MARCANO: Readers “up in arms” with talking points

Ray Marcano

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Ray Marcano

Wow, some people were upset about the column I wrote last Sunday on Ohio’s new constitutional carry bill.

I wrote that the bill would make citizens less safe and make it more dangerous for law enforcement to do its job. That’s because this bill makes it OK to carry a handgun without a permit; doesn’t require people who want a gun to get training; and forces cops to ask occupants of a car if they have a gun.

I heard from those who stuck to age-old talking points that are more fiction than fact. I figured it might be good to set the record straight based on some of the emails I received.

Most of the shootings happen in the inner-city.

Not true.

I know what people are trying to say when they write “inner city.” So let me note. While there is a difference between white-on-white and Black-on-Black crime, it’s not as large as most people think. According to the FBI, 81% of white crime victims were killed by whites; 89% of Black victims were killed by Blacks.

So yes, there is a difference, but not the gigantic difference talking points would have you believe.

There’s no evidence that constitutional carry and states that relax gun safety measures have higher incidences of gun death.

Again, wrong.

Seven of the top 10 states in per capita gun deaths all have constitutional carry. The top 5 according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — Mississippi (1), Louisiana (2) Wyoming, (3) Missouri (4), and Alabama (5). Of that group, Louisiana is the only one that doesn’t have constitutional carry.

There’s also a direct correlation between gun ownership rates and gun deaths. Wyoming has the country’s second-highest gun ownership rate (66.2%), basically tied with No. 1 Montana (66.3%) and just ahead of Alaska (64.5%). Alaska has the sixth-highest per capita death rate and Montana the 11th.

But those left-leaning socialist states trying to take our guns are far more dangerous than we are.

When it comes to gun violence, nope.

New York, New Jersey and Connecticut all rank in the bottom six in gun fatalities. Even California (No. 32) ranks ahead of (No.31) Ohio on the gun fatality list.

New Jersey (No. 49) New York (No. 46) Connecticut (No. 45) all rank toward to bottom on legal gun ownership in the United States.

Ah, legal! I got you! It’s got to be all of these illegal guns causing the problems and we good guys with guns need to stop the bad ones.

Sorry to burst your bubble, but that’s nothing more than a good talking point.

A Justice Department study estimates nine out of 10 prison inmates who committed a crime used a firearm obtained illegally. That’s a massive problem. But the fact is, that’s partly the fault of politicians who are in bed with the NRA and refuse to enact policies that keep society safe while respecting the Second Amendment.

There are no background checks at gun shows or via private gun sales. There is no national gun registry to determine where guns are going. Worst of all, the laws that are supposed to ensure guns don’t end up in the hands of people who shouldn’t have them are as weak as watery coffee.

The Ohio Revised Code says any private seller who conveys a gun to someone who shouldn’t own one faces up to a third-degree felony, which often results in probation (though jail time is a possibility).

That’s a deterrent, huh?

As I said, none of this will change anyone’s mind since we’re dealing with emotions and feelings. And, as last week’s emails remind me, people insist that how they feel is a fact, when it just makes them more comfortable with their narrative.

But it doesn’t change what every administration, Republican and Democrat, has been saying for years.

States with more guns have a higher per capita death rate. While inner-city gun use is problematic, it’s not the driving force of all gun deaths.

Now, maybe we can start having a real debate on those common-sense firearms safety requirements that enjoys strong, widespread bipartisan support — a rarity these days.

Ray Marcano is a long-time journalist whose column appears on these pages each Sunday. He can be reached at

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