Letter: Proliferation of guns scourge on our nation

From: John Vanderbur


I recently read the letters to the editor by state Rep. Jim Lucas, R-Seymour, and Bartholomew County Sheriff Matt Myers concerning House Bill 1159. The bill repeals the law that requires a person to obtain a license to carry a handgun in Indiana. It specifies that a person who may otherwise legally carry a handgun is not required to obtain or possess a license or permit from the state to carry a handgun in Indiana. This repeal effort goes beyond the pale of common sense.

Some facts: (1) Federally licensed gun sellers are required to run background checks. But not all sellers are required to be licensed. Some of those unlicensed sellers sell at gun shows. (2) It’s unclear how many sellers are licensed and how many are not. (3) People do buy guns without having to undergo background checks. So, if a person buys a gun from an unlicensed gun seller, there probably won’t be a background check.

Hypothetical situation: A policeman stops a car for speeding, approaches the car, and when he gets to the car he notices a handgun resting on the seat. When the policeman asks the driver if he has a permit for that gun, the driver states that in the state of Indiana he doesn’t have to have a license. The policeman asks if he had a background check. The driver responds, “I don’t have to tell you that.” Is the policeman in a higher state of risk? Yes.

Lucas said, “A recent DOJ report shows that of the 20 million-plus background checks conducted each year for gun purchases, the federal government is averaging 32 prosecutions a year.” My question: Where did you get the 32? You didn’t mention denials. FBI data: From November 1998 more than 230 million NICS checks have been made, leading to more than 1.3 million denials.

Lucas said, “I am 100 percent committed to returning the constitutional rights of Hoosiers.” My question: How can you return something that has never been lost?

Lucas said, “The violence across the nation that Myers referred to is committed by people who have no regard for life or law.” My question: How about all of the innocent lives that are lost by accidental shootings? In the 1990s the Congress of the United States placed a ban on CDC research on gun violence. The NRA and Congress didn’t want the nation to know any statistics on that subject.

If HB 1159 is passed there will be monetary losses to the state. Data from the Legislative Services Agency: Fiscal Year 2018, a loss of $5,205,000. FY 2019, a loss of $5,306,000. Gee, if I have to pay a fee for license plates, why shouldn’t you pay a fee for a lethal weapon?

The proliferation of guns is a scourge upon our country. It’s a cancer that spreads and could become terminal if we cannot find politicians of moral rectitude. Tell me, Mr. Lucas, how does it feel to be in the back pocket of the gun lobby?