Five things really… Namely (1) decades of failed liberal policies and governance; (2) a failure to properly enforce existing laws; (3) a deteriorating collective social psyche; (4) the increasing rejection of moral absolutes, and (5) the growing disdain for God and His word… all of these together, account for the ‘gun violence’ problem we have today. In reality, it isn’t a firearms issue but rather an overall violence issue; a bullying/ostracization/alienation issue; a substance/emotional/physical/sexual abuse issue; a moral/ethical issue, an economic and educational opportunity issue; etc.. We do not need more restrictive firearm legislation to deal with it. Instead, we need honest holistic policies, intelligently implemented and enforced; the kind that deals with the root of the matter rather than seeking to put vain patches on the symptoms only. We need deep societal ‘surgeries’ and not merely the placement of band-aids on deeply cut cultural arteries.
Let me issue this warning before going forward… I aim to use strict logic and reason to persuade you, and not empty rhetoric and hyper-emotional appeals. Those of a more radicalized liberal orientation will likely find this unconvincing as a result. If you are the type of person that can only be moved by great passionate cries, or powerful tugs of the heartstrings, or through sharing your feelings and emotions on the matter, without any substantive connection to facts, rationality, or reality… then this article will not be for you. In fact, it may even trigger you (just saying). So the best psycho-emotional ‘safe place’ for you (if you fit the above description) is to not even read this post. For everyone else, I hope you find it edifying/beneficial.
The Mass Shooting (or < 0.0002%) Argument
Per the Washington Post, as of February 16, 2018, and since 1966, almost 1,100 victims died at the hands of 153 shooters, committing 150 mass shootings (wherein four or more people were killed by a lone shooter, or two shooters in a few cases, with this figure excluding those incidents related to gang disputes, robberies gone awry, or shootings that took place exclusively in private residences). Though these numbers are admittedly tragic, and though the loss of even one life to such madness is far too great, we should nonetheless use some reason, and view these figures in their proper perspective.
- There are approximately 250 million adults in the United States; about 30% of American adults own guns; therefore, approximately 75 million adults in the U.S. own guns
- Not even a tenth of a percent (0.10%), but only about 0.0002% percent of gun owners, have committed mass shootings of the nature described above (even this number is off, being significantly less, as I will explain below).
I would maintain that to use the actions of 0.0002% of gun owners, to justify taking rights away from the remaining 99.9998% is completely and utterly inane. Likewise, to take rights away from a multitude of future, potential gun owners (the vast majority of whom would be law-abiding in nature), all because of the actions of the up-to-present 0.0002%, is equally ludicrous. The problem with such “radical liberal logic” becomes even clearer when one considers that the percentage is likely much lower than 0.0002%. You see, there are currently… currently… 75 million adults in the U.S. who own guns. Now, if the 153 shooters all acted within the time-frame of this current 75 million, and only this current 75 million, then the 0.0002% figure would stand. Upon some consideration, it should be obvious that if the 153 shooters, in the 150 instances, cover a fifty year span, then more than 75 million gun owners would be in play. So we not only have to take into account the current 75 million but all others who, whether currently alive or now deceased, owned a gun for some substantial period of time, during the course of the last half-century. This cumulative number of gun owners, the total of which I am not in a position to calculate, no doubt significantly reduces the 0.0002%, figure, making this mad push to take away our Constitutional rights even more senseless.
Firearm-Related Deaths In General
Many would argue that it isn’t just mass shootings that are in view but all of the homicides committed with a gun. They say it is the totality of gun deaths that justifies tougher guns laws; laws mind you, that aren’t simply limited to ensuring proper identification or ensuring proper training on (a) storage, (b) maintenance, (c) sales, or (d) use. So let’s consider this aspect of the argument…
- According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention more than 1.5 million U.S. citizens have died as a result of guns in the last 49 years (i.e., in the last nearly half a decade).This would mean that approximately 550,000 (again, in the last half-decade) have died as a result of firearm-related homicides.
- There are currently over 310 million U.S. Citizens alive today.
- This means that if all 1.5 million killed with firearms (rounding down to this number for ease of calculation) were killed within the lifespan of this current citizenry’s population, it would account for less than half of a percent of the U.S. citizenry (at 0.48% percent). However, given that the 1.5 million were killed over a 49 year period, the total number of U.S. citizens alive during this cumulative timeframe likewise reduces that 0.48% number to a no doubt significantly smaller one (though to what exact percentage, or degree, I cannot calculate at this time). If you focus only on homicides with firearms, then the figure drops to 0.18% percent or less, as opposed to 0.48% or less. Again, “radical liberal logic” legitimizes using 0.48%, or even 0.18%, to justify massive gun reform affecting the masses. However, more rationally oriented minds declare “maybe we should take a more reasonable, surgical approach… and less of a heavy-handed, shortsighted one.”
Consider this as well…
- Per the NY Times, “more than 33,000 people die in firearm-related deaths in the United States every year, according to an annual average compiled from C.D.C. data… with ‘suicides accounting for about 60 percent of firearm-related deaths (so 19,800 deaths on average), homicides about 36 percent (11,880 deaths on average), and unintentional firearm deaths and those related to law enforcement officials account for about 1.3 percent each (about 429 deaths on average).”
Per the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 2,626,418 people died in 2014. Let us presume that this number is the annual average, roughly at least (for the sake of argument). This means that of those who died in 2014, 1.25% (33,000 divided by 2,626,418), died as a result of firearms. Of this same total number (of those dying per year on average), 0.75% died from gun-related suicides. Again, of this same 2,626,418 number, 0.45% died from homicides. Finally, of this same number, approximately 0.016% died from unintentional shootings and another approximate 0.016% died from shootings committed by law enforcement (with 0.75 + 0.45 + .032 equaling 1.23% of the 1.25% total). Once again, we are dealing with numbers well below even one percent. When you consider all of the other means of suicide, if guns were taken away, we see how insignificant this number becomes (insignificant not as it relates to the loss of life, because every life should be deemed precious, but insignificant statistically speaking, as in comparison to the total whole).
- Per CBS News and the Brady Campaign which it cites as a source, the average number of Americans annually “SHOT in murders, assaults, suicides & suicide attempts, unintentional shootings, or by police intervention,” is approximately 115,000. The total U.S. population is about 323 million. Of this 323 million therefore, about 3.56% were shot annually. Remember this includes suicides, attempted suicides, gang-related violence, other organized crime-related violence, other crime-in-general related violence, and shootings performed by law-enforcement. This 3.56% figure could be reduced significantly with proper emphasis and action, as will be discussed below. Thus, as troubling as these numbers are, seeing that they are but a small percentage of the overall relevant totals, they do not justify further unnecessary infringement upon the Constitutionally guaranteed right to bear arms. One set of stats that I would love to get my hands on is the total number of people each year, on average, who (1) commit homicide with a firearm and (2) who commit assault with a firearm. I would love to compare the number of individual offenders with the total number of U.S. legal gun owners to get the percentages — but that information continues to elude me.
Annual Deaths In Perspective
Per the Center of Disease Control, the following is a list of the number of deaths (per year) for some of the various leading causes of death (as of 2015).
- Heart disease: 633,842
- Cancer: 595,930
- Medical errors: 250,000
- Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 155,041
- Accidents (unintentional injuries): 146,571
- Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 140,323
- Alzheimer’s disease: 110,561
- Diabetes: 79,535
- Influenza and Pneumonia: 57,062
- Opioid-related drug deaths: 42,249 in 2016
- Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome and nephrosis: 49,959
- Intentional self-harm (suicide): 44,193
- Firearm-related: Intentional self-harm (SUICIDES) 19,800
- Motor Vehicle-related deaths (accidents): 40,200
- Firearm-related HOMICIDES: 11,880
- HIV/AIDS related deaths: 6,721 in 2014 – the latest figures that I could find for the U.S.)
- On-the-job accidents: 5,190
With these stats in mind, one can make the argument that the following will save far more lives than banning (or further restricting the lawful ownership of) firearms:
- Banning all (real or supposed) dangerous food and drink
- e.g. soda, most fast food choices, most candy, white bread/rice/sugar, foods cooked with the wrong choice of oil; etc.
- Banning all natural and man-made environmental pollutants
- e.g. deodorants & antiperspirants; aerosol spray goods; plastics that end up in the oceans; certain common electronic game and computer parts, etc.
- Criminalizing all unsafe and unhygienic practices
- e.g. not eliminating every conceivable danger from your home/yard/office space; not covering when coughing/sneezing; not washing your hands after using stalls/urinals (though I favour criminalizing the latter two, especially in these parts);
- Banning all potentially addictive or drowsiness-inducing prescription drugs;
- Banning many types of vehicles and (currently lawful) vehicular practices; and so on.
Though we could theoretically do such things, most are not pushing for substantial prohibitions against them, nor are they hyping-up the dangers of them. Why? Because they like what they like and dislike what others may like… but they don’t. It’s about imposing their will, their feelings, and their personally folly on others. Handguns are bad but diets rich in garbage are good… well, at least they taste good, so I’m not going to march against my donuts but I will against guns.. perhaps even nude because, hey, I think that’s a good way to convince people that I’m right (seriously?). AR-15s are bad but my dangerous lifestyle choices are good… or at least they feel good (and all that is important is how I feel about the matter so I will march in favor of what makes me feel good about myself, no matter how dangerous or absurd it may be, but will criticize pro-second amendment marches as being… dumb… and hateful). Hypocrisy rears its ugly head heavily in such controversies.
The fact is that we can legislate large amounts of death away but at what cost? An absolute dictatorship can see to it that life is much… ‘safer…’ by banning much, prohibiting much, restricting much… but is that the kind of society we want? If you are a radicalized liberal [SJW and (so-called) Antifa types, for instance] the answer may be Yes! (at least concerning the things that they dislike). However, liberty-loving Americans do not want, nor do they need, any such nanny-state interference and governance.
The Example of Other Nations
England: Per the BBC, as of April 2, 2018, ‘the Met Police has investigated 46 murders, with at least 31 resulting from stabbings, compared with 50 in the US city. But, while New York’s murder rate decreased from the end of January, London’s rose markedly from that point.” Perhaps a reduction in gun violence in the U.S. (supposedly due to suggested onerous restrictions on legal gun ownership) will lead to a significant increase in knife-violence, with the U.K. as a prime example. Perhaps instead of handguns, there will be more stabbings, or more terroristic car/van/truck incidents, or even more bombings.
We read in the Daily Mail, January 25, 2018, “Recorded crime soars to 5.3million incidents as robbery spikes by 29%, sexual offences rise 23% and violence increases 20% amid a surge in lethal weapon use.” The article goes on to say “Recorded crime has leapt by the biggest spike in crime since 1990, new figures out today reveal. The number of crimes logged by police is up 14 per cent to 5.3million.” So hey, “Knife crime is up 21 per cent compared with the previous year and the highest tally since comparable records started in the 12 months to March 2011. Gun crime also went up by a fifth, to 6,694 recorded offences. The statistics show forces logged a total of almost 1.3 million general ‘violence against the person offences’ from October 2016 to September 2017, a year-on-year rise of 20 per cent. This is a broad category including murder, assault, harassment and stalking” — but at least there are no shootings… except there are still shootings. At least violent crime went down significantly except it didn’t really, did it. Shootings went down since the (effectual) handgun ban in the 1990’s but violent crime is rising now more than ever since the 90’s — not a good sign. I guess death by knife or bludgeoning is deemed better than death by hand gun… why, I do not know, but the “Piers Morgan”-types sure seem to think so. Hey… maybe after banning guns in the U.S., and seeing how much other forms of violence skyrocket (as in the U.K.), we can follow in the steps of that great and illustrious Mayor of London (< sarcasm) and ban knives as well. When that also fails to address the underlying crime issue, we can maybe ban other sharp objects, dangerous blunt objects, and if we are lucky, maybe we can even ban fists and feet as well (no more self-defense ever! Nanny dearest).
Switzerland: Consider how a nation like Switzerland, which up until 1999 had very liberal gun laws (liberal in the sense of easier to own and carry), did not have anything like the school shooting problems and other firearm-related crime that we have today. Their people were, and are happier, healthier, more highly educated, and wealthier (per capita) than Americans and this, I believe, plays a major role. Sure we can talk about the landmass/population size differences (the U.S. is indeed much larger) but pointing to size alone cannot explain away the matter. We can say that Switzerland is more ethnically homogeneous but diversity doesn’t adequately explain the problem (most mass shooters are American Caucasians in proportion to their makeup in the general population and, though most gang-violence has a heavy ethnic aspect to it, properly addressing the issues of poverty, educational and employment opportunity, border control, etc., can greatly mitigate this aspect of the matter as well).
Germany (kinda…): Remember how many on the left compared Trump to Hitler (and still do compare him to such)? Why would you want to take guns away from the citizenry, or restrict the right to carry them, if you honestly believe a “Hitler” is now President? Does that sound remotely intelligent (or even safe) to you? Personally, I think Trump is nothing like Hitler and such rhetoric is more suitable for the half or dim-witted; nonetheless, if you fear him (or any other) that much, why would you want to diminish your right to a deterrent/protection? It’s all empty babble, and a needless distraction really (since they know that the President is no “Hitler” and that saying such only makes for good emotional triggering material). The threat of tyranny aspect (in general) is actually worth considering, especially in light of groups like the French Maquis and other such fighting forces, facing overwhelming odds.
Some Additional Points
Besides the above statistical considerations, note the following factors that (when taken together as a whole) make the intense, even rabid, focus on more restrictive firearm legislation even more bewildering:
- Firearm deaths/injuries are heavily associated with areas with long-term liberal governance. This argument is simple… there is a powerful correlation between those cities with the highest rates of firearm-related homicides and those cities with (a) long-term liberal leadership and (b) gun laws more restrictive than the rest of the state. Consider the following list of cities (by state, listing cities with high totals and/or per capital totals) with the highest murder rates / firearm murder rates nationally (see the section titled “AMERICAN CITIES WITH THE MOST FIREARM DEATHS:” below for source links) and consider just how many of them are primarily led and legislated by liberals:
[Note: Blue cities are under current Democratic leadership and Red cities are under current Republican leadership — time does not allow me to take a more historic approach to the governance of each listed city. Underlined States (and the cities therein) represent those that have the strictest gun laws, scoring a C or higher on the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence list]
Alabama: Birmingham; Arizona: Phoenix, Tucson, Mesa; California: Fresno, Salinas, Oakland, San Bernardino, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Long Beach, San Jose, San Diego, Stockton; Colorado: Aurora, Denver; Connecticut: Hartford; Florida: Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Orlando, Tampa, Miami; Georgia: Savannah (but Democratic for twenty years before last election), Atlanta; Hawaii: Honolulu; Illinois: Chicago; Indiana: Indianapolis, South Bend; Kansas: Kansas City (candidate party switch, latest election, was a Democrat; decade of Democratic mayoral leadership before that), Wichita; Kentucky: Louisville, Louisiana: New Orleans, Baton Rouge; Maryland: Baltimore, Prince George’s County (County Executive); Massachusetts: Boston; Michigan: Detroit; Mississippi: Jackson; Missouri: St. Louis, Kansas City; Michigan: Detroit; Minnesota: Minneapolis; Nebraska: Omaha; New Jersey: Newark, Camden, Trenton; New Mexico: Albuquerque; New York: Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse (now Independent, twenty-four years of Democratic leadership before that), Newburgh, Niagara Falls, Schenectady; Nevada: Las Vegas; North Carolina: Charlotte-Mecklenburg; Ohio: Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton; Oklahoma: Tulsa, Oklahoma City; Pennsylvania: Pittsburgh, Philadelphia; South Carolina: North Charleston (Independent now; Democratic for a whopping 140 years before that); Tennessee: Memphis, Nashville; Texas: Dallas, Houston, Fort Worth, San Antonio (Independent from 2014 forward; Democratic from 2001 to 2014); El Paso (Republican as of 2017; Democrat or Non-Partisan for over fifteen years before that), Austin, Waco; Utah: Salt Lake City; Virginia: Richmond; Virginia Beach; Fairfax (N/A); Washington: Seattle; Wisconsin: Milwaukee; and Washington D.C.
Given the sea of blue above (i.e. the Democratically-run cities), and especially the underlined states/cities therein (indicating the ones with the strictest gun control laws in the U.S.), do we really want to pattern the United States after their example? If the cities with the highest homicide rates are often run by liberals, and often have the strictest gun control laws, why on earth would we want to spread such incompetence and inanity nationwide? Clearly the greater threat is found with liberal Democrats and their gun control legislation rather than with Conservatives and their desire to protect the Second Amendment (and the liberties associated with it). Be reasonable, think rationally, do not buy into the liberal media hype. The above should make it 100% clear that liberals + unnecessary gun control laws = higher homicide rates, higher crime rates in general, more dilapidated cities (or at least parts of cities), etc. The goal is to make America great again… not to make it worse via misguided (read: absolutely inane) liberal Democratic firearm policies — along with the other incoherent policies associated with much of radicalized liberal thought.
Some will counter that the red states (i.e. the Republican states) with the least restrictive gun control laws are the problem because they are the source of the weapons ‘flooding’ into the blue states/cities. What utter and absolute nonsense; I would be embarrassed to make such an argument. If the states supposedly “supplying” the weapons do not have nearly the same degree of problems as the blue cities “receiving” them, then it isn’t the red states that are at fault; it isn’t the guns that are at fault; it isn’t the firearm manufacturers that are at fault; and it isn’t the Republicans that are at fault… the problem lies within the blue cities themselves (the lack of hope, opportunity, responsibility, leadership, etc.). Until you acknowledge and address this reality — nothing will change… besides more useless and counterproductive legislation.
- Firearm deaths/injuries are heavily associated with poor educational and economic conditions. A focus on significantly improving our economy, with the benefits reaching all of the citizenry / legal residents, can help greatly with the overall crime problem. We need to look to things like major transportation and infrastructure rebuilding efforts; substantial tax breaks for companies that setup operations in disenfranchised areas and that come back to the U.S. from overseas; tax breaks for offering job training and internships to the disenfranchised; ‘tenement’ privatization that makes residents partial owners of the building; etc. Likewise, an effort to mightily reform the school systems; re-emphasising morality, ethics, and (dare I say) God; making learning more about improving the mind and character than about passing some standardized test; dropping the horrible caste system that stigmatises so many students with needless labels like gifted or special ed; providing more trade related educational paths; encouraging civil responsibility (volunteering, civics, camaraderie, honour, etc.), and otherwise building a spirit of opportunity, community, ingenuity, and excellence. We need curriculum that teaches how to think and not what to think. We need an emphasis on the kind of education that can counteract the increasing materialistic, consumeristic, hedonistic, atheistic, secular humanistic, and moral/social/cultural relativistic trends in our society. With our movies, music, television shows, books (for those who still read them), music videos, radio talk shows, etc., becoming more and more debauched and depraved; and with our academic system denying the high-calling of mankind in light of our being made in the image of God; it is no wonder that human life has become devalued to the point where it has today. Guns don’t kill people… (when not in defense of self and/or others) people acting irrationally, irresponsibly, and/or without regard for human life, kill people. Usually, it really is as simple as that.
- Firearm deaths/injuries are heavily associated with gang-violence. If we deal with rural/inner city (and related) gang violence amongst our citizenry; if we keep the illegal immigrant element of the gang problem from coming across our borders; if we speedily deport such gang members (and other criminals) presently here; if we legally equate gang activity with domestic terrorism; if we implement measures in prisons to significantly reduce their recruiting efforts; and if we take whatever other means and measures that are reasonably prudent; we could see a dramatic decrease in the violence related to such things. As a note on the illegal alien aspect, the majority of those who are here illegally, except for their immigration status, are law-abiding. Moreover, they are often the most victimized by the criminal element aforementioned. The goal shouldn’t be to go after those who work hard, abide by the law, set a good example, and just want to make a decent life for themselves and their family. The goal should be to go after the parasites amongst them who feed off of the system and who prey upon the undocumented aliens, the legal permanent residents, and the citizenry of this nation. We should desire to help our fellow man but part of that entails (1) keeping the dangerous elements out and (2) dealing decisively with those who managed to slip in. I do not care if it takes a wall, more border guards, more advanced technological methods, etc., no one should be able to enter this nation without going through some kind of thorough vetting process.
- Firearm deaths/injuries are heavily associated with mental health issues. We need to address the mental health crisis; covering issues like bullying, alienation, ostracization, intimidation, abuse, neglect, etc. — all of which can lead to self-harm and harm to others. We need to help restore a sense of morality and values; and to stress the importance of life, but especially life lived honourably and responsibly. We need to identify the triggers, the precursors, the societal defects that make such things all too increasingly common. Surely we need to tackle these weightier, more substantial matters, before we worry about more gun laws. Surely we need to start properly enforcing the laws we already have. Yet we could do other things as well, like working to de-stigmatise mental health problems, and the treatment associated with it. We could work to make counseling and treatment (especially the kind that doesn’t overly rely upon pharmaceuticals) more readily accessible and affordable). We can do a lot of things… we just need to be smart about it and do it.
- Firearm deaths/injuries are heavily associated with drug and alcohol abuse. A unified approach to addressing our national opioid problem, cocaine and related drug-use/trafficking problems, and the shortage of decent, affordable treatment facilities, can also help bring down gun-related incidents. The focus should not be on a “war on drugs,” but rather, our focus should be on (1) educating against use/abuse, (2) making treatment programs readily available; and (3) increasing sentences for crimes committed under such use. Shockingly to some, and perhaps appearing to be contradictory to the aforementioned, I would even favour decriminalising many drugs, regulating and taxing them (as several states have done with marijuana). This would take the high profit out of the illegal trafficking aspect of it, which would result in a significant decrease of such trafficking, and of the brutal violence associated with it. I would still continue the educational efforts against such use, promoting positive social alternatives, but I would emphasize tougher penalties on crime committed under the influence of such, over penalties associated with the mere possession and growing of such (unless the owning/growing is in large quantities, intended for clear, widespread illegal distribution). Decriminalising, and having state-regulated facilities monitoring and dispensing, may not put an end to the trafficking plague… but it will put a major dent in it.
- Firearm deaths/injuries (especially as it relates to suicides and trafficking-related crime) are heavily associated with domestic and sexual abuse. It’s simple, go after abusers and traffickers with a vengeance, stiffening the penalties against them. Help educate against such forms of abuse, making protection, shelter, and counseling readily available to all who need it, male and female, young and old, rich or poor. Work hard to take the stigma off of the victims, placing it on the perps. Emphasize awareness and reporting — teaching people what to look out for (i.e. danger/warning signs) and striving to be aware of the plight of others wherever you go.
- Firearm deaths/injuries are heavily associated with fairly high recidivism rates. Stop letting dangerous criminals back out on the street. Make use of the death penalty when the nature of the crime, and the available evidence, clearly and unmistakably warrants it. Deport all illegal criminals back to their homelands after their sentence is up (or before so, where warranted). And yet, make prison truly about reforming and not just punishment; separate violent criminals from the non-violent ones; make a decent education possible therein; teach useful trades; but make it unpleasant enough so people won’t want to commit crime just to get access to such things (which wouldn’t be necessary if the other listed suggestions were implemented). Prison should be hard but it should be safe and it should not be abusive, whether as it pertains to the actions of guards or the actions of other prisoners. The goal is to teach them to be civil and humane, rather than dehumanising them and turning them back out on the citizenry more vicious and/or animalistic than when they first arrived.
- Firearm deaths/injuries are heavily associated with other forms of needless opportunity for such things to take place. For instance, criminals prefer easy targets over harder ones. If training on gun maintenance, storage, use, and sales was readily available and affordable (starting at the juniour high-school age); if private sales were better screened/regulated; if the right to concealed or open carry was made easier for those so trained; if school security guards (and even well-trained teachers) were thoroughly screened and allowed to carry firearms themselves (as in Israel); if school-children were thoroughly instructed on self-defense (barricading, disarming, awareness, reporting, etc. — also as in Israel); if anti-bullying measures were thoroughly taken seriously and enforced; if the current gun and immigration laws were actually enforced; if liability was increased for those who improperly stored, maintained, or sold their weapons (especially when used in crime by themselves or others); and if any other current or new methods could be employed consistently, and optimally, then I trust we would see firearm-related deaths/injuries drop significantly without the need for new legislation.
Infringing upon the rights of the vast majority of current/future gun owners, the vast bulk of whom are law-abiding citizens, due to such small percentages as described above is, again, absolutely mindless (despite the left-leaning media hype to the contrary). Clearly, no one should deny that most all gun-related deaths/assaults/suicides are tragic. No one should deny that we should make every effort to get to the root of the problem of violence in our society in general. However, it is beyond folly (given how essential the right to bear arms is to our personal, collective, and national well-being) to argue for needlessly restrictive gun laws. There are so many other things that we could, and should, be doing first to help significantly improve our situation. I have no problem with requiring reasonably thorough (storage, maintenance, and proper use) training. Likewise, I have no problem with stiffer penalties for those who fail to properly store, maintain, sell, or use their arms. Reasonable background checks are also beneficial. However, I reject the notion that making it otherwise harder for the general public to own guns is the intelligent solution. Quite frankly, one can argue that the lack of firearms in the hands of security (and other authorized, properly trained personnel), who could more easily take out a shooter, is a greater contributing factor (seeing that there is no deterrent, and no remedy, to counter the very few in our society who engage in such evil actions).
Moreover, even if you took away all of the guns, you would still have broken people, doing broken things, as they seek to address their broken lives (perhaps seeking to ‘right’ the harm done to them, even if by needlessly harming others, in accordance with their reasonings). Truly, further gun control legislation is an ill-thought-out patch, a quick and easy (but far less than optimal) ‘fix’ —- one with its own down-the-road negative ramifications to our personal and societal safety. Thus, the answer isn’t to take away guns from law-abiding citizens but to address the underlying issues (1) that result in the various mental and emotional problems afflicting these shooters and many others in our society; (2) that seeks to address the culture in schools that leads to bullying, victimization, ostracization, cliques, negative group-think, and other such ills; (3) that seeks to cover how and why it is so easy for these teens to get their hands on these weapons (what are the ramifications for parents/others who fail to store their weapons properly; or for those who sell, or otherwise provide, weapons to our youth; or for those who do not otherwise properly secure their arms?); and finally, (4) that reveal why we have the amount of crime that we have in our society in general. It should be clear that the problem is not the guns… the problem lies with the increasingly deteriorating national psyche. Improve the intellectual, civic, moral, and related facets of our nation, and we won’t even need to have such discussions on gun control. If prior generations in our nation did not have the problem, and if other nations do not have the problem, then maybe our collective cultural is the problem. Stop looking for a scapegoat, a patch, a band-aid or quick fix, and focus on (dare I say) making America great again by focusing on those things that truly accompany (moral/ethical/intellectual/and even spiritual) greatness and that can restore a since of civics, humaneness, and honour… one that has been lost in our day, mainly due to the aforementioned aspects of failed liberal leadership and governance.
The following sources are almost, if not exclusively, liberal in nature. I want to rule out the argument of ‘conservative bias’ so I am purposely refraining from using material from FoxNews, Breitbart, the NRA, the Gun Owners of America, etc. (though I would encourage you to research their works on the subject; I believe it is quite necessary to do so, as a means of counteracting the commentary of the emotionally laden misologists that abound in the ‘mainstream’ liberal news media).
Feel free to report broken links and other errors.
GENERAL AMERICAN POPULATION, DEATH RATE, AND FIREARM DEATH RATE STATISTICS:
* https://www.census.gov/popclock/ [U.S. Population Stats]
* https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/deaths.htm [Death rates in general / Number of deaths for the various leading causes of death:]
*https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/guns-killed-more-americans-firearms-deaths-us-wars-iraq-afghanistan-vietnam-vegas-mass-shooting-a7984421.html [Overall U.S. Firearm-related Death Rates]
* https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/04/us/gun-death-rates.html [Overall U.S. Firearm-related Death Rates]
* https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2018/national/mass-shootings-in-america/?utm_term=.2b1c013013c1 [Total number of mass shootings, shooters in the mass shootings, along with other stats]
* http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2017/06/22/the-demographics-of-gun-ownership/ [Demographics of gun ownership / gun ownership stats in general]
* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demography_of_the_United_States [U.S. Demographics in general]
* https://www.avert.org/professionals/hiv-around-world/western-central-europe-north-america/usa and https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/statistics/overview/ataglance.html cover the annual deaths associated with HIV/AIDS as mentioned above.
* https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/data/statedeaths.html covering Opioid deaths
AMERICAN CITIES WITH THE MOST FIREARM DEATHS:
AMERICAN STATES WITH THE MOST FIREARM DEATHS:
Note: When dealing with State statistics, we must keep in mind (a) the cities therein with the highest levels of firearm-related deaths; (b) whether those cities have been extensively governed by liberals in particular, or Democrats in general; (c) whether those cities have stricter gun control laws than the rest of the state; (d) whether the higher total numbers are due to suicide rates being much higher than homicide rates (e.g. Alaska); and (e) the ease of replacing firearms, with other methods, when it comes to the suicide aspect.
Note also that if most of the state has low firearm-related deaths, but the totals are mostly clumped in a (relatively) few regions found within that state, then the problem likely isn’t with the guns, or with the state, but with the conditions found within the specific regions at issue. The same goes for cities. There are many cities with high firearm-related homicides wherein many parts of that city are quite safe. The problem isn’t with the guns, or with the city as a whole, but with the communities experiencing the problem within said city. If one improves conditions in the more problematic areas, the gun issue (for the most part) ceases to exist (as it has with the safer parts of the city) — at least on any grand scale.
CRIME STATISTICS IN THE U.K.
THE AR-15 ARGUMENT
Note: Though these articles place AR-15s in a negative light, from what I can ascertain, out of the approximately 150 mass shootings in the U.S. total (within the last half-century or so), less than ten have involved this weapon (maybe about seven total, from what I have been able to gather online). So once again we are dealing with a small percentage… about 5%… of all of the mass shootings. So when you factor in seven shootings, or so, when FIVE MILLION Americans own AR-15s (per https://www.cnbc.com/2016/06/13/owned-by-5-million-americans-ar-15-under-renewed-fire-after-orlando-massacre.html) you see that we are again dealing with well less than one percent of total AR-15 owners in the U.S. In fact 7 out of 5,000,000 is 0.00014%; so once again, the liberals want to punish the 99.99986 percent, or more, for the actions of the 0.00014%) — please, stop the liberal madness.