Gun Week, Part 5: Guns Don’t Kill; People Kill

(During our time together The Curmudgeon has written occasionally, but not too often, about guns and the havoc they are wreaking on our society. In light of last weekend’s events in Orlando he is devoting this week to the issue of guns. A few of the pieces are new and others are from the past – in one case, only two weeks ago.)

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Some interesting facts and figures about Americans and their guns, courtesy of Mother Jones magazine.

Think life is safer in states like yours where it’s easier to get a gun?  Think again:  the gun murder rate is 114 percent higher in states with the highest gun ownership rates.  In other words, the more guns, the more gun murders.  Seems logical, doesn’t it?

Disturbed by aggressive driving?  You shouldn’t be disturbed – you should be scared.  Drivers who carry guns are 44 percent more likely to flip you the bird and 77 percent more likely to follow you aggressively.

Nothing like a Smith & Wesson in the glove compartment to give a guy a little courage.

But the National Rifle Association helps address problems like these through extensive training of gun owners – something it’s long claimed to be one of its most important missions.  Well, if the NRA is so good at what it does and so dedicated to training gun owners to be responsible, how come 43 percent of homes with guns and kids have at least one unlocked gun?

Looks like the NRA needs some remedial gun education itself.

The NRA also points to video games as a cause of gun violence.  If that’s true, how come the Japanese spend more per capita on video games than Americans ($55 to $44) and there were 11,030 gun murders in the U.S. in 2008 and only eleven – that’s ten plus one – in Japan that year?

That’s all fine and good but you’ve got a gun and you know, absolutely, that having it makes you safer.  The thing is, what you think you know and the facts aren’t necessarily related; in fact, it turns out they’re not even kissin’ cousins.  A study in Philadelphia, for example, found that if you’re an assault victim carrying a gun, you’re four to five times more likely to get yourself shot and more than four times more likely to get yourself shot and killed than if you were unarmed.

So much for your gun protecting you.

But ladies, surely you’re safe if the man in your life has a gun, right?  Actually, that would be wrong:  you’re six times more likely to be shot by that same gun-totin’ husband, boyfriend, or ex than you are by a total stranger.

With friends like these, who needs enemies?

The NRA spends a lot of time and a lot of money telling us – and telling us and telling us and telling us – how things should be, so maybe it just ran out of energy when it came to giving us the complete picture:  like how 74 percent of gun owners support background checks for all gun buyers; like how 67 percent support background checks for ammunition buyers; like how 55 percent support a ban on high-capacity clips; like how 45 percent support a ban on assault weapons; and like how 30 percent take a dim view of the NRA.

And finally, for you gun owners out there who are worried about the government coming to take your guns – you know, the latest NRA/Fox News-fueled craze – worry not:  you’ve got the government seriously, seriously outgunned.   The government – including all four branches of the military and all police departments – has about four million guns; youse guys – you god-fearing, flag-waving, gun-toting, second amendment-defending civilians – have 310 million.

Yeah, guns’ll keep you safe.

Or maybe not.

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  • Barbara  On June 17, 2016 at 1:10 pm

    I’ve been following your gun blogs. I agree with every word. Sad, sad, and more sad.

  • Peaches Shimmerdeep  On June 17, 2016 at 10:28 pm

    This is a fantastic blog; how can I share it on Facebook and Twitter?

  • foureyedcurmudgeon  On June 17, 2016 at 10:32 pm

    My knowledge of Facebook, as you know, is limited, but I’ve seen people mention my posts and put a link to them on their Facebook pages. I’ve even seen pieces just posted whole. As for tweeting, well, I am utterly clueless. Maybe we should consult Ashton Kutcher…or a Kartrashian…

  • Peaches Shimmerdeep  On June 17, 2016 at 11:34 pm

    Baby boomer. Me. (As opposed to the more techie Millenial-types.).

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