And, that number reflects only deaths caused by gun violence. What is worse, approximately 100,000 shootings occur in the United States every year. Gun violence in America is rampant and we have thus far done little to stop it.
Saying “guns don’t kill, people do” is an asinine marketing slogan with no true meaning. I could just as easily say that grenades, atomic bombs, Apache helicopters, tomahawk missiles, and cyanide gas don’t kill. It is beyond absurd. Yes it does still require that a human being do something so as to kill another human (the inanimate objects cannot act by themselves, yet), but that does nothing to diminish the fact that guns and all the others are still lethal weapons. To say otherwise just strains credibility.
Just yesterday, a gunman opened fire at a Connecticut elementary school Friday killing 26 people, most of them children. The tragedy is the sixth mass shooting in the United States this year. In the last 30 years, there have been 61 shootings across the country in which at least four people have been killed.
Steve Dulan, a board member for the Michigan Coalition of Responsible Gun Owners (what a nice and sweet sounding name; much like the Gustapo) who is supporting a state bill that would allow concealed weapons in schools and other gun-free zones, said Friday that having armed teachers inside Sandy Hook Elementary School would have, "if not prevented, then perhaps minimized," the tragedy. Yes we all need a teacher who is trained in para-military operations to be able to teach us how to also read and write. I wonder if Mr. Dulan and his group also support higher wages for teachers (forget that, what a stupid question)? Perhaps these fools should use their words to praise those heroic teachers who sacrificed themselves to save the children under their charge. Oh, that's right, teachers are just Union members, parasites on the backs of the "job-creators.”
On Friday some pro-gun groups took to Twitter urging people to buy guns: Conservative pundit Ann Coulter tweeted "more guns, less mass shootings" in the wake of the event. Ann as always you are completely off base. An important study published in 2009 by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine estimated that people in possession of a gun at the time of an assault were 4.5 times more likely to be shot during the assault than someone in a comparable situation without a gun. Ann, how about more pot and less violence? That might actually work.
Are we going to arm the whole fricking country? Seriously? Am I to feel safe only if I am at all times armed to the hilt? Will I need to post guards while I go swimming; take a shower? Will I need to post sentinels around my house as I sleep? If my family is watching a movie, will we need to hire security guards with night-vision goggles to defend us? If it is a long siege, how much ammo will I need? What if they have bigger weapons than I, should I buy grenades? Do I need a Howitzer tank too? Having an Apache helicopter would be doubly handy as I could come out shooting while I flee the scene.
Any argument that we need more guns is just spurious. As of 2009, the United States has a population of 307 million people. Based on production data from firearm manufacturers, there are roughly 300 million firearms owned by civilians in the United States as of 2010. Of these, about 100 million are handguns. And you want more?
Not to be outdone, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee (R) weighed in on the massacre at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn. on Friday, saying the crime was no surprise because we have "systematically removed God" from public schools. Mike is your God so vengeful that he would massacre 20 innocent children just to prove a point about his name not being in a school? Seriously? What a merciful and just God he must be!
More importantly, where are the Churches? Why aren’t our Churches demanding an end to gun violence? We often hear of the religious right demanding rights for the unborn, why aren’t they standing up for the rights of the living?
More guns are part of the problem, not the answer. Enough with the "if having a gun is criminal, only criminals will have guns’ nonsense. You only have to look at the gun-death stats of other Western countries that have gun control in place and compare them to the stats of the United States to know that gun control is the only answer. No industrialized Country has anywhere near the gun violence which we have in the good old US of A.
Being able to effectively handle a weapon in an emergency situation is something that takes a lot of training and continual practice. The issue here is keeping guns out of the hands of people who will misuse them: and in the absence of doing a full surveillance on every single American with a daily psych workup on each of us to determine our stability, making guns hard to get is the only sane approach. Want a gun? Get trained, pass a psych evaluation, certify each year, and be responsible for keeping your guns under your control.
But even with those measures in place, as long as there is a proliferation of guns available, we will have death due to guns. Take for example the shooting of yesterday. The guns were registered under one of the toughest of State gun laws. So when people say just keep guns out of the hands of persons with mental illness, which alone does not work (the gunman’s mother owned the guns). The only way to stop gun violence is to get rid of assault weapons and high round guns altogether.
And as the 2nd Amendment and the “right to bear arms,” until recently, neither judicial scholars nor courts, interpreted that individuals had unfettered rights to “arms.” The 2nd Amendment was written in the context of States being able to maintain militias and the State having the right to maintain weapons. It was written at a time when the available guns were muskets, which people used for hunting and for defense. It was a primitive time.
Even assuming that the 2nd Amendment does mean that “individuals” have the rights to “arms,” where does that right end? May I own grenades, atomic bombs, Apache helicopters, and tomahawk missiles? Would our founding fathers really have wanted such a proliferation of violence? (As to those Scalia fans, if the 2nd Amendment does allow for arms, but as Scalia says is a dead document, then arguably the only “arms” to which the 2nd Amendment would apply are muskets. I guess I am ok with that.)
If we continue to allow weapons to be sold at such an alarming rate, will we have to establish airport-like security controls at our schools, movie theaters, stadiums, restaurants, etc., just to feel safe?
Do you want your worst enemies to own grenades, atomic bombs, Apache helicopters, and tomahawk missiles? How would that ever make you feel safer? Why then do you feel justified in saying Iran may not have nuclear weapons?