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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Here is what he said: “…all constitutional rights are regulated, always have been, and need to be.”

It would seem to be a self-evident truth. After all, your First Amendment right to freedom of speech is regulated. If you don’t believe it, write something libelous about a guy with deep pockets and man-eating lawyers. Your Fourth Amendment right to freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures is regulated and then some. If you don’t believe that, pick up your phone and ask the NSA agent tapping your line.

Unfortunately for him, Dick Metcalf, who made the aforementioned observation, was not referring to the First Amendment or the Fourth. No, he was talking about the Second. He’s been out of work ever since.

We are indebted to New York Times reporter Ravi Somaiya for bringing this story to light on Sunday. Metcalf, who lives in Barry, Illinois, is not a gun hater. To the contrary we are told that he is — or was, at any rate — one of the most prominent gun journalists in the country, a self-described “Second Amendment fundamentalist” who, at 67, has devoted most of his adult life to gun rights. He hosted a TV program about guns. Gun makers flew him around the world and sent him their products for review. And he had a regular column in Guns & Ammo magazine.

In his December column, Metcalf offered a nuanced argument that gun enthusiasts should accept some minor regulation of their Second Amendment rights. Specifically, he said, a requirement that people who wanted to carry concealed weapons undergo 16 hours of training was not “excessive.” The way his fellow gun lovers responded to this, you’d have thought he’d argued for U.N. confiscation of every gun, arrow and slingshot in America.

There were death threats. He lost his show. Subscription cancellations poured in. Advertisers demanded he be fired. And he was.

  • Independent1

    More than 90% of the states with the highest level of gun ownership are also the states with the highest levels of gun related homicides. And of the 11,000 or so homicides committed with guns each year, less than 3% of those homicides were the result of someone using the gun they owned to protect themself (less than 3% or les than 330 out of 11,000 homicides were justifiable homicides due to self defense).

    These statistics fly in the face of the NRA’s lies that guns are used hundreds of thousands of times a year by people for self protection. These statistics also bring out the NRA’s lies that owning a gun will protect the gun owner. The fact is, that owning a gun increases the probablity that someone in the household of the gun owner will be killed by the gun owned in the home, than the gun will ever be used for the purpose of self defense. There are numerous articles that bear this out. Owning a gun is more of a liability than a benefit and for women and children in a home, increases by 5 times the chances that they will be killed by a gun – the gun owned in the home.

    Here’s a recent article from the Huffington Post that bears this all out:

    Gun Violence Study Links State Levels Of Gun Ownership And Homicide
    Huffington Post 9/13/2013

    A new study of gun violence published by the American Journal of Public Health found that states with greater levels of gun ownership tend to have higher rates of gun-related murder. The study, conducted by Boston University professor Michael Siegel and coauthors Craig S. Ross and Charles King III, examines this relationship in all 50 states from 1981 to 2010. The researchers found that “for each percentage point increase in gun ownership, the firearm homicide rate increased by 0.9 percent.”

    The authors note that, though they can’t prove a causal relationship between higher levels of gun ownership and homicide, “states with higher rates of gun ownership had
    disproportionately large numbers of deaths from firearm-related homicides.”

    A more localized 1993 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, which focused on the most populous counties in Tennessee, Washington and Ohio, found that “keeping a gun in the home was strongly and independently associated with an increased risk of homicide.”

    • Asemodeous

      That doesn’t even take into consideration suicide via guns:

      20,000 in 2010 alone. The gun fetishists will bring up the really really huge nonsense that killing yourself with a gun has the same success rate as killing yourself in some other fashion. Which even a 12 year old would go WTF!? over.

      • Paul Hoskins

        The term “gun fetishists” would apply to people so brain-dead and cowardly that they treat guns as if they are living things. While you’re on a rant against guns, betsy, might as well ban paring knives because, you know, they MIGHT kill somebody. God forbid that Americans would have the freedom to defend themselves.

        You know how this works – pro-choice. If you don’t like guns, don’t own one. Although, considering your creepy personality, you might want to get one, I imagine anyone you ever met in person wishes you were dead.

  • gmccpa

    On the plus side, this gives the conservatives another chance to rally around someone’s First Amendment rights…and losing one’s job for voicing an opinion. I’m going to listen to Fox news and AM radio all day….just to hear all the ruckus. Anyone want to hold their breath? Anyone?

  • RSDrake

    I read the Metcalf article in the magazine – Guns & Ammo as I recall. Makes a lot of sense. There are two areas that I believe need change:

    1) Training. No one would think of giving a new car buyer without a legal drivers license and tell them to hit the road. New gun owners need to undergo a short training program in gun handling and safety. NRA conducts such courses. It is called “First Step.”

    2) Guns in the home must be locked up when not under the direct control of the owner or his or her authorized gun user. Newtown might not have happened if the guns were locked up. For those concerned about self defense, small bedside safes that can be opened by combination, key, or fingerprint are available.

    I have guns, a safe, a carry permit that required training and a license, and grandchildren. Guns are locked up.