Liberal New York Times reporter, now far-left Times columnist Timothy Egan ludicrously diagnoses a national squelching of debate on gun control in Thursday's post, "The Great Gun Gag ." Along the way he claimed that "Rush Limbaugh and Michelle Malkin "are to reasoned argument what salt is to a slug."
On national television, you can talk about the sordid details of your sex life, the depth of your religious piety or your belief that an organization that no longer exists, Acorn, stole the 2012 presidential election -- a fantasy held by half of Republicans. You can call climate change a hoax, you can say the moon landing never happened, you can even praise Alex Rodriguez, though you shouldn’t.
But you cannot talk about the 300 million or more guns circulating in private hands in the United States. The most armed society in the world, ranked first among 179 nations in the rate of gun ownership, had 9,146 gun homicides in 2009. The same year, Canada had 173. But don’t bring that up.
In Florida, it was against the law -- until the law was blocked by a federal judge last summer -- for hospital doctors to even ask about firearms ownership of victims, even though gunshot wounds account for 1 in 25 emergency room visits.
Conservatives complain about anti-free-speech vigilantes who keep incendiary voices of the right from being heard on college campuses, and they have a valid point. But some of these same First Amendment defenders are the first to smother any talk about the American weapons culture. The gun gag rules.
Egan defended sportscaster Bob Costas' recent gun-control rant during half-time of a NFL game.
Costas made his brief remarks at halftime of the Sunday night game. Within minutes, the censors went after him. Top Republicans called for his resignation. Rush Limbaugh and Michelle Malkin, who are to reasoned argument what salt is to a slug, condemned him. And Herman Cain, the pizza guy who at one point led the Republican presidential primary field in the polls, passed on this tweet: “Excuse me, Bob Costas, but you are an idiot, so shut up.”
Egan unloaded dubious statistics from an anti-gun study.
People with guns in the home are at a far greater risk of dying of homicide than those without, the American Journal of Epidemiology reported in 2004. For men, the likelihood of death by suicide is much higher if a gun is nearby. And 90 percent of suicide attempts by gun are successful; for willful drug overdoses, the rate is only 2 percent.
Understandably, people buy guns for self-defense. But a gun in the home is 12 times more likely to result in the death of a household member, or a visitor, than an intruder, a 2010 study by the official journal of the Southern Medical Association found.
But that study included suicides  in that count, which can't really be blamed on the gun, an inanimate tool, just like one can't blame a prescription drug for a fatal suicidal overdose. An article on the study says: "The most common cause of deaths occurring at homes where guns are present, by far, is suicide." And on the other side, the low intruder death toll is misleading because in most instances of self-defense by firearm, the gun is not even fired, much less used in a way resulting in the death of an intruder. Merely the threat of use deters the intruder from inflicting harm.