It was interesting to see a juxtaposition of the two opinions. Striving, as always, to put my personal opinions aside and be as open minded as possible, what I noticed in Burnett's article were some of the typical pro-gun exaggerations, for example this one.
liberal bloggers were nearly apoplectic that some dared to bear arms
Why is it necessary to talk like that? Is it for emphasis? He certainly can't mean it literally.
And how about this old standard:
After all, millions of people openly bear firearms in public in hunting fields, at firing ranges and at gun shows every week, except for exceedingly rare accidents, few if any injuries result.
This "few if any" goes beyond the usual argument that the tiny percentage of people injured with guns compared to the total number of guns in the country does not justify additional laws. This "few if any" is simply stated, untrue. There have been some injuries.
Mr. Sugarmann, on the other hand, was able to control himself enough to avoid ridiculous exaggerations and flat-out lies.
What's your opinion? Can you be objective enough to compare these two writers' styles and come up with an opinion?
At a "Restore the Constitution Rally" held in April outside the nation's capital, one speaker warned the tiny crowd of fellow "patriots" of those "pushing the country toward civil war" and declared "they should stop before somebody gets hurt." In May, white supremacists openly carried guns at a small counter-event to a peaceful protest of Arizona's new immigration law. One armed protester, who characterized Hitler as a great white civil rights leader, asked, "Where on the planet is there one country that's for white people? There's not. See, we have nowhere to go."
Recently released federal statistics show, as they have historically, that states with high rates of gun ownership have higher rates of gun-related death. For 2007, the most recent year available, gun-loving Louisiana, Mississippi and Alaska led the nation in overall gun-death rates.
The same federal data also show that in states where gun ownership is low and exposure to firearms limited, overall gun-death rates are far lower. That same year, Hawaii had the lowest gun-death rate in the nation followed by Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York. Louisiana's overall gun death rate of 19.87 per 100,000 was seven times higher than Hawaii's rate of 2.82 per 100,000.
When the issue is life and death, feelings should never trump facts -- even when there's an armed mob arguing otherwise.
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