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Why call it gun violence?

Published October 25. 2017 12:27PM

Dear Editor,

As usual, I am a bit confused. If a deranged person drives a car or truck into a crowd of people on a city street, and kills many pedestrians, is it called car violence? If that same person is intoxicated far beyond the legal limit, and kills many people, is it called alcohol violence? Again, if a hundred people die at a pyrotechnic rock concert gone bad, is it called fire violence?

Why then, if an insane person, kills 57 people with a gun or guns, is it called gun violence and immediately we need more “gun control legislation?” Perhaps we should concentrate more on the subject of morality, family values, and who knows, we could even discuss standing for the Pledge of Allegiance to our flag!


Richard M. Gross


Well said, If you want to fix the problem we need to start with the youth giving them a real family with two adults to raise them and instill good values. Respect for your fellow man and common sense which has completely left the human race!
One important difference with the above analogies and guns. Unlike alcohol and cars, guns are specifically designed to kill, whether people or animals, so their excessive presence means that even with otherwise "normal" people in possession of them, their power to kill, is just one impulse away. Why make this worse by keeping automatic weapons available to the general public. We have regulations on how many drinks a bartender may serve a person possibly intoxicated, and we completely regulate driving. The argument about gun control--of powerful automatic weapons--is being refuted by those who simply benefit financially by their sale to the general public. And for those who believe that standing for the flag pledge and/or national anthem is equivalent to supporting this country, let's remember that those SYMBOLS represent the right to hold opinions with which people like you and I may not agree.
That is a fundamental freedom on which this country was "supposed" to have been founded.
There are many of us who will not obey any more gun laws. There are over 22,000 gun laws already on the books across this country. They are selectively enforced. They are regularly used a bargaining chips in plea agreements. They only affect the law abiding since criminals who have already decided to violate laws against robbery, rape, and murder don't really care if it was illegal to buy their gun from the guy selling meth out behind the bar or on that corner in that bad neighborhood. Criminals don't care if that gun is stolen. Criminals don't care if some feature of that gun is illegal.

Perhaps most significantly to gun people is that no matter how badly gun laws fail, no anti gun people ever want to repeal them and try something else instead. Since no anti gun people ever repeal or suggest repealing all of the laws that don't accomplish what they are supposed to, gun people get the idea that anti gun people are dishonest. We get the impression that you don't really care about bodies or crime, you just don't want ordinary mortals owning guns. And I point out us ordinary mortals because I never hear any of you suggest disarming cops or the military.

But back to my point, since Sandy Hook about 5 states (Colorado, Connecticut, Washington, Oregon, and New York) have enacted stricter gun laws than they had before (California and Maryland have tweaked their laws, but they were already so anti gun it didn't really affect anyone). In those 5 states something like a million people have willfully disobeyed those new laws. In some cases they have done so openly, and even right in front of law enforcement. thus far law enforcement has declined to do anything about it, with the Connecticut State Police commissioner informing the legislature that his officers would not enforce the new laws because it would get them killed.

Many of us in states without new laws have sworn not to obey any new laws. You might want to take that into consideration before you pass any.
The design purpose of something doesn't really make a difference though does it? No, not really. A person can act on impulse to kill with a vehicle just as quickly and easily as they can with a gun. Maybe even more so because the ubiquity of vehicles in our lives allows us to be lulled into doing things such as casually walking mere feet away from busy roadways, saved only by painted lines and drivers who don't want to kill you. You wouldn't casually walk downrange at a "hot" gun range though would you? So the design intent is irrelevant considering that. The only important thing in the end is what the person chooses to use an item for. There are, at last estimate, 600 million civilian owned guns in the US. Less than 1% of them have been used for homicide/murder. The "automatic" weapons you're referring to are responsible for only 0.001% (yes that's one hundredth of one percent) of homicides/murders. It seems very odd to define what something is "for" based on what 99% of them aren't used for. (Stats via the FBI crime statistics website, and the CDC). Instead it makes a lot more sense to view guns as what they are used for. Protection, target shooting/shooting sports, and hunting. The laws you're speaking of, limiting alcoholic drinks in bars, don't apply outside of a bar and don't seem to curb alcoholism at all. The driving analogy is pretty poor too, considering you don't need to insure, register, or have a license to drive a car unless you want to use a public road (and even then, some don't). If you accidentally kill someone with your car due to simple lack of driving skill or minor negligence you are not often charged with a crime at all. In fact they must prove you were driving recklessly or grossly negligent (using drugs or alcohol generally) in order to convict you of vehicular manslaughter. Nor are you banned from driving for life (usually only for months or years) by a vehicular manslaughter conviction. If you accidentally kill a person with a gun you are almost always charged with a serious crime (unless the negligence falls on another party) and are banned from owning a gun for life if convicted.
You're never going to convince these gun-crazy folks that gun regulation is good, even though it might help. I think we ALL know criminals have guns and that guns don't 'shoot themselves.' Those are dumb arguments made by pro-gun folk.
The problem isn't the wording, it is people that are more concerned with syntax instead of the actual atrocity. While most would view the senseless deaths of men, women and children with concern and wonder how this can be prevented in the future there are others that view those same deaths and wonder how can we frame this conversation so as not to connect those bullet riddled bodies with a gun. And by the way, if you kill someone with your vehicle, you may be charged with VEHICULAR manslaughter or Vehicular homicide, but what's in a name, those dead are still dead.
Both sides should be acting impartially to see if there's any actual solutions to be had, while at the same time keeping in mind that not every problem can be solved.

The real danger is that in trying to solve statistically small problems you can accidentally create a larger problem if you're not very careful. There is real risk involved in writing a law to save a few dozen people per year from being shot in mass shootings (in a country of 318 million people) and the restrictions of the law accidentally causing the victimization and deaths of just as many if not more people elsewhere in the country (that you may never even hear about or connect to the fact they died only because they were unable to protect themselves as they desired to).

It's easy to jump at what you can see though.
For those that keep insisting there are automatic weapons in public, please do some research on ATF law. An automatic weapon is classified as a class 3 ATF firearm. On average, you are looking at $10,000 just for the firearm. That does not include the vetting process for the tax stamp from the ATF. Which is usually around $200 to $300 depending on legal fees and usually a six month wait.

If we want to really talk about public safety and banning firearms for public safety, then we need to look at everything that causes a high mortality and disability rate. Why do we have cars that still allow you to drive without your seat belt buckled? Why are cars not governed to 75 mph? Why do all cars not have built in breathalizer detectors? Why can a person repeatedly buy hard alcohol week after week without their ID being tracked to prove they have an addiction? Why are cigarettes still allowed to be sold in the US? Why are we letting people that killed someone or is a multiple felon have the opportunity for parole? We take people that are accessories to murder such as the case in the page right now and let them stay at home under house arrest? Then we wonder why we have repeat offenders and escalation of crime.

Its not a gun problem, car problem, or any inanimate object used as a tool. It is a people problem. Hold people accountable. Start making consequences count. Bring back hard labor and death penalties, zero tolerance for gang activities, bring back the death penalty in every state.

Also, as I said above, do some research on ATF law and what it takes to buy the weapons you are talking about. Also, did anyone ever think that the person who committed the shooting in Vegas was anti firearm? Since everything he used and had has always made it on the agenda for those who want to regulate firearms. Including bump stocks who were never used in any shooting up until that point.

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