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Resident's Viewpoint: Writer's anti-NRA argument was flawed

The Viewpoint by Carol Turnbull on April 17 about gun control is very misleading in at least one critical area. She should be less insulting to readers by being more honest when presenting "facts." She wrote "but polls show that Americans, and Minnesotans, overwhelmingly want increased background checks, for example." She should have written "but polls back in December just after the Sandy Hook shooting showed that Americans, and Minnesotans, overwhelmingly wanted increased background checks, for example."

In the April 23 edition of USA Today, one could read about their recent poll which found that support for any new gun legislation is now below 50 percent. The poll was conducted by Princeton Survey Research between April 18 and the 21. Here is an excerpt from the article: "Americans are more narrowly divided on the issue than in recent months, and backing for a bill has slipped below 50 percent, the poll finds. By 49-45 percent, those surveyed favor Congress passing a new gun-control law. In an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll in early April, 55 percent had backed a stricter gun law, which was down from 61 percent in February." I think even Turnbull would agree that less than 50 percent is not considered "overwhelmingly."

Also, Turnbull's use of inflammatory hyperbole is insulting to readers. I think it's funny that when Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, or the Southern Poverty Law Center try to exert their influence it is called "lobbying," but when the NRA does it she calls it "strong-arming lawmakers." Additionally, her piece was dripping with condescension and arrogance. For example, she writes: "Our Second Amendment rights" (repeat this 'til you're blue in the face). I understand that she likely doesn't hold the Second Amendment in the same regard as the others (like her First Amendment right), but it's insulting to those of us that do regard it as important. Rather than say "I understand there are others with differing viewpoints on this, but here is why I think I am right..." she engages in demagoguery and insults us by essentially saying "how can you be so stupid as to believe that."

Additionally, the rest of her piece was fraught with false premises she attempts to get readers to accept. For example, she wrote: "but that doesn't stop us from taking realistic measures to lower the risk." The false assumption is that gun control laws reduce the risk of gun violence. There actually is no evidence in the U.S. that any gun control has reduced violent crime, anywhere, ever. I would encourage Turnbull or anyone else to provide evidence to the contrary. She also writes: "Many of our hunters do support tighter gun controls. They realize deranged people who shoot up schools, etc. tend to make all gun owners look bad." Again false. It is a ridiculous assertion that deranged people who shoot up schools make all gun owners look bad, and as a hunter and gun owner myself, it is quite insulting. Deranged people that shoot up schools actually only make 'deranged people who shoot up schools" look bad.

Later she writes: "And they realize it's also an "inconvenience" to take a driver's test, buy car insurance, and buckle your seatbelt. Reasonable folks are willing to be a little bit inconvenienced if it can save the lives of someone's kids." Again, we see a false premise that this particular measure can "save the lives of someone's kids." I also would challenge Turnbull to show us which part of the Bill Of Rights protects against infringement of owning and/or operating a car (or other conveyance).

Surprisingly, Turnbull ends by finally stating a correct premise when she writes: "Too many think power comes from a gun." We do think that, because it's true. In her dream-world of strict gun control, since by definition criminals don't obey laws, they will still have guns and power when the rest of us law-abiding citizens comply and are rendered defenseless. Just ask any holocaust survivor if power comes from a gun.

Stephenson is a Woodbury resident