I love how my facebook wall represents the entire spectrum of the recently-erupted gun issue in America. I’m not interested in guns for myself because 1. I don’t need one more thing to keep track of 2. I wouldn’t have the first clue of how to acquire one if I wanted to. The issue’s so interesting to me because of all the various and conflicting stats, anecdotes and commentary flying around. (Everyone seems to have such strong opinions!) I spotted this on my fb feed tonight, rather liked it, and thought I’d repost here just to change things up. (Don’t worry, we’ll promptly return to our regularly-scheduled Asia blog.)
Written and posted by Josh Fielder:
So, here’s my two cents (which will end up being closer to $1.50 I’m sure.)
Instead of posting a meme with a picture and a falsely attributed quote or a made up statistic, I’ve spent my time researching the gun violence/gun control debate. And I’d like to talk about some of the pervasive themes I’ve seen lately.
First off, Hitler did not say “In order to conquer a country, you must first disarm its citizens.” In fact, Hitler made it his position to enable guns to be obtained more easily. http://www.snopes.com/politics/quotes/disarm.asp
Secondly, the presidents, and I mean ALL of them, and their families, receive death threats on a daily basis. President Obama did not enact the regulations that REQUIRE Secret Service protection for him and his family. If you believe your children are as much of a target as the president’s children, then you have a self inflated idea of your position in this world. http://www.secretservice.gov/protection.shtml
Thirdly, there is NO law or bill being considered that would allow anyone to come marching into your home to take your legally obtained and legally owned firearms. There are possible laws that are being explored that would require more responsibility on the part of the gun owner or person purchasing a gun (i.e. pass a background check even if buying a gun from a gun show dealer). If you buy a car from a dealer it must be registered (a record of the transfer is documented). If you buy a car from a private citizen, it must be registered. If you buy a gun from a dealer, there is a record of that sale and it is registered. So how is it illogical to require the same for private sales of firearms?
Fourth, there are not more people being killed with baseball bats than guns. If you disagree with that because you saw a picture stating otherwise on the internet, then I would like to offer you the chance to buy some oceanfront property in Arizona. There is no magical solution for solving the problem of gun violence. THAT is what we need to solve. http://www.snopes.com/politics/guns/baseballbats.asp
We don’t ban cars that are used in DUI related deaths, but we do enact regulations regarding blood alcohol limits, prosecute people who enable a drunk driver to operate a vehicle after serving them, promote a DUI campaign raising awareness and educating drivers on the dangers of driving while intoxicated. All of which has reduced DUI related fatalities by over 40% in a decade. http://www.centurycouncil.org/drunk-driving/drunk-driving-statistics
The media is not hiding other gun related stories because they want to sensationalize the problem, they are simply unable to cover every gun death story because there would be an average of 80 of them each day. So they concentrate (unfortunately) on the massacres which I think we can all agree, happen all too often.
I find it disturbing that:
• more children are killed in the US by guns than in the entire Middle East region.
• the NRA blames the rise in violent shootings on video games, then comes out with its own shooting video game (categorized for children as young as 4 years of age) less than a month after Newtown.
• other countries spend in excess of twice as much as the US on violent video games and have a small fraction of the amount of gun related deaths/injuries.
• instead of looking for a solution to a problem like Newtown, there are people wasting their time and energies by trying to turn it into a conspiracy theory.
• guns are the third largest killer of children ages 5-14 in the US.
• a child in America is 12 times more likely to be killed with a gun than the rest of the “developed” world.
• there are more guns privately owned in America than the next SEVENTEEN countries combined.
• all of these statistics are not discussed but fake statistics about a baseball bat death rate are plastered everywhere.
• some people believe that the ONLY answer to this problem is more guns.
Banning all firearms is NOT the answer, which is exactly why it’s not being proposed. This country has enacted laws that didn’t work before, so they’ve been revised, repealed, reformed, etc. It’s ludicrous to think that as a society, we evolve and change, but the laws governing us cannot? The NRA states that the assault weapons ban didn’t work the first time. Well, you know what they say, “If at first you don’t succeed, f*%k it.”.
If armed guards are the only answer to ending school shootings, then explain the VT shooting. Virginia Tech had an entire police department complete with a SWAT unit. Explain Columbine, which had an armed officer on staff. When discussing an end to gun violence in schools, there should be NOTHING left off of the table.
Ronald Reagan, a huge gun proponent and signor of the Brady Bill, wrote to Congress in 1994 asking them to propose legislation limiting or stopping altogether the manufacture of guns classified as assault weapon. And anyone saying “assault weapon” is a made up term should remember that every word in every language is, in fact, made up.
And yes, criminals don’t typically obey laws, but we still have them. Can you use that logic to say there should be none at all? No.
Let me be clear, I am NOT anti gun. I have nothing against guns or responsible gun owners. I served proudly in the military, worked in armed security, and have hunted and enjoyed target shooting since I was a kid. And I’m sure most gun enthusiasts are the same way. However, this issue should be discussed logically and rationally, and all I see are comments and pictures that are anything but rational and for the most part, are just viral, inflammatory, unresearched, vitriol.
The president enacted 23 executive actions yesterday, of which only 2 have anything to do with limiting the availability of a category of gun or a magazine capacity. The remaining 21 deal with aspects regarding background checks, school safety and mental health system requirements and deficiencies. Will it be a perfect solution? No. Will it help? We’ll see. Is it better than doing nothing? Definitely. If we keep using the statement, “It’s too soon to talk about it.” after each tragedy, pretty soon, we’ll never talk about it.
OK, so maybe it ended up closer to $2.00 instead of 2 cents. So shoot me.