My column “Let’s face it, no one will take the high road to gun control” has caused controversy.
There’s some things I’d like to clear up. See below (submitted to the Times-Standard Forum this morning):
“It’s interesting to see the fear and hatred in this thread.
Some negative comments have been legitimate, and put forth in a civil way. Many others are just people with knee-jerk reactions to the word “gun control.”
Why am I under siege? Let’s look at the accusations.
People are calling me a liar because I said “I’ve seen no signs of new gun control legislation since Obama was elected.” Fact - no gun control laws have been enacted yet. Someone mentioned AB 962, which is lying on the floor in the California Senate. Take a moment and really look at the chances of that bill passing. The NRA is tapping it’s paid-for politicians to put pressure on it. Don’t hold your breath, if you think that’s going to pass. Would anyone else care to show me a gun control bill that stands a chance of passing anywhere? Now that would be interesting. We could see how the NRA stifles any dissent.
Speaking of the NRA. Most readers glossed over one of the main points in the column. The NRAs omnipotent power to control politicians on both sides of the aisle. Who wants to intelligently discuss that without getting so emotionally involved that you have to call me names?
The 2009 June GAO Report on Firearms Trafficking has been battered about. Let’s take a look at it; a common attack on this report has come from a right-wing blog called “NewsBusters.” They challenge the US Secretaries statements that 90 percent of the weapons come from Mexico. Fair enough. Some wanted to know if I read the 84 page report. I did, without bias eyes. A few people pointed out that the ICE and ATF reports said only 17 percent of weapons recovered from cartel-related crime scenes in Mexico actually originate in the U.S. They’re right. One section did mention this. Now think about this statement: weapons recovered in Mexico (not at the border or from the Mexican mafia and cartels)...just some figures put together by a corrupt Mexican government. The U.S. secretary challenged that assertion by saying there were sampling issues in the report. In other words, it’s what they (Mexican government) said, and what our U.S Secretary said. Who are you going to believe? I think there’s a problem there.
Perhaps my biggest crime was a semantical error. I said “machine gun” instead of “assault rifle.” That immediately made me a liar to those with an agenda. I wish I could take that wording back, but it was a mistake and I can live with that.
I know that I should have been more specific about laws constricting sales of “assault rifles.” By using M-16s, AK 47s, and Uzi’s, I opened the doors for someone looking to discredit this column. I should have been more careful in my wording. I do know about the laws people have been bringing up regarding automatic weapons/assault weapons. A simple change or wording would have eliminated that onrush of information. Was I wrong to be concerned over “assault” weapons? I don’t think so, but some people don’t even want to see that discussion come up. So be it.
Claiming that I’m using the race card when talking about the spike of guns sales and ammunition since Obama ran for office last years, is another agenda-driven opinion. Anyone that really cares about the facts can check FBI reports, secret service reports. There are other sources, but if I give them then I’ll be no better than my critics, because they are coming from an agenda-driven sources. I have never written about gun control. It’s not something I’ve crusaded for in the past. Claiming I’m a messenger on behalf of liberal nut cases, is ridiculous and I defy anyone to ever find an article where I addressed this before.
The biggest issue, from what I’ve read of the comments, is the following statement by me “It’s no secret that automatic weapons are so easy to buy that American gun dealers supply the Mexican cartels with 90 percent of the weapons they use to terrorize people on both sides of the border” I already addressed the 90 percent thing. The other part that has riled up some people is my assertion that “it’s easy to get automatic weapons.” I should have added,“If you really want them.”
I should have noted that there are plenty of laws in place restricting gun dealers from selling automatic weapons, but there are still loopholes in the system that allow criminals and others to get them. Otherwise, where are these clowns getting the weapons? To suggest it’s just a tiny population of bad boys who get these weapons is inaccurate. Plenty of “honest Americans” have them (some buying them before the 1986 ban). Where they end up is anyone’s guess.
What I didn’t see much discussion on were the main points of the article. The NRA owns all of our politicians. Gun sales are up for many reasons. I suggested that the gun and ammunition industry are thriving in this these hard times.
I hope this helps those who have open minds.
I know it won’t make a difference to those who have set agendas, and who will continue to peck away in order to obscure the main messages of my column.
Thanks for reading this.