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Earl Christensen, Enderlin, N.D., Published May 06 2013

Letter: Forum accepts gun propaganda

Unfortunately, the editors of The Forum have allowed themselves to fall prey to propaganda produced by one side of an issue – in this case, the gun control lobby.

Propagating the myth of a “gaping gun-show loophole” and that we are a nation at “a level of gun violence that would make a Third World warlord proud,” the editors took aim at North Dakota senators’ opposition to a proposed expansion of the government’s role in private firearm transactions. It doesn’t matter that the same gun laws exist inside a gun show as outside a gun show. It doesn’t matter that the proposed legislation outlawed private sales between individuals without a licensed dealer submitting paperwork to the federal government. The fees, distance to dealer, registry of every firearm in a federal database and a curb on our Second Amendment rights do not matter.

What matters to The Forum editors is that the Senate needs to enact feel-good legislation without delay or consideration because of the “Third World” gun violence gripping our nation. Except it is not true. The amount of violent crimes (murder, rape, robbery) committed with a firearm has dropped in half since 1991.

Don’t take my word for it. Look it up for yourself on the FBI’s website. Look at the crime statistics kept by the agency. In our world of 24-hour news channels, Internet and social media, we have been exposed to a constant stream of the worst deeds done in our society, and we feel less safe. FBI statistics point out that the opposite is true.

This nation has had horrible experiences with deranged individuals in the past few months. Nobody wants anymore of these events to take place again but let us look at the root causes of these individuals’ actions. A lack of mental health resources for those who need help. A drop-out and unemployment rate worthy of a “Third World” country in parts of this nation. A lack of incarceration of truly dangerous individuals.

Hard problems to solve. Much harder to do than to simply cry “it is the gun’s fault” and enact do-nothing legislation that does not solve the problem and takes away our rights. Hopefully the editors of The Forum can educate themselves in facts about this issue in the future and not produce knee-jerk opinion pieces in the future.