Archives For guns

Thank Heavens…..

April 10, 2014 — Leave a comment

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Thank heavens that he couldn’t find a gun…..

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Guns….I’m also not so sure that, as my friend said, it (gun violence) is the way the “world” is. The more I travel the world I am convinced it’s not the way the world is… it’s the way the USA is. I’ve seen a lot of the world, with travels taking me to about a dozen countries a year and this is what I’ve seen:

In one year, guns murdered:

27 in Australia, 59 in England and Wales, 60 in Spain, 190 in Canada… and 10,177 in the US.

Recently I was in a kid’s room looking at all the books on his shelf. I picked up a copy of Guinness Book of World Records. As we flipped through all the freaky and wild facts, one page caught my attention because it had a gun on it. “MOST GUNS” was the record. And which country held the record? The US — with nearly 300 million guns. But what haunted me even more was seeing that we have around 90 guns for every 100 people, almost as many guns as people. The runner up was India, with about 4 guns per 100 people…..

I don’t want gun violence to be normal, or acceptable. I don’t want it to simply be “the way the world is” — or the way the US is.

SOURCE: Shane Claiborne: Bringing America Back to Life | Red Letter Christians.

Add three more to the list from yet another school shooting on Monday. Will we ever as a country say “enough is enough”. Like so many other things the rest of the world has discovered solutions to this problem.  I know for the most part we are a macho country and that is at the heart of our gun fetish. But most would say that Australia is also in the macho category and their gun murder rate is 99% less than ours. Shouldn’t we be learning a lesson from them?

I for one am very much aligned with Shane on this and many other issues. It isn’t the way the world is and it doesn’t have to be the way the U.S. is!  We seem to be guided by a rather insignificant minority on this and several other issues.  When will the mammoth middle finally say “enough is enough” and take back control of our country? I am tired of seeing yet another picture of weeping children due to the gun violence around them……

Please all you people who parrot “Guns don’t kill people…” don’t bother to comment on this post. I am utterly not in the mood to listen to you right now if I ever am….

Banner -Off The Top

ob⋅ses⋅sion /əbseʃən/  –  noun

an unhealthy and compulsive preoccupation with something or someone

syn: fixation

Kids with GunsStoryline:

The gun was small and light, the training wheels of firearms. The .22-caliber, single-shot Crickett rifle turned deadly on Tuesday, officials in Kentucky said, when a 5-year-old Cumberland County boy shot and killed his 2-year-old sister in what the coroner described to a local paper as “just one of those crazy accidents.”

Source: Guns made for kids: How young is too young to shoot? – U.S. News.

The above definition of obsession is a pretty simple yet accurate one. Are guns an unhealthy and compulsive preoccupation with some of us, particularly in the U.S.? I think the parents who gave a five-year old a loaded gun definitely fit that definition!  Like Newton, sadly there is a two-year old life that was extinguished as a result and an innocent five-year old who will have to live with that for the rest of his life.  I wonder if that tragic loss of life changed those parents views of guns?  I kind of doubt it because if they buy a gun for their five-year old  their guns are probably a very deep-rooted compulsion. I hope that they at least suffer some legal consequences for this death but since Kentucky is a pretty NRA leading red State I doubt that there will be any action taken against them.  As the coroner said “just a crazy accident”. The Crickett rifle did not turn deadly; it was deadly to start with!

I know I will get a healthy share of flamers with this post but again but I just can’t understand how something whose sole purpose is to kill became so endemic in our society. Guns, besides death and inflating egos has little or no purpose. But, shamefully it has become so engrained that even classrooms of kids dying and a five-year old killing a two-year old has no effect on the  “protecting my guns at all cost” mentality.

A five-year old killing his two-year old sister with a gun given to him by his parents! How sad and tragic is that. That is probably one of the saddest parts of the twenty-first century for me. Thirty-five thousand Americans will die as a result of guns in our country this coming year. Why can’t we find a less deadly toy to occupy our weekends?

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In spite of a vote last Thursday in favor of debating new gun measures, some Democrats who are facing re-election next year in conservative states have already said they will not vote for the background check measure offered by Senators Patrick J. Toomey, Republican of Pennsylvania, and Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia, forcing Democrats to look desperately across the aisle to fill the gaps.

Republicans, in the meantime, are bitterly torn between moderates who feel pressure to respond to polls showing a majority of Americans in support of some new gun regulations and conservatives who are deeply opposed to them.

Source: Party Rifts Complicate Chances for Gun Bill Passage – NYTimes.com.

It is sad to see that party politics takes the front burner in the gun regulation work. How did the obstruction views of the NRA become so powerful? The vast majority of the citizens of this country are in favor of background checks as one cog in the solution to the preposterous gun violence in the country.  This pressure from the powerful gun lobbies is nothing new but it is still just as shameful. When a politician’s desire to remain in office outweighs his will to do the common good then it is probably time for him to step back and think why he went to  Washington in the first place.

I totally refuse to be a single issue voter or citizen. We all must look at the common good and stand on those issues. We should never just fixate on one issue. That makes us too narrow minded….

Banner -In The News

gun ownersSource: Rate of Gun Ownership Is Down, Survey Shows – NYTimes.com.

The household gun ownership rate has fallen from an average of 50 percent in the 1970s to 49 percent in the 1980s, 43 percent in the 1990s and 35 percent in the 2000s, according to the survey data, analyzed by The New York Times.

In 2012, the share of American households with guns was 34 percent, according to survey results released on Thursday. Researchers said the difference compared with 2010, when the rate was 32 percent, was not statistically significant.

The findings contrast with the impression left by a flurry of news reports about people rushing to buy guns and clearing shop shelves of assault rifles after the massacre last year at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.

“There are all these claims that gun ownership is going through the roof,” said Daniel Webster, the director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research. “But I suspect the increase in gun sales has been limited mostly to current gun owners. The most reputable surveys show a decline over time in the share of households with guns.”

So, it seems that all the recent increase in gun sales is to those who want to increase their arsenal and not those who are bringing the first gun into their homes. That is good news indeed!  To actually see an almost 40% decrease in gun owning households is very contrary to what some would have us believe. It seems, all the vitriol rhetoric from the NRA aside, that most of us just don’t buy into their bunker mentality of needing a gun to stave off the imminent home invasion. We sensibly see that if we buy a gun we are 42 times more likely to kill ourselves or a loved one than someone invading our homes.

Now if we can just get our beliefs aligned with these numbers and pass some sensible gun regulations in this country we just might be able to reduce our murder rates and other type statistics more in line with the rest of the world. Since even a good percentage of current gun owners are also in favor of regulating firearms it seems like a no-brainer to get this done.

Let your congressmen know that you are one of the vast majority who want sensible gun control.

Before I leave this post we need to consider another possibility for all the recent gun purchases. We know for a fact that there is a thriving and very lucrative business of buying guns in this country and then selling them at a big profit to the drug cartels of Central and South America. If gun control legislation is achieved it is almost certain that this “guns for drug money” will be addressed.  Isn’t that yet another reason to put in some sensible gun regulations?

Only Seven Murders….

February 26, 2013

Banner -In The News

Source: No guns at home, so Japanese shoot ‘em up in Guam – Itineraries on NBCNews.com.

Because guns are so hard to find, gun-related crime is extremely rare. They were used in only seven murders in Japan — a nation of about 130 million people — in 2011, the most recent year for official statistics. In the U.S., with 315 million people, there are more than 11,000 gun-related killings annually.  The Japanese are proud of their low crime rate and generally support tough gun-control policies.

Given the propensity to violence in this country I can’t even imagine a country of 130 million only having seven murders in a year! I suspect there will be that many in Chicago within the next two days.  How does Japan keep violence down to such a miniscule level?  Part of it I’m sure is their culture. Even though Japan was one of the countries that started the last world war they basically have a very non-violent society now. They generally show great respect for each other, especially their elders. They are just not the type to have a lot of bravado  as we in the U.S. seem to overflow with.

But there is also another major reason for such a low murder rate and that is guns are almost impossible to obtain in their society.  The NRA is constantly harping that if the bad guys didn’t have guns they would learn to kill with other weapons but Japan seems to prove them wrong.  I don’t think that Japan is devoid of bad guys. Human greed which spurns so much lawlessness is probably just as endemic in their country as it is in most others. When a gun makes killing so painless (at least for the one doing the shooting) it makes murder just too easy and a spur of the moment thing.

Too bad we can’t learn even the simplest lessons from our neighbors in other countries. If we could take the best ideas of each country and incorporate them here…. Instead we stubbornly insist that we alone are the only ones that can get anything right. How naive is that??

Statistics Averse……

February 22, 2013

Source: To Lower Suicide Rates, New Focus Turns to Guns – NYTimes.com.

Chart with color wavesThe national map of suicide lights up in states with the highest gun ownership rates. Wyoming, Montana and Alaska, the states with the three highest suicide rates, are also the top gun-owning states, according to the Harvard center. The state-level data are too broad to tell whether the deaths were in homes with guns, but a series of individual-level studies since the early 1990s found a direct link. Most researchers say the weight of evidence from multiple studies is that guns in the home increase the risk of suicide.

“The literature suggests that having a gun in your home to protect your family is like bringing a time bomb into your house,” said Dr. Mark Rosenberg, an epidemiologist who helped establish the C.D.C.’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. “Instead of protecting you, it’s more likely to blow up.”

It is known that the NRA is adamantly against even studying the violence around guns. Maybe this limited study is one of the reasons. It shows that guns are the preferred tool of choice for those contemplating suicide. It also show that if you really are serious about killing yourself you will have a much higher success rate if you use a gun than any other choice.

While so far this post seems to be about guns, it is really about statistics. I think we in the country are just statistics averse. We just can’t seem to accept that branch of science as giving us any valuable information. Even when we see election after election being accurately predicted with statistics we still don’t really believe in them. If we did we would understand that other countries that have sensible gun regulations have lower murder rates, suicide rates, and accidental death rates than those, like the U.S. that stubbornly refuse to enact the necessary controls.

I don’t know what it will take to bring us to our senses regarding things that are statistically proven to benefit our society but we, for one reason or another, are adamantly against. Statistically we know that without pre-school education our kids are doomed to trying to catch up with their peers but for some reason we resist giving pre-school opportunities to some. Statistically we know that the U.S. is falling further behind many other countries when it comes to the quality of general education for our population but that doesn’t seem to alarm us much. We leave the education of our children up to our local neighbors to decide how and what they will learn. Of course they have little or no knowledge of statistics or the world where our children will be competing.

We need to listen more when statistics show us that we need to do some things differently if we want to maintain a world class society.  Now don’t get me wrong. I am very aware that statistics can and is often done in a faulty method.  We have to be careful that there is validity and not manipulation behind the statistics that we use.

Banner - Aside 2Source:  NRA press conference: Put armed guards in schools (+video) – CSMonitor.com.

Mr. LaPierre offered the NRA’s assistance in putting together safety programs in schools that include arming security personnel.

NRAVery  the long-awaited response from the NRA relative to the Newton Conn. massacre is more guns.   With the American flag on one side and the NRA flag on the other the NRA’s executive vice president, Wayne LaPierre also said that it was the media’s fault that guns are so misunderstood in the country today. Continue Reading…

Source: NYT: NRA gathers amid storm over gun laws – US news – The New York Times – msnbc.com.

Simply put gang, when guns are outlawed only outlaws will have guns. You will NEVER take mine. I am NOT the enemy. I stand WITH the police and have NEVER discharged my weapons. BUT if someone comes to harm me, wife or my doggie, that is a different story. The second amendment exists for a very specific reason. The Obammy admin is not only trying to destroy the second amendment but the US Constitution in total. He is a dangerous Marxist. Read your history of his family gang. Sorry libs but those are the facts.

The above quote is not actually from the cited article but is instead one of the many comments that followed it. Yes, I actually did go below the bottom of the article to look at the comments. I was hoping to see maybe a few that were meant to generate some meaningful dialog. Of course my hope was dashed at usual.

Here is a typical radical right commenter who manages to get in a racial slur of our president and of course says that he is intent of bringing down the constitution.  He says these are the facts but in reality they are facts only in the minds of the totally demented (ha).

Moving on to the general topic of the source article the NRA, like a typical radical right organization, is using fear as their primary tool in their battle against anyone who disagrees with them.   I recently saw an interview of a British correspondent who attended the NRA convention where Mr. Romney spoke. He, like most British, is totally dumbfounded by the fixation with guns in this country. Britain has one of the lowest murder rates of any nation and of course also has the lowest private gun ownership so I can understand his confusion with this fixation.

But the most interesting thing of this interview was his statement that almost every one of the attendees at the convention were “old white men”. He saw almost no people of color among the crowd. Correspondingly he speculated that maybe these folks were not so much into guns as they were actually just afraid of the coming demographic make-up of the country.  It will soon be that the White Anglo-Saxon Protestant will be a minority in this country and that terribly troubles many of these folks. They are used to having almost absolute power and losing it strikes terror in their hearts. They are lashing out against this inevitability. I can certainly see this interviewees’ view as a possibility.

Of course, most NRA members are also radical right Republicans who I imagine also see their party and its beliefs under attack. At a most basic level I can understand their fear of the future. They feel threatened and rightly or wrongly will vehemently strike out at those who they see as the enemy and they see enemies all around them. These types of battles remind me of the racist southern views I saw during the civil rights era of the 1960′s  The typical white southerner saw his world being turned upside down and like today did almost anything to prevent it.  The hatred shown in the quoted area above is somewhat typical of many and show this to be somewhat true.