BJ: I thought the discussion was excellent and that Dr. Siegel's survey (which I did read) was insightful.
However, there are several critical issues that still need to be addressed.
One of the first is a fairly general lack of knowledge about the details of certain measures among gun owners.
Universal background checks cannot function without universal registration. This was expressed to President Obama by Dr. Greg Ridgeway, Deputy Director of the National Institute of Justice in January 2013. It was confirmed by Dr. Garen Wintemute in a 2017 study of universal background check laws enacted in Colorado, Delaware, and Washington state.
I have seen gun control advocates in two hearings on background checks purposefully evade answering direct questions about the necessary link between enforceable background checks and mandatory gun registration.
Yet I have never seen a single mention of this in the mainstream media nor have I ever seen it mentioned in a survey.
Malicious abuse of red flag laws has already led to the death at police hands of a man in Maryland. The failure to vet a report properly led to an honorably retired Massachusetts police officer being stripped of his guns and permits and losing his job as a school crossing guard.
The extraordinary action of preemptively stripping a person of their civil liberties should require extraordinary proof that such action is warranted.
"He says, she says" only works if both he and she get to speak.
When it comes to guns and suicides, Dr. Siegel would do well to examine the data from his own state. Over the 20-year period from 1999 to 2018, the use of firearms in suicides in Massachusetts plunged nearly 27% the rate of suicides by suffocation soared nearly 109%. The overall suicide rate rose slightly more than 57%. In 2018, guns ere used in just one in five suicides in Massachusetts while nearly half were committed by suffocation, most often by hanging.
Massachusetts in not alone in this. A similar phenomenon can be seen in the data from Connecticut.
But what would arguably be an important discussion of suicide has been hijacked by turning it into "gun violence" and essentially trivializing the rest.
IMHO, one of the biggest issues today is ignorance. Gun owners consume much the same media as other Americans. Even those who watch Fox get only limited amounts of honest context. So they are never exposed to an honest discussion of the issue.
Public health experts need to understand a very salient fact: Gun owners are concerned about people coming to take their guns for the very simple reason that they have been told that, if they can get away with it, people really do want to take away their guns.