Columnist’s facts about guns wrong

It is getting to be routine that Mr. John Krull pushes his assault on our gun rights and singles me out as the main supporter of our gun rights in the Indiana Statehouse. As a firm believer in our constitutionally-protected gun rights, I proudly accept that.

What I will not accept is the recent outright lying and the deception that Krull has resorted to in these continued personal attacks. In a Dec. 4 column in The Republic, Krull started by stating Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry implied that the Indiana General Assembly was not interested in hearing what they had to say. I will gladly listen to Curry about legitimate solutions to keeping our citizens safe.

What Krull failed to mention was a report by the Indianapolis Star in October 2014 showing that more than half of felony gun charges and over 40 percent of the cases of possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon in Marion County were dismissed. The Indianapolis news is continually full of arrests of people with multiple serious violent felonies being back out on the streets after lenient plea agreements or light sentencing.

Krull also repeatedly fails to mention the recent passing of several sentencing enhancements by the Indiana Legislature that allow for an additional five to 20 years for certain gun crimes. Dealing with people that actually commit crimes and not infringing on the rights of innocent people are common sense gun laws I enthusiastically support.

Krull goes on to provide his opinion on other issues as well, which is his right to do so. What he does not have a right to do is to commit libel. I am used to Krull taking generous liberty with the actual facts, but he crossed the line when he stated, “After the mass shooting in Oregon, Lucas told a reporter for an Indianapolis radio station that no amount of public concern about guns and gun violence was likely to sway the state’s lawmakers because the NRA owns our legislature.”

As elected officials, legislators are elected due to their stance on the issues. To say we have no concern about the public is patently false and misleading, as we are voted in by the public! Also, I said no such thing as the NRA owning our legislature. This is a lie.

The next sentence is equally troubling: “Lucas boasted that 73 percent of the members of the Indiana House of Representatives have ‘A’ ratings from the NRA — which, by the way, receives the overwhelming majority of its funding not from its members, but from firearms manufacturers.”

I did factually state that 73 members of the Indiana House have an A rating with the NRA. The NRA rating is an aspect that should be known by the voters of their elected representative and easily found. However, the statement regarding NRA funding posed by Krull is at best intentionally misleading and at worst another fabricated lie.

Krull, a journalism professor, blatantly lied in his article.

I have always questioned Krull’s desire to actually verify something before he writes about it, but a simple search of NRA funding, and a recent CNN report, shows that the bulk of the NRA’s revenue comes from its exploding membership. Membership in gun rights organizations has been booming in recent years, thanks in part to people like Krull.

Judging by the factual numbers of firearms sales, applications for carry permits, the explosion of firearm training classes and yes, NRA and other gun-rights organizations exploding membership, hundreds of thousands of Hoosiers and tens of millions of American men and women see through the desperation and deceit of people like Krull. People are realizing that they are the first and best line of self-defense and that implementing new gun laws, only to be just as ineffective and ignored as the existing laws are, will do nothing to keep them safe from people that have absolutely no regard for human life or law.

Opinions are fine. However, libel is wrong and is crossing the line. I am calling this out.

Seymour resident Jim Lucas is the state representative for District 69, which covers parts of Bartholomew, Jackson, Jennings and Jefferson counties. Contact him at h69@iga.in.gov or 800-382-9841.