Archive for 'Gun Policy'

Who controls the U.S. Surgeon General’s office?

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Let’s have a quiz.  Who is the U.S. Surgeon General?  (a) Vivek Murthy, (b) Boris D. Lushniak, (c) Everett Koop, or (d) none of these people.

The answer is (d), though you should feel good if you selected Boris D. Lushniak, who is the “acting” Surgeon General. Vivek Murthy should be the Surgeon General, but the Senate won’t confirm his appointment. .

Who’s Murthy? The Boston Globe has high praise for him.  He graduated from Harvard College, magna cum laude in 1997 with a degree ...

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Is gun advocate John Lott a straight shooter?

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Last month, The Dispatch published an op-ed piece of mine, “Focus needs to be on reducing gun deaths,” where I stated that, if we’re serious about reducing gun deaths, we should stop debating whether more guns result in less crime because the evidence is inconclusive.” I also questioned the credibility of John Lott, an ardent advocate of concealed carry laws, because Lott had created a pseudonym, “Mary Rosh,” a supposed former student; posing as Rosh online, he praised his ...

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Focus needs to be on reducing gun deaths

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Almost every day we read about gun deaths. What’s behind this problem? The National Rifle Association tells us, “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.”  Let’s go with that. The FBI reports that in 2012, people killed 144 babies, 422 kids age 12 and under, 1327 teenagers, 96 husbands, 498 wives, 140 mothers, 126 fathers, 168 boyfriends, 494 girlfriends, and thousands of others, for a grand total of 12,723 people—with guns.

The numbers will not go down dramatically until we change ...

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Kids shot accidentally because of easy access to guns

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Just a week ago, NBC News reported that a 12-year old walked into a New Mexico middle school gymnasium, armed with a sawed-off shotgun.  He shot two students.  Both sustained serious injuries.

Yesterday, The Dispatch reported that a 4-year old boy in Detroit was fatally shot by his 4-year old cousin, a girl.  According  to police, the children were playing in a bedroom, where the cousin found a rifle under the bed. The rifle was loaded and unlocked. The cousin picked ...

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Gun storage bill is about safety

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Rep. Bill Patmon, D-Cleveland, is sponsoring H.B. 31 that, if passed, will require all firearms to be either safely secured or locked when they are kept in residences and there are minors about who can gain access to the firearms. Gun advocates view the bill as an infringement of their rights.

I understand the concerns of gun advocates, but let’s take a look at the bill’s purpose: keeping kids safe. Too many get shot because guns are left within a kids’ ...

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Is there evidence to support Ohio’s proposed “stand your ground law?”

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Ohio House Bill 203, which proposes a “stand your ground law,” passed the house two days ago. The bill changes Ohio’s self-defense law such that anyone facing bodily harm, so long as he is in a place he is lawfully allowed to be, has no duty to retreat before using deadly force in his defense.  The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Terry Johnson, R-McDermott, believes that the bill will save lives.

I don’t know if Johnson is right or wrong, but here’s something ...

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Should teachers carry guns?

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A Columbus, Ohio, teacher has suggested in a letter to the editor that teachers who have a concealed carry license be permitted to carry their firearms in the classroom. He proposes the idea to help make “school buildings safer.” With so many mass shootings nationwide, it’s easy to understand why the idea is raised, but the idea necessarily leads to the question, how effective will teachers be in a gunfight?

To get a sense for the blur of thoughts and distorted ...

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The NRA suppresses studies on gun violence

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Ever wonder why we study highway collisions, smoking and HIV/AIDS for the purpose of reducing risk but don’t do the same for gun-related fatalities? It’s because the National Rifle Association purposefully works to suppress such research. The NRA will likely lobby against the $10 million proposed by President Barack Obama in his 2014 budget to study gun violence prevention.

The NRA’s battle against research began when the New England Journal of Medicine published a study in 1993 about guns in the ...

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NRA has lost its way

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What do the Great Oz and the National Rifle Association have in common? Both make a lot of noise and try to intimidate anybody who questions them, but unlike the Great Oz, the NRA has real power.

State Rep. Terry Johnson, R-McDermott, articulated the NRA’s position in June 2012: “Our Second Amendment rights have been infringed countless times in the past. If we let someone come and take one right away from us … we diminish what it means ...

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Do people have the right to own any semiautomatic rifle, magazine size? Maybe not

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Are gun advocates right when they say they have a constitutional right to carry assault weapons such as the AR-15 and large capacity clips? Recent court decisions suggest not.

Until the U.S. Supreme Court reviewed in 2008 a handgun ban in District of Columbia v. Heller, it was unclear whether the Second Amendment was a collective or personal right.

The court’s holding that the amendment conveys a personal right to own handguns was significant, but so too was how Justice Antonin Scalia ...

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