Yet another gun story

The title represents a quote from a local news broadcast in my home city – yet another gun story. America’s obsession with guns continues full tilt and we cannot expect anything to be done about it at the federal level for the time being.

We have a problem with gun deaths that does not look like it will abate anytime soon. To discover for yourself, for one month, count the number of gun death stories in your local newspaper or on your favorite news station.

Yet, we have one political party and a few in the other that do not recognize the gun problem for what it is. These folks are backed by one of the more strident lobbyist groups in the NRA.

While these legislators don’t recognize the problem, most gun owners do. Most gun owners do not belong to the NRA, which tends to care more about gun sales where they used to care more about gun safety.

A few questions still remain unanswered:

– why has one political party prevented funding of the study of gun deaths by the Centers for Disease Control?

– why have we not lengthened the waiting period for guns when experts have said it will reduce the probability of suicide, the most significant gun death by far?

– why have we not extended background checks on all weapon purchases?

– why did this political party lead Congress to eliminate people on social security mental disability from the watch list for background checks?

– why do we not require every new weapon with finger print control to reduce children deaths or the death of the owner?

– why do we not codify every bullet to help in solving crimes?

Please note, with the exception of limiting people who don’t pass background checks and elongating waiting periods, none of these suggestions will greatly hinder the rights of Americans to buy guns.

But, we should not stop there. We need more civility in our discourse. We need every gun owner to complete a safety course. We need to improve areas of poverty where crime fills a void. We need to condemn pseudo-news and entertainment sites when they use hyperbole. Alex Jones of Infowars said the Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax – that is just asinine and offensive.

Let me close with a provocative statement. One of the reasons shooting deaths by police officers are increased is these officers recognize that more people are armed and they have to make quick judgements that are sometimes fatal.

We have a gun problem in America. Common sense steps are achievable that will make a difference. One thing is obvious – doing nothing has not.

26 thoughts on “Yet another gun story

    • Hugh, true, yet there are far too many who do not see it as such. We also have a poverty problem and the answer in sons minds is to kick them off healthcare.

      That is why I responded to the GOP survey I received. They did not even lift a half a dozen of our major concerns. So, I wrote them in. Keith

  1. Note to Readers: In past gun death posts, I suggest readers Google “Six year old shoots four year old” and read. I just followed my own advice. Here are four front page Google stories just in the last six months:

    – July 9, 2017: In Birmingham, a four year old was killed and his 68 year old grandmother was injured

    – May 19, 2017: In Jackson, Mississippi, a six year old was killed by teens stealing his parent’s car. He had the misfortune of being in the back seat.

    – May 16, 2017: In Orange County, Virginia, a four year old shoots himself

    – March 10, 2017: in Baltimore, a four year old was shot.

    More sad news can be found by scrolling to subsequent Google search pages.

  2. Note to Readers: Just to continue the validation of our routine problem, there were two more gun deaths in my city yesterday – a mailman and a college student were killed.

  3. Dear Keith,
    This is another instance where a right-wing mouthpiece, the NRA is holding the majority of Americans who want sensible ristrictions, hostage and where republican lawmakers will not cater to their lobbying wishes for thirty pieces of silver.
    Hugs, Gronda

    • Gronda, to me the stance on gun control is asymmetrical with a pro life stance. Tacking on an anti-environment stance and our former party is clearly a pro birth party, not a pro life party. Keith

  4. Here in the Netherlands you’re not allowed to have a gun without a permit, and incidents like you describe luckily rarely happen. But, a few days ago, in a town in Holland, an 18 year old boy found his father’s illegal gun and while fooling around with it, accidentally killed his 13 year old sister.

    • Elizabeth, The Netherlands does many things right. We are too beholden to marketing which sells off fear here. I am saddened by the young tragic death you describe. It happens much too often here. We can’t seem to get this right here. Keith

      • Sadly so, and I doubt that Trump will improve these statistics. Fear is of course a terrible advisor, but very easy to use in your political power struggle.

      • Well said. With this President and his party’s control of Congress, common sense gun control is only a dream right now.

  5. This is an excellent post, Keith. Well-reasoned, calm, yet you make your point. I was planning to write a similar post in the next day or two, but why re-invent the wheel … especially since your ‘wheel’ is so nice and well-balanced, so I shall re-blog yours instead!

    As you know, I frequently argue for much stricter gun regulations, including extensive background checks and competency testing. I am fairly certain these will never happen, at least not in my lifetime and not as long as the NRA retains so much power. Twice in my life I have had a gun pointed at me: once by a county sheriff because my headlights went out a block from my home, and once by an angry ex-husband. I also lost a friend in college to a bar shooting because he was gay and some drunk was offended by that. Those incidents were enough to convince me that the average citizen has no need for a gun.

    Thanks for this post, Keith! Great job!

    • Jill, thanks for your thoughts and reblog. Check out Elizabeth’s comment on The Netherlands. Your last two examples are people with anger who have access to a weapon. Absent the gun, many would survive civil disputes. Once the gun is present, all bets are off. The Sheriff should no better, but it gets back to not knowing who is packing. Keith

      • Yes, I saw her comments earlier … most of our European friends are appalled by our lax gun laws. The 2nd Amendment and its modern day interpretations by some reminds me of offering a child a piece of candy, only to have them take the whole bag. I could … maybe … understand a person wishing to own a gun. That is ONE gun. But people who have arsenals and semi-automatics is beyond my comprehension. As is people who refuse to keep their guns under lock and key. And it is the NRA that fights (and wins) against even the most minimal, logical gun regulation. A poll a year or so ago showed that some, 90% I believe it was, favoured additional gun controls.

      • Jill, our leaders do not have the courage to do the people’s business. The NRA has a small, but active audience that makes the politicians think they are more oh number. Keith

  6. Reblogged this on Filosofa's Word and commented:
    Earlier today I read an article about Jeff Sessions’ remarks that there has been an increase in violent crime. It prompted me to decide to write yet another post about how much stricter gun regulations are needed in this country. But before I put pen to paper (or, rather, fingers to keyboard) I saw this excellent post by my friend Keith Wilson. Keith, as always, has done a wonderful job of making the very points I would have made, and in a much more well-reasoned manner, so … why re-invent the wheel. Please take a few moments to read this excellent piece. Thank you, Keith!

  7. A timely reminder Keith.
    Whereas it is difficult for many Europeans to get their collective heads around the ‘Gun’ and its place in the US society {I listened to an interesting UK Radio documentary about the Big Sky states a few years back; part of it included the case of a single mother with two teenage sons; she was on welfare and food stamps, but one she insured her strapping sons were well fed was by going out with her rifle and legally shooting deer, and taking it back home to provide meat- pioneer spirit?- but I digress}.
    Going back to the original topic, I fail to see the needs for the commercial sale of semi-automatic weapons for instance, while also being bemused by this mind set who still cling to the basic idea of a well-regulated militia- when actually they are far from ‘well regulated’.
    Also I read recently when a child is going to play at another child’s house or stay over, it is not uncommon for the parent of the visiting child to ask if any guns are in the house are they kept securely- having to ask such a question cannot be right?
    In conclusion you mentioned the Sandy Hook conspiracy people- I would sooner unclog a blocked drain with my bare hands than be in the same room as one (and that’s my polite statement).
    OK, I’m done- time for bed in the UK.
    Best wishes

    • Roger, our country has a hard to fathom love affair with guns. Some folks have their own arsenal. As for your child story, I remember telling my father-in-law he needed to unload his rifle. It was implied that we would not bring his grandkids to a house with a loaded weapon. He unloaded it. Keith

  8. Note to Readers: A better ending to a sad story, which should have never happened. In today’s paper, a mother of three was awarded $250,000 by a county as its medical examiner reversed its ruling that her 39 year old husband’s death was a suicide, now calling it an accident. The woman can now get the life insurance to pay what is owed. The sad story beyond the death of her husband is how it happened. Visiting a friend with a gun, which was brought out, the 39 year old man thought it was unloaded and, in front of the others, put it in his mouth a pulled the trigger. It was unfortunately loaded. Why did the owner bring out a loaded gun? Why would someone that old, make such a tragic error? Now, a wife and three kids will go on without a husband and father. To be brutally frank, many of us are not smart enough to be around guns, which is a reason for safety training and protections.

  9. Note to Readers: Just yesterday, another young child found a gun in the car and shot himself. Fortunately, the bullet just grazed his head. In the same newscast we were reminded of a story of a seven year old killed at a birthday party two years ago when the party was sprayed with gunfire along with another gun death reported along with an arrest. Truly, “a day in the life” in America. Quoting another song lyric “and the band played on.”

    Update: On a newscast this afternoon, it was noted North Carolina has had five accidental children gun deaths in the past year, with Soith Carolina having six. That is eleven unnecessary deaths if the owners were just more careful with gun storage and locking devices.

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