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15 Years of Ignorance

From: "AJMD" <jstones@scican.net>
Date: Tue, 22 Jan 2002 23:11:54 -0500
To: <doakr@news.dmreg.com>
Subject: Online: Editorial: One bullet, 15 years

Regarding 1/21/02 "One bullet, 15 years" (http://desmoinesregister.com/news/stories/c5917686/16969333.html)

If the ridiculous, contradictory, and ineffective legal principles used for "gun laws" were applied in any other area, the public would be up in arms (no pun intended). Unfortunately, the fear and ignorance engendered in the general public by television and by antigun lobbyists results in most people just shrugging their shoulders at cases like Yirkovsky's. Even so-called "sportsmen" generally are willing to compromise as long as they aren't inconvenienced too much regarding their hobby, leaving only the serious civil libertarian, or woman being stalked, to meaningfully defend firearms ownership.

Even more tragic than Yirkovsky's jail time are the countless women raped and innocents murdered, due to counterproductive laws which do no good other than give a few hoplophobic soccer-moms warm fuzzies for having "out-machoed" the NRA by banning concealed carry. Worldwide for the past 100 years, over 4,000 citizens per day have been murdered by their own police and military, dwarfing "terrorism" as a cause of death, yet a clamor for the same "reasonable" gun registration laws which enabled such genocide goes largely unopposed by our politically correct media. I hope the DesMoines Register will explore this issue further, and earn its First Amendment freedoms by enlightening the public as to the Second Amendment.

Permission given to print the above letter, signed

Andrew Johnstone, RPh/MD
Doctors for Sensible Gun Laws - www.dsgl.org

Indianapolis, IN 46227
317-8xx-xxxx

P.S. Here are a few references linked to which may help substantiate my statements: [Links unavailable -ed]

For matters of Constitutionality, Halbrook's George Mason Univ. Law Review article is a good reference exposing some of the blatant mischaracterization of Second Amendment jurisprudence in the media's recent diatribe against Ashcroft. Also, the works of Stephen Halbrook, including the U.S. vs. Emerson briefing, are excellent and well-referenced, and many other Second Amendment scholars have published on this topic in the journal literature.

On an international level, David Kopel has published extensive comparisons of gun laws versus crime rates and suicide rates, revealing that unlike what HCI has gotten the mainstream media to so uncritically parrot, U.S. "lax" gun laws do not correlate with increased crime and suicide. More importantly, as R.J. Rummel points out, genocide kills 5 to 10 times more innocents than criminal use of firearms, and Jay Simkin documents that genocide has always been preceded by the seemingly innocuous step of "gun registration." In the past 100 years, countries with strict gun control have had an average of well over 4,000 citizens per day murdered by their own police and military, and for all this carnage, there is no offsetting beneficial effect documented for gun control laws - in fact researcher John Lott has pointed out some compelling evidence that gun control laws may actually increase domestic crime rates, and Kopel's St. Louis Law Review article, Peril or Protection? - The Risks and Benefits of Handgun Prohibition supports that conclusion.

As noted by Dr. Edgar Suter, in "Guns in the Medical Literature - - - - - a Failure of Peer Review" from the Journal of the Medical Association of Georgia, and in a more in-depth presentation, Kates' (et al) "Guns and Public Health - Epidemic of Violence, or Pandemic of Propaganda?" article, from the Tennessee Law Review, there has been a striking lack of integrity in the "public health" literature on gun control, replete with distortion of data, flawed methodology, and when all else fails, complete fabrication of "facts." Many physician opponents of gun control are not concerned so much with the mere inconvenience to sportsmen which gun laws pose, but the clear and unnecessary danger in which they put ordinary citizens like our patients - as I explained in Feb. 5, 2001 Medical Economics (reposted on GOA if the original link expired). As sincere patient advocates who are concerned for the public health, we cannot stand by and let uninformed but well-intended individuals dangerously misdirect public policy, even when a naive public wonders why we won't be "reasonable" or "compromise" (which the sportsmen's lobby often does, since they are mostly just concerned with minimizing impact on firearms hobbies).

Why not compromise? - the events of the First Million Mom's March didn't turn out so well, and it wouldn't have been possible without the "reasonable" step of merely registering guns.

Andrew Johnstone, RPh/MD


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