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COMMUNITY VOICE

Documented facts outweigh unverified accusations of gun-control proponents

Monday, October 1, 2012 - 8:45 am

In his letter of Aug. 17, Kevin Krajewski states, “My wrath was and remains aimed squarely at the senior leadership of the NRA,” for opposing, “even the most moderate of gun control measures.”

As is common for gun-control advocates, Krajewski fails to give even one example of what he considers “moderate” gun control. He goes on to claim, “millions and millions of campaign-style contributions have been given (by the NRA) to our elected leaders to perpetuate and foster a gun culture that is both alive and flourishing.”

The implication is a healthy, flourishing gun-owning population and NRA political contributions are bad. Of course, his disdain for political contributions is reserved only for political contributions from NRA executives, who, according to Krajewski, have made our country “awash with weapons of all caliber and ammunition to match.” He specifically singles out AR-15 style rifles. It naturally follows the solution is to eliminate firearms and ammunition of all calibers. Such is the utopian fantasy of gun control advocates.

Facts, says Krajewski, “are stubborn things,” and he claims, “more than 100,000 of our fellow citizens are shot or killed with a gun annually in this county.” He offers no citation for his claim, much less a credible source to support his incredible claim. Claims without credible support are not facts; they are vacuous and must be dismissed.

Here are some facts: According to FBI data, in 2010, there were 8,775 homicides committed with firearms. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were 592 accidental/unintentional deaths from firearms in 2008, the latest data available.

Homicide or accidental are the only two categories for deaths from gunshot wounds; so, there are approximately 9,000 deaths annually from firearms, and the trend has been down for many decades. We are not given a source for Krajewski’s fantastical claim of “more than 100,000” annual deaths from guns, but, perhaps, he should direct his wrath to the FBI and the CDC for documenting less than one tenth of his wild, unsupported proclamation.

He also claims that AR-15 style rifles should be banned. Well, facts, indeed, are stubborn things.

Fact: That was tried in the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban, which, among many other things, banned the AR-15 rifle and similar so-called (incorrectly) “assault” rifles.

Fact: The CDC did a very comprehensive study evaluating the effectiveness of many firearms laws, including the 1994 ban, for preventing violence. The summary of the study’s report says, “The Task Force found insufficient evidence to determine the effectiveness of any of the firearms laws or combinations of laws reviewed on violent outcomes.” The CDC is far from pro-gun, and had there been sufficient evidence, the CDC would have been delighted to say so.

Fact: In addition to the CDC’s findings, both the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms (BATFE), and Explosives and the National Research Council (NRC), among many others, found no evidence that the 1994 ban had any effect on reducing violent crime. The ban was allowed to expire 10 years later. The BATFE and NRC can be added to the FBI and CDC as more targets for Krajewski’s wrath!

I can say with certainty that I favor actions that really do reduce violent gun crime, and I am very confident that NRA leadership does, too, along with all responsible, law-abiding gun owners. However, tired, tried, and, by stubborn facts proved untrue approaches proffered by Krajewski and other deluded gun control advocates fail miserably.

Bob Aldridge is an NRA certified instructor and chief range safety officer.