I Hate to Cloud the Issue with Facts

I Hate to Cloud the Issue with Facts

On Friday, December 14, 2012 a deeply troubled man entered Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut killing 20 young children and 6 adults.  As a father I can’t even begin to imagine what the parents are going through.  Because of my deep sympathy I have struggled, and struggled to write about the annoying knee jerk reaction to increase gun control that is being touted by the media and politicians.  But I need to.  Rahm Emanuel, former Chief of Staff for President Obama, said it best with his famous quote, “You never let a serious crisis go to waste.”  I think any politician who could come up with a phrase like that is an opportunistic jerk.  When feelings are tender and passions are high is not a time to make long term policy.

Let’s put some stuff into perspective.  On the Friday morning, before this tragedy happened, I was on Yahoo looking at the news.  I saw a little article that talked about a man going into a school and stabbing 22 children before being subdued.  I learned there had been six knife attacks like this in a seven month period in 2010 were nearly 20 were killed and more than 50 wounded.  This happened in China. Why isn’t that being widely reported?  Simple, it doesn’t fit the narrative that guns are the problem.  After the tragedy in Connecticut, I went back to Yahoo to bookmark the China story and couldn’t find it.  I actually had to do a Yahoo search (I’m sure the entire search staff of Yahoo were high fiving each other).

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Some more perspective: For years the biggest mass killing in US history happened in Bath, Michigan in 1927.  Apparently the man felt the government raised his taxes so high he had to foreclose on his land.  The government used the land to build a school.  This sick individual retaliated by setting off a bomb that killed 44, including 38 children.  No gun was used.

And a little bit more perspective: Timothy Mcveigh killed 168 innocent people. 19 were under the age of six.  He injured over 680 people.  He didn’t use a gun.  He used fertilizer, racing fuel and a box truck.  You can still purchase all these items.

What’s my point?  Murderers are going to murder.  Evil is evil and evil is real.  Closing your eyes denying it exists won’t help.  That will only cause a paralysis when it crashes into your life.

“But Danny,” you whine, “it just makes sense that fewer guns mean less crime.” Hmmmmmmmmmm no.  It really doesn’t.  Let’s look at two major cities in the United States, Chicago and Phoenix.  Chicago has some of the most strict gun laws in the nation, Phoenix the most lenient (you can carry a gun without a permit in Phoenix).  Gun crime violence in Chicago is TWICE as high as Phoenix.   I hate to use things, like I dunno, facts and stuff, but it’s true. Another fact, in 2007 a study from Harvard University concluded there IS a correlation between gun ownership and murder.  But it isn’t what you think.  Where gun ownership increases, violence and murder decrease.  Hmmmm?  Harvard is hardly a right leaning organization.  From the study:

There is a compound assertion that (a) guns are uniquely available in the United States compared with other modern developed nations, which is why (b) the United States has by far the highest murder rate. Though these assertions have been endlessly repeated, statement (b) is, in fact, false and statement (a) is substantially so.

“But Danny,” you continue to whine, “lots and lots of other countries have restrictive gun laws.  We come across as hillbillies.”  And!?!?!?  Again I hate to bring up facts.  Whenever any city, state or country institute more restrictive gun laws they experience an increase in almost every form of violent crime.  Canada, England and Australia all experienced double digit increases in violent crime immediately following their most recent crackdowns.  And if you look at Switzerland, where half the citizens own guns, they have the lowest crime rate in the world.

“But Danny (sob, cry, sob) do we really need citizens to have ASSAULT RIFLES (sniff, sniff)?”  Pffffffffffffffffffffffffffff…okay, full disclosure.  I own guns, but I have never considered myself a “gun guy”. I like the fact I can own them.  It is my Constitutional right.  What part of “shall not be infringed” do people not get?  I was watching the news the other day and this guy was whining about “semi-automatic weapons”.  Again, I’m not a gun guy, but even I know the phrase “semi-automatic” means you have to pull the trigger every time you want a bullet to come out. I guess the word “automatic” sounds scary.

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The United States isn’t the only country in the world to deal with the problems of mass killings in schools.  Israel and South Africa have faced similar problems.  Do you know what they did?  They armed the teachers and administrators.  If you think about it, we hire people who love kids.  We trust them to teach, why not trust them to protect?  I’ve heard some suggest hiring security guards for every school.  Again, this is a knee jerk response. Taking the money it would cost and putting that on the back burner, to properly guard a school you would need around 6 or so guards.  That is six people who would be VERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRY bored 99.999999999999% of the time.

There were 8,583 murders last year that included a gun in the United States, in a country that has an estimated 300 million guns. I can’t even figure out what the percentage of guns NOT used in a murder is.  I think if the states had mandatory prison time for any crime that included a gun the usage would go down.

I know these aren’t answers.  They are suggestions. No gun legislation would have prevented the tragedy of December 14, 2012.  No one, as an individual, can control the morality, spirituality or mental health of others.  If someone is determined to be violent they will figure out a way to do it. Banning guns won’t save lives.  Banning guns make the problem worse.

The founders gave us the 2nd amendment to insure we could always have the 1st.

 

LIFEZILLA:  Trust me, it works SOOOOOO much better than just mistletoe alone.

Gun nuts

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8 responses to “I Hate to Cloud the Issue with Facts

  1. Totally agree with everything you said. Having restrictions on guns only makes it more difficult for ” regular” law abiding people to get guns. Criminals and people who shoot people will never have trouble getting, stealing, finding OR buying a gun.
    My sister said, “The only thing that will stop a bad man with a gun, is a good man with a gun.” Here, here.

  2. The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun, is a good guy with a gun.

  3. You are soooo wrong, Danny. You said:
    I own guns, but I have never considered myself a “gun guy”.
    Notice you didn’t say I own ‘a’ gun…. you said gun(s). Plural! Get out of denial, sir! YOU ARE A “GUN-GUY!”
    Admit it!!! True-blue through & through.
    However, you’re not as sexy as Ted Nugent and you never will be. ;-D

  4. Alright, relax gun-huggers. Nobody wants to take away your 2nd ammendment right. No pot-smoking hippies are trying to take gun-ownership away. (By the way, I’m pretty sure those hippies don’t guard their crop w/ just knives.) This is an issue about better access to mental health care and more importantly, the tremendous responsibility of parenting as a legal gun owner. This is a wake-up call to all the “gun-people” who want to legally own the various cool killing bang bang sticks and hand guns. You need to re-check your protocol of safety-standards and the ease/difficulty of access to all the kill toys in your home!!
    The mother of this last rampager was a very legal “gun-girl” w/ quite the collection of pop-pop exotics. She gets an “A” in gun-legality and an “F” in parenting.
    NEW RED FLAG & LESSON TO BE LEARNED: If you have a disturbed child whom you feel you need to home-school because he/she doesn’t function so well with other kids nor society, let’s not look to allowing excessive/obsessive “CALL OF DUTY” play and access to mommie’s live assault cache as therapy choice #1. DUH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (This is what a void of common-sense parenting looks like)

    Please govornment-Santa!! Let’s find a better, more abundant pro-active way to address and access care for kids with social/mental issues.

  5. This article is “common sense”. Why can’t people see it. This article states my opinion perfectly. Hope the facts are right 😉

  6. First off, hats off to you for avoiding the age old, “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” argument, because frankly, it is just old. You were correct, when you told me you didn’t take the easy way out, and I applaud you for that, good Sir! No spoons make people fat. Yay. Finally, an argument I can listen to without falling asleep.

    But, Danny (said in my whiny, pot smoking, liberal college voice)…now, full disclosure, I guess I am considered to be somewhat of a liberal, at least that is what they tell me here in Utah. I am not in college, but I have been and I don’t smoke pot. I did once. Yep, high school. I did. So, there you go. Now you have the excuse you will need to find all of my commentary irrelevant and ignorant. You’re welcome. Let me also add that sensible gun legislation is hardly a new cause for me. You think the knee-jerk reaction to any shooting is gun control. I find this hysterical. Look around. The knee-jerk reaction to any shooting in this country is a spike in gun sales. There were lines outside Guns and Ammo for three days post Newtown. Walmart is selling out of assault rifles this week. I am not follwing. The reaction of Americans is to arm every person that breathes. It is how we think. Bigger guns. Badder gun. More bullets. That is the reaction. It always has been. Just so we are clear, I am not basing my arguments on emotion. I have been a long time supporter of such. of course, it never does any good because this cause is futile. No argument here will change any minds in America. There is no gray. None. It is black or white.

    It really surprised you the China stabbing wasn’t covered in the media on Friday? It stands to reason that there was a more pertinent story to cover here, in our country. Call me crazy, but pretty sure, Newtown trumped anything else going on in the world on Friday. Yes, 22 stabbed the same day in China. It was a small story in comparison to the one we witnessed here. Yes, there are attacks with knives. OJ wasn’t the only one to have been so clever. That day in China left 22 injured. Tragic, yes. We buried 26 here. Big difference. Will we ever know whether or not the gunman would have killed 26 had he been armed with a knife? No, we won’t. Would the man in China have done more than wounded 22 with a gun? Don’t know. All we know is that he didn’t have one. Could it be because they are tougher to come by in China, because of their strict gun control?? It is a definite possibly. Food for thought.

    Are there gun laws that will keep more people alive? Don’t know. Is banning any one gun going to save lives? Again, don’t know. That is the 25,000 question here. WE DON’T KNOW. Why? Because there has never been an America before, we are the first American experiment. We can quote back and forth for a year about statistics and which country has more crime, more gun fatalities, more guns, and so forth. Fact is, those mean nothing. There are not us. They do not live our lives. We cannot know what works and what does not work until we try something. And, therein lies the problem. We are unwilling to even try. It is sickening. The argument for sensible gun legislation is not heresy, not matter how much FOX news will tell you that. FOX news bans the talk of gun control on it’s programs. Are you kidding me? It is now at the point, we ban in from the media. We can’t even discuss it because it is forbidden. That is fabulous. Just fantastic.

    Here is the deal, I refuse to believe this is the best this country can do. I refuse to believe that the answer to guns is more guns, bigger, more powerful, more deadly guns. Help me see the logic in that? When a child on a playground has a rock, do we give them all a rock? Is that the answer? Are we prepared to live like that? Let’s arm everybody. Every man, woman and child with a gun. Is that your idea of living? Maybe it is…it isn’t mine. That is not the world I want for my children. I don’t want my children to see guns on every street corner, every theater, every church, every mall and met at school with an armed guard. And, frankly, that is not a reality I must accept.

    There are options and it is a sad day when we can’t even speak about them anymore. You say that more guns don’t lead to more murders or violence. Fine. I will give you that because I makes sense to me. But, think about this. The more guns we have in this country, the more we pack them, conceal them, arm our society with them, the more complacent we become with guns. Complacency is dangerous. Look at alcohol in the state of Utah. We hide alcohol, we won’t even allow the sale of alcoholic beverages in regular stores. We have asked restaurants to keep it out of sight. Why? Because we don’t want them to see it. We don’t want them thinking for one minute that alcohol is an option. We don’t want them to get complacent with it. Can we not treat deadly weapons with the same resistance?

    I want my child to look at a gun and revere it as a weapon capable of ending life, because face it, that is the main design of a gun. Can’t argue it. Guns were invented for faster killing. Fact is fact. I don’t want my children to grow up in a society where guns are common place and where our first thought is ” I will kill you before you kill me.” That philosophy is inherently wrong for me. It makes no sense. How do I teach my children the value of life, when I have weapons upon weapons that are meant for the sheer purpose of ending life? Guns kill. They are designed to do so. I don’t want my children to ever feel like they are an integral part of life. They don’t have to be. If you think that for one second that this gunman was not familiar and complacent with guns, you are sorely mistaken. Now, there are many facets to that problem.

    Many issues which must be addressed here, but to bury our head in the sand and say that it is acceptable to have assault rifles sold at local Walmarts is absurd. It is crazy talk. Have you seen who works at Walmart? These are the people we trust to sell weapons with 30 round magazines. Is it treason to even suggest that we at least require a full background check on 100% of gun sales? Is it? Is it so much to ask that we ask for a waiting period before any gun sale? Can we be a little more like Israel in this regard? Look up how difficult it is for a citizen to get a gun in Israel? It is a serious process and gun owners are vetted like no other country. They aren’t even allowed to possess assault rifles. I wonder why? It doesn’t take a genius.

    Here is the deal: we will never prevent tragedy completely, we will never rid the world of evil or mentally ill people, we will never be free from violence and we will never again not need guns…this is our reality. That is truth. All I am saying is there are things we can do to make it a tiny bit harder for a perpetrator to kill masses of people. I am not advocating disarmament and neither is anybody else. I am asking here for common sense. Assault rifles are weapons of war. Period. Young boys are getting a hold of these weapons and inflicting mayhem on this country. It is not going to get better. These are not hardened criminals. These are not kids raised in gangs, or in the slums with violent childhood. These are kids getting legal guns and leaving a wake of carnage behind them. We could argue that these kids would get these guns anyway. Sure. They could. Would they have? We don’t know, because they don’t have to find another way. These aren’t boys with ties to the mafia or the Mexican drug cartel. They just buy them. Is it unreasonable to ask that we take steps to work towards not letting these guns overtake this country. Ban them. Call it what you want. They are not the gun one chooses to defend. Google it. They aren’t. And, as much as I would like to think that people who bought these guns are responsible, I simply cannot. I am sure Adam’s mom thought she was a responsible gun owner as well. Guess what? She wasn’t. She paid the ultimate price for that and so did 26 other people. If people want to own these kinds of weapons, they better be ready to defend them with their lives. And, if that means shooting your own son…you better be ready to do it. Fact is, most people aren’t ready to do that.

    This is not about the second amendment and taking away your right to defend yourself or your families. That is just silly. Nobody is asking for all guns to be banned. But, I believe it is high time to limit assault weapons and high powered magazines. Sure, a shooter who only has a revolver at his disposal is probably not going to abandon his mission and talk it out if he is hell bent on killing, but maybe, just maybe we can take the “mass” out of mass shooting. Maybe? Is it not worth a try? What we are doing is not working and I don’t think the answer is more guns. Can we make the shooter’s job a little bit harder? Just a tiny bit harder. Could we hope that he had to break a sweat in the slaughtering of 26 people? It won’t save all, it may not save any, but if it saves even one, our we not better off?

    I think there is gray area here. It doesn’t have to be arm everybody in the nation or disarm them. There are things we can do. There are things we can try and above all, FOX news should be at least willing to utter the words.

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