What Do Gun Owners Need to Know About Their Guns?


              I was born in 1944.  I once asked my mother whether she had a difficult pregnancy with me. She laughed and said, “Oh yes. It was very difficult. My doctor told me I couldn’t drink or smoke for nine months!”

              What medicine knew about the health risks of tobacco took the country another forty years to learn and figure out a response. Walk up to a counter in the convenience store and you don’t even notice the sign which says you will be asked to show an ID before you can buy a pack of cigarettes. Those signs didn’t exist anywhere until the 1980’s if then.

              Thank to research by Art Kellerman and Fred Rivara published thirty years ago, we have known that access to guns in the home represents the same kind of medical risk which exists in homes which contain cigarettes. The gun industry can promote the false narrative about how guns protect us rather than harm us, but nobody takes that nonsense seriously, if they ever did.

              So how come, here we are in the midst of what appears to be an overwhelming incidence of gun violence, and the chances are better than even that nothing will get done? How come for every state like Colorado which tightens up gun-control laws, another state like Florida will make it easier for folks to get their hands on guns?

              Given the fact that the latest information we have on this subject, a study by the Rand Corp. which indicates that less than 40% of all American households contain a legal gun, how come it seems to be impossible to find a response to gun violence even though a majority of our population doesn’t own a gun?

              Back in 1980, or maybe it was 1981, I spent a weekend at the Smith & Wesson factory in Springfield, and along with several other S&W distributors, looked at a very detailed marketing survey which S&W had commissioned to help the company figure out how to respond to what appeared to be the loss of the retail gun market to the hi-capacity, European imports made by Beretta, Sig and Glock.

              Smith & Wesson had taken the commercial handgun market away from Colt sometime around World War II. The company also had a near-total control over guns carried by the cops. Both of those markets, however, were being threatened by these upstarts from overseas, so for the first and only time in its entire, storied history (the company was founded in 1852), S&W wanted to know who was buying handguns and why they were being bought.

              What struck me about this survey was that no matter how you sliced and diced the demographics of the respondents – age, gender, race, income, location, etc., – virtually everyone believed in the 2nd Amendment, i.e., every law-abiding resident of the United States had the ‘right’ to own a gun.

              Now granted, this survey was conducted before Columbine and before the other mass shootings which now almost daily or at least weekly dominate the news. The survey was also conducted before well-financed national advocacy groups like Everytown, Brady and Giffords began to challenge the NRA for media time and space.

              But I’m willing to take the short odds that if a survey asked the average American whether they supported the idea that law-abiding folks could own guns, a solid majority of Americans would say ‘yes.’ And this majority would grow exponentially in the 25 states which delivered their electoral votes to the GOP in 2020.

              I lived in Columbia, SC from 1976 to 1981. Most of the homeowners in my neighborhood were older whites, middle-class blacks lived in a similar neighborhood on the other side of the commercial street which ran from the internet loop down into the middle of town. Not one of my neighbors owned a gun, but they all knew that I had guns lying all over my house, and none of them cared. It goes without saying that South Carolina is now, politically speaking, a very red state.

              My friend Tom Gabor is about to set out on a publicity tour to promote a new book he has co-authored with Fred Guttenberg, which hits Amazon and the trade stores on May 2nd. Evidently, the book attempts to dispel and disprove some of the narratives that the gun industry promotes to sell guns and stop the spread of gun-control laws, narratives like how guns are used frequently to protect us from crimes or how an armed society makes us all safe.

              I’ll be receiving a copy of this book next week. I’ll sit down and read it through and then write a review. But the fact is that I don’t need anyone to tell me that access to a gun creates risk. The real question is whether this book is aimed (pardon the pun) at people like me or people like my neighbors when I lived in a gun-owning state.

              We’ll see what we see.

Why Do Republicans Love Guns?


              You would think that in the aftermath of the recent horrific, mass shootings, which even have occurred in Southern states, that at least a few members of the GOP House caucus would find some way to join with the other side and come up with some kind of mild measure to cut back on the violence caused by guns.

              Maybe those stalwart defenders of the 2nd Amendment aren’t quite ready to abandon one of their most cherished beliefs, so we shouldn’t expect them to jump onto the assault rifle ban bandwagon quite yet. But isn’t there some other, less dramatic way that the GOP can figure out to demonstrate some degree of worry for the seemingly endless shootings that are taking place?

              According to Gallup, more than 60% of American adults are dissatisfied with the gun-control laws we now have on the books and would like to see gun regulations increased. And while 54% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents are satisfied with current gun laws, this number is a drop from the 69% who were satisfied two years ago.

              Think the gun-control issue won’t be an electoral concern in 2024? Think again. I get weekly emails and snail mails from the NRA and the gun-control groups like Brady and Giffords, and next year’s election is mentioned almost every time.

              Even after the killing of three adults and three children at a Christian school in Nashville, the House GOP Majority Leader, Steve Scalise, refused to talk about any kind of gun -control legislation in positive terms. Meanwhile, back in 2017, Scalise took a bullet in his rear end during a practice session of the GOP House baseball team.

              How can we explain or even just understand the complete and total refusal of the GOP House caucus to acknowledge the unending spate of gun violence which, if you recall, was blamed on the life stressors caused by Covid-19 in 2020-2021, but the Pandemic has now receded while gun violence seems to be getting worse all the time? The truth is that we can’t explain it, but given the fact that the ten states with the highest current rates of gun violence all send a majority of House members to the GOP side of the aisle, there would be at least a slight murmur about this issue from the red team.

              To the contrary, the GOP’s reaction to gun violence has been to introduce a bill in the House – H.R. 1095 – which would make “an AR–15 style rifle chambered in a .223 Remington round or a 5.56x45mm NATO round to be the National Gun of the United States.” I’m quoting from the text of the bill.

              So far, this bizarre piece of legislation only has five sponsors, including (of course) Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert and George Santos. Can you imagine something this crazy as representing the response to shootings in Uvalde, Nashville, and a few other supermarkets and public sites?

              But before you take what I have written so far and consign the GOP to the nuthatch of history, let’s not forget that the primary reason that someone sits in a Congressional House seat is because he or she wants to get elected again. And to keep a seat in a legislative body where everyone has to face the voters every two years, you better make sure that what you say and what you think is what those voters want to hear.

              The Rand Corp. recently published research which breaks down household gun ownership on a state-by-state basis, and I happen to think that this particular study (as opposed to many others) is pretty good. Rand estimates that 32.4% of American households contain at least one gun. But of the 25 states which gave Trump a plurality in 2020, you would find a gun in more than half the households in 14 of those states. Only 2 states which gave Joe a plurality, contained gun-owning households above 50%, and they were Oregon -.508% and Vermont – .505% respectively.

              Let’s not forget that what matters in Congress is which party has the majority and this number increasingly reflects the outcome of elections in just a few states for the Senate and just a few CDs for the House.

              In that respect, no matter how devastating gun violence may prove to be, it may be an issue which the GOP has no choice but to ignore.

Want to Protect Yourself? Turn a Pistol Into a Rifle.


              So, to make sure that none of their supporters make the mistake of thinking that they are doing anything to restrict or soften 2nd-Amendment ‘rights,’ today the GOP majority on the House Judiciary Committee voted to roll back a new ATF rule that would require owners of handguns with stabilizing braces to register those guns.

              A stabilizing brace is a plastic accessory which attaches to the grip of a handgun ans effectively turns the gun into a rifle because now it can be shot with the gun braced against the shooter’s shoulder instead of having to control the gun and its recoil just by using the shooter’s hands.

              “The stabilizing brace isn’t a gun,” said one of the GOPers on the Committee, “it’s just a mechanism that will allow a disabled individual to protect himself with a handgun.”

              Isn’t that nice?  This member of the GOP caucus is concerned about wanting disabled Americans to feel the same sense of protection and strength by carrying a gun that gun owners feel when they walk around with a rifle, except that a handgun is so much easier to conceal.

              What my friends in Gun-control Nation probably don’t understand, nor did I hear a single member of the Democrat(ic) minority on the House Judiciary Committee attempt to explain, is that what makes an assault rifle like an AR-15 so lethal is not the length of the barrel, but the fact that the gun loads from beneath its frame, which allows the shooter to use a high-capacity magazine which might hold 30 or more rounds, plus an empty magazine can be dropped out of the gun and a new, loaded magazine inserted in a second or less.

              These design features have nothing to do with the gun’s barrel length, which is how a gun is defined as either a handgun or a long gun. And many of the gun companies who today manufacture and sell assault rifles, are also making and selling handguns which incorporate the design features described in the previous paragraph and are pictured above.

              The attempt by the gun industry and its GOP cheerleading squad to present and define this issue as just another way to help the disabled among us behave just like normal, ordinary folks is a complete and total ball of sh*t. If I want to bring a gun into a public space and blast the hell out of everyone I could see, I’d buy an assault-style handgun, attach a stabilizing device to the grip and I’m good to go.

              One of the GOP jerkoffs on the Committee, Rep. Wesley Hunt, shot his mouth off in the usual, pro-gun fashion by saying “it’s not the gun, it’s the homicidal maniac” using the gun.

              Did it ever occur to this brainless individual that making it easier for the ‘brainless maniac’ to walk into a public space with a concealed assault-style weapon will just make it easier for the ‘brainless maniac’ to kill as many people as he can?

              Of course, this didn’t occur to Congressman Hunt. Before the hearing he no doubt asked a staff member to give him something to say in favor of the stabilizing brace. The staffer contacted the local NRA rep who immediately handed him this gem of a statement and Congressman Hunt had what he needed to say.

              The NRA has basically been saying the same thing for the last forty or so years. ‘Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.’ You still occasionally see that bumper sticker on the rear fender of an F-150 or another small truck.

              People also kill other people with knives, sometimes with a good, hard klop over the head. But why make it easier for someone to kill or injure someone else?

              Oh, I forgot! It’s not a homicide to defend myself when I’m attacked by someone else. Wasn’t that what the guy was doing who shot and nearly killed a teenager named Ralph Yarl who knocked on the guy’s front door by mistake?

How Do We Stop an Epidemic Which Is Endemic?

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              So, to keep things from getting out of control on the gun-control front, the GOP unleashed Vickie Spartz, a House caucus member from Indiana, who explained why locking her guns up or locking them away didn’t make her feel more safe. In fact, the way she put it, she needs her guns close at hand because she never knows if or when the cops will show up.

              This is something of an interesting balance act for the GOP, so to speak, because on the one hand they present themselves as the only think standing between them and those liberal hordes who want to defund the police. On the other hand, if you need to sleep with a gun under your pillow because you can’t be sure if the cops will respond to your call for help, then why should we be paying the folks in blue?

              That being said, the attempt by Congressperson Spartz (no, she’s a Congresswoman) to undercut a cherished idea of Gun-control Nation reflects just how much the GOP needs to keep itself in fighting trim for the gun ‘rights’ gang,  but it also unfortunately reflects the lack of reality in the strategies being promoted by gun-grabbing liberals (which is an oxymoron if there ever was one) to reduce or at least control the current spate of violence caused by the availability of guns.

              Yesterday, according to the Gun Violence Archive, there were 102 deaths and injuries from shootings, of which 30 victims ended up dead and the other 72 are still alive. At that pace, this year would find us at around 11,000 homicides from shootings, which is actually substantially less than the number of individuals murdered with guns over the last several years.

              On the other hand, since 2001, there has only been one year (2014) when less than 11,000 victims were intentionally shot to death, and the number that year was 10,945. To quote our friend Dr. Kathy Kristoffel, we don’t have a gun violence epidemic, because epidemics come, and epidemics then go. The U.S. has gun violence as an endemic condition, which has become as constant and unchanging as the daily replacement of the sun by the moon.

              Unfortunately, cynically stupid politicians like Victoria Spartz, can get away with the nonsense she spouts because the programs and strategies proposed by the gun-control crowd haven’t done much good and worse, don’t even reflect the reality of why and how gun violence actually occurs.

              There is not one, single study, including the research referenced by Idiot Spartz, which goes any further than assuming that maybe there would be a change in gun-violence rates if laws which required locking up the guns were put into effect. Sorry, but telling a gun owner that you believe he maybe might be safer if he locks up his guns, is like telling him that he doesn’t need to worry if he just drinks or smoke a little less.

              My state, Massachusetts, happens to have the strongest and most comprehensive law mandating safe gun storage of all 50 states. If you leave a gun out where other household members can even just touch it, you have committed a felony punishable by five years. The law was passed in 1999 and gun-violence rates went up, not down, over the following four or five years.

              Know why the U.S. has an endemic gun violence problem? Because we are the only country in the entire world which allows residents to own and walk around with guns that were designed specifically to be used to commit gun violence.

              I’m not talking about assault rifles, even though they are usually the weapon of choice when someone wants to blow through a movie theater or a school. I’m talking about my semi-automatic, bottom-loading Glock pistol with a 16-round mag.

              My Glock 17 wasn’t designed to be a ‘sporting’ gun. My Glock wasn’t designed to pop a cap on Bambi’s rear end. My Glock, and virtually every other semi-automatic pistol which together are used for most of the fatal and non-fatal shootings every year, was designed to kill human beings.

              And by the way, for all the chatter out there about how a gun makes you ‘safe,’ the World Health Organization defines violence as a conscious attempt to hurt yourself or someone else. And the WHO, as opposed to that other public health organization known as the NRA, doesn’t differentiate between violence which is ‘good’ and violence which is ‘bad.’

              Meanwhile, I don’t notice one, single public health researcher who has ever said that we can reduce or (God forbid) eliminate gun violence by simply getting rid of the types of guns which show up again and again and again in gun-violence events.

              Which is why I referred above to the lack of reality embodied in the statements and strategies of the well-meaning organizations and researchers who work to reduce violence from guns.

Do Guns Make You Safe?


              So, once again a series of really nasty, mass shootings has opened up the debate on guns, a debate based on a very simple division of opinion, namely, whether a gun makes you more or less safe.

              Obviously, the pro-gun people promote the idea of a gun as being a very effective way to protect yourself, the anti-gun people arguing the reverse.

              Now it turns out that research on this issue definitively shows that access to a gun creates a risk to health. But since when do most people make decisions based on what some article published in a medical journal wants them to believe?

              So, here we go again with the same old, same old which means that the gun-control crowd has to figure out a narrative which will convince gun-owning Americans that they need to re-think how they feel about their guns.

              And by the way, since roughly 40% of Americans own a gun, and 60% believe that a gun represents safety and self-protection more than it represents a risk, there are a lot of non-gun owners out there who also buy the idea that having a gun around protects you and makes you safe.

              So, what do we do to figure out an effective response to the idea that guns are ‘good’ things to keep around?

              Well, the first thing we have to do is figure out why gun owners’ own guns. And for this information, the gun-control gang turns to their friends in public health who run what they refer to as ‘nationally representative’ surveys to figure out what’s on the brain of the people who need to be taught that they don’t need to own guns.

              Unfortunately, the so-called experts who design these surveys, know as much about guns as I know about nuclear fission, and the idea that well-meaning advocates for gun control would use the so-called research of this public health bunch to develop any narrative which would capture the attention of gun owners is a major reason why gun-control laws don’t result in any change at all.

              I can’t remember the last survey of gun owners by public health researchers which didn’t ask respondents why they own a gun? And when the survey is published, invariably the researchers trumpet the idea that they have discovered a fundamental shift in the mentality of gun owners who used to own guns for hunting and outdoor sport, but now own guns for armed, self-defense.

              Of course, you could learn the same thing by simply reviewing the annual report issued by the ATF on gun manufacture, which breaks down the number of handguns and long guns produced every year. In 2020, the gun industry produced 6.5 million handguns and 3.1 million rifles and shotguns. Think any of those handguns were used to pop a cap into Bambi’s rear end?

              But the issue isn’t whether gun owners are stocking up on self-defense guns rather than sporting arms; the real issue, which not one, single public health survey has ever asked, is how many of these folks who went out recently and bought a self-defense gun were already gun owners and decided to switch from guns used for sport to guns used for self-defense?

              Notwithstanding all the exultant crowing by the gun industry PR folks like the NSSF about all these newbies have been streaming into gun shops to buy their first gun, how come not one, single public health researcher has ever taken the trouble to ask a gun dealer (like me) to estimate the number of customers who come into their shop to buy a handgun as their first gun?

              Here’s my answer to that question. Ready? Almost none.

              That’s right. I stopped doing retail in 2015, but between 2002 and when I shut down my retail sales, I probably sold 2,800 handguns. And since my gun shop, like just about all gun shops, sold guns to the folks who lived in my town and the surrounding towns, I knew just about all my customers, and they were either folks who already owned guns or had been raised in a household where guns were around.

              The point is that when and if the gun-control community (of which I happen to be a long-time member) finally sits down and tries to figure out a narrative that will resonate to the other side, as opposed to figuring what to say to each other, they better be prepared to talk to people for whom guns have always been part of their lives, as well as the lives of their parents and probably further back on the family tree.

              Until and unless Gun-control Nation understands and accepts the essential commonality of gun ownership, we will simply continue to sit here arguing about this law and that law and going nowhere fast.

Can Gun Responsibility Replace Gun Control?


              Every time there’s a shooting which makes national news, the pro-gun movement gets religion and offers ‘thoughts and prayers,’ while the anti-gun movement comes up with yet another euphemism which they believe will make some gun owners think that they, the anti-gun people, aren’t against guns.

              In the olden days, which was back when the NRA’s national headquarters was located in downtown D.C. within walking distance of the FBI, nobody had any problem with using the term ‘gun control.’ This was because in those olden days nobody talked about guns.

              The government passed two gun laws during the 1930’s which basically made it a long, drawn-out process if you wanted to buy a machine gun. These laws also required gun dealers to register with the government and keep records on who bought guns. But nobody ever came around to look at those records, so nobody cared about guns.

              This all changed after JFK was shot in 1963. It took five years for the government to pass another gun law, but when they did enact a law in 1968, the legal landscape involving guns fundamentally changed.

              First and foremost, we now had a national police force, the ATF, whose agents went around to every federally licensed gun dealer to make sure they were following the rules. This law also required that every interstate movement of any kind of gun had to go from one licensed dealer to another licensed dealer, which meant that the entire commerce of guns in the United States was now under government control.

              It was during the debate over this 1968 law that the term ‘gun control’ first reared its ugly head. All of a sudden, if you supported the idea that the gun industry needed to be regulated far beyond the regulations imposed on other consumer goods, you supported gun ‘control.’ If you didn’t understand how or why the government needed to treat guns differently than the way they treated the sale of cigarettes or cars, you were against gun ‘control.’

              The pro-gun movement began to demonize ‘gun control’ after 1977, when the NRA became much more focused on direct, political action to promote 2nd-Amendment ‘rights,’ and shifted from an organization primarily concerned with guns for hunting and sport to guns for self-defense. In that respect, the NRA’s strategy was simply a recognition of the degree to which the organization would have eventually disappeared had it continued to promote a hunting culture which was also on the way out.

              Even though the government passed two gun bills in 1994 (assault weapons ban and Brady), these legislative initiatives did not coincide with any growth of a mass, anti-gun movement, the latter only coming about in 2013 following the massacre at Sandy Hook. The driving force in this respect was a decision by Mike Bloomberg whose personal financial resources matched or succeeded the NRA’s coffers, to develop a national, grass roots, anti-gun movement which in turn led to the appearance of Shannon Watts and her MOMS.

              The moment that anti-gun activity went big-time, however, the leadership of Bloomberg’s effort plus other groups (Brady, Giffords) realized that talking about guns as products which needed to be ‘controlled’ was too toxic a narrative to capture support from anyone on the other side.

              So, the phrase ‘gun control’ disappeared and was replaced by ‘gun violence prevention’ (GVP) which has now been replaced by ‘safety’ or ‘responsibility’ as ways to define the proper behavior of gun owners who don’t want to give up their guns.

              How does the anti-gun movement want ‘responsible’ gun owners to behave with their guns? The guns should always be locked up or locked away, the gun owners should spend time being trained, there should be no transfer of any gun to anyone without a background check and nobody should be walking around with a concealed weapon unless this conduct has been approved by the police.

              So, the United States will continue to have a civilian arsenal which will contain as many as 60 million guns that are also issued and used by the military and the police, but we won’t continue to suffer 100,000 – 125,000 intentional gun injuries every year because we will all behave responsibly with our guns.

              And anyone who wants to believe that nonsense should fly out and spend a weekend with the Martians who live at Area 51.  

Think Mass Shooters Are Crazy?


              What I am going to say about that bank shooting in Louisville may sound crazy to a lot of the people who read my blog, but what I don’t understand about how people are reacting to the killing of five employees of bank in Louisville, along with the wounding of eight other individuals, including one of the cops who rushed to the scene and exchanged fire with the shooter is this: How come everyone is so surprised?

              Actually, the shooting killed six bank employees, because even though he was apparently going to lose his job at the bank, the shooter, Connor Sturgeon, was also a member of the bank’s staff when he unlimbered an AR-15 and blew the place apart.

              The reason I can’t come to grips with all the anguish and despair being lavished on this latest example of a uniquely American event that we refer to as a ‘mass shooting,’ is because the shooter used his gun exactly the way his gun was supposed to be used. And not only did he use the gun properly, taking full advantage of how the AR-15 is designed, but he bought the rifle legally just a few days before he loaded it up and took it into the Old National Bank.

              Why else would Connor Sturgeon walk into a gun shop and then walk out with a gun for which he may have plunked down a thousand bucks? And let’s not assume that he only bought the gun. What about some extra magazines, maybe a nice carrying case, some cleaning equipment and maybe a scope?

              The bill for those other items could easily have been another couple of hundred bucks, but the kid behind the counter in the gun shop would certainly have told Connor that he needed to be totally and completely prepared.

              Prepared to do what? To kill someone with an AR-15, because in case you didn’t know it, that’s what the AR-15 is designed to do.

              I love how the gun industry has decided that a weapon which can shoot more than 60 rounds of military-grade ammunition in one minute is a ‘sporting’ gun. And when I use the phrase ‘military-grade ammunition,’ I am talking about ammunition which was designed to create the maximum damage when it hits the human frame.

              The point is that when the World Health Organization talks about a medical threat known as violence, they don’t distinguish between ‘good’ violence and ‘bad.’ It doesn’t matter if you shoot someone else because they were attacking you or you were attacking them. Point an AR-15 at someone, pull the trigger and release a 55-grain piece of lead which exits the barrel at 3,200 feet per second, and you have committed a violent act.

              And who’s to say that someone who crashes into a bank or a classroom or a movie theater and tries to kill everyone in the place is mentally ill?  Since when was Connor Sturgeon diagnosed by a competent physician before or after he shot up the Old National Bank?

              Of course, he was crazy. We all know that. He was so crazy that he knew how to walk into a gun shop, buy the right kind of weapon for what he wanted to do, engage the store clerk in some small talk, answer all the questions on the background-check form, take the gun home and begin to plan his big day.

              Want to see how crazy people behave? Spend an hour or so on the grounds of a facility where people who can’t tell what time it is are living there because nobody in their homes can clean, dress, and feed them every day. Or check out the old guy who trudges up and down every aisle in Stop and Shop pulling every, single item off the shelves to check the price.

              These people are ‘mentally ill,’ and their illness prevents from hurting anyone else. But if I get pissed off enough later today to settle a score with the scumbag who lives down the street and insulted me in some way last year, I’m not behaving like a crazy person if I load up my AR-15, go down and stand in front of his house and blast away. I’m behaving exactly the way that Cain behaved when he killed Abel in Genesis, Chapter 4.

              There’s a reason why you only have to read through three chapters of the Bible to get to where we start killing each other after God put us on the Earth.

A New Way to Look at Gun Violence.

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              The other day I received an email from an organization which runs a bunch of recovery centers around the country trying to help poor unfortunates break their addiction to alcohol or drugs. The email asked me to take a look at what this outfit is saying about the connection between gun violence, and addiction, which I did.

              And what came out from reading about the work these recovery centers are doing is the possibility that for the first time, we have a program operating which may really have a positive impact on reducing the number of Americans killed and injured with guns.

              Because it seems to be the case that right now, the so-called gun-violence ‘epidemic’ is out of control. The shootings just seem to be going up, up and up. Meanwhile, for all the well-intentioned talk over the last couple of years about how Covid-19 was creating a stress level in minority neighborhoods which was fueling the increase in shootings and gun deaths, in fact the Pandemic seems to be under control and yet shooting numbers keep going up.

              Basically, what The Recovery Village is saying is that drug and alcohol abuse appear to be causal factors in gun violence, so if we can reduce the former behavioral factors in the human community, then maybe the latter factor will be reduced as well.

              I’m not sure whether this organization has yet to try and determine the validity of this thesis through some kind of evidence-based research, such as (for example) doing a before-and-after study of their patient population to determine whether a decline in substance abuse will also lead to a decline in access to guns, but just the fact that this organization is thinking about such a linkage is a very promising and positive thing.

              The problem with the research done on gun violence by public health specialists who are once again being funded by the CDC, is that what they never seem to be able to do is get beyond what they believe will be sufficient laws and regulations what will keep guns out of the ‘wrong hands.’ And while they admit to the fact that substance abuse is often seen in the families and households of shooters, they claim this problem can be eliminated by extending background checks to all gun transfers, because the current background check procedure includes disqualifying information about substance abuse.

              What the public health researchers at schools like Harvard and Johns Hopkins never do, of course, is actually sit down and talk to individuals who have been substance abusers, then somehow gotten their hands on a gun and use the gun to try and kill themselves or someone else.

              Instead, what we get from the so-called scholarly bunch who do research on gun violence is an analysis of demographic data on violence victims from the CDC which is them ‘associated’ with the behavior of individuals who end up committing violence with a gun.

              I believe that the approach to gun violence being developed by The Recovery Village marks a new and fundamentally more productive response to gun violence than anything coming out of the so-called public health ‘research’ about guns.

              Take your time. Take a look.

The Best Gun Book Of All Time.

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              I have just finished reading (for the second time) what is the best book on anything having to do with guns that I have ever read.  The book, Mooney’s Manifesto, is written by Greg Gibson, who previously published among other books, a non-fiction account of the murder of his college-age son.

              This book is what I would call a fictional memoir, mixing descriptions of various events in the life of a man named Joe Mooney, who is more or less Greg Gibson under a different name and with a story line and an ending which leaves the reader – at least this reader – both deeply disturbed and overwhelmed.

              What makes this book so remarkable is that it is the very first attempt to figure out gun violence by getting inside the heads of people who actually commit that violence, rather than giving us the razzmatazz about poverty, violent family life, lack of education and all the other reasons which explain why a small percentage of the individuals who can’t control their anger demonstrate their lack of control by shooting someone else with a gun.

              Because the real problem in our ongoing discussion about gun violence is that the people who discuss this issue – the researchers and advocates and legislators who create the ongoing burbling of anti-gun violence noise – would never themselves ever imagine picking up a gun and using it in any kind of violent way.

              Most of the people in the gun-control community, in fact, have never even touched a gun. Which was true of Joe Mooney up until the his son was killed as the boy walked across the campus of the liberal arts college where he was enrolled at the time he was shot.

              In fact, Greg Gibson wrote a spellbinding, non-fiction book, Gone Boy, about his son’s murder and subsequent events, which largely focused on his inconclusive struggle to get the administration of his son’s college to own up to their own failings in terms of recognizing the warning signs that another student would commit armed mayhem with a gun. Of course, the book didn’t sell because gun books never sell.

              But whether it sells or not, this new book is different because what the fictional Joe Mooney does in this book is quite unlike what happens to people who suffer a personal or familial loss from gun violence.

              For the most part, relatives and friends of gun victims often attempt to deal with their grief by getting involved with one or more of the advocacy organizations which promote strategies to reduce gun violence. They come to a meeting and tell the audience how their relative or friend got shot, they become activists and try to spread the word about reducing violence from guns, they even use their advocacy activities as a springboard to running and winning a Congressional seat (viz. Lucy McBath.)

              In this fictional portrayal of what Joe Mooney does to deal with the grief of losing a son, he also gets involved with the gun-control advocacy movement, attends meetings, works tirelessly to promote the correct ideas, meets some interesting individuals, and also gets involved with a woman whose nuttiness results in Joe having to separate himself from the gun-control crowd.

              What does he do?  He starts visiting the kid who shot his son, now locked up in jail for life. I’ll let you follow this narrative to see where it goes, but suffice it to say that I don’t know of any other attempt to describe what someone thinks and feels as he’s planning to shoot a public space apart with a gun.

              But then Joe Mooney does something else, which is the most riveting part of the book – he goes out and buys a gun. In fact, he buys two handguns and tries to become something of a shooter with these deadly weapons.

              What does he end up doing with his guns?  I’ll let everyone who buys this book figure it out, but the narrative and style of this text drags us excruciatingly towards what has to be the ultimate and obvious end.

              Want to know what Joe Mooney does with his guns? Buy the book.