Sunday, January 16, 2011

FOR Stricter Gun Controls

Revelations some families condone gun possession for recreational use, hunting, for self-defense against animal or human aggressors, and for presents, as gifts are described in this article in The Huffington Post.

As reasons to understand gun ownership in an open society, let's take apart the arguments.  These are words to use to say to your personal circles, if you are in favor of strict laws, or  just need reasons to lose the unwanted, inherited weapons, capable of mass destruction.

Using guns for recreational use, as aggressors and hunters do, is not popular in areas of the country with developed houses, suburbia, and the cities. Sure, the military use them; police use them; even farmers use them. For food, health-inspected meat from a grocery store is more safe and appropriate to eat (even better for your health is a plant-based diet).  Guns are dangerous to children and to wives in the hands of abusive husbands.

The next argument: guns are for self-defense. Guns are used more for offense, not  self-defense, as many studies show. Both human and animal aggressors are infrequent in rural areas.  Human aggressors should be recognized as the criminals they are;  they face severe legal penalties when caught and punished. Animal aggressors, wild animals with rare exceptions, do not attack humans unless provoked or cornered.

Lastly, guns as gifts. Wonder if families talk about them as they sit around the dinner table and thank each other for those guns. A gift of money, on the other hand, the hard stuff, would be more useful now and to the next generation.

The author of that article, Mitchell Bard, says politicians in the northeastern U.S. are far more likely to condone gun control than politicians in the south and west, with the exception of California. This map, from the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, proves gun controls are strongest in California  (scoring 79/100 points) and the northeastern states, and weakest in the midwest, especially Arizona (scoring only 02/100 points!). If every bullet cost an unreasonable amount of money, and if politicians cleaned up their words of vitriol, there wouldn't be any point selling guns; the demand simply wouldn't be there. I know, I'm dreaming.

History lesson: President George W. Bush endorsed the pro-gun lobby for the people of America, and in 2008, the Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling, allowing guns for self-defense. Notably unhelpful, since guns and ammunition can already be sold without background checks. There are only "gun shows"...There are no "victim  shows"...

America's powerful National Rifle Association (NRA) spends a fortune with emotional appeals on television to push "freedom" as a message, as if Americans will lose personal freedom if they give up their guns. The aggressive NRA commands Americans to buy them because guns scare away everyone and everything. Words from the other side, against the anonymously funded NRA's brawny slogans is the inspiration for my post, to write for the silent, unrepresented victims, and to urge for stricter gun controls.

True fact:

"Where there are more guns, there are more gun deaths, and higher household gun ownership correlates with higher rates of homicides, suicides and unintentional shootings."
Brady Campaign

Everyone knows we rarely buy anything with the purpose of not using whatever it is. Most people use what they have, especially if they've paid for it. Guns are no exception.

There it is in a nutshell: what we don't have, we aren't likely to use.

Let's not play a game with safety, or think about using a gun to hurt  anyone. Please don't buy a gun to start with, or accept one as a gift. Stop the cycle.

A Canadian reporter wonders why there are so many guns in America here':

I don’t recall anyone saying, “I’m worried this rhetoric might inspire a perfectly sane person, with a coherent political theory, toward violence.”
Yet the initial outrage over the event was lost in the ensuing outrage over the outrage. By midweek, the bullet through the head, the deaths and the injuries almost disappeared.
The extraordinary violence of the act nearly vanished as the media apologized for asking obvious, relevant questions.
... they seemed to swear off asking other relevant questions: Why are there so many bullet wounds to the heads and bodies of Americans? Why is this normal? Why are there so many guns?
 T. Southey. The Globe and Mail.

UPDATE: I would like to thank the writer of an article in The New York Times which investigates current gun control research entitled:  NRA Stymies Firearms Research, Scientists Say, which completely disposes of the counterarguments promoted by the National Rifle Association. The NRA uses brute force without punishment to stop funding of basic government research into gun violence and squelches any form of opposition with billions and billions of dollars in financing, physically intimidating and threatening the lives and livelihoods of scientists, according to the article. 

The power of money to destroy opponents can be just as powerful as that of guns. Unfairly, the NRA has choked off money for basic research that would undoubtedly help increase the safety and comfort of Americans. Would that those who are able could take up the fight against gun violence and help the Brady Campaign, which is a sole provider of gun-related research in America. It could help bring more civility and peace to this divided country. Why not have a closer look at all aspects of the National Rifle Association? If they are a non-profit, they are obligated to welcome the interest, because of the tax benefits they receive from the government. 

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