The Norman Transcript

Opinion

February 10, 2013

Misled rebuttal demands clarifications

NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:

David Deming’s Jan. 26 rebuttal to my Jan. 21 letter on gun safety reveals no understanding of the points I made, which are worth clarifying here.

Professor Deming begins by stating that my argument is not supported by facts, although my sources included the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the Veterans Health Administration. These three organizations do not represent the “minority population of extremists who hate guns,” as Deming suggests, but rather the first two sources focus on child safety, while the third source is concerned with veteran health issues.

Indeed, my letter was about gun safety among children and the mentally ill, yet Deming concludes that I “want to end all civilian ownership of firearms by any means possible.” What? Was Deming even reading my letter?

In turn, Deming offers several external quotations without citations, facts with no documentation and one single source — www.gunfacts.info.

For shame, as a college professor, Deming should know how important it is to read carefully and to use legitimate and scholarly sources.

Deming then says “Palmer wants to disarm veterans,” without mentioning that my actual discussion focused on the dangers of mentally ill veterans who own guns. It is always important to acknowledge the full context of any argument, regardless of one’s viewpoint. This context arose in 2000, when an 83-year old V.A. hospital dementia patient shot his doctor in Salisbury, N.C., and the Veterans Health Administration created a public awareness campaign about age-related mental illness and gun ownership.

Now, if Deming knows of any single reason why someone with dementia should be allowed to have a gun, I would love to hear it. In addition, if he knows of a good reason why the 90-year old Alzheimer’s patient that I cited should have a loaded gun in her nursing home, I would love to hear that argument.

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