I've tried very hard not to enter into the fray of politics on this blog, but today I'm giving in to the temptation. Every time some mentally unstable person does something insane with a firearm, the media takes an opportunity to gin-up an anti-second amendment furor. I'm sick of it. Following the awful 2011 Arizona shootings, the media was quick-- and wrong-- to blame conservative lawful gun owners. Although there is less open and wrongful blame this time, the media and those who prefer a defenseless population are again calling for gun control. PLEASE don't take this rant as any attempt to diminish the tragedy that occurred Friday.
I have seen statistics showing that murders with firearms certainly account for a fair number -- on the order of 11,000 per year nation-wide. Everyone of these was certainly a tragedy. Who keeps stats on the murders and homicides that were prevented by lawful gun owners? Bet you a nickel that the answer is : NO ONE. I did find a website that has an estimate based on a small sample, and the estimate is 162,000 per year. Another website, with an obviously stronger bias increases that estimate by an order of magnitude at well over a million. So restricting weapons ownership would probably increase that annual firearms-related homicide rate if I did my math properly.
Next, let's do the math about rate of illegal fatalities among gun owners. Just for the sake of the argument, let's assume that all weapons homicides were accomplished by persons with weapons legally owned (which I don't believe for an instant). The low estimate of gun ownership in the US is 70 million persons. At the current rate of firearms-related homicides it would take 636 years for the rate among US Firearms holders to reach 1% of all current owners.
Strangely, about the same number of alcohol-related automobile deaths (~11,000) occur every year. Alcohol and automobiles are regulated at an even lower level than firearms ownership. Why is no one crying out for mandatory breath-testing equipment as standard equipment on all vehicles? How about raising the legal age to drive to 21 and requiring a 3-day wait for your learner's permit? Total auto-related deaths exceed 30,000 each year and more than 2 million are injured. That seems like a problem for real focus.
So back to firearms. Many of the high profile events in the past few years were by people whose family and acquaintances thought were a bit off between the ears. Most of them were not the now-famous "clingers." How about a better methodology to screen for the mentally ill? Perhaps an easier way for young adults to be referred for mandatory mental health screening to detect schizophrenia onset? Who is calling for that?
Above all, our Founding Fathers held the right of free people to be capable of defending themselves against tyranny to be second only to freedom of expression. Tyrants world-wide have remarked that the average US citizen's right to bear arms is a deterrent to an invasion of our 'turf.' Let's keep it that way. If there is an organization out there that you believe represents your concerns about these rights, send them a few bucks or join. Let your Senators know to vote against any treaties that would be counter to the 2d Amendment. Stay vigilant, for as goes the 2d Amendment, so go our individual liberty and ultimately our national sovereignty.
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