One of the trauma surgeons opened a young victim in the operating room, and found only shreds of the organ that had been hit by a bullet from an AR-15, a semi-automatic rifle which delivers a devastatingly lethal, high-velocity bullet to the victim.
Until 2008, no federal court had ever recognized an individual constitutional right to own a firearm. If anyone imagined that the Constitution protected a right to use violence to overthrow the government, that idea was put to rest in 1794, when George Washington marched an army across Pennsylvania to squash citizens’ “Second Amendment remedies.”
The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants:
“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”
(Second Amendment to the Constitution.)
- The number of physicians in the U.S. is 700,000.
- Accidental deaths caused by Physicians per year are 120,000.
- (Calculation) Accidental deaths per physician is 0.171.
Statistics courtesy of U.S. Dept of Health Human Services
Now think about this:
- The number of gun owners in the U.S. is 80,000,000. (Yes, that’s 80 million..)
- The number of accidental gun death per year, all age groups, is 1,500.
- (Calculation) The number of accidental deaths per gun owner is .000188.
Statistics courtesy of FBI
So, statistically, doctors are approximately 9,000 times more dangerous than gun owners.
Remember, ‘Guns don’t kill people, doctors do.’
FACT: NOT EVERYONE HAS A GUN, BUT ALMOST EVERYONE HAS AT LEAST ONE DOCTOR.
Please alert your friends to this alarming threat.
We must ban doctors before this gets completely out of hand!!!!!
Out of concern for the public at large, I withheld the statistics on lawyers for fear the shock would cause people to panic and seek medical attention.
The email above is a joke, yet some take it seriously. Regarding gun owners, according to the National Rifle Association (NRA) 2010 Fact Sheet, they tallied in the U.S. between 70 and 80 million. The NRA fact sheet also said that there are close to 300 million privately owned firearms in the United States with hand guns counting for nearly 100 million and that somewhere between 40-45% of American households have firearms. According to the National Rifle Association there were 776 accidental deaths from firearms in 2000, a lower figure than in the email.
Comparing doctor deaths to accidental firearm deaths is meaningless, especially because doctors are dealing with people who are sick in the first place, some of who are at high risk for death or have gone through high risk medical procedures, while victims of gun accidents are in general in good health. Statistic can be used to misled and confuse the issues. What is misleading is not the numbers are not accurate, but that they are about unrelated things. The purpose of weapons is to kill, accidental deaths by firearms are just a fraction, a small one, of the deaths caused by firearms, and the purpose of medical treatment is to save lives.
From the posting of the following picture in Facebook
- Guns are only tools. They cannot do anything of themselves and are not inherently evil. Yes, guns can be used for evil acts, such as homicide and things of that nature, but they can be used for good as well. Just as doctors can do good with their knowledge, they too can be used for evil and to kill (i.e. abortion and assisted suicide) which are legal. Where is the outrage about these things? True, many doctors do wonderful things, but many do not and we as a society recognize the need for those who do good things. We also need to recognize that guns are good for law abiding citizens to have.
- Do you have any children? I would feel awful if I had to take anthers life, but if it came down to someone hurting/raping/killing my wife or children then I could not live with myself knowing that I could have prevented/stopped it.
- Guns inhibit crime. Why criminals are criminals; because it is easier to rob and take than it is to work and earn. If a criminal wants to take the path of least resistance and he/she knows that one house has a firearm and knows how to use it and another house does not, which one would you think the criminal is going to choose to enter and do whatever he/she wants to the residence of that house? Clearly the one where he/she is not worried about loosing his/her own life. Of the 85 million or so guns within the US, the vast majority of those will never be used to actually fire at another human and take their life, but the fact that they exist and can be used when needed has an effect on those who would rob and plunder. Now if the whole population were to be disarmed what do you suppose would happen to the violent crime rate? Do you think it would go down? If criminals still exist and they can more easily take advantage of others why would a logical human being think that violent crime would go away? Criminals, by definition, have no regard for laws! Including gun laws! So the only people that would have guns would be those who would use them for evil purposes and those of us who would like to prevent those purposes from happening to our families would be left disarmed and helpless. Why do you think that violent crime is so high is the places with the most strict gun laws such as Chicago, NY, etc.? So, despite the fact that the 2nd Amendment gives all law abiding citizens the right to bare arms, simple logic shows that the best way to decrease violent crime is to allow law abiding citizens to own firearms.
- I have agreed doctors and guns are not quite the same issues, but I also explained that the point was to get people to think too.
- It seems that you say two different things about guns and your opinion changes based on whether or not it is your family.
- Murder is immoral. No doubt about it. Now as for the notion that defending one’s family by force, it is still quite Christian to defend one’s family. There are many many examples to be given, but that would take a very long time so I would refer to three sources: 1)the Bible, 2) the Book of Mormon, and 3) teachings of the modern Prophets. In addition I was not changing the subject by bringing the fact that doctors kill and murder. The real change in subject came with all the comments about murder and violent crime. The inforgraphic specifically states ACCIDENTAL in both cases, not intentional.
- If citizens are allowed to have guns for sport, what is to prevent a CRIMINAL from misusing the gun for violent purposes? If someone breaks into your home with a deadly weapon (perhaps not a gun) and rapes your children/wife and you have a gun because you are sport shooter, should it be illegal for you to use that gun in defense of your family? Why or why not?
- Crazies will always find a way to hurt people with or without guns. The world is declining rapidly! Note that these two tragic events ( 28 Dead, Including 20 Children, After Shooting Rampage At Sandy Hook School In Newtown and Knife-wielding man injures 22 children in China) occur when/where people are defenseless.
- Criminals do not care about the law. A criminal will still get a gun despite the fact that owning a gun is illegal. The only people it will effect are those who actually follow the law.
- Fighting sin and selfishness with the Gospel of Jesus Christ would fix the poverty and violent crime rates everywhere.
- I am anxious about the social environment around me because society’s moral compass is way off. We, as a society, have forgotten our Maker and the true path to peace and happiness. Society is caught up in how much stuff someone else has and is very selfish. This is the complete and opposite path to peace and harmony in the world.
- The commandments of God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ are the only things that can/will redeem the world.
- On the note of disarming everyone, it is strictly against the 2nd Amendment. The whole reason we had a Revolutionary war and the 2nd Amendment is because our Founding Fathers experience oppression from the government. They had the foresight to realize that any government (even the one they were setting-up in America) could oppress its citizens and that the citizens have the right to rise-up. From the Declaration of Independence: “But when a long train of abuses and usurpation pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.” How can we even have the option to “throw off such Government, and provide new Guards for [our] future security” if we as law abiding citizens do not have the right to bear arms? It is a founding premise upon which this nation was built.
- What about knives? If we take guns away from people, then why not knives? And if we take knives away, why not screw drivers and box cutters because they can be used to stab people as well?
- The 2nd Amendment is not outdated, as some would believe.
- Our Founding Father’s were inspired by God, who knows all, to include the right to bear arms in the Constitution because liberty and freedom are fundamental principles that are essential to happiness. Now once we have this liberty and freedom, we have the choice on how to act; we can choose to keep the commandments and be happy, or we can choose to break them and not be happy. Certainly there are those who choose to break them and that can have direct consequences on us, but we nevertheless still have a choose on how to react. If the Government controls everything we do, and we do not have the ability to gain back our individual liberty and freedom, then we can no longer exercise our personal choice and accountability.
- Society cares more about selfish pleasures than it does about God and life. The problem of mass violence in the U.S. is more a reflection of contempt for the sanctity of human life than of a love for gun ownership. In a society that reveres human life, gun ownership isn’t a chronic problem. People who genuinely believe in the sanctity of human life won’t take another life – by gun or any other means – unless it is absolutely necessary. Not so in a society that views human life as subjective and revocable. In a society that condones, funds, and promotes abortion and excuses euthanasia, human life is cheap. When a woman has a right to kill an unwanted child growing inside her simply because it suits her to do so, life is robbed of its value.
- Better bloodshed than slavery!
- 74% of NRA members support background checks, that might be a simple first step…. Or maybe not allowing those on the terrorist watch list to buy guns.
- Guns don’t kill people. Idiotic people use guns to kill people. Guns like drugs will always be around even with strict gun control laws. The black market will make more money.
This discussion was already ongoing when the news about Newtown came. From the flow of the discussion it seemed to me that the issue of gun ownership and the second amendment is not a rational one or even about fear. Gun ownership is a marking of membership in the group of God’s chosen people.
Perhaps last weekend’s mass shooting in Newtown, Conn., will serve to partly reverse the partisan split in attitudes toward guns; early polls on Newtown find relatively modest differences between Democrats and Republicans on what they see as the causes of the shooting. But after moments of healing, the partisan divide in attitudes toward guns has seemed only to accelerate after similar past events, as in Columbine, Colorado. It might seem strange that ownership of a single household object is so strongly tied to voting behavior and broader political attitudes in America. But America is an outlier relative to other industrialized nations in its gun ownership rates. Whatever makes this country so different from the rest of the world must surely be reflected in the differences in how Democrats and Republicans see the nation.
For many Republicans, the root of knowledge is a bedrock certainty about the Bible. This provides them with clear, absolute answers, and that much of what we see on earth is a struggle between good and evil.
When the 2012 Republican Party platform stated that we should “reaffirm that our rights come from God,” that reflected a sincere and genuine sense of bright-line natural law.
That kind of certainty in faith, which so often draws good/evil lines on theological issues, very naturally supports a similar outlook on political issues that aren’t directly rooted in the Bible. American conservatives tend both to see their opponents as evil and to catastrophize potential political losses. If the world is locked in a battle between good and evil, and our side is good, that leaves only one possibility for our opponents.
The American obsession with guns and violence is not unique, but it is distinctive. The US ranks 12th in the world for rate of firearm-related deaths. El Salvador, Colombia, Swaziland, Brazil, South Africa, the Philippines and some others are worse. But that is the company the US is in– not, say, relatively peaceful places like Japan, Singapore and the Netherlands.
It turns out that the Newtown shooter used a semi-automatic Bushmaster rifle and he had lots of thirty-round high-capacity clips for it. Authorities have revealed that each of the 20 children and six adults he killed was shot multiple times, but given the number of clips Lanza brought with him, the number of victims could have been much, much higher. The Federal ban on weapons such as the Bushmaster, in place 1994-2004, was allowed to lapse by the George W. Bush administration and his Republican Congress, all of whom received massive campaign donations from the gun lobby. There is a Connecticut ban, but the maker of the Bushmaster used a loophole in the poorly written state law to continue to sell the gun in the state. The Bushmaster is manufactured by a subsidiary of the Wall Street hedge fund, Cerberus Capital Management, called the “Freedom Group”– which also owns Remington and DPMS Firearms. It is the largest single maker of semi-automatic rifles in the US, and they are expected to be a major growing profit center in the coming years. The Freedom Group was sued over the Washington, DC, sniper attacks, and paid $500,000 without admitting culpability.
Wisconsin, Aurora, Virginia Tech, Columbine, Newtown. There may well be a new locale to add to the list. Such is the state of enabled and murderous mayhem in the United States.
Can anything be done about the phenomenon of “mass shootings?”
These killings have plagued the US for decades.
Gun advocates might argue that these mass shootings are relatively rare and exact a relatively low death toll in a country of 310 million people. In 2012, there were 16 mass shootings in the US, which killed 88 persons and wounded hundreds. We polish off 14,500 Americans a year with murders (around 9000 of them via firearms), and 30,000 a year in auto accidents. There are also something like 18,000 suicides a year by firearm in the US, about half of the total; perhaps large numbers of those people would still be alive if it hadn’t been so technically easy to take their on lives. Anyway, mass shootings as a subset of lives taken by firearms are a tiny proportion.
The problem is getting worse. 10% of all mass shootings since 1982 have occurred in 2012, and 12 percent of the 543 victims since that date have been killed this year.
In addition, however, some 2,000 of the 9,000 firearms murders a yearare committed by drug gangs and other criminal gangs, and these are primarily using semi-automatic weapons to commit these murders.
So there is a problem, of increased numbers of mass shootings and increased numbers of victims over time. And there is a problem with the roughly 1 million gang members having military-style weapons and committing 14% of the murders every year in the US.
Gun advocates say that guns don’t kill people, people kill people. The truth, though, is that people with guns kill people, often very efficiently, as we saw so clearly and so often this summer. And while it is debatable that the right to bear arms is written into the Constitution, we cannot keep pretending that this right is somehow without limit, even as we place reasonable limits on arguably more valuable rights like the freedom of speech and due process.
The question, which is suddenly pressing, in light of the reaction to the school massacre in Newtown, is rooted in politics as much as law.
For more than a hundred years, the answer was clear, even if the words of the amendment itself were not. The text of the amendment is divided into two clauses and is, as a whole, ungrammatical: “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” The courts had found that the first part, the “militia clause,” trumped the second part, the “bear arms” clause. In other words, according to the Supreme Court, and the lower courts as well, the amendment conferred on state militias a right to bear arms—but did not give individuals a right to own or carry a weapon.
Illinois’ last-in-the-nation prohibition on carrying concealed weapons has been struck down. However, the mass killings at a Connecticut elementary school on Friday will likely renew a serious national debate about an assault weapons ban and the Second Amendment. The shooting comes right after another man opened fire inside an Oregon mall on Tuesday in an incident that left three people dead. The gun used the shooting, an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, jammed during the attack, and it was a stolen weapon.
Since April, there have been mass killings in Oakland, Calif. (7 dead), Aurora, Colo. (12 dead), Oak Creek, Wis. (6 dead), Minneapolis (5 dead), Brookfield, Wis. (3 dead), Portland, Ore. (2 dead) and Newtown, Conn. (27 dead).
Talk of renewing the national Federal Assault Weapons ban, which expired in 2004, was being debated after the Clackamas Town Center shooting, and there will be more discussion about asking Congress to pass a stricter ban, with no time limit.
But the path of the any Assault Weapons ban becoming a reality faces several major obstructions.
First, gun ownership is at the core of the Constitution’s Second Amendment, which grants citizens the rights to bear arms.
When the original Federal Assault Weapons ban was passed in 1994, gun rights groups decided not to pursue a challenge through the court system. An August 2012 analysis from Politico shows that given the recent history of assault weapon court cases, there is a strong indication that the NRA would pursue a Second Amendment challenge up to the Supreme Court—if a national law were passed again. And based on a 2008 Supreme Court decision, the fate of a Federal Assault Weapons case in front of the court could be problematic.
The decision in District of Columbia v. Heller found that while citizens had the right to keep guns for self-defense, the court also agreed with an older ruling that “finds support in the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons.”
A subsequent ruling in 2010 that reinforced the right of gun ownership and that it extended to states and towns. But for any challenge to take place to a national gun law, Congress would have to pass a new law first.
Guns are tools, tools of death. Their function is to kill. All animals must kill to survive, and many must kill sentient beings. Among mammals many species kill their own kind. The cuddly hamster will kill its cage mate during its sleep and eat out its brain for breakfast. Apes, not only human, carry out organized attacks into other clans. From this perspective there is nothing special about humans killing each other for whatever circumstance.
However man is supposed to be above instinct and there is a claim of morality and rationality. Nevertheless, through history the morality of killing has proven to be intractable. Despite the fact that many moral systems purport to ban killing, there are always ifs and buts, and even strict pacifist systems like Janism agree that violence in self-defense can be justified, and they agree that a soldier who kills enemies in combat is performing a legitimate duty. Some Christians sects, like the Mennonites, teach that because Jesus taught his followers to love everyone, killing, even in war, is not a Christian response. Yet Christians kill under socially acceptable conditions even with praise and encouragement from their Church. Christianity has a rhetoric of love and peace but a history fierce and bloody. Love toward oneself (myself, my mate, my children, my home, my country, my church, my …) remains a fundamental principle of morality. It boils down to the right of the strong, Justice.
Nonetheless, The right to kill in self defense or whatever redeeming circumstance might occur is not the issue here. The question is the social convenience of unlimited availability of weapons for all individuals. Even to second amendment zealots is evident that unlimited availability of weapons is not desirable and they pose something different, fuzzier, harder to define or implement. A qualification in the line of …individuals like I, using catch phrases like law-abiding citizens.
Let’s consider then a different question: Social stability increase or decreases with the availability of firearms? If we look at examples of social unrest, like the riots in L.A., things would have been a lot worst if more weapons were available to the general population. The riots took on tones of interracial conflict, blacks raiding commercial districts of stores owned by Asians. The Asians used small guns and hunting rifles and shotguns to repel the mob. What would happen if the battle hardened drug gangs of the black neighborhoods had taken the challenge and attacked with machine guns? This did not happen because the gangs were afraid of the government not just of the store owners. Therefore, the ability of Government to keep the upper hand in the application of force is an important factor in social stability. The primary function of Government is to guarantee the Social Contract. The freedom to engage in seditious activities and Social peace do not mix.
Gun owners tend to be among the political right, and Second Amendment support is a common thread among Tea Party demonstrators. One of the fundamental mantra of them is guns as a mechanism of check and balance against tyranny. From ex-president Clinton on down, there have been comments to the effect that the political right is urging any crazies who might be willing to act out, to commit violent acts against the government. It sounds like sedition. There is a not only idle talk, there is a trail of actual terrorist activity. The Hutterite militia in Michigan was planning to kill police officers but they had not actually done anything violent before they were arrested, and their ultimate goal was to war against the anti-Christ. Timothy McVeigh in 1995 blamed the US Government for attacks against American citizens at Waco and Ruby Ridge.
The gun crowd likes to wax eloquent about protecting our natural rights with our weapons when the government becomes unconstitutional, and all other avenues have failed.
“In the NRA’s world, we are only free to the extent that our guns allow us to impose our will on others.”
Dennis Henigan of the Brady Campaign, “Gun Rights and Political Violence”
They see themselves as free, armed men that ensure that the government can’t stray too far toward tyranny. Law abiding insurrects that do not use violence and have confidence in the ballot box. I do not understand what does it mean to be a law abiding insurrect and how the treat of using force against government is not sedition. It sound like fools playing with fire. A fire that will get us all burned. Guns for peace is like condoms for virginity. The safety of all of us depends on social stability and the availability of guns undermines the social fabric.
I will point out that there is a recurring ploy of invoking the safety and well being of children and abortion , regardless of relevance, for emotional impact and to gain the moral high ground. Even cases where children are the victims of gun violence are used as argument for the need of more weapons. The objection to unlimited availability of guns is not an attack on the right of self defense, but rather a claim that this might not be the best strategy to uphold the Social Contract, and invoking abortion as an argument to own guns is ludicrous.
There is a trade off between social stability and the convenience, freedom, and safety of the individual.
The argument of guns for self defense makes an implicit assumption of asymmetrical force. The scenarios depicted by gun advocates and those actually carried out in practice assume a tactical advantage and often an unarmed attack. However in a world with unlimited gun availability the major treat is also from armed groups. Furthermore, since they know you are armed and willing to kill the stakes are higher. In terms of Game Theory, this is known as the prisoner’s dilemma. If I am the guy with the gun I am king of the mountain, if my neighbor is the man, I am at his mercy, if we both have guns, we better be in good terms, and we are both at high risk of dying of a shotgun. If neither has guns there is no risk of gun violence but none is in position to control the other. However small the probability of a gun being used in a serious injury or death, -accident, suicide, homicide, massacre-, is bigger than zero and multiplied by 85 million produces thousands of deaths a year.
Statistics by themselves cannot establish causality. The USA has many times the violent death rate of similar countries, but is that caused by gun ownership? A decrease in guns will make that factor .5 or 100?
Violent crime in New York City has been dropping since 1990. In 2009, there were 471 homicides, the lowest number since at least 1963 when reliable statistics were first kept. Crime rates spiked in the 1980s and early 1990s as the crack epidemic hit the city.
During the 1990s the New York City Police Department (NYPD) adopted CompStat, broken windows policing and other strategies in a major effort to reduce crime. The city’s dramatic drop in crime has been attributed by criminologists to policing tactics, the end of the crack epidemic and – controversially – the legalization of abortion approximately 18 years previous. Most of the crime remaining occurs in poor areas, which tend to be outlying. There is a correlation between poverty and crime. Not that rich people do not like the easy way but they have other more effective choices and they take your money without going into your house. So if street crime is your worry, it is more effective to fight against poverty than spend resources on guns. Fighting against poverty does not mean charity, but uprooting the causes.
Like other major industrial cities in the US, Chicago had a major rise in violent crime starting in the late 1960s. Like most major American cities, Chicago has also experienced a decline in overall crime since the early 1990s. Murders in the city peaked first in 1974, with 970 murders when the city’s population was over three million (resulting in a murder rate of around 29 per 100,000), and again in 1992, with 943 murders when the city had fewer than three million people, resulting in a murder rate of 34 per 100,000. Following 1992, the murder count slowly decreased to 641 by 1999. That year it still had the most murders of any big city in the U.S.
After adopting crime-fighting techniques in 2004 recommended by the Los Angeles Police Department and the New York City Police Department, Chicago recorded 448 homicides, the lowest total since 1965. This murder rate of 15.65 per 100,000 population is still above the U.S. average, an average which takes in many small towns and suburbs.
This homicide rate is similar to that of Los Angeles in 2004 (13.4 per 100,000), and twice that of New York City (7.0 per 100,000). Chicago’s homicide tally increased slightly in 2005 and 2006 to 450 and 467, respectively, though the overall crime rate in 2006 continued the downward trend that has taken place since the early 1990s, with 2.5% fewer violent crimes and 2.4% fewer property crimes compared to 2005.
Homicide is the second leading cause of death for persons aged 15–24 years, the third leading cause for persons aged 25–34 years, and the fourth for persons aged 1–14 years. Similarly, suicide is the second leading cause of death for persons aged 25–34 years and the third leading cause for persons aged 10–24 years. Homicide and suicide are leading causes of death because of drugs and weapons are just tools.
Every year just over 30,000 people die in the US from gunshot wounds. Every two years more US citizens are killed by gunshot wounds than were lost in the entire Vietnam war.
With a population of 310 million about 2,573,000 people die in the US each year. Of which 30,000 die of Gun Shot – so if you live in the US you have over a 1 % chance that you will die of Gun Shot wound.
America’s gun control laws are the loosest in the developed world and its rate of gun-related homicide is the highest. Of the world’s 23 “rich” countries, the U.S. gun-related murder rate is almost 20 times that of the other 22. With almost one privately owned firearm per person, America’s ownership rate is the highest in the world; tribal-conflict-torn Yemen is ranked second, with a rate about half of America’s.
But what about the country at the other end of the spectrum? What is the role of guns in Japan, the developed world’s least firearm-filled nation and perhaps its strictest controller? In 2008, the U.S. had over 12 thousand firearm-related homicides. All of Japan experienced only 11, fewer than were killed at the Aurora shooting alone. And that was a big year: 2006 saw an astounding two, and when that number jumped to 22 in 2007, it became a national scandal. By comparison, also in 2008, 587 Americans were killed just by guns that had discharged accidentally.
Almost no one in Japan owns a gun. Most kinds are illegal, with onerous restrictions on buying and maintaining the few that are allowed. Even the country’s infamous, mafia-like Yakuza tend to forgoguns; the few exceptions tend to become big national news stories.
The Japanese and American ways of thinking about crime, privacy, and police powers are so different — and Japan is such a generally peaceful country — that it’s functionally impossible to fully isolate and compare the two gun control regiments. It’s not much easier to balance the costs and benefits of Japan’s unusual approach, which helps keep its murder rate at the second-lowest in the world, though at the cost of restrictions that Kopel calls a “police state,” a worrying suggestion that it hands the government too much power over its citizens. After all, the U.S. constitution’s second amendment is intended in part to maintain “the security of a free State” by ensuring that the government doesn’t have a monopoly on force. Though it’s worth considering another police state here: Tunisia, which had the lowest firearm ownership rate in the world (one gun per thousand citizens, compared to America’s 890) when its people toppled a brutal, 24-year dictatorship and sparked the Arab Spring.
Contrary to what is often alleged, in any case, used guns are seldom the problem. Most used guns are in people’s safes. The new ones are the problem. Most people who commit mass shootings seem to go on a buying spree first, and gang members likewise most often like to purchase new weaponry.
To summarize I do not have hard evidence, that the gun culture in the States is detrimental to the safety of all, including gun owners. My feeling is that it is unsafe and morally questionable.