What Should We Do About Gun Violence?

              Our friends at March For Our Lives have just issued an impressive document, A Peace Plan for a Safer America, which can be downloaded here. If the server traffic keeps you from pulling it off the cloud, you can also go to my website and download the report here. The document, or better yet the proclamation, begins like this: “The next President must act with a fierce urgency to call this crisis what it is: a national public health emergency.”

              The good news is that the Parkland kids and their allies aren’t operating under any illusion that the current Administration will get anything done. The only problem is that I’m also not sure that the ‘next’ President won’t be named Trump. Unless of course we are talking about 2024. But that’s a long way off, which means that in the interim at least another 185,000 or more Americans will massacre themselves or others with guns. So what should we be trying to do about it now?

              The Peace Plan lists what is called six ‘bold’ steps, none of which are particularly or different from what we have seen before. There’s Cory’s idea for a national gun licensing system, repeal PLCCA which is a standard gun-control demand, cut the gun-violence rate in half although Lizzie says she will figure out a way to reduce it by 80 percent, support community-based, anti-violence groups, and two new, rather clever ideas. The first is that the President should name a gun-violence czar who would coordinate all federal gun-control efforts as well as give out a much bigger chunk of research about guns; the second is to push for a domestic peace corps for gun violence that will be called the ‘Safety Corps.’  I like that idea; it’s actually different and new.

              What concerns me, and I trust what I now say will be taken in the same constructive manner in which I have read and evaluated this plan, is that the only mention of law enforcement is in a paragraph about the need to produce ‘better policing’ so as to cut down on gun violence committed by the cops. What about the fact that right now the odds of someone getting arrested for committing a non-fatal gun assault are roughly one out of five. Don’t the cops deserve some more resources considering the fact that probably somewhere around 75,000 people are gunned down every year and survive simply because the shooter didn’t shoot straight? 

              We seem to have a serious problem in this country when it comes to talking about gun violence because the discussion always ends up looking primarily at the victims (call them ‘survivors’ if you will) with scant attention being paid to the individuals who shoot the guns.  In fact, while gun suicides claim more than 20,000 casualties every year, the total number killed and wounded in felonious assaults is now probably around 90,000, although we really don’t know a good number because the CDC has decided that its estimates for non-fatal shootings can no longer be used. So much for the public health ‘approach’ to gun violence.

              The bottom line is that somewhere between 75% and 85% of all gun injuries happen to be crimes. And we can express all the concern we want about the root causes of criminal behavior, but when someone walks down the street and gets hit by a bullet that happens to be flying by, the injury isn’t going to be somehow less serious because that guy just spent the afternoon cleaning up a vacant lot. 

              Again, I want to make it clear that I share the frustrations and concerns of everyone in Gun-control Nation who would like to see us turn a corner and really do something meaningful and successful about the violence caused by guns. But as often as they make mistakes or give in to popular prejudices, when it comes to gun violence, the cops aren’t causing 125,000 gun injuries every year. And neither is it the fault of the crazies, not the guns, to quote Number 45.

              It’s the guns, stupid. The small, concealable handguns occasionally mixed in with an AR.

2 thoughts on “What Should We Do About Gun Violence?

  1. “What Should We Do About Gun Violence?”

    I’m sure I can guess Mike the “anti gun guys” answer:

    Ban “Assault weapons” Now!!!!
    (and also Common Semiautomatic rifles and Shotguns like good ol Mike is trying to do in Florida)…

    …Then Ban Handguns…and eventually Bolt action “Sniper” rifles, “Trench Shotguns”….”Fast action” lever guns, etc. etc. etc.

    But Unless your plan is to eventually BAN EVERYTHING “Dangerous” (Including Hands and Feet), and wrap everything in Bubble wrap….

    Maybe we should be asking:

    “What should we do about VIOLENCE (in general)?

    “More people are killed annually with hammers and clubs in the United States than are killed with rifles of any kind, according to recent Federal Bureau of Investigations statistics.

    While 467 people were killed with “blunt objects,” like hammers and clubs in 2017, 403 were killed with rifles, the recent FBI crime statistics show.

    The FBI includes single shot, semi-automatic, pump action, bolt action and those firearms which are categorized by Democratic lawmakers as “assault weapons” in its “rifles” category. Therefore, only a percentage of the 403 deaths attributed to rifles were carried out by “assault weapons.”

    “Knives or cutting instruments” were used to kill 1,591 people, the 2017 crime figures show, while 403 were killed with rifles. Hence, people are four times more likely to be stabbed to death than get shot with any kind of rifle.

    According to the FBI report, more people were killed annually with “personal weapons” like “hands, fist, feet,” than rifles and shot guns combined….”

    Maybe Anti gun guys like Mike should just Admit that they dont really care about VIOLENCE… they just don’t like the fact that lowly Citizens like you and I are “allowed” to own Firearms at all.

    (Mike loves to tell us about the AR’s and AK’s that HE OWNS…He just doesn’t think that WE should.)

    Stop blaming the Tool, and figure out the Real Causes of Violence in our Country…

    Because, I’d be willing to bet that the SAME SOLUTIONS that would reduce the number of people being STABBED, BEATEN, or BLUDGEONED TO DEATH, would also work for “gun Violence” too.

    ….and it wouldn’t include BANS.

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