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Saturday, December 15, 2012

"Guns Don’t Kill – People Do" ????



“Guns Don’t Kill – People Do.”  I am sure you have heard that catchy phrase before.  It is a swell selling point for weapons of mass destruction.  Make no mistake; guns and gun violence are killing Americans.  In 2010 - the latest year for which detailed statistics are available - there were 12,996 murders in the US. Of those, 8,775 were caused by firearms.  In contrast, England has around 600 murders per year.

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?

Guns kill.  

33 comments:

  1. We live in a country where owning deadly weapons is a right but health care is a privilege. It seems we have it backwards. Dumbfounded in Denver.

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  2. To the people who say if the teachers were trained with assault weapons, lives would have been saved, I say your thought process is the root of the problem. Public Schools in this economy are cutting music and art programs to save money. How in the hell would school systems pay to train teachers to be sharp shooters? Perhaps you could convince the good old NRA to cover those bills. Dumb ass gun owning bible holding Americans!

    Josh in the UK

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  3. Why would the mother of the killer have needed to own assault weapons? Why would any civilian need to own guns made for the military, designed to kill enemies in mass numbers? How can any pro-gun person justify this? Sandy

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  4. The 2nd Amendment was signed in 1791. It is a seriously flawed document, in need of some urgent updating. Considering machine guns are quite different from a tiny musket, the Founding Fathers would be puking in disgust from the way it has been stretched to protect rights for deadly fire arms which can kill 30 people in less than a minute.

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  5. The most common reason I hear people defend the Second Amendment is so "sportsman," can hunt for sport. What kind of "man" needs to hunt and kill innocent animals for pure thrills? In my opinion such a man would be a sick and weak man. A man who feels powerful to shoot beautiful animals who god intended to be part of our world. Why the fuck is a human's life valued anymore than a peaceful animal minding its business in a forest? This is a sick part of humanity which needs to be examined by doctors and all of the great thinkers of the world. Hunting and killing animals for sport is just the same as a sniper shooting random people from a car window. Both sick acts which exhibit no regard for another's life. The sick gun owners think it is their right to kill.

    Take away the Guns! What is wrong with so many American's brains?

    Why does the reelected OBAMA not crush the NRA now that he has nothing to lose? Nancy Portman

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  6. Who are the most admired people in America ? SHOOTERS....from Navy Seals to the massive selling video games which are called SHOOTERS. Guess what America ? We should not be shocked when kids [mostly young white males] with mental problems on so called anti-depressant drugs become SHOOTERS in real life. Why not video game or anti-depressant control ? The guns in the latest SHOOTING were legal ones owned by the MOTHER of the SHOOTER. The criminals and mentally ill will still get guns even if they are not allowed to buy them themselves.
    NO ONE should be able to buy such weapons, PERIOD!

    Our culture of celebrating guns in movies and video games play a huge role as well. I served the USA in two tours of duty in Iraq, I know the horrors of guns. Using them to kill so called enemies ruined my life.
    I'll never forget the faces of young guys I shot just so they would not shoot me first. There were so many times many of us from both sides wanted to put down our guns and just walk the other way. GUNS are not cool kids! Bob


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  7. Mexico has some of the strictest gun control laws in the world but gun violence is out of control there and guns are easily bought anywhere in the country. America has a problem with its culture and promotion of military and entertainment violence and we love our GUNMAN, especially the ones sanctioned to do it by the government so we should not be surprised when we have a problem with AMERICAN SHOOTERS in real life. Get real people.

    We don't need gun control we need gun obliteration! Wise up people.

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  8. Deterrence (the threat of deadly force against an attacker) has always been the most effective, affordable way to deal with these issues. Given that even maximum-security prisons can't be completely weapon-free, let alone public schools, we must not only more aggressively enforce existing gun-violence laws, but we should enact new laws to add to the level of deterrence. So-called "gun control" laws do not deter violent criminals, as shown in the areas that have gun bans. However, laws such as "shall-issue" concealed carry permits are clearly shown to coincide with a significant decrease violent crime. Given the fact that "safe zones" have proven to be safe only for would-be violent criminals, we should rescind any such localized gun bans and thus make it legal for law-abiding citizens to defend themselves using a deadly weapon within those zones. Only then could they be truly considered "safer". Only then could the recent tragedies have been minimized or avoided. M. Jones

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  9. I'm not entirely sure Gun control is the issue here. That kid was 20. There is no psychological test he could have taken when buying a hand gun that would have stopped him from getting it, because its illegal for a 20 yo to buy a hand gun in the first place. Its illegal for a dealer to sell a hand gun to anyone under 21. Most of all in CT, where you have to get a purchase license just to buy one, and a carry permit to transport it to the range.

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  10. the killer tried to buy a handgun last week, and was turned down. What I cannot figure out is how the rifle got into his mother's car trunk as reported originally, now its being claimed it was in the school and had been used. Either of the three guns would have been enough, but the politicans will focus on the rifle, the anti-Second Amendment lobby
    is now in full tilt...crazy people claiming crazy solutions, babble, babble babble. G FORCE

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  11. So what do you suggest " G FORCE"? Everyone just gun up? Teachers, the elementary students packing pistols to self protect? How can you not admit
    to yourself that guns are the problem? Thom NYC

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  12. Israel subjects every prospective gun owner to stringent psychological testing, and background checks that include interviewing family and friends.

    So you want to do that here? I am with you!

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  13. Good can imagine Evil, but Evil cannot imagine Good. ~ W. H. Auden

    The town officials are responsible for the students safety and yesterday they ALL failed to provide security. If there was but one entrance (called an ECP entry control point) and an armed security officer screening (handbags, backpacks and even trench coats, etc.) each and every person who entered our schools, this could have been prevented by this first line of defense. Police are NOT proactive, they are reactive. Police can not be everywhere 24/7 to protect and serve, though they may try. There is a second line of defense but no one wants to know what it is. Your prisons, court rooms, police stations have better protection than schools, movie theaters, malls, beaches, etc. Police have protection, everyone else... you're on your own.

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  14. The problem with your solution is who's going to pay for the security you're proposing at every school . Remember , we're Americans , we like solutions as long as we don't have to pay for them . So tell me , where's the money coming from ? Doug

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  15. The majority of cops here and anywhere else i`ve ever lived, ride or sit around most of the day doing nothing. They write tickets for anything they can find out of boredom, not a sense of civic duty or justice. They`re getting paid whether they`re doing anything or not. In most places it would only take a handful of deputies to guard every school in the county and not leave the other citizens unprotected. This may not be the case everywhere, but in alot of places, no additional money would be needed. Just put them all to work, they`re already getting paid. Goldy

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  16. What a fucked up world. If the sick mother did not own such guns this would not have happened.

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  17. In Australia, we have restrictive gun laws and we feel safe.

    If guns are needed, who is the enemy?

    If we are fighting for freedom now, we don't need guns. Our governments are not Syria. We do not have an oppressive government nor oppressive neighbors across the road. The main weapon and defense of democracy is our rational mind to settle differences, not bullets, and the tools of democracy are the vote, the personal computer and the Internet. Judd W. Australia

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  18. People defend these weapons capable of MASS KILLINGS by quoting THEIR "second amendment rights" Like the article points out, a right WRITTEN IN THE 1700's! What about rights of the majority of our citizens in 2012? We are held hostage by their war toys! Their pleasure when they feel the thrill of blasting off a semi-automatic weapon? Can we now not go to the movies, to shopping malls, to our places of worship or send our children to school safely because of these macho men and boys and their rights to bare arms?
    Anonymous in Florida

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  19. The Second Amendment was written during an early period of American history, and for a purpose coeval with the perilous nature of those times. The emerging Republic had need of armed militias for the common defense. It was logical, and indeed expected, that their numbers would be drawn from ordinary citizens. But the year is 2012, not 1775. In place of those long ago citizen militias, we have the National Guard, local and state police, to say nothing of the Army, Navy and Air Force, rendering the need for arms bearing citizens moot. Now, all that is sanely necessary for an average household may be, at most, a few handguns and hunting rifles, NOT an insane limitless number of high powered semi-automatic weapons. NOT a citizenry, armed to the teeth, with stand-your-ground laws that enable a person to legally use lethal firepower at the hint of being "threatened." I am certain the Founding Fathers would have been aghast at how their simply worded amendment has metastasized into the bloated, selfish and murderous gun culture that exists in present day America. Time to jettison the outmoded language of the 2nd Amendment or repeal it all together, and return this country to sane gun ownership policies. President Obama needs to make this his legacy! Restore sanity and take on the NRA.

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  20. I truly believe, this time, something is going to be done about gun control. It has finally gotten to the point where all Americans have had enough. Change is coming. I will sign this petition and any like it.

    Sharon

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  21. I just saw the title of this blog on twitter. It caught my attention because it said "Guns don't kill, people do" I missed the (????) But now that i've read a liberals ridiculous opinion i'll take the time to school you.

    The perpetrators of these and other horrific acts of mass shootings here and abroad have been mentally ill.

    Why attack law abiding citizens who have not threatened anyone and who have shown no propensity for violence just because they own a firearm of any kind.

    This makes no more sense than it would to attack all drivers because some drive drunk. It is ludicrous. More guns less mentally sick people! Mark D

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  22. ATTN MARK: "Why attack law abiding citizens who have not threatened anyone and who have shown no propensity for violence just because they own a firearm of any kind."

    I'm so glad you phrase that in a form of a question. It's okay to admit when you're ignorant and try to seek knowledge.

    Canada has strict gun laws. The demographics between America and Canada are very similar. The total per-capita crime rate are almost identical between the two countries.

    However, Canada's gun-related crime rate is less than half that of America's. The rate of mass-shootings is obviously far lower.

    Conclusion: A criminal will still commit crimes. However, without access to guns, they will be forced to use other, far less deadly, weapons. It's simply a matter of preference for arming your criminals with bats, or semi-automatic weapons.

    Trying to argue that owning a gun is your "right" is like saying that you should own nuclear weapons because your second amendment doesn't specify between a musket or a nuclear bomb - both are armaments, after all. Or, similarly, saying that nuclear proliferation is "attacking law abiding citizens". All equally ridiculous.

    Any person writing a blog in an effort to discuss the insanity of the current gun laws in the USA is doing a good thing. I agree with the writer, Guns Kill! Mason (Canada)

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  23. Do you drink alcohol? If so, how can you sleep at night knowing that banning alcohol would probably save 20-30 lives alone per day, just from prevented drunk driving accidents? How is the gun argument any different?

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  24. The USA was founded on gun ownership and even if you think the 2nd amendment is not relevant in todays society, it is here and there is no chance of eliminating private gun ownership.

    Mental health and increased background checks are overdue.

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  25. Yeah. the USA had slavery when it was founded too, but we finally wised up and got rid of it. Tweet: #SayNoWayToTheNRA

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  26. The problem we need to address is the culture of violence that has been growing in America. We've had guns for centuries but only in the last 20 years we have seen this "mass shooting" phenomenon. Europe successfully tackled this issue. They restricted access to violent materials by minors. That is what we need to do. I challenge anyone reading this post to find a US copy of the Terminator 2 movie and a European copy if the same movie and watch them both in the same day. We need to restrict marketing of games like Grand Theft Auto and other violent games like Hitman to CHILDREN. We need to tell parents not to buy it for them. Answer to this problem is good parenting. Can anyone explain to me why there was a 6 year old and a infant at the midnight screening of a rated R movie in Aurora, Colorado??? If you are a parent then catching the very first screening of Batman should not be a priority. Lets not focus on the wrong issue. Guns have been around for a long time but there is a reason why the shootings are happening more frequently. Ann M

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  27. guns have been around for a long time, true. You're right Sean, we had muskets and muzzle loading rifles during the Revolution. if you could shoot a musket three times a minute, you were pretty good. rifles took longer to reload because you had to force the ball down against the rifling: the Minie ball, used in the Civil War, was easier because it had a hollow base that expanded against the rifling after firing: it did not have to be forced against the rifling when loaded through the muzzle.

    my point is, guns have been around for a long time, as you say, but usually you could only kill one or two before getting taken down. now, with semi-automatic pistols and rifles, and large magazines, there is no good reason these should not be classified as weapons of mass destruction as you say.

    How anyone can justify the current gun laws is beyond comprehension.

    It is a terrifying situation. I have no idea how things will be fixed. However your petition is thinking in the right direction. Keep pushing.

    Dan

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  28. This all does stem from bad parenting but we can't really prevent crazy people from having children. There is no easy fix to the bad parenting part of the problem We can restrict guns in the meantime...

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  29. Comes down to the right to arms or the right to life... u try and get semi automatic weapons banned and they complain that their rights are being infridged

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  30. Well, that is a ridiculous defense. Founding Fathers gave right to Bare Arms in the 1700's when a musket was the only weapon. No citizen needs mass killing machines. It was one thing to have hand- gun in home to feel safe, it is another to have military style killing machines.

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  31. How could any sensible human being NOT be for a ban on assault weapons. In every way possible we should be disarming America's nuts and sane people. Otherwise, we might as well sell grenades to kids. What's the fucking difference? Lance

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  32. It is not necessary that person having a gun is criminal.Guns are not used in every single criminal matter. Yes, they are use in many crime but they also help to protect. Many people buy gun for shooting targets or for home safety. There are also firearm training courses which give training of gun safety.

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