Wednesday, February 12, 2014

What about the gun

In light of the tragic suicide at Bend High last week, there's been little discussion about the weapon the student used to shoot himself during class in a modular building.

Perhaps, with nearly 300 million guns in private hands in America, no one gives it a second thought.

Handguns are as ubiquitous as backpacks used by students to carry their stuff to and from school.

Does it matter whose gun it was? Did his parents own it? Was it a gift to the student? Did it belong to a friend? Was it stolen?

I guess none of this matters in a culture where guns are worshiped almost as much as money.

Since guns are so easily bought and sold in private sales, there is no oversight of the transaction.

Another gun-control bill requiring universal background checks will be defeated once again in Salem.

But, consider these sobering statistics:

In 2010, nearly 20,000 people in America killed themselves with a firearm, which is nearly double the number of homicides by firearm.

With this many violent deaths each year, you would think it would be considered a national health hazard.

Not so in America.

In fact, the roughly 30,000 deaths annually from firearms are considered the price of freedom, according to the NRA and gun fetishists.

The mainstream media doesn't want to champion the fight against this national health crisis because gun violence, much as Hollywood has learned, draws ratings and readers.

In other developed countries like Australia, the rate of suicide by firearm plummeted after the country passed strict gun control measures following a massacre in Tasmania in 1996.

That same year in America, Congress banned the Centers for Disease Control from funding any research to "advocate or promote gun control."

From an article in Slate:

"That’s not a ban on gun research, technically, but after Congress extended the wording and expanded the ban to other agencies, it had enough of a chilling effect to reduce CDC funding for gun violence research from $2.5 million per year in the early 1990s to just $100,000 in recent years."

Now, stricter gun laws in this country might not have prevented the suicide at Bend High that was witnessed by some students, but it could have.

But, that's not something of much concern to gun-toting Americans.

Central Oregon was lucky, this time, in that only one person died. It may not be so lucky in the future.

1 comment:

  1. Seems unlikely that any of the proposed gun laws would do anything to curb the 20K annual suicides. They would do nothing to the existing supply of guns. Assault rifles are not required as one shot handles the business, repeat that statement as high cap magazines are not required either. So really, the idea that tougher gun laws, short of flat out confiscation would do anything to curb the suicide by firearm rate is wishful thinking. Make the registration process tougher and limit the magazine capacity and you'll get exactly 0 reduction in the number of suicides by firearm per year.

    Let's say we banned and confiscated all guns from all law abiding citizens in the name of preventing these 20K suicides and 10K violent guns deaths. What percentage of the people intent on killing themselves would just find another way if a gun wasn't available? People kill themselves in a variety of ways you know. With all due respect, the gun is the mechanism of injury, not the problem. Something else is wrong and out of respect, I'll just stop there. It's always tragic, no way around that. Back to the idea that we've banned all weapons for the common folk. The bulk of the homicides in America are gang and violent crime related. Again, 0 reduction in gang related shootings and violent crime as criminals don't view laws as something that they personally abide by. As if the black market dries up because we passed some law and made the common folk hand over their guns...get real.

    I think there are some things we could do like extend the waiting period for new purchases, private sale registration, and something that says guns owners need to store guns in a safe place when kids and mentally ill are present. Beyond that, you'll get 0 results and you'll be infringing on the rights of the people. Like banning assault weapons means the criminal underground is actually going to hand them over? Do we start a war on guns now?

    The reactionary chase whatever the media throws out there for them. They've done an excellent job of convincing people who don't understand or don't think things through that guns are bad and we should get rid of them. I know several people who think we should just get rid of them all together as a solution. From what you've written, it looks like you'd support a total gun ban as well. In a world of financial scandals, keystone pipelines, political corruption does disarming the people for the sake of saving a few lives seem like a logical idea? Certainly not trying to downplay these tragedies but seriously stop and think about it for a minute.