Jorge Reina Schement is entitled to his opinions just like anyone else in America.

A guest column he wrote for the Star-Ledger identifies him as a Distinguished Professor of Communications Policy, American Studies, and Latino Studies in the School of Communication and Information at Rutgers University-New Brunswick.

His column basically implores people to not buy a handgun and sets out to convince them they will be less safe with one, they can’t handle one, and they shouldn’t have one.

He begins his piece laying the blame for an increase in interest in carrying guns on a knee-jerk fearful reaction to hundreds of mass shootings in the United States so far this year.

What he doesn’t mention regarding this surge in interest is the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that clears a path for New Jersey gun owners to pursue a legal right to carry. This surge is coming from many people who have owned guns for many years and wanted the right to carry all along. So I was instantly suspicious of bias and fear-mongering.

I went on to read how difficult guns are to fire and how hard targets are to hit. How maintenance of a gun is so important to its safe operation. How it takes a lot of practice to handle one efficiently.

Clearly the tone was to convince the public they’re better off without a gun. Yet responsible gun owners, the very ones who are accounting for this surge in interest of concealed carrying, are the ones who have been diligently maintaining their guns and practicing firearms safety and training at ranges.

In fact, the tone of this piece sounds to me like someone who would never vote for state Sen. Ed Durr. Yet it’s Durr himself who is including more rigid firearms training as a requirement in legislation on conservative gun reform.

Hand gun
Hemera Technologies

Then there was the stat that Schement threw out regarding gun ownership and suicide.

“Just having access to a gun in the home increases the risk of suicide by 300%,” he wrote.

Yes, there was a Stanford study that showed gun ownership led to a higher rate of suicide, but it was a higher rate of suicide by gun.

If you read the report it has such pearls of obvious wisdom as men who own handguns are 8 times more likely to die by gun suicide than men who don’t own handguns. Yeah, no kidding. I think any teenager could guess as much.

But if you really analyze it you’ll find many times a suicide by gun occurs, the gun was very recently purchased. In other words, it was the suicidal behavior that led to the gun purchase, not the gun purchase that led to the suicide.

Also, if you look at all forms of suicide and not just suicide by gun, the numbers show much more minimal of a difference between the groups who own handguns and the groups who don’t. So it’s a specious statistic with which to sway the public.

Funny thing about the guest columnist Jorge Reina Schement. His published piece doesn’t contain what a similar Facebook post by him contains about how he’s handled plenty of guns and how his cousins taught him to be responsible with them.

From Schement’s Facebook page,

“I know my cousins to be highly responsible with their ownership and use of firearms, because that’s what they taught me. Perhaps if we as a society took a first step and demanded the same level of responsibility of others, it might offer a tiny ray of hope in a situation that appears intractable. It would make a difference and we would all be better off.”

Huh. So it was OK for your cousins to own guns. But not us? And your cousins didn’t commit suicide either. But we will?

Sorry Jorge, I call b.s.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski only.

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