The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


February 20, 2013

Pants on fire? Not

The writer of Saturday's letter does not even know where the incident referred to by Gary Fincke took place. The Working Group Informational Forum was in Hartford, Conn., Jan. 28, and not in Newtown. So the writer was most likely not present to witness the events.

There are two videos of the incident on Hollywood One is the 30-second edited one seen on MSNBC and the second is a slightly longer one shown on MSNBC after the controversy started.

A 17-minute unedited version of Mr. Heslin's complete testimony can be seen on

I have watched all three. Exactly what Fincke said happened. Heslin got a shouted response from some people when he asked why any one needs to own such a weapon. The moderator of the forum then admonished the audience to be quiet and let the witness finish his testimony or the room would be cleared.

What follows in Fincke's column is opinion.

Next Fincke cites Justin Cronin's statement that keeping guns in the home makes it less safe. In 2009, according to the CDC Mortality tables there were 19,735 suicides, 554 accidental deaths, 34,000 injuries by firearm. How many were in the home is not clear. In addition there were 11,499 homicides using firearms. Again how many were in the home involving family members is hard to know.

But what we have no idea about at all is how many home invasions were thwarted by having a weapon in the home.

These are hardly the "statistics" to say one or the other is suffering from a hot seat.

Finally, far too many of us believe what we want to believe, facts be damned. Both the far right and far left lie, use half-truths, and construe opinions and conclusions as facts to achieve their goals.

Bill Fisher,


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