Arguably, one of the most divisive issues in the United States is gun control. A line that you used to frequently hear from those opposed to gun control was, “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” As time has gone by, I have come to see the truth in this, and I now believe that we really need to control the gun owners, not the guns. Lately, I have been accumulating stories about people being hurt of killed because someone was careless with their gun.
The latest article I read was “A Teenager Is Charged With Involuntary Manslaughter After Unintentionally Shooting His Cousin.” Essentially, a 15-year-old boy shot and killed his 12-year-old cousin with a gun he thought was unloaded. According to the article it is not clear who owned the gun or how it came into the possession of the 15-year-old. What type of people leave guns around where children can get hold of them and do stupid, tragic things with them?
Another story that caught my eye was “Gun-Safety Instructor Accidentally Shoots Student.” As it says in the article, “A firearms instructor accidentally shot a student while teaching a gun-safety class…Terry J. Dunlap Sr., who runs a shooting range and training center…apparently didn’t know that the gun was loaded…” And this is a guy teaching other people how to safely use guns!
More tragically was this Associated Press story that I read back in July, Oregon man says gun accidentally went off, killing girl:
“Court records show an Oregon man told police he was using his assault rifle as a crutch to help him get up from a couch at a friend’s apartment when it fired a burst through the ceiling and killed a young girl upstairs. Jon Andrew Meyer Jr. said the gun went off accidentally at the Grants Pass apartment on June 27. He is being held on $250,000 bail on charges of manslaughter, assault and unlawful possession of a machine gun.”
Finally, most tragic of all, is this story, “Va. boy, 7, dies after being hit by stray bullet on Fourth of July.” In short, “”A 7-year-old Virginia boy died Friday, a day after being hit by a stray bullet while awaiting the start of a July 4th fireworks display…Brandon Mackey was struck on the top of the head by a bullet fired into the air…he was walking with his father in a crowd at Swift Creek Reservoir when he fell, bleeding. He died at a hospital the next day…police said that they believe the shot was fired as much as five miles away, with no intent to cause harm.”
No intent to cause harm, yet a seven year old boy is dead. There is just so much wrong with this! So yes, perhaps the problem is not the guns, but the fact just about anyone in the United States, no matter how stupid or careless they may be, can own a gun….and, as a result, people are killed and injured, and we read stories like these in the news..
So yes, perhaps we do not have to control the guns, but need to control the gun-owners, and prevent people from owning guns if the can’t demonstrate that they can handle guns in a safe and responsible manner. Just a thought…
According to FBI stats for 2011, for homicides where the race of the offender was known, over 50% of the time it was black.
We have a drug/crime/gang problem in our inner cities. That is where our high homicide rate comes from.
Take those out of the equation and America is not a lot different from other countries that don’t have as many firearms in private hands.
They may say we have “gun homicides” but they still have homicides. Russia has a very homicide rate compared to the U.S., yet has few guns in private hands. It is a social problem, not a guns problem.
Fix some of our social problems and rethink the drug war and a lot of our problems could be solved.
Thank you for your comment, but I think we are talking about two different things. You are talking about “gun homicides” while I am talking about accidental deaths due to the carelessness and cluelessness of the gun owners, two very different things.
Having said that, I would appreciate it if you could send me some web links on the FBI stats and on the other information you cite. It seems to be contrary to what I have read in the past, but I’m always open to new information.
Here is a link to the statistics I was talking about:
Quoting from the “Overview”:
“Of the offenders for whom race was known, 52.4 percent were black, 45.2 percent were white, and 2.4 percent were of other races. The race was unknown for 4,077 offenders. (Based on Expanded Homicide Data Table 3.)”
In regards to preventable deaths Wikipedia has an interesting table in order of number (highest to lowest):
Smoking tobacco 18.1%
Being overweight and obesity 4.6%
Infectious diseases 3.1%
Toxic agents 2.3%
Preventable medical errors in hospitals (estimates vary)
Traffic collisions 1.8%
Firearms deaths 1.3%
I presume that “firearms deaths” above doesn’t just include accidents, but also homicides and suicides.
Hopefully type above all correctly. Point is this. I think the media goes to great lengths to emphasize firearms deaths. But although estimates vary, going to a hospital can be more dangerous to you than having a firearm if the above is accurate. 🙂
Thanx for the info; I was in the hospital twice in the past year, I guess I should be glad that I got out alive 🙂
” I was in the hospital twice in the past year, I guess I should be glad that I got out alive.”
I am very grateful to some doctors too. The fact is though that the business they are in is hazardous and any mistake can kill someone. There are undoubtedly some bad doctors just as their are people who shouldn’t be in possession of firearm. The danger, in my view, is that trying to get rid of the latter in either case often has its own hazards in that such actions often perversely act to punish the good more than the bad. 🙂