Maryland’s handgun licensing debate took its first tentative steps past the talking points yesterday when Len Lazarick of Maryland Reporter moderated a short discussion between Del. Mike McDermott and gun control advocate Vincent Demarco.
Don’t get me wrong; the discussion included a moderate amount question evasion. Both deny the other’s statistical claims without explaining them away. But McDermott isn’t exactly a cold-dead-hands NRA stooge, and Demarco doesn’t come off as positively gunphobic.
It comes down to an argument over the efficacy of fingerprinting all handgun owners — Maryland currently only fingerprints those seeking carry permits. McDermott denies Demarco’s claim that states that fingerprint reduce the number of straw purchases (made on behalf of criminals) as well as the number of gun deaths overall. McDermott dismisses the studies that have found such correlations for being “funded by Bloomberg.” He attributes the decline in gun deaths in a state like New York is due to an aggressive “prosecution of bad guys.”
A decent first step, guys. Now let’s bring in the fact-checkers before Round 2.