I wonder when mass shootings will stop affecting me so much. I think, “Am I the crazy one?” It seems like our country is numb to the collateral damage that our gun laws (or lack thereof) have on innocent lives. My thoughts are with Charleston, S.C. as I write this. When is enough going to be enough? How much more collateral damage will America tolerate? How many more lives will be lost because of an unwillingness to admit that our gun laws are outdated and are endangering all of us? To see a complete list of all mass shootings in the United States from 1982 to the present click here to go to Mother Jones.
The first time I ever shot a gun was with my friend and her dad. He was in law enforcement and very careful and thorough. He taught us gun safety and we had an awesome afternoon. My favorite gun of the day was a .22 rifle, many call this gun a frog killer. I did not fire another gun until 2011 when I got my CHL in Florida. Why did I get it you ask? Because, why not? But let’s be clear, I’ve never been disillusioned that I will never be able (or willing) to put in the time and training necessary to adequately defend myself in a hostile situation. And in my opinion, anyone without advanced firearm training–basically anyone other than police officers and military personnel–does not have the necessary skills to defend themselves either. Anyone who says they do, is a bald-faced liar or simply delusional. Unfortunately for the deniers out there, empirical evidence shows that this is not just my opinion, it’s a fact.
I submit the following to you from 2010:
Study after study has confirmed that more guns does not equal less crime. In fact, as you probably guessed, the opposite is true. If you want to really learn about this, you can download a free paper here published in the Stanford Law and Economics Journal Research Paper Series (you can download for free to an iPad or in pdf). It is too complex to discuss in detail on a blog post.
Additionally, studies repeatedly show that guns are rarely used in self defense in the United States. The Harvard Injury Control Center recently published findings gleaned from an in-depth analysis and review of numerous reputable sources on the topic of gun use and gun violence. They found: (1) “Guns are not used millions of times a year in self defense;” (2) in a vast majority of self defense cases in the United States are deemed illegal and improper; (3) virtually no criminals report being shot by a “law abiding citizen;” rather, most criminals that suffer gun shot wounds are injured while they themselves are victims of unrelated crimes.
Another study from the Violence Policy Center confirms these theories finding:
In 2012, across the nation there were only 259 justifiable homicides involving a private citizen using a firearm reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program as detailed in its Supplementary Homicide Report (SHR). That same year, there were 8,342 criminal gun homicides tallied in the SHR. In 2012, for every justifiable homicide in the United States involving a gun, guns were used in 32 criminal homicides. And this ratio, of course, does not take into account the tens of thousands of lives ended in gun suicides or unintentional shootings that year.
That means out of all homicides, justifiable and criminal gun homicides combined (8,601), only 3% of those reported were justifiable, a.k.a. found to be legal after the defendant claimed self defense.
If your Viagra only worked 3% of the time, would you consider that to be an effective drug? NO!
IT’S NOT WORKING.
How many lives have to be lost before we wake up? Remember, it could be you or a member of your family that is affected next. Nowhere feels safe anymore. But I guess I do not have a right to feel safe in public if it infringes on your right to play cowboy in my neighborhood grocery store, theater, church and public parks. We have lost the right to not be around guns. ‘Merica!
**Side bar** One flaw in the Violence Policy Center’s study I found is that it does not disclose how many of the defendants involved in the 8,342 criminal gun homicide convictions actually claimed self defense. Thus, take that portion of the study with a grain of salt. As usual, question everything wise readers.
Peace and love.