Gun Violence – The Other Epidemic

Blog#67- 4/14/21

By Richard Davis

Imagine what the state of gun violence in this country would be like if we put as much effort into establishing sensible restrictions on the sale and ownership of guns as we have put into the COVID pandemic. Although that kind of effort will never happen on a national level it is possible that individual states could do more to make it harder to own a gun.

The debates have raged for years. Those who hide behind the second amendment are nothing more than a bunch of selfish crybabies who have always lived in a world where they think everything revolves round their needs and wishes. Whenever we hear their cries for their brand of freedom we need to counter with some facts about gun violence.

I am not a big fan of using Wikipedia as a source but their posting on gun violence deserves a read and I am posting it here because it offers important information. “Gun violence in the United States results in tens of thousands of deaths and injuries annually. In 2018, the most recent year for which data are available as of 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) National Center for Health Statistics reports 38,390 deaths by firearm, of which 24,432 were by suicide and 13,958 were homicides. The rate of firearm deaths per 100,000 people rose from 10.3 per 100,000 in 1999 to 12 per 100,000 in 2017, with 109 people dying per day, being 11.9 per 100,000 in 2018. In 2010, there were 19,392 firearm-related suicides, and 11,078 firearm-related homicides in the U.S. In 2010, 358 murders were reported involving a rifle while 6,009 were reported involving a handgun; another 1,939 were reported with an unspecified type of firearm.”

They go on. “About 1.4 million people have died from firearms in the U.S. between 1968 and 2011. This number includes all deaths resulting from a firearm, including suicides, homicides, and accidents.”

“Compared to 22 other high-income nations, the U.S. gun-related homicide rate is 25 times higher. Although it has half the population of the other 22 nations combined, among those 22 nations studied, the U.S. had 82 percent of gun deaths, 90 percent of all women killed with guns, 91 percent of children under 14 and 92 percent of young people between ages 15 and 24 killed with guns. The ownership and regulation of guns are among the most widely debated issues in the country.”

Controlling gun violence has always been a hot political issue in this country and whenever the fate of an issue is determined by politics it is unusual for bold and substantive measures to be instituted. The action of Washington politicians is determined by the amount of money they receive and the gun lobby is one of the most powerful. That is why I believe national efforts at gun control are a waste of time.

If you review the gun laws in individual states and compare that to the ranking of death by guns it is clear that those state with more restrictive gun laws have fewer gun deaths. It is that simple. Gun control advocates have to put their energies into the creation of state gun laws because that is where the hope lies for the most positive kind of change to lower the horrific numbers of deaths caused by people with guns.

Bad people will always find a way to buy a gun and there will always be murders and shootings in this country. Without easy access to guns I suspect the suicide rate would drop and more people might try to find mental health treatment, especially if society puts more effort into suicide prevention as new gun laws are enacted.

What will it take for politicians with a streak of humane sensibility to internalize what has been taking place in this country on an almost daily basis in schools and shopping centers throughout this country and act to diminish the pain and suffering that flying bullets have caused? When will they stop making excuses and realize that it is a problem they have the power to solve?

Comments | 2

  • Bearing microchips

    The heart of the second amendment isn’t about owning guns so much as the right to be able to fight against the government or others if necessary, in my view. Generally speaking, we can defend ourselves. But over the last 200+ years, the nature of that fight has changed while the amendment has not kept pace with those changes.

    When it was written, bearing arms and joining a militia was enough to keep the government in check. The government also had muskets and militias, and it would be a fair fight for the most part (unless the government brought in their cannon).

    Fast forward and our government has nuclear weapons, multiple branches of specialized military forces, and unlimited funds. My right to bear arms and join a militia means nothing against that sort of opponent. Even if I had a million guns and 10,000 friends, we’d lose. In this regard, the second amendment is moot. It is nostalgia for simpler times.

    Increasingly, war is moving online. Perhaps we should update the 2nd amendment from:

    “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

    to something more like:

    “A well informed Public, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Computers and write software, shall not be infringed.”

  • Thoughts and Prayers

    When I lived in DC, the daily shootings started to get to me. For a while you could ignore them, but at some point you just become quite sad. I could take the revenge killings, and understood the you-looked-at-me-funny killings, but the kids getting shot (often by stray bullets) was too much. I had to move out of DC and have a change of pace.

    In a lot of ways, I feel very similar now. It’s getting to be TOO MUCH. But it is the whole country, and there is no place to escape to anymore.

    If the main result of “Return to Normal” is the ability to return to daily mass shootings, well… I just don’t know.

    I also wonder why so many people snap like this…one would think that if their lives were going well, this wouldn’t be the way they express themselves. Was it our gutting of mental health services in the 80’s and 90’s? Is it the pressure of trying to fit in, or succeed? Is it our culture? The one obvious common denominator between mass shooters and police shootings is the handy availability of a powerful weapon and ammunition. But what else?

    I’m a pretty good brainstormer and can usually spit out ideas all day long, but I’m running out of ideas regarding guns. Require everyone that wants to buy one to be shot in the leg or arm prior to purchase? Start making bulletproof clothing for kids? Return to lockdown and make everyone stay inside again? (I noticed once again that a person who had a gun for protection was unable to stop one of the shooters this week..)

    Just like “good cops” need to get control over the “bad apples”, so do “good” gun owners. All gun owners get painted with the same brush by the worst examples, just as all cops are impacted by the worst actions of their ranks. And in both cases, if the “good” want to continue, they will need to evolve. People are losing patience.

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