They’re gunning for you

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Don Davis, Gun Dealer/Advocate
Don Davis, Gun Dealer/Advocate

“You got creamed,” the woman declared as I headed up the escalator to the main floor of the downtown Indianapolis shopping center.

She was referring to my just completed live television debate with Don Davis who claims to be the Midwest’s biggest gun dealer. I don’t recall the year. I retired from writing editorials for the paper in 2000.

Well, I watched the video the producer of the show gave me and I think “creamed” is a bit strong. But then Don had done a lot of TV commercials and comes off as a real showman. I came across as my usual low-key persona.

What brought all this back was this morning’s editorial in The Journal Gazette. The piece was lamenting the continuing high rate of gun related homicides.

At more than 850 a year in Indiana, gun deaths now exceed auto fatalities, about 840 a year.

That’s about the same story in Ohio and Michigan.

To be sure, auto fatalities have been dropping. No, Indiana’s drivers aren’t necessarily safer drivers. Detroit is just producing safer cars and more people are wearing seat belts.

Still, with more than 800 gun homicides for our state makes us look like the Old West’s Dodge City. You’d think such a tragic loss of life would stir the Republican controlled legislature to call for stricter gun laws.

Such an idea, knowing our state government, would be a fantasy. Rather,
today’s editorial cites one legislator’s moves to further weaken our already anemic gun laws.

Gun control opponents, such as the National Rifle Association, cite instances where an armed shopkeeper or ordinary citizen defended him or herself against an attacker.

But what you’re not likely to hear from such folk is the number of cases in which an armed citizen accidentally kills an innocent bystander or get him or herself killed.

Nor do you hear mention of the many Western democracies that tally far fewer gun-related homicides and suicides. I believe that without exception, these countries have strict gun laws.

The Second Amendment? Constitutional scholars that I’ve read argue that this wording of a well-regulated militia refers to what today we call the National Guard. It’s not Uncle George guzzling beer on his porch with a 9-mm strapped to his waist.

I’ve always felt our lax gun laws weren’t so much about the U.S. Constitution. They reflect the political power of gun manufacturers who prey on people’s fears and regularly pour millions of dollars into political campaigns.

So you follow the money and you discover what kind of laws you get.

Of course, that’s cold comfort to the survivors of gun violence.

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