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Letter: Indiana’s gun laws lead to unintended consequences


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Note: The statements, views, and opinions contained in this letter to the editor are those of the author and are not endorsed by, nor do they necessarily reflect, the opinions of The Republic.

From: William Scarbrough

Columbus

In a letter published Aug. 2, Michael Rasche stated that columnist John Krull ”is lamenting the availability of guns and the supposedly lax gun laws in Indiana.” This is a preposterous assertion apparently generated by being riled over Krull’s column, which asked, “When the subject is guns, just who do Indiana’s elected representatives listen to?”

Krull wrote about talking with prosecutor Terry Curry concerning the increase in shootings in Indianapolis. Curry stated that laws such as bringing guns to school grounds or stand your ground are abysmal in terms of public safety.

But Rasche asserts, “Gun control ... does not come from the halls of any legislature.” This is a statement taken directly from the ridiculous hype of the National Rifle Association.

The Supreme Court decision known as District of Columbia v. Heller, which allowed a person to keep a gun in the home for protection, was approved by a single conservative vote.

Ever since then the NRA, emboldened by the conservative Koch brothers’ money and their legislative arm, the American Legislative Exchange Council, has successfully threatened state lawmakers with election losses or awarded them for their complicity.

Nowhere is this more evident than in Indiana, a state that has the second-least restrictive gun laws in the nation. (Arizona is first.)

One of the results of such policies is the unintended consequences of such laws. Consequences such as shootings involving domestic violence in the home and workplace because of concealed carry laws, consequences of accidental shootings in stores or places of entertainment because of open carry laws, disrespect of law enforcement officers whom you may legally shoot if they enter your home without a search warrant. These are only a few examples of such laws in Indiana.

The unalienable right to possess a gun designated by the Second Amendment is cited by the gun culture and is at the root of the NRA’s theory that an armed population is the reason that crime is dropping. This was first proposed by professor John Lott, an economist, in a 1998 book, “More Guns, Less Crime.” Lott studied concealed carry laws and concluded crime rates eased. The book’s thesis was then debunked by researchers. Lott no longer teaches at a university and is now best known as a Fox News contributor.

Today, the NRA still clings to Thomas Jefferson’s words, “One loves to possess arms,” contained in a letter to George Washington in 1796. What the NRA apparently doesn’t know is that Jefferson was asking for copies of some old letters to be “armed” with in case he was criticized for a decision he made as secretary of state.

For more about the history of the Second Amendment see, “The Second Amendment — A Biography.” The author is Michael Waldman, dean of the New York University School

of Law.

In the meanwhile if you go to the NRA website, you can buy a T-shirt with Jefferson’s arms quote on it. I’m compelled to conclude that the leadership of the NRA is pea-brained.

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