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Editorial columns


Call for gun restrictions ignores facts


In the Aug. 12 Journal Gazette opinion column, “Government has sway over guns,” after referencing the homicidal lunatic in Oak Creek, Wis., Eliot Spitzer states “guns are the instrument of death” and concludes, “Gun control is necessary, and delay means more death and horror.”

Doubtless, Spitzer has fantasies of total gun confiscation in the United States. Spitzer is suffering from the widespread delusion that “gun control” will stop diabolical madmen from committing murders with guns.

Since Spitzer offers zero examples of gun control actually reducing violent gun crime, he must believe his pronouncement is a tautology, and, therefore, not open to dispute.

Spitzer cites NYC Mayor Bloomberg as “one of the few clarion voices speaking out for gun control.” Ah, yes, the same Mayor Bloomberg who demanded more gun control laws and called for all police officers everywhere to strike and refuse to work “unless you, the public, through your legislature, do what’s required to keep us safe.” Brilliant!

Well, Spitzer goes much further than Bloomberg, calling for Bloomberg and President Obama to bypass legislatures and demand that all firearm manufacturers “pull semi-automatics from their stock and refuse to produce magazines with more than 10 rounds other than for sale to the government.”

A very large portion of all firearms available to the general public are semi-automatics; therefore, Spitzer’s proposal would be a gigantic leap toward the utopian dream of disarming all law-abiding citizens.

Law-abiding citizen gun owners, including me, are all in favor of actions that actually do reduce gun violence, but Spitzer offers no evidence to support his claims and demands.

However, the evidence refuting Spitzer’s declarations is legion. Perhaps the greatest example is a very comprehensive study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention evaluating the effectiveness of firearms laws 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.

Another glaring example is the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban, which among other things banned magazines with capacities greater than 10 rounds. In addition to the CDC’s findings, both the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the National Research Council, 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.

Spitzer, without producing any evidence to support his knee-jerk call for action, claims that despite their repeatedly proven failure, gun control efforts to reduce violent crime will, now, magically work because he says so.

It is clear that Spitzer’s claims are vacuous, but it is not clear yet whether or not he did actually upstage Mayor Bloomberg.

Bob Aldridge, a Fort Wayne resident, is a National Rifle Association-certified firearms instructor. He wrote this for The Journal Gazette.