Editorial: Raise voices against gun violence

This mess was on my local rag's editorial page this morning. I want to write a rebuttal with the intent on getting it published. Even though many of my letters to the editor DO get published - they never seem to print the ones refuting gun control. But I'd like to give it another try.

I could use some quick input from NWF folks to refute specific points with citations, if available. I have also posted this at THR. I can (and have) done plenty of research, but I need to get some facts together quickly before the ink dries on this pack of lies.

A little help, please?

By Ralph Fascitelli, president of Washington CeaseFire.

Special to The Times

IN 1988 and again in 1997, Britain introduced strict gun-control laws in response to a mass shooting. Last year, there were 42 gun deaths in Britain, a country of 61 million people. There were more than 30,000 gun deaths in the United States, which has a population of 300 million people, during the same period. The United States had more than 140 times as many gun deaths per capita. Looked at another way, Britain has almost 10 times the population of Washington state, yet it had almost three times the number of gun deaths.
Anyone have a citation regarding the increase in overall homicides per capita in the UK and Australia after strict gun control measures were initiated?

Ten years ago April 20, two disturbed students took a total of 15 lives at Columbine High and injured 23 others in the deadliest high-school shooting in our nation's history. In the 10 years since Columbine, more people have died from gun violence than soldiers killed in World War II. Yet our gun laws — through the expiration of the assault-weapons ban and the erosion of tracing capacity under the Tiahrt Amendments — have become weaker, not stronger. When Attorney General Eric Holder called recently for a renewed ban he immediately met the resistance of 56 house Democrats.

The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees a right to own a gun but, as the U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled, it does not bar the government from enacting sensible gun policies to protect our communities.

Data shows the states with the most comprehensive gun-safety laws have just one-fourth the level of gun violence as those states with the least comprehensive laws.
Isn't the OPPOSITE true, in fact?

Background-check reform and a renewal of the assault-weapons ban would go a long way toward keeping our communities safer by helping curb access to firearms by our youth, individuals at risk of suicide and criminals.
Citation for research that shows the AWB had NO impact on violent crime while in effect?

Since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, we have dramatically altered our ability to travel freely and spent billions to protect us from international threats. Every month, we lose almost as many lives to gun violence in this country than those who died in 9/11.

Yet our nation has done virtually nothing to directly fund research and programs directed specifically at reducing gun violence within our own borders.

Research has shown that a gun in the home increases the risk of a completed suicide by five times. And an individual who owns a gun for personal protection is 22 times more likely to kill a family member or friend than stop an intruder— a statistic we saw come to life recently at Fort Lewis when a wife accidentally shot her husband. Our government can also do more by funding further research on gun-violence prevention and on programs designed to educate people about the risks and responsibilities of gun ownership.
Hasn't this research been refuted by the very researcher that put it out in the first place? Anyone with a link to studies refuting this "fact"?

Did the students at Columbine and at the hundreds of school shootings since then, including the Virginia Tech tragedy two years ago, die in vain? Sadly, the answer up to now appears to be a resounding yes.
Apparently for this moron, murder victim's deaths are in vain unless they can be used to enact more gun control legislation.

Despite strong citizen support (80 percent as measured by two independent surveys conducted by Washington CeaseFire) for common-sense gun laws, such as requiring background checks on all gun sales or banning military assault weapons, we have yet to see significant progress.
How can they characterize surveys conducted by a political group with an agenda as "independent"?

It took some 20 years for this country to develop tough new laws on drunken driving, which has now resulted in alcohol-related auto deaths being cut in half.
He implies that tougher sentencing for drunken driving (a crime) is comparable to further restrictions on gun ownership (not a crime). Note that he does not suggest we further restrict car ownership, or further restrictions on access to alcohol. A far more accurate analogy would be to suggest we need to have tougher sentencing for violent CRIMES committed with firearms.

The same results are very possible with gun violence. We need to raise our voices to match the other side. We need to let our legislators know the true will of the people. We need to ensure the students at Columbine did not die in vain.


I will try to incorporate your suggestions and links into a rapid response. Although I'm sure we all agree this guy is a moron and/or liar - I need facts to refute this drivel. Thanks for any suggestions and help you can provide.
Have you asked the poster to prove his or her statistics and give viable (non rhetorical) references for those statistics.

It's hard to respond to an opinion piece because most will suggest so much information that many will not bother to try to prove the argument wrong. Most do not have the time to spend looking up all the statistics mentioned. That is why when someone states something as fact, I always ask for reference to that fact. With gun issues one should avoid the NRA or the Brady group for reference. Usually these references lead back to a rhetorical source that is attempting to translate someone else's work to point toward their own argument. Once you identify this misrepresentation, your work is half over.
You ever hear the saying 'figures can lie, and liars figure'. Essentially that's what this author and the guy from Washington Ceasefire are doing.

The really sad thing is like you said, even if you do get a letter together that refutes this editorial honestly and intelligently, they aren't going to publish it. The media in this country doesn't want open dialogue and debate, they want to beat you over the head until you do what they want.

I would personally advise you to spend your time building up your own 'collection' so that when these liars get their way again and we have an AWB part II, you'll be grandfathered in.

If you want to argue it, I would encourage you to do so on a local community level and set the example of what an responsible gun owner is so that people won't believe everything they read in the paper. I do that with some gun-hating friends of mine (I know, are they really friends:s0114:) on a regular basis, and I'm actually starting to sway them and make them realize how irrational their thinking is.

Just my two cents.


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