Last week, the state of Georgia decided it would become the wild west and allow guns pretty much anywhere. I am being facetious, but only to a certain extent. Unfortunately, Georgia is also the site of the terrible shooting at a Federal Express location that killed several people earlier this week. One did not lead to the other, but the irony is significant and unfortunate. I have written numerous posts regarding my concerns and those of reasonable gun owners, that we need to make some changes to make sure guns are in the hands of people who can exhibit responsibility and accountability.
If you did not see the article on investing entitled “10 Things the Gun Industry won’t Tell You,” I would encourage you to read it. Attached is a link to this brief piece:: http://money.msn.com/investing/10-things-the-gun-industry-wont-tell-you
A few highlights from the article would include a few statistics from reputable sources:
– The Center for Disease Control and Prevention noted that the US has 85 gun deaths per day for a tally of 31,000 per year. This is highest rate of gun deaths among developed countries.
– In the January Journal of Annals of Internal Medicine, it is noted that people who live in a house where a firearm is present, the rate of suicide is 3 x the rate in households without a gun. The rate of a homicide in a house where a firearm is present is 2 x the rate of homicide in homes without.
I wanted to highlight those three data points because I think they speak volumes. In earlier posts, I have noted other data points that paint a similar picture. The gun death problem in America is primarily not the mass shootings, like the unfortunate Federal Express shooting of yesterday or the second Foot Hood tragedy of a few weeks ago. The greater tragedy in America is what happens every day. It is those 85 gun deaths per day that occur. It is the fact that we by far tally the most children and teen gun deaths in the world. It is these accidental and intentional shootings around kids and done by kids as young as two years old, that break your heart.
As I have noted before, gun deaths are due to a multitude of problems and it will take a comprehensive effort to remedy the issue. It is a mental health issue. It is a crime issue. It is a poverty issue. It is a drug issue. It is an entertainment violence issue. It is an inability to have civil discourse or disagreement. But, make no mistake, it is also an access to gun issue. I know guns don’t kill people. It is people with access to guns that kill people.
With the data overwhelmingly showing Americans, including Republicans, want better gun laws, it is criminal that Congress will not act. It is also criminal that some states have loosened access and expanded places to carry guns, like Georgia and my own state of North Carolina. Carrying a loaded weapon into a bar or near kids on a playground is terribly unwise. Guns, testosterone and alcohol don’t mix. And, if you Google 6-year-old shoots 4-year-old, you will note that kids and guns don’t mix either. Plus, having guns on college campuses is not a great idea as the propensity for depression is higher in college students than that of general society.
But, what frustrates me is Congress and these states do not care what we think. They are so beholden to the NRA and a passionate army of gun fans, that they dare not make them mad. I heard earlier this week, that the NRA fans are a distributed base of fervent people. So, it is far easier for them to exude their passion in local and state races and legislation. That does not make them right, it just shows how adroit and powerful they are.
Every proposed law I have seen does not alter the constitutionally interpreted right to own a gun. It just speaks to extended background checks and waiting period. There have been proposals to limit rounds of ammunition and they should also get serious attention. However, there is another data point in the above article worth noting – 31% of the revenue of gun makers is ammunition. Money talks and right now, it is the only thing talking. Folks, it is long past time for better gun laws. And, they need to be more than just that. Listen to responsible gun owners and less to the NRA, so that we can make decisions like parents should.