Tucson and the gun control debate

The Bucknellian has a gun control column. It apparently is not yet online so I cannot yet give you the link to it. However the folowing is a reply I wrote to the paper:

In Amanda Ayers’ pathetic and pedantic column on the Tucson tragedy and the gun control debate she suggests we should read the Founding Fathers on the issue. She obviously has not, for both her Jefferson quotes are bogus. The first quote is unknown in the Jefferson archives and only appeared in print in 1993. The second quote is from an Italian author that Jefferson quoted in his Commonplace Book without expressing approval. We may presume that he found it interesting. I suspect Ms. Ayers reads right-wing opinion instead of the Founding Fathers.

She claims that gun control laws would not have prevented the shooting without mentioning that a ban on 30 round clips might have decreased the casualty count. In fact an extensive background check might have prevented him from buying the gun. She mentions the 5-4 Supreme Court decision and quotes Scalia’s opinion that a “complete ban” is unconstitutional without considering if a ban on some types of guns or ammunition might be beneficial. Nor does she point out that if Scalia applied his beloved “original intent” doctrine to the second amendment, he might conclude that only single shot muzzle loaders are constiutionally protected.

She blithely states gun control will not prevent gun violence, but does not consider that a comprehensive system of sales regulation, gun ID, and gun tracking could decrease gun violence. The one truth that seems clear in her column is not that gun control cannot decrease gun violence, but that Ms. Ayers has no interest in decreasing gun violence.

Chris Schell