A recent letter to the editor of a local newspaper from a (D) former state representative prompted this response:
I must strongly rebut the letter to the editor published on 31 Jan by Mr. DB. His half page letter is nothing more than a regurgitation of all of the standard anti-gun talking points that the “guns are bad, guns are evil” crowd uses to try to make their points. Now for some facts.
The leading cause of death in the US (2022 data) is NOT firearms, it’s heart disease followed by cancer. (695,500 and 605,000 respectively) [https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/leading-causes-of-death.htm} Firearms deaths (all causes) don’t even break the top 10 at 19,500 [Notes from the Field: Firearm Homicide Rates, by Race and Ethnicity — United States, 2019–2022 | MMWR}. Over twice that many people died in motor vehicle crashes, 42,795 [ NHTSA Early Estimates: 2022 Traffic Crash Deaths | NHTSA]. Where are the calls to ban cars???
The right to keep and bear arms is enshrined in the US constitution and reinforced by the the US Supreme Court (Heller vs US 2008) and NY Rifle and Pistol Association vs Bruen (2022). The Second Amendment is among the first few articles (constitutional amendments) of the Bill of Rights for good reason. The country had just overthrown a tyrannical king and wanted to ensure the right of the people to organize and defend themselves and their livelihoods. The preamble to the US Constitution states " That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness." THAT is the true reason for the 2nd Amendment.
The anti-gun crowd keeps assigning labels to things they do not endorse (“ASSAULT rifle” being the most common followed by “High Capacity Magazine” and “Weapons of War” ) in an effort to demonize certain tools (yes firearms are just tools) to make them appear more deadly or imposing. Every politician wants to appear to be "solving the “gun violence problem” by passing more laws that do nothing to address the core issues of Mental Health and declining moral standards. Progressive laws, District Attorneys who do not prosecute violent offenses and the total disregard for life exhibited by the criminal elements also factor in. Firearms are inanimate objects (just like cars, knives, axes etc…) that require human actions to put into use. There are many steps involved in operating a firearm and at each of those, the human operator has a chance to NOT use it as a weapon
Throughout the 70’s and into the early 90’s mental health hospitals were closed by the score and the patients pushed back into a society that was (and still is) woefully unequipped to deal with them [https://journalofethics.ama-assn.org/article/deinstitutionalization-people-mental-illness-causes-and-consequences/2013-10#:~:text=Three%20forces%20drove%20the%20movement,to%20save%20money%20].
The recent passage of “Safe Storage” and “Red Flag laws” will likely not pass a Supreme Court Challenge (there has not been enough time for these laws to be challenged yet). On just a cursory review, these acts violate the 2nd, 4th and 14th amendments to the US Constitution at a minimum. Also see Article 1 Section 6 of the Michigan state constitution, “Every person has a right to keep and bear arms for the defense of himself and the state” . Yet there are groups of people who continue to try to ban the object not the action.
If you really want to fix the problem, bring back firearms safety classes in schools, teach children right from wrong and the sanctity of human life. Provide funding for expanded mental heath care and interventions. Fully prosecute those who flaunt the law and commit violence. If you can not or will not support any of those solutions, then you are welcome to leave and go to Canada or the UK, you’ll love their firearms laws.