Everyday the news in the U.S. highlights the fatal shooting of someone or some group. The latest horror played out in Connecticut is another tragic reminder of the insanity of guns. Almost two years ago, I posted a blog on handguns (http://blogs.record-eagle.com/?p=3191#more-3191). The response was quick and condemnatory. Gun owners, in effect, called me crazy. Today, I am even more convinced that this country is becoming more of a violent place to live.
- The Colorado Bureau of Investigation says it set a new record for single-day background check submittals this past weekend, Dec. 15th & 16th.
- In San Diego, Northwest Armory gun store owner Karl Durkheimer said Saturday “was the biggest day we’ve seen in 20 years. Sunday will probably eclipse that.”
- In southwest Ohio, from dawn to dusk a Cincinnati gun show had a line of 400 waiting to get in, said Joe Eaton of the Buckeye Firearms Association.
“Sales were through the roof on Saturday,” said Eaton. “People were buying everything they could out of fear the president would try to ban certain guns and high-capacity magazines.”
More guns, that’s all we need. Let’s throw more gasoline on the fire. Stupid.
Seventy percent of homicides in the U.S., as of three years ago, were caused by guns. I believe the SC recently ruled incorrectly that the right to bear arms extends to all citizens. That was not the original intent of the Framers of the 2nd Amendment. The Court has morphed the original wording, “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,” into that which would be foreign to the Framers.
The argument for more guns comes from those who voice the opinion that if those in a shooting incident had guns, they could prevent homicides by killing the perpetrator. That reasoning came from comments made regarding the Aurora, Colorado, theater shooting this past July.
One-on-one violence usually involves a small-caliber handgun while mass killers often opt for semi-automatic weapons to kill as many as possible. There is evidence that one-on-one violence with handguns has declined, but mass killings have been on the rise.
From the New York Times editorial of Dec. 17th comes these observations:
Experts from the Harvard School of Public Health, using data from 26 developed countries, have shown that wherever there are more firearms, there are more homicides. In the case of the United States, exponentially more: the American murder rate is roughly 15 times that of other wealthy countries, which have much tougher laws controlling private ownership of guns.
There’s another important difference between this country and the rest of the world. Other nations have suffered similar rampages, but they have reacted quickly to impose new and stricter gun laws.
Australia is an excellent example. In 1996, a “pathetic social misfit,” as a judge described the lone gunman, killed 35 people with a spray of bullets from semiautomatic weapons. Within weeks, the Australian government was working on gun reform laws that banned assault weapons and shotguns, tightened licensing and financed gun amnesty and buyback programs.
At the time, the prime minister, John Howard, said, “We do not want the American disease imported into Australia.” The laws have worked.
The editorial goes on to say that after 16 children and their teacher were killed by a gunman in Dunblane, Scotland, in 1996, the British government banned all private ownership of automatic weapons and virtually all handguns. Those changes gave Britain some of the toughest gun control laws in the developed world on top of already strict rules. Hours of exhaustive paperwork are required if anyone wants to own even a shotgun or rifle for hunting. The result has been a decline in murders involving firearms.
In Japan, which has very strict laws, only 11 people killed with guns in 2008, compared with 12,000 deaths by firearms that year in the United States — a huge disparity even accounting for the difference in population. As New York mayor Bloomberg said recently while ratcheting up his national anti-gun campaign, “We are the only industrialized country that has this problem. In the whole world, the only one.”
I’m all for buy-back programs, destruction of the millions of guns in this country, and much tighter gun laws. Let’s clamp down on this problem and make it nearly impossible to purchase guns except for sport (and ban all semi-automatic rifles there too) because we are becoming an embarrassment to the world and our soil is being drenched with the blood of the innocent. Get guns off our streets. It’s a moral problem that will not go away unless we do.