What price gun rights?

Gun deaths in US since Sandy Hook

Gun deaths in US since Sandy Hook (Map: Huffington Post)

In the 98 days since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., there have been at least 2,243 more shooting deaths in the US. This interactive map, published yesterday by the Huffington Post, shows the names, dates, and places of those deaths. Appalling statistics. Senseless carnage in what is often said to be the most advanced, most civilized nation in the world. Is this really the price gun rights activists are willing to pay to keep their precious guns, their assault rifles, their high-capacity magazines? Would they really rather see this continue than submit to simple background checks? 

We’re better than this.

Aren’t we?

.

More Pied Type on guns



Categories: Culture, guns, Law, Politics

29 replies

  1. I think that the map doesn’t differentiate between justified deaths and homicides. It doesn’t differentiate between deaths caused by a member of law enforcement either protecting themselves, or another person, or their property. I think I’m lucky to be more free to protect myself against naked aggression from criminals or others who would attempt to disarm me and my family.

    • The graphic has links to every death, to the actual media reports of the shootings. I’ve not gone through them in detail to see which were cop shootings, but I’d guess it’s a very low percentage. I’d also guess that some of those were unjustified, but that’s another story entirely.

  2. You know what might highlight this more effectively? An animated world map showing gun killings over the years like that nuclear one Izzakmak put up a while back.

    • Yes, it reminded me of Mak’s map. Probably would be very effective, seeing US gun deaths adding up while the rest of the world presumably shows much smaller numbers in the same time period. Not sure how you’d correct for deaths occurring in war zones, however.

  3. Don’t most states have background checks? If not they should. More of a worry is that the law abiding people do follow the laws and the criminals don’t. How are new gun laws going to stop that?
    Here’s a case VERY close to me where the family would have died if the teen hadn’t managed to get the family gun…the mom and daughters only raped, and dragged out while the bad guys decided who was going to kill them all.
    http://www.yourhoustonnews.com/bay_area/news/home-invasion-turns-into-nightmare-scenario-for-webster-family/article_54a70ec1-7f65-5250-91c1-433ac69dc183.html
    Here’s another account
    http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Two-charged-in-Webster-case-involving-sexual-4339398.php
    This happens ALL the time here. The bad guys are working in groups. One bullet will not stop one person- ask any ER doc. IF the bad guys are on drugs – they will not be stopped – ask any cop.
    Please. Enforce the laws we have. Murder is a crime. The law is on the books in all states.
    Please consider this Washington Times article about strict gun laws.
    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jan/24/states-crime-rates-show-scant-linkage-to-gun-laws/
    Maybe if we worked on finding out why people were so angry – why loners feel they should kill large numbers of people – why some feel killing is always an acceptable answer to a problem…but those are difficult issues and force hard looks at society.
    Legislation doesn’t change people.
    Tolerance: if you don’t like abortions – don’t have one
    If you don’t like guns – don’t have one.
    Be fair.
    Agree to disagree.

    • Logic is futile. But appreciated nonetheless.

    • I agree it will require a multifaceted approach over a long period of time. Background checks are not currently universal (see gun show loophole and personal sales) in every state, nor do civilians need military weapons or large capacity magazines, and aside from those direct approaches, serious attention needs to be given to dealing with mental health issues, etc. I’m not suggesting we can get rid of all the guns, but neither do I think the current situation should go unaddressed.

      • See that’s what’s weird – here you can’t get out of a gun show with one unless the background check is complete – and there are cops at the door making sure.
        “personal sales” here are mainly one criminal selling a stolen gun to another. The black market will be impossible to stop.
        Gun prices are so high now that some are buying and selling to add to grow kids’ college funds/retirement funds. THe media/mania isn’t helping and causing a “gold rush” mentality with people that have no business having a gun.
        What also upsets many people is the term “assault weapon” is vague and means different things to different people…put this hand grip on and it’s an assault weapon – take it off and it’s not.
        Most middle roaders want to be cautious the baby isn’t thrown out with the bath water.
        It would help if people would stop being mesmerized by murderers – and stop giving them attention and “fame”
        It would help if people remembered that Gabby was shot by a loner who family and neighbors knew was dangerous. That the kid in the movie theater was a loner and known by others to have dangerous thoughts (And he picked a place where guns were banned) And the school killer was a loner who family and friends knew was unstable and dangerous.
        None of these were average law abiding normal people.
        Fixing this will be hard.
        Just like stopping car accidents/hit and runs by bad drivers/drunk drivers and murderous fires by arsonists.
        Too many people think writing a law will stop it. It doesn’t work that way. What may work in one community/state may not work in another.(Chicago for instance has a strict gun ban)
        But extremists on both ends need to settle down and talk with purpose – not accuse the other side of being ignorant or stupid. Not adjust statistic to “prove” their side is right – or to tell only one side of the story by omitting information. Not to just “win” the argument.Just makes things worse.
        A lot of us a pretty sick of all the whole stupid drama for drama and political points sake. Grown up attitudes could help a lot…but as we have both said – where have they all gone ( and got a chuckle out of your musical memory!)

        • You raise the very valid point, not often heard above the din of rhetoric from extremists on both sides, that reasonable people with moderate views need to speak in their “indoor voices,” listen to each other, and work together to find some sensible ways to address the problem. I can’t believe anyone seriously wants this national carnage to continue, or wants emotionally disturbed people to have access to guns, or wants armed gangbangers roaming our streets.

          If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. That applies to both the prepper-survivalist on one end of the spectrum and the “abolish the Second Amendment” pacifist on the other.

  4. The purpose of the Second Amendment is to arm people in order to prevent future tyranny. They need the tools to do this.

    The term “Well Regulated” in the Second Amendment meant “Well Manned and Equipped ” in 1791 as was determined in the 1939 United States v. Miller case after referencing the autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. The concept of Government Regulation, as we understand it today, did not exist at the time.

    United States v. Miller also determined that the term “Arms” refers to “Ordinary Military Weapons” (not crew operated). American Citizens have the right to Keep and Bear, which means Own and Carry, any weapons that a soldier carries into battle. That includes past, present and future weapons. A Militia consisted of armed volunteers willing to fight with their personal arms and not under government control.

    The 2008 Heller v. Washington DC decision reaffirmed that the Right to Bear Arms was an Individual right. The 2010 McDonald v. Chicago decision reaffirmed it yet again and made it clear that it applies to every state, every city and every town in the United States.

    To limit the Second Amendment to muskets would be the equivalent of limiting the First Amendment to writings in quill pens.

    Liberty is worth the risk of death!

    • Not everyone in the US fears the government enough to arm against it. Almost 70% of US homes do not contain guns. And I doubt when the founders contemplated arming militias to ward off a tyrannical government, they expected citizens to turn those guns on one another the way we do today. Needing to defend yourself against the US government, considering its military capabilities today, is one rationale that won’t fly anymore.

      “Liberty is worth the risk of death!” Easy for you to say. You aren’t the one dying. You aren’t one of those dots on the map. And your liberty is not at risk unless and until the US government decides to come after you, in which case your guns won’t save you. Your position is partly responsible for all the guns in our society and all the carnage on that map. And yet you feel no responsibility for it? You aren’t willing to do anything? Are you afraid a background check would find you unfit to buy a gun?

  5. Relying on state laws to mandate background checks is obviously futile. People with bad intentions simply get their weapons in a state with no or more relaxed checking systems. We badly need federal controls.

    If Pocono Shooting would delve into the court rulings regarding gun possession with an open mind he or she would know current interpretations of the 2nd amendment allow government to control the types of weapons citizens are guaranteed the right to own.

  6. “If Pocono Shooting would delve into the court rulings regarding gun possession with an open mind he or she would know current interpretations of the 2nd amendment allow government to control the types of weapons citizens are guaranteed the right to own.”

    Prior to our last revolution, about half the population thought King George’s decreed guarantees and prohibitions were just fine too. The other half decided that their natural right to defense included any and all aggressors whether they be individuals, mobs, gangs or elected thugs. Like them, I OWN my life and I have the right to defend it against any who think otherwise.

    • You have the right to defend your life. With a gun, even. But which gun or guns is still subject to the laws and regulations of the US and state governments.

      • Not according to the constitutional constraints imposed on our government. The “Government” is prohibited from “INFRINGING” on my natural right to own and bear the arms needed to defend myself against all aggressors. The founders of our republic had just finished defending themselves against the worlds most advanced military using nothing but personally owned weapons. Among those were the most modern shoulder fired, horse drawn, wheeled and floating machines of war yet devised. They learned their lesson the hard way, and (to my sorrow and regret) it appears as if we’re going to have to do it all over again.

        • You and Gabby will have to debate whether the federal government can regulate the kinds of weapons you can own. Personally I think it can and already does. You can’t go out and buy any weapons of war you want. You are limited by law. This is the 21st Century, not the 18th. You aren’t going to hold off the US government with your .45.

          And by the way, it’s not just the government wanting to limit which and how many guns you can own. It’s the majority of your fellow Americans.

  7. One of the great innovations and benefits of a true constitutional republic is that individuals are inherently protected from a tyranny of the majority. Right now the only limit to what an individual can own is the amount of money they have to buy licenses and permits from the IRS’s stepchild taxing authority known as the BATF. Really.

    • Well, that’s depressing. And scary as hell. I hope we don’t someday have some insanely rich insane person buying an assortment of missiles, tanks, etc.

      • On the other hand, I find it very reassuring. I doubt you’ll want to do any real in-depth research on this subject because it’s pretty darned boring, but there’s a fictionalized version of the historical events which spawned the kind of fear you feel and it’s available for your Kindle for less than ten dollars. The paper versions are VERY EXPENSIVE.

        • I assume you’re reassured because it means your Second Amendment rights remain unabridged. If that’s true, then I think it’s sad you think your unabridged rights are more important than the lives snuffed out by madmen. And no, I don’t need fiction to fuel the “fear” (I prefer “concern”) I feel. Reality is scary enough.

          • The “fiction” mentioned is a story that’s woven around historical events that actually took place. The story merely keeps the litany of facts from being completely boring. My right to defend myself is independent of any governmental edict or action, but it can’t be extended to being a tool of aggression. It is no more right to run some innocent person over with a car, or stab them with a knife than it is to shoot them with a gun. The second amendment merely prohibits any governmental jurisdiction from infringing on that defensive right.

            • Unfortunately too many people interpret your defensive right as an offensive right. And as you already know, I think more guns are not the solution to the problem of too many guns.

            • You’re a good person, Pied. You don’t deserve to be a victim, but for reasons that I can’t understand there are many people who agree with your decision not to take responsibility for your own defense. For your sake, I hope that if you are ever faced with an aggressor armed with anything… club, chain, knife or gun – there is someone like me nearby who will save your skin and the states obligation (and expense) to warehouse the aggressor for even one second.

            • ImA, I appreciate your concern. Honestly, I do. But I don’t want to live with guns, with the idea that I’d better be armed every time I leave the house because I might be attacked at the supermarket, gas station, or national park. I don’t want that consciousness of potential violence permeating my life 24/7. You seem a responsible gun owner, but I would not be at all comfortable with a bunch of strangers around me carrying guns with the expectation and intent of using them at a moment’s notice. In my 70 years the only guns I’ve encountered have been in the hands of hunters, competitive shooters (including myself), or police. I expect to live my remaining years that way.

            • I didn’t realize my last note would appear to come from “anonymous.” Sorry about that.

            • np. Happens if you aren’t logged in. I identified you from your IP.

  8. Yes, they would rather see this continue than change anything… even a background check. Selfish lot they are (and no, not everyone… I’ve heard and read many gun owners support the background check and no assault rifle proposals. Unfortunately, they’re not the ones with the most power.)

“I cannot be an optimist but I am a prisoner of hope.” ~ Cornel West

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