“But he suggested that nothing needs to be done at all.” There it is. The lie that lies at the heart of the Raw Story article based on my interview with Tony Ortega. I did not suggest that “nothing needs to be done at all” about “gun violence.” I told Mr. Ortega that locking up gang bangers and other violent criminals was the best way to reduce firearms-related homicides in the U.S. I also pointed out that we could stop spree killers by being more alert to seriously deranged individuals and locking them up. But that didn’t suit Mr. Ortega’s narrative: Farago thinks firearms-related death and destruction is no big deal. Gun problem? the headline asks, putting words in my mouth. What gun problem? Truth be told . . .
It is and it isn’t. I mean, Raw Story didn’t totally misrepresent my views on gun control. For example:
“Kids die accidentally — It’s terrible. But percentage-wise it’s not a huge problem. It just isn’t. Guns are safer than swimming pools,” Farago says.
But this does:
“Criminals are the number one source of gun crime. What are you going to do, disarm them? That’s not working in Chicago very well.”
And he denied that mass shootings are a problem, despite what the media might say.
“How are you going to stop Adam Lanza from shooting children? I don’t think there’s a law that’s going to stop him,” Farago says. “I don’t want to seem insensitive. I’ve known people who have been victims of shootings. I knew the doctor who was shot whose death started off the Brady campaign. He was my family doctor, and he was shot in a parking lot two blocks from his house. But to say that it’s an epidemic, it’s not factual.”
Yes, well, I asked if gun control laws would disarm criminals. And I said that mass shootings aren’t an enormous problem when seen in context. Which is exactly what Ortega denied my remarks: context. I told Ortega that Lanza should have been stopped before he went on his rampage, but that the law itself didn’t stop him. I pointed out that Lanza violated laws to commit his crime.
Anyway, you get the picture. Ortega had a perspective to promote and promote it he did, deliberately misinterpreting my remarks to make me seem callous. No surprise there. In fact, I’m thankful that the overall gist of my point-of-view made it through the editing process. Or did it?