opponents. Here are a few. Abernathy: guns are fundamental. Bales: protect us from tyranny.
Henderson: protects the 2nd Amendment. Niederberger: guns help provide protection and security. Beckwith has the support of tea party groups in Indiana, he is so gung-ho about guns. Of course, none of them will debate me.
Some people are scared to talk about gun control. And it’s not because some stupid bastard like Beckwith or Niederberger has keen insight. It’s because some people are scared that a gun nut will pull out a gun and shoot.
The face of the gun nut starts to turn red. Teeth clench. There is an indication he - not to be sexist here, but usually “he” - might “draw.” It’s as if to threaten the sanctity of the gun is to pose a threat to his other “gun.”
Of course, rational conversation about a topic is difficult when we are not allowed to study something. Statistics would be nice. We know how many people die and a bullet in the head is pretty clear as mechanism of death.
According to a Pew Research Center summary of gun deaths, in “2017, the most recent year for which complete data [are] available, 39,773 people died from gun-related injuries in the U.S. according to the [Centers for Disease Control].”
Gun nuts - yes, I used that term - will quote arcane “facts” to argue against gun control. It takes a couple of minutes to look some of the things up, and they’re usually crap. We should know more.
One of the powers of Congress is “To promote the Progress of Science...” U.S. Const. Art. 1, sec 8. Unfortunately, Jay Dickey, an Arkansas Congressman, sponsored budget prohibitions, in 1996, as a result of NRA lobbying.
The CDC is prohibited from advocating or promoting gun control. Despite President Obama, after Sandy Hook, ordering the CDC to resume funding research on gun violence and prevention, the CDC has not performed any such studies since 1996.
Most of the research that has been done has by economists, sociologists, or criminologists. See “Firearms Research”, Scientific American, updated from 496 Nature 412-415 (2013). This is important.
With nearly 40,000, deaths per year related to a specific thing, we should expect health-related studies. In 2017 approximately sixty percent (60%) of gun deaths were suicides (23,854). Any such studies have been blocked, effectively, by the NRA.
This stifling of facts goes further. The Tiahrt Amendments ban “trace data” collected by the ATF from release for use by cities, states, researchers, litigants, and members of the public.
To trace guns, from burglaries and thefts of those guns, to subsequent gun deaths would be of help in focusing on how to prevent those deaths. A trace of gun deaths to purchases of guns at gun shows would be of value in closing gun purchase loopholes.
The debate over guns is odd. No other advanced countries experience our numbers of deaths by guns, yet via bans on studies, the NRA can crow there is no proof that particular changes in gun laws would succeed in cutting those numbers.
I am Mark Small, a GOP candidate for INCD5. I am proud to be progressive ande in favor of gun control. The NRA takes lots of rubles from Russia. I approve of this blog. Hell, I wrote it.