Tag Archives: guns

Some Things Never Change…

24 Mar

A while ago, after writing several blogs about guns and gun violence in America, It was suggested to me that I take a look at the homicide by firearm rate to get a clearer perspective of violence in the United States and how perhaps it isn’t all that bad.

So I checked out the statistics collected by the UNODC ( United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime) from their 2011 Global Study on Homicide.

According to their statistics The US has the highest gun ownership rate in the world – an average of 88 per 100 people. That puts it first in the world for gun ownership ( the number two country, Yemen…(great company we’re in)… has significantly fewer  at 54.8 per 100 people)

The united States also ranks 1st in the total number of all civilian firearms with 270 million.

We are also #1 in rate of ownership.

But, say gun proponents, the US does not have the worst firearm murder rate.  In fact, the US is number 28, with a rate of 2.97 per 100,000 people. Isn’t that good news? Even though we have all of the guns we don’t have the highest firearm murder rate. We’re only 28th!

And here are the winners…

Honduras…El Salvador… Jamaica…Venezuela…Guatemala…St. Kits…Trinidad and Tobago…Columbia…Belize…Puerto Rico…Brazil…South Africa…Dominican Republic…Panama…Bahamas…Ecuador…Guiana…Mexico…Philippines….Paraguay…Anguilla…Nicaragua…St. Vincent…Zimbabwe…Costa Rica…Argentina…and (wait for it)…Barbados.

Not exactly the major leagues of industrialized and sophisticated 1st World countries is it?

And don’t even ask who #29 is!…all right you asked…it’s Gaza and the West Bank.

Yes, gun advocates have something to be proud of. At least we don’t kill each other like they do in Gaza and the West Bank.

In fact you have to go way down the list before you’ll find any other 1st world countries

Switzerland was at 45, Italy 48 and Canada came in at #56…but remember this is a list of the percent of murders by firearm. Switzerland had 57 gun murders, Italy 417 and Canada 173. The United States had 9, 146…so statistics don’t always paint the entire picture.

When it comes to the total number of murders by firearms we’re 5th. Brazil, Columbia, Mexico and Venezuela beat us out…but again which of those countries would you say out civilizes us? Interestingly enough they are also all in our hemisphere (in fact 25 of the top 28 are)…you know….the one the Monroe Doctrine told the rest of the world to keep their hands off of back in 1823.

But I digress because here is the most sobering statistic of all:

9,143 Americans were murdered with firearms in 2011 but At least 31,940 people died from gun injuries in 2011. That means that 22,797 citizens of the United States died from gunshot wounds that were what?

Accidents! Unintentional! Suicide!

This is what the proper and mathematical reading of statistics tells us.

Although outlaws kill over 9,000 people every year in the US, regular law abiding citizens like you and me kill 23,000 more!

Guns do not save lives. They kill the people who own them or their loved ones or their neighbors more than twice as often as they kill intended victims…and guess what?

And as we have increased gun ownership and the number of guns in our country over the last 30 years those numbers and ratios  have been rising…and most sadly…with a bullet.

*** I wrote this post about guns in America 3 years ago and since then Congress has done nothing to attempt to reduce gun violence even though first-graders were horrifically shot and killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. What in fact they have done is to criticize and block common-sense gun safety measures proposed by the President… until, that is, 14 more Americans were shot by 2 Muslims with guns in southern California last December. Then they decided to criticize the President for having done nothing to prevent it…like propose new laws and gun safety measures?

Now Republican presidential hopefuls, namely Mr. Donald Trump, are proposing measures to make our country safer from gun violence by making our country “Muslim free” or by eliminating the immigration of any new Muslims into our country. 

Statistically speaking you have a .000099 chance of being shot by a gun in the US. Maybe that’s why we don’t care so much about gun violence…But you have about a .0004 chance out of that .000099 chance of that person who shoots you being a Muslim… And that’s what frightens us?

Here in the United States more than likely killing people with guns at home and around the world rather than spreading democracy at home and around the world, will be our ultimate legacy. Let’s face it, Guns R Us! It’s what we do. We like to own them. We like to use them. It’s the 2nd most important thing we could think of to add to our Constitution.

So If we don’t care very much about who gets shot…why do we care so much about who does the shooting?

Child’s Play

29 Dec

So this is what is turning out to be a typical day in the United States of America in the year of our lord 2016.

In this land of over 300 million guns, a 12 year old child picks one up (or a reasonable facsimile thereof) and starts to play with it.

A concerned onlooker calls 911 to report his concern about what looks like one of our 300 million citizens waving one of our 300 million guns about and pointing it at other people.

Soon the cops arrive and within 2 seconds gun down the gun pointing child, in this land of 300 million guns, because…

they are fearful for their lives.

And to a Grand Jury, in this land of 300 million guns, in the United States of America, in the year of our lord 2016…

That sounds quite reasonable.

If the police are afraid of an armed citizenry, and our courts all agree with them…then what chance do the rest of us have?

Many American citizens and most of our political leaders believe that, according to the infinite wisdom of our founding fathers, the only answer is…

In the land of 300 million guns…we need at least 300 million and…1 ?

It Really Wouldn’t Be Hard at All

7 Dec

It wouldn’t be hard at all. Make gun laws that require the same standards as getting a driver’s license with a picture ID and an info strip on the back. You wouldn’t even feel any pain at all and you could still get all the guns you wanted. Just register with your state, take a test, prove you’re a citizen, prove you can use the gun safely and prove you can see.  And if you prove to be a drunk or convicted drug user we get to take it away. Why should gun owners have more rights than car drivers do? And we’d all still be able to shoot or run over as many British Regulars, (and each other) as we do now.

And, oh yeah,  if you are on a terrorist watch list? NO YOU CANNOT BUY ANY GUNS. NOT EVEN ONE!

And if that last rule makes you quiver in fear that we’ll then be on the slippery slope to you losing your God given 2nd Amendment rights to bear arms. Then just pack up your do it yourself arsenal and go live some place else! Or at the very least you must shut up about Muslim extremism because your gun extremism is causing just as much harm.

The rest of us would like to feel a little bit safer in what is our country too…and we have absolutely no faith in your imagined ability to keep the nut jobs at bay with your gun toting skills.

What could possibly be wrong with requiring folks to take the utmost responsibility for their desire to want to own deadly weapons that not only can take other people’s lives but were designed to do so? Is this country all about US…or just about you?

 

Good Grief And Happy Holidays!

1 Dec

It’s December 1st and you know what that means! It’s the Holiday season! Oops, I mean it’s the Christmas season! Sorry Santa and Fox News. I didn’t mean to sound insincere. I know that Christmas has been under attack lately (again) and it seems to be a recurring problem (every year) and I know that Starbucks has only red and green coffee cups this year (instead of Christmasy ones) but should we really be worried about Christmas? And it’s untimely death anytime soon?

Here in the United States we have about 35,000 citizens killed each year by gun violence because here in the United States we have a fondness for guns and for shooting one another. So much so that it really isn’t even news. With almost 100 citizens being shot per day you’d think we’d hear about that more often…but we don’t or at least if we do we don’t seem to pay much attention. Why is that? Is 100 shootings per day too many to care about? Not enough? Just right?

Who can say? But…If we Americans and our news media are unconcerned with 100 citizens being shot and killed each and every day, why is the supposed and attempted assassination of Christmas such a big story? I mean no one says there’s a war on people…does one? And we’ve been at war for 13 years now!

So let’s get serious. If someone were really trying to kill Christmas in this country, it would be dead already!

Wouldn’t it?…

Probably shot dead from a 6th floor department store window during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. I mean if anyone really had it out for Christmas it would be Thanksgiving! Right?

But even so, we Americans are a resilient bunch and would probably just brush off Christmas’ untimely death and move on…after a proper grieving period followed by more intensive shopping to get our mind off of our misery. Then we’d just replace Christmas with the new kid on the block like Vice-Christmas or Widow Christmas or maybe just move straight onto Superbowl Christmas and upgrade its status straight to deity. Then we could have an extra crazy month of shopping and celebrations added to the holiday season!

I’m just saying…

And besides, With all of Santa’s yearly home invasions wouldn’t Christmas have been dead long ago, shot by a vigilant gun owner who just didn’t like surprises?

That is if we Americans really had it in for Christmas?

But we don’t. We love Christmas here in America…and we love it so much that…dare I say… we love it more than we love life itself?

Yes Christmas, you are safe and well here in the United States and although hammers and guns may be of equal and deadly force when it comes to breaking our bones it’s people who kill people not hammers and guns, so certainly being called a name like “holiday” shall never hurt you.

So yes, Virginia, the reports of Christmas’ death and/or vicious assaults upon it, are being greatly exaggerated. So don’t you worry about Christmas…And if there is a Santa Claus, I’m sure he has a permit to carry. Tho he may be imaginary, I’m sure he’s not stupid.

A Fools Logic

27 Oct

Guns don’t kill people.

Because…

Only people kill people.

And…

If we outlaw guns.

Only outlaws will have guns.

But…

If all people have guns,

Then…

People won’t kill people any more.

Ergo: (if we continue this logic)

When all nations have nuclear weapons, all nations will be safe.

American Tragedy of Greek Proportions?

20 Oct

Since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting on December 14th, 2012 over 80,000 people in the US have been shot dead. There have been more than 140 school shootings over that span of time, and more mass shootings this year (298) than there have been days on the calendar (293).

There have been 1,516,863 gun-related deaths since 1968, compared to 1,396,733 cumulative war deaths since the American Revolution. That’s 120,130 more U.S. gun deaths than U.S. war deaths. And that’s including the use of the most generous estimate of Civil War deaths, the largest contributor to American war deaths.

And even though homicides represent a minority of all gun related deaths, with suicides comprising the biggest share, that’s still a lot of people shot and killed with guns. According to CDC data, 63 percent of gun-related deaths were from suicides, 33 percent were from homicides, and roughly 1 percent each were from accidents, legal interventions and undetermined causes.

But still folks here in America are mostly unfazed when hearing about another mass shooting by a crazed and insane gunman…or just about anyone for that matter. Perhaps it’s because we are so used to the violence? Whether real or imagined, athletic or fantasized (as on TV and in movies), sharing in violence is a very big part of what it means to be a U.S. citizen.

This is what some of the residents of Roseburg, Oregon, where the Umpqua Community College shooting killing 9 people, occurred, had to say in the days following that horrible tragedy:

“This is hunting territory,”

“firearms: That’s not the issue,”

“Gun control is NOT the answer to preventing heinous crimes like school shootings,”

“What I fear most is that we’re going to create criminals … out of some of our most ordinary, normal, law-abiding citizens.”

“In Oregon we protect everybody’s Second Amendment rights; that’s what we do.”

Still, many Americans feel the inherent tragedy of such events like the Umpqua College shooting. Here is how the dictionary defines the word: Tragedy: Noun, plural: Tragedies

  1. a lamentable, dreadful, or fatal event or affair; calamity; disaster: stunned by the tragedy of so many deaths.

     2. a dramatic composition, often in verse, dealing with a serious or somber theme, typically involving a great person destined to experience downfall or utter destruction, as through a character flaw or conflict with some overpowering force, fate or an unyielding society.

It appears as though we here in the United States are the living embodiment of the 2nd definition of tragedy, also know as a Greek Tragedy, in which everyone knows what’s coming (sadness, despair and downfall) but no one can do anything about it. It’s sad and somber and senseless…no doubt…but we just can’t help ourselves or each other. We don’t have the resolve, the will or the power to act in our own defense. We leave it up to what we call fate or destiny and We wait and watch for the next, inevitable occurrence… and perhaps even take some perverse delight in its happening, just as the audiences in the ancient Greek theaters did.

But thankfully, we don’t have to worry because we are the greatest most powerful country on Earth, founded upon the greatest document ever written, by the greatest men who ever founded a nation, schooled in the works and words of God!

And that’s called hubris…and that hubris is a real killer…just ask the ancient Greeks.

They Say it Can’t Be Done!

8 Oct

Whenever I get comments from folks who disagree with my view on guns or whenever I listen to Republicans speak about guns, I am always told the same thing. There is no way to keep guns away from bad people and lunatics. First they point out that It can’t be done because laws do not work. If you pass a law on gun control then all you do is control the guns of good people because bad people don’t follow laws.

That’s why we don’t have any laws in this country. Simply put, laws don’t work. Ask any lawyer or lawmaker I guess, and that’s what they’ll tell you. And of course that is why we all live here in the United States…also known as the land of reckless chaos and mayhem. Just ask anyone who tries to cross the border to get here.

Secondly they will point out that there is no sense in trying to keep guns away from the mentally ill because they are very crafty and know how to hide their illness until… WHAM BAM! They’re shooting you upside the head. So background checks can never work because the mentally ill are not just crazy…they’re crazy smart and are able to move about among us undetected. That’s why almost everyone you work with is bat shit crazy and yet somehow still manages to keep their job while you end up doing all of their work.

So in conclusion. Here in the United States, the land of the free, brave, criminal and crazy, there is absolutely nothing that we can do to stem the rising tide of gun violence in our communities. And I mean nothing! Not even prayer works because churches are targeted by gun nuts (the bad kind) just as often as schools (secular and non) are.

So the only way to stop gun violence is? More guns of course! Because once all of the good guys have guns then all of the bad guys will be too scared to start any trouble. And if they do then WHAM BAM! Upside their head…thank you very much. Now as for the mentally ill, well, they’ll still be bat shit crazy and crafty and smart so they will probably continue to commit horrendous acts of violence but their victims will be avenged post haste by those who would have otherwise been soon to be victims, because all students, mothers, teachers, shopkeepers etc. will all be carrying weapons.

And we all know this will work because that’s how the west was won back in the old days! The new sheriff would come to the lawless town where all of the bad guys had guns and he would immediately proceed to hand out guns to all of the towns people. Once all of the towns people were armed they called out the bad guys and if they didn’t all run away the townsfolk shot them! Then the townspeople returned to their homes and their shops and lived, played and slept soundly with their guns by their sides never to be bothered by violence again.Then the sheriff bid farewell and moved on to another town to hand out more guns and save more people from the violent ways of bad people and crazy folks….

Except there was that one town in Kansas,  I think it was, where all of the people were so happy to get their guns that they all celebrated at once by shooting into the air with a loud whoop and a holler…and then sadly all fell dead when the bullets came back down to earth…but on the bright side, the violence did end that very same day.

So yes! The answer is guns and lots of em! We have 300 million guns at large here in the United States and it’s just not enough. And once we have a gun in the hands of every citizen and all of the “gun free” zones disappear there will be peace and quiet throughout the land. It is the only way. Laws and good intentions never work! Everyone knows that. And as the Constitution says, A Well armed people are a happy people.

So Annie and Andy, get your guns! And while you’re at it think up a way to distinguish yourself as a good guy and not a bad one so that when the shooting starts and police show up to see what all the noise is about, they’ll know who to shoot at too. They are a jumpy lot and tend to get scared a lot too (their words not mine) and once they get to shootin’ they don’t usually stop until they’re out of bullets. Happy and safe avenging everyone!

This plan should also help us with our immigration troubles and keep us from having to spend money on that giant wall and don’t forget the money we’ll save on healthcare! We won’t need that anymore…except for treating gunshot wounds (good guys only of course) Because guns don’t kill people. People kill people! And if you outlaw guns then only outlaws will have guns. But if all people have guns then people won’t kill people anymore!…except for some criminals, crazies and avenging angels! (people also, not really angels)

So who says it can’t be done? It can! That’s how the great, legendary lawmen did it in the wild west. Just look it up! Go ahead pardner…I dare ya…

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