Gun Control

Contents:

When Will We Ever Learn?
Gun Follies Or Fallies
Make War On Guns

 

When Will We Ever Learn?                      October 26, 2014

A popular ninth grader has an argument with or over a girl-friend. The next day he carries a handgun into the school cafeteria and shoots the girl, two of his cousins, two other girls and himself. He and the girl-friend are dead, three are in critical and one in serious condition. The whole community around this large high school is traumatized and in mourning.

Some are already saying we need better screening but would any screening have short-circuited this tragedy? The NRA will probably suggest that the cafeteria staff should have been armed. There’s an initiative before Washington voters aimed at closing loopholes in gun registration laws. “Gun righters” have countered with another initiative which would neuter the first. On and on it goes and so does the murdering. In schools, in malls, on roads, in trailer parks, outside bars…

When will we finally decide to embark on the long, hard battle to do away with automatic rifles and handguns? “If you ban guns, only criminals will have guns.” Putting aside the fact that armed robbery has become a very unrewarding pursuit with video monitoring and plastic money, few, if any, criminals want to actually use a gun. None of the murders alluded to above involved criminals. They were the work of emotionally unstable individuals with no criminal background.

“But we need to be able to defend ourselves.” Almost every individual other than trained law officers (and even many of them) are unable to defend themselves with a handgun. In a confrontation, they will hesitate before pulling the trigger the split second needed by the attacker to fire first. Pulling out a gun simply forces the shooting to begin.

“If you get rid of guns, people will kill with knives.” Let’s take our chances with that. It’s pretty hard to kill someone in a cafeteria with a knife, even less likely that the attacker could race around chasing others and stabbing them as well.

Of course one can’t talk about gun bans without someone else raising the ludicrous specter of second amendment rights. Though it hasn’t been applicable to our society for over two hundred years, it’s still the chosen excuse for continued manufacture and sale of these weapons. When will the public stand up to these lobbyists and demand that we help law enforcers instead of handicapping them and placing them in unnecessary danger along with the rest of us? When will we ever learn?

 

Gun Follies Or Fallies                                March 22, 2015

Nine more bit the dust in the Valley of the Sun last week. In one case, an ex-convict skin-head shot and killed a stranger in a motel doorway and proceeded to injure five others before police captured him. In another, a man with an automatic rifle took on police answering a domestic violence report. He killed one officer and wounded two others before he was ultimately shot. A week or so earlier, a man walked into a convenience store at night, discovered he didn’t have enough change to pay for cigarettes and shot the young clerk instead. The first and third cases made the paper one day and then were forgotten. The second appeared at least twice, once when it happened and again for the police funeral.

People are killed in our cities at a higher rate than that experienced in Vietnam or the more recent wars. The right to carry guns is more sacred than the right to life, unless you are a fetus waiting to be born. Do I sound bitter? Disgusted? Fed up? Incredulous? Pissed off? Despairing? All of these and more. On and on the violence goes and when anyone dares suggest there might be another answer, gun rights advocates shout them down.

Obviously gun and ammunition makers back them. But I think there is a much more insidious force at work. Called “structural violence” by anthropologists, it is the threat of violence encouraged by society’s wealth holders to throttle change and maintain the status quo. Sound a tad paranoiac? Perhaps, until one asks why a national organization like the NRA condones the ongoing proliferation of automatic rifles and pistols. The evidence against them is too overwhelming to ignore. Even high visibility shootings like those in schools, malls, a president’s aide and congresswoman living out their lives with brain damage, and a cross-country sniper failed to rattle their cage.

Perhaps the problem is more apparent here in the re-incarnation of the old west where shoppers packing a holstered gun on the hip are commonplace. Do they think they can protect themselves? A visible gun is an invitation to get shot. Probably there has been a case where someone successfully defended themselves with a gun, I’ve just never heard of one. A year or so ago, I read where a storeowner pulled a gun on a robber and was shot for his trouble. Maybe it’s time to invest in a flak jacket instead. An entrepreneur could make a fortune selling his and her models that incorporated a little body sculpturing as well.

 

Make War On Guns            October 26, 2015

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But that’s only the eye-catching tip of the iceberg. Total homocides run over ten times higher, far above other “civilized” countries.

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And gun suicides are now twice even that number.

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Why is the suicide factor important? Because guns make possible spur of the moment suicides that might not occur when more deliberate action is required. Australia has proved this true.

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Even without a majority of the population considering these facts, polls show they want action taken to rein it in.

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Clear indication that politicians work for lobbyist dollars rather than constituent needs!

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