The US Representative (Scott Perry) for my district had a “town hall” over Facebook the other night. He was sitting in his Washington office and took questions from people watching the live feed. On the one hand, I’d like to give him credit for taking questions from his critics (like myself). On the other, he answered a question about gun control by reading “facts” from an infographic.
Yes, we’ve reached the level of laziness in Washington where politicians don’t research things themselves (or even have their staffers do it for them). Mr. Perry went to a pro-gun website, printed out their infographic, and read from it online. He tried to convince us that some developed nations have higher levels of violence although they have strong laws against gun possession by individual citizens. He also tried to convince us that, according to the infographic, guns are used over 80 times more often to defend people from crime than to kill someone.
Right. Because a survey conducted in 1995 from a pro-gun group in which merely mentioning that you had a gun is considered an instance of “using” a gun to protect yourself should be trusted today in 2016. (The survey had some fatal flaws, by the way.)
During the discussion, someone mentioned that we shouldn’t “punish” an “inanimate object” (i.e. guns) for what people do with them. I was relieved to hear that someone was thinking of the guns. I mean, who is going to lobby and advocate for the guns if not Mr. Perry in Congress?
I’m being sarcastic, by the way.
I’m getting exhausted of telling people who are so enamored by guns (aka “ammosexuals“) that no one it trying to take their guns away. No one is going to take them away. They will not see any police force come and take their guns en masse. That is not what “gun control” is all about. But they won’t listen to reason.
It’s also exhausting to hear ammosexuals say a variation of “Chicago/Baltimore/New Orleans has the highest gun murder rate although they have strict anti-gun laws.” It’s almost as if they think we’re idiots and don’t know that these cities are surrounded by states or jurisdictions with loose gun laws. It’s as if they think that guns are either born legal or illegal (or they come over the border?).
All guns start off as legal guns until something happens that has them land at the scene of a crime. Unfortunately, they also often land at the scene of a suicide. Very rarely, but just as tragically, they land in the hands of someone willing to mow down dozens of people at a time. And very, very rarely, but incredibly tragic, they land in the hands of children.
So, one more time, I’d like to explain to any ammosexuals that “common sense” gun control is asking for gun to be kept away from people with known factors that place them at higher risk for using guns violently. Pennsylvania currently does this by making it illegal for certain people to own a gun. This way, if someone really wants a gun, they’re going to have to break the law.
“But don’t criminals not care about the law? So they’ll just go get a gun anyway?”
Well, yeah, but this assumes that everyone is a criminal. This assumes that John Doe who’s a habitual drunkard will decide to go one step further and go get a gun illegally because he absolutely MUST have a gun. That’s not the case. People who use guns in places like Chicago or Baltimore got their guns from places nearby (I-95 takes you up and down the coast pretty fast, and Chicago is a short drive away from Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin. In Indiana, you don’t need a background check to buy a gun from a private dealer. The same goes for Wisconsin. In Michigan, you can purchase a long gun without a background check, while purchasing a handgun requires a permit (which requires a background check).
So you can see how someone involved in criminal activity can jump in their car and go to another state to buy a weapon… Or how someone living in those other states and wanting to do “business” in Chicago can get a gun quite easily. Or they can have someone get the gun for them. Hence the need for a more federal (universal) approach to background checks. And people caught illegally owning a gun? The punishment should be so painful as to make them think twice before doing it again, and anyone else thinking of doing it should also have to think twice.
Sadly, we have a Congress that has been bought and paid for by special interests (e.g. NRA) so that nothing — absolutely nothing — gets done in terms of gun control. Many politicians there, and from both sides of the political spectrum, are afraid of messing with those special interests or somehow “infringing” on the 2nd Amendment. They ignore the fact that rights come with responsibilities, and that there are plenty of other rights (e.g. voting) that are very well regulated.
René F. Najera, DrPH
I'm a Doctor of Public Health, having studied at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.
All opinions are my own and in no way represent anyone else or any of the organizations for which I work.
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