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Posted by: TEEBONE ®

10/31/2019, 11:29:06

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Viewpoint: Bipartisan solutions are possible for gun laws

Dr. Richard Feldman and Dr. David Blank
4-5 minutes

“We have to do something!”

That phrase has been repeated frequently every time there is a mass shooting. Everyone wants to find solutions to prevent mass shootings, suicide and other gun-related violence. What are the best solutions? Can we agree on potential effective actions? This column is written by two physicians, both gun owners, one a conservative Republican and the other a liberal Democrat.

In medicine, we base treatments on evidenced-based studies. But when it comes to gun violence, we have very little data to study.

In 1996, Congress enacted legislation which prohibited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from using funds to study gun-related violence. Last year, Congress clarified that funds can be used for gun crime research, but no funding was provided. Without the ability to study the issue, we cannot identify the contributing problems that further mass shootings and other gun-related violence and the best responses to affect change consistent with protection of Second Amendment rights. Congress must provide this funding.

Until this research is available, beyond enhancing mental health system identification and treatment of high-risk individuals, we propose some specific measures we agree upon that would intuitively have some impact.

“Red Flag Laws” allow authorities to temporarily confiscate firearms from individuals who have been credibly deemed “dangerous” to themselves or others until a court issues a ruling. There has been a great backlash against this idea from staunch Second Amendment supporters who claim it is unconstitutional and fear that government cannot be trusted to selectively infringe on individual rights.

Surprise. Indiana enacted such a law in 2005. This law is known as the “Jake Laird Law,” in honor of an Indianapolis policeman killed by an unstable individual. He had his firearms confiscated by the police but were returned to him since there was no legal mechanism to withhold his guns. He then went on a shooting spree. Afterwards, the new law was enacted with overwhelming bipartisan support.

This law has been used more than 700 times since 2005 without any claims of misuse or infringement of rights. We recommend Congress look to Indiana’s law for guidance in developing a national bill. This law balances the needs of society with the rights of the individual. It can also be utilized to prevent suicide and prevent mass shootings involving those who use social media to post their agendas.

Great debate is occurring regarding the banning of “assault-like” semi-automatic rifles like AR-15s. Although scary looking, these rifles are no different from other non-military-style semi-automatic rifles and are no more deadly. FBI statistics reveal that assault-like rifles have only accounted for 173 deaths from 2007-2017. Confiscating AR-15s would have almost no impact on gun-related deaths. We believe banning exceedingly large-capacity magazines is a better way to limit deaths in mass shootings.

Criminals buy their guns from someone. Expanding background checks to fill the private sales gap might prevent someone who can’t pass a background check from obtaining guns. We believe exclusions for family members selling or gifting a firearm to another family member are reasonable. Background check expansion will not stop all criminals from obtaining guns. But it may prevent some from finding their way into the criminal network of illicit guns.

Individual rights have never been absolute. We believe there can be a balance between the common good and preserving individual rights. Bipartisan solutions are possible.

Dr. David Blank is an Indianapolis emergency department physician. Dr. Richard Feldman, a former South Bend resident, is an Indianapolis family physician and former Indiana state health commissioner.

Barry Hirsh
1) Congress banned using public funds for ADVOCACY research, not indifferent empirical research. As long as the CDC refrains from de facto gun-control advocacy, it can research to its heart's content.

2) Unless and until ERPOs replace ex parte proceedings with adversarial hearings, they are unconstitutional. No one can be denied liberty or property without due process; no warrant shall issue except upon probable cause (a higher legal standard than reasonable suspicion); respondents have the right to face accusers, cross-examine witnesses and present evidence and witnesses in their own behalf. All of this must happen BEFORE rights can be suspended/denied. While ERPOs are civil in nature, they rely on coercive government force and they deal with suspending a fundamental right, therefore all due process protections are requisite. The injury from such orders is indistinguishable from penalties imposed by felony convictions, hence the protections contained in the 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th and 14th Amendments are mandatory.

3) "Individual rights have never been absolute. We believe there can be a balance between the common good and preserving individual rights." - WRONG.

"We know of no other enumerated constitutional right whose core protection has been subjected to a freestanding 'interest-balancing' approach. The very enumeration of the right takes out of the hands of government ... the power to decide on a case-by-case basis whether the right is really worth insisting upon. . . The Second Amendment is no different. Like the First, it is the very product of an interest-balancing by the people[.]" - D.C. v. Heller (2008)


Democrats wouldn't buy a clue if it was government subsidized.

Modified by TEEBONE at Thu, Oct 31, 2019, 21:24:30

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