Having read the letter by a surgeon from Whiteriver, I am reminded of Brandolini's Law: The amount of energy needed to refute bull (poop) is an order of magnitude larger than to produce it." It is impossible to refute that large volume of disinformation in a reasonable space.

I too, worked the emergency room. I have seen the results of human violence, first in training at Parkland Hospital Surgical Emergency in Dallas, certainly the equal of any New York hospital. I do not claim and do not possess the level of training of the surgeon writer, but thankfully, the pretension of medical authority regarding this subject is irrelevant and inappropriate. The ability to discern the problem is all we need to untangle the writer's claims. Authority in medicine or surgery does not imply authority in other subjects, and certainly not when the subject at hand is being misrepresented.

The writer's twisted terminology uses the terms "firearm violence," "gun violence epidemic," "violence inflicted by guns," and "health care epidemic of gun violence." This isn't the language of a scientific healthcare provider, but is the twisted language of the gun hater. Any normal person is able to discriminate between human action and an inanimate object. There is no such thing as "gun violence," "violence inflicted by guns," and other malarkey as stated. There is only people violence. Gun control laws punish only the innocent. If the logic of the gun haters were applied to drunk-driving laws, only non-drinkers would be barred from driving.

Our Whiteriver writer disagrees with a letter over claims of gun confiscation, followed by extermination. Our writer states: "It was the instillation (sic) of autocratic and authoritarian governments that lead (sic) to the deaths of millions of people in Turkey, Russia, Germany, China, Cambodia, Guatemala and Uganda, not the inability of the people in those countries to own guns." This begs the real question: Can repressive regimes commit exterminations in an armed society? The heavily armed Kurds have resisted extermination by Iraq and Turkey for decades. Let's look closer to home for firearms vs. violent tyrants.

In the history of the American Colonies, British troops occupied Boston (again) in 1774 and seized privately owned firearms. The Boston Gazette reported that what irritated people, next to seizing their arms and ammunition, was the arrest of patriotic leaders. General Gage seized arms into 1775. This disarming was stopped on April 19, when Massachusetts militias confronted the British at Lexington and Concord. The rest is the history of the triumph of citizens who overcame violent tyrannical oppression with their privately owned firearms.

Writer complains, "Having to tell yet another loved one that their family member has been killed by gun fire (sic) is difficult." Is it easier to tell folks that a drunk driver killed their child? That's part of the job. Trying to recruit others to your point of view by deliberately misdirecting emotion is "disingenuous." Can the writer not discern that the problem is not a lifeless tool? Does writer really believe that the gun owned by John Hinckley was trying to impress Jodie Foster? That's the story he's trying to sell — "violence inflicted by guns" — his own words, not mine.

Our writer states: "It’s not truly “gun control.” It’s the need for reform of the laws that allow citizens to legally purchase and own guns."

Just what needs to be reformed about the right of a law-abiding citizen to buy a gun? It's already illegal for criminals, (among others) to purchase firearms. What is writer's problem with law-abiding citizens?

Writer: "There is no threat to the second amendment in recent laws that have been introduced to limit access to guns." What part of "right" and "shall not be infringed" does writer fail to grasp?

Are there ways to keep firearms out of the hands of dangerous individuals? Probably. The problem is that persons like our writer want to be the ones to decide who and how, and a free and just People cannot afford that.

Ron Ramsey, P.A. (Ret.)

Alpine

(9) comments

pxllr

Ron Ramsey, P.A. (Ret.)

You state "Are there ways to keep firearms out of the hands of dangerous individuals? Probably. The problem is that persons like our writer want to be the ones to decide who and how, and a free and just People cannot afford that."

Until you and all gun owners can come up with some solution for keeping firearms out of the hands of dangerous individual; until that happens, then tentative solutions will be imposed on all gun owners from outside the gun community. It is called being proactive, it is called policing ourselves. If you are not capable of providing solutions, then you are part of the problem.

So What is your solution? Instead of just throwing yourself to the floor and screaming no and beating your fists on the floor, let's hear some realistic solutions.

The NRA argued in a congressional hearing in the 1990s supporting universal background checks. Would you support that? How about making the background database accurate and current? Would you go for that? At least one recent shooter had guns confiscated from him due to his mental state. Yet that information was not in the database so he legally bought the 2 rifles he used in his mass shooting.

Suggestions?

Horse Rider

Would it be any less difficult to tell a loved one that a family member died because they had been deprived of the tool they could have used to fight off their murderer? Violent death is never good. But it must be understood that the death of a murder victim is worse than the death, in the course of self defense, of their murderer.

A gun owner has fulfilled his responsibilities if he handles his firearms safely, so that neither persons nor property are harmed, stores his firearms out of reach of people, principally young children, who lack the maturity to handle them safely, and does not threaten or shoot others except in defense against unprovoked deadly attacks. Blame for damage, injuries and deaths properly should fall on those who fail to meet their responsibilities.

Gun owners have proposed effective measures to reduce misuse of firearms. They are hospitalization for the mentally ill, so that they can receive treatment, and imprisonment for those who are sane but were never properly socialized. Those proposals have been rejected as cruel to those on whom they would be imposed as well as too expensive. The President has called violence, perpetrated with firearms, a national embarrassment. Despite that, he has not ordered his US attorneys to prosecute prohibited persons, especially those with violent criminal records, caught with firearms even though they would be slam dunk convictions.

Criminal background checks are of limited value. At best, they thwart only those too inept to acquire a firearm illegally. The NICS system for background checks depends on notification that an individual is prohibited from possession firearms. The individual who committed mass murder at the church in Sutherland Springs, Texas was able to buy his weapon from a dealer because the Air Force failed to notify NICS of his dishonorable discharge which is a disqualifying condition. From what I've read, this failure was common among all branches of the armed services. Since then, there has been an attempt to tighten the system. Even if it were perfect, it will not affect criminals who obtain their firearms from friends, family or other criminals.

Jordan

It's not the fault of alcohol when a drunk driver kills somebody, it's the choice of that person. It's not the fault of a cell phone when somebody is killed because they text and drive, it's the choice that person made. It's not the fault of a car that is speeding and kills somebody in an accident, it's the fault of that person. I can go on and on about choices that people make but we don't talk about banning alcohol, cars, or cell phones because it all falls back on what that person chooses to do. I don't know what the right answer is to this problem but you can't just single out one thing because the media chooses to cover every one of these shootings. Officers get killed in riots but we say nothing about that.

ronzim

Most of this involves false analogies, fake binary choices, and other old tropes in opposition to public health policies to mitigate gun homicides. Enforcing existing laws is a good idea but mostly entails punishing shooters after the fact, not preventing them from getting guns in the first place. Even so, most non-suicidal, non-accidental shootings are by previously law-abiding citizens with no record of police involvement in their histories. These crimes of passion will continue in the face of so many guns in circulation. How then do we prevent firearms from falling into the hands of those who are not mentally fit to have them? I deal here with homicides, not suicides, which is a separate problem, but will be positively affected, nonetheless. Here are my suggestions.

1. Create a mandatory, universal firearms registry with severe penalties for those who fail to comply. This is a first, necessary step because no one can mitigate any such problem unless they know who has access to firearms and where they are located. Of course, criminals will continue to break laws, but we can make it much more difficult and costly for them to do so. I agree that the problem is not guns, but rather, access to firearms. We cannot devise any way to test a criminal for his suitability for access, but very long sentences will help. At all events, criminals are not really the problem.

2. Predicate registration on the possession of a nationally mandated, counterfeit-proof, mental health certificate which must be repeated every five years to avoid future illnesses.

3. Institute meaningful background investigations like the one required for a top-secret clearance in the military. Because so many shooters have no prior record, a mere records check is virtually worthless but should be readily available if one exists.

The watchword hear is prevention and policy must be proactive and not reactive. I welcome comments.

ppetersen55

Ronzim - Since the 2nd Amendment follows the 1st Amendment, it would seem logical that your suggestions be first applied to the 1st Amendment. For starters:

1. Create a universal pen, pencil, paper, computer, microphone, pulpit, or other communications devices registry. Anyone who uses one for other than "approved" purposes, including letters to the editor, expressing opinions, or attending a worship service, is on "the list."

2. Users must demonstrate proficiency in the use and expression of the English language, including oration, spelling, grammar, and punctuation. This proficiency must be acceptably demonstrated at least every 5 years.

3. Before you can exercise your 1st Amendment rights, you must receive prior clearance, just in case you might be tempted to write or say something that might be controversial or contradictory to the powers that be, even though you have no record of writing, speaking, or worshipping in a perceived objectionable way.

The watchword here is prevention because too many people are making the choice to be offended by another's free speech on a daily basis, these policies must be proactive and not reactive. Prevent anyone's feelings from being hurt just because they might have a differing belief or opinion.

You're welcome, comrade!

ronzim

ppeterson: That is exactly one of the false analogies I am talking about. It has no argumentive value and serves only to distract from the real issue. I notice that you offer no suggestions for mitigating the deadly public health issue in the matter of homicide by firearms in the US. How about it?

Vtrone

What's not being addressed here is the accountability of the firearms manufacturers who enjoy tremendous profits by saturating the public with deadly firearms that kill people at a faster and faster rate. At the same time firearm manufacturers enjoy immunity from lawsuits for the thousands of deaths their firearm products are being used for. Death by firearm is caused by the bullet that shreds apart the vital organs of a human being, it is not caused by a person themselves. Without a bullet, a person, (criminal,mentally ill) can pull the trigger all they want and there will be no deaths. The second amendment in the Bill of Rights applies to people, not to commercial products, guns and bullets are commercial products, therefore like any other dangerous products, are regulated and can be banned for the safety and general welfare of the american public. It's also interesting that when large countries want to take over control of the government of smaller countries, they saturated the smaller countries with firearms so that they can kill each other and leave a weaken government. Meanwhile, the firearms manufacturers reap in huge profits.

fishinguy

Vtrone said "deadly firearms that kill people at a faster and faster rate. " How did the firearm get pointed and how did it go off? "Death by firearm is caused by the bullet that shreds apart the vital organs of a human being, it is not caused by a person themselves. "

Lets use the same statements, comments and apply them to the automobile. Now what automobile manufactures are at fault for people whom are killed by automobiles. I do not think so. Is it the tires on the automobile that allow it to roll, no wait is it the engine that propels the automobile. I know it is the cell phone distraction right.

Vtrone

fishingguy, You can point a gun, pull the trigger with an empty chamber or have it go off loaded with blanks and no deaths will occur. Ever tried to shoot a deer or elk without bullets or with blanks? I think not. Death is caused by the bullet, a commercial product. You also miss the point of accountability. There are thousands of lawsuits filed on many manufacturers, including automobile manufacturers, for putting out products that are dangerous and harmful to the general public, none that I know of, have immunity from lawsuits like the firearms manufacturers for putting out products whose sole purpose is to wound or kill. Of course, the more firearm products can be sold, the bigger the profits for the gun manufacturers. That is common business sense.

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