Category Archives: Misrepresentation

Guns and Public Health

Public Health Experts Reportedly Targeting Gun Violence as ‘Social Disease’

On The Blaze

Before I dive into this I want to be really clear on something.

I welcome all honest inquiry.

You know what? The truth is. It is immutable. However, it becomes readily apparent in the article that the doctors in question are not after honest inquiry. These individuals are after a result. They have a conclusion in search of confirmatory evidence.

“This [mass killings] is what we’re going to have to live with if we have more personal access to firearms.”

There is the conclusion.

The statement immediately previous illustrates what I would call some fuzzy thinking:

“What I’m struggling with is, is this the new social norm?”

What an interesting question. I have a question of my own.

How can something that happened a total of three times in 2011 be any kind of norm?”

Source

In those killings a total of 18 people died and 21 were injured. Each person is to be mourned but are we to say that these deaths are more bitter and more tragic than say the 32,885 who died in automobile accidents in 2010 (2011 was not listed in my source at the time of writing)? I could argue that Cars are the distressing “social norm” but that would be silly too. Aside from the fact that millions of people arrive safely in vehicles every day that number does not mention that lives are saved by cars. Ambulances, fire tucks, and police cars spring immediately to mind but how about folks who drove themselves or were driven to the hospital? What about the cars that the nurses and doctors used cars and buses to get to the hospital?

I could not find stats for lives saved by vehicles. People don’t usually collect information on things not going wrong. There is a similar problem with positive, life-saving gun uses; however there have been a few studies on it. The best study I’ve found says there are 1.5 million defensive gun uses each year. Some people may think that number is too high. I say fine, cut it in half. Still too big? Then cut it in half again. There is simply no way that the actions of three people in 2011 can compare to the good done, the lives saved and health preserved, by good people with the tools they needed to protect themselves.

These doctors are not looking at that.

The Gunshow Loophole

Apparently the mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, spent $100,000 of the city’s money to send “investigators” to Arizona to purchase guns at a gunshow. I have been told that this was actually illegal since the investigators, with no authority beyond that of any other citizen in Arizona, went out of state to purchase guns. This may or may not be true but here is the upshot. No law was broken and there is no “gunshow loophole.”

A federally licensed firearms dealer (FFL) receives his license through the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) and they have VERY strict rules that the BATFE is VERY strict about. The BATFE sent a man to prison for loaning, unbeknown to him, an intermittently malfunctioning rifle to a friend (the gun had a slam fire, a sort of malfunction that causes the gun to fire until it is out of ammunition). The loaning of the rifle was considered a transfer and the rifle was considered a machine gun. They had to find ammunition with soft primers to duplicate the malfunction. I believe the man is still in prison. All that to say, if the BATFE gives you rules you follow them, period. And people do. The FFL must comply with all regulations regardless of venue. In the store, at the gunshow, it doesn’t matter.

Now, the purchases made by mayor Bloomberg’s “investigators” were not subject to a background check because it was one private citizen selling his legally owned possessions to another citizen. This is the supposed “loophole.” Since people go to gunshows to buy or sell guns the idea is that a felon could buy from a citizen there since a private citizen is not required to do any special checks to sell his own property. I have read some pretty remarkable claims about how many criminals are getting their guns from gunshows but I haven’t seen anyone citing where these numbers are coming from. However this is NOT a loophole. The claim is that a felon can legally purchase a firearm at a gunshow but that simply is factually incorrect. It is illegal for firearms to be transfered to prohibited persons. And that isn’t some little city ordinance that your violating if you do. It’s Federal.

So we can have the discussion about what the second amendment actually means and what is best for our country with respect to firearms and how we regulate them but the discussion is meaningless when the “facts” discussed are at best misrepresentations of the truth.

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