March 3, 2007
Easy access to gun boosts potential for violence
The Star's Feb. 23 front page asks what caused a young teen to open fire on the police during a traffic stop for speeding? The answer seems obvious from the newspaper account. A young man with a history of being argumentative and fighting had been drinking and began to fight with arresting officers. This does not seem too exceptional.
Then comes the gun. He has one, he uses it, and then he is dead and a police officer seriously wounded. We can't ask him why he started to shoot. Maybe he would say it was to protect himself, or he didn't want to be arrested, or something. This crime didn't happen because of what he was thinking at the time. This crime happened because this young man, with a history of losing his cool and with alcohol on board, had a gun. It is very hard to reduce or eliminate the likelihood that we will have young men who lose their cool, especially when intoxicated. We could easily do more to prevent them from having such easy access to guns.
Stephen R. Dunlop, M.D.
President, Hoosiers Concerned About Gun Violence
March 3, 2007
Anti-gun legislation again attacks law-abiding citizens
The proposed gun legislation of House Bill 1090, introduced by Rep. David Orentlicher was another in the long line of attacks on law-abiding citizens and nothing more. While all dealers are required to do background checks at gun shows, or at their stores, this legislation targeted only a small percentage of private citizen sales. In no way would this have had an effect on habitual criminals acquiring a firearm illegally. Laws already on the books need to be enforced more stringently by our judges and prosecutors, to put and keep many of these same criminals behind bars, instead of being able to plea bargain their way back on the streets.
Former Fort Wayne Mayor Paul Helmke says, "I have been a politician almost my whole life, so I understand it." I would offer that being a lifetime politician in no way qualifies Helmke as an expert in this matter. On the other hand, working with the anti-Second Amendment Brady campaign as president certainly will show that his allegiance lies with those bent on taking more of our constitutional rights from us.
The continued attacks on the NRA by these people are nothing more than typical political smoke and mirrors. The NRA is one of the few organizations left in this country that fully supports our Constitution, through facts and figures, not political rhetoric. Indiana State Police Sgt. Dave Bursten's quote says it all: "What I can tell you anecdotally is that most criminals don't get their guns at gun shows, they are stealing guns from someone's residence or buying them on the street." These are no doubt the same criminals that the prosecutors and judges have slapped on the wrist.