Nel's New Day

August 16, 2013

Stop the Gun Paranoia

At the height of the argument about gun control following the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, an op-ed in my local newspaper talked about how laws were not necessary because all legal gun owners were responsible. It is only the criminals who shoot people. I remember this statement every time that I see articles like this one:

This week, 56-year-old Gary Wingate of Prescott (AZ) insisted that his wife hand him his 12-gauge shotgun despite her being uncomfortable with handling guns. She did what she was told and accidentally shot him in the torso, killing him.

Near there, two months earlier, a four-year-old killed his father in what was called an accidental shooting. A Tucson-area man was luckier: his three-year-old son left him alive after accidentally shooting him in the butt with a .22 caliber rifle. The man was target shooting in the desert.

In another act of carelessness this week near Lancaster (OH), 73-year-old Terry J. Dunlap, instructor in a gun safety class, shot one of his students, 26-year-old Michael Piemonte, in the right arm. The gun safety instructor didn’t know that the gun was loaded.

The above events—and thousands of others—have been classified as “accidental.” But a policeman in Danville (VA) refuses to believe that these shootings are accidental. When a six-year-old found a gun in his Danville (VA) home and shot a one-year-old in the back, Cpl. T.B. Scearce of the Danville Police Department said there is no such thing as an accidental discharge:  it is a negligent discharge. In order for a gun to fire, Scearce said, three things have to occur: It has to be functional, it has to be loaded and the trigger has to be pulled. Somebody has to be responsible, and most likely it’s the person who left a working, loaded gun where a child can find it and pull the trigger.

Between 2006 and 2010, 561 children age 12 and under were killed by firearms, according to the FBI’s most recent Uniform Crime Reports: 120 in 2006; 115 in 2007; 116 in 2008, 114 in 2009 and 96 in 2010. The FBI’s count does not include gun-related child deaths that authorities have ruled accidental. Daniel Webster, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research, said children are more likely to die by gunfire at home or in the street, in answer to the NRA argument that teachers need to be armed.

  • Alyssa Celaya, 8, was shot and killed by her father with a .38-caliber gun at the Tule River Indian Reservation in California.
  • Delric Miller died at 9 months when gunfire from an AK-47 sprayed his home on Detroit’s west side.
  • Angel Mauro Cortez Nava, 14-months-old, was in his father’s arms on a sidewalk near their Los Angeles home was shot and killed by a bicyclist.
  • Faith Ehlen, 22 months, Autumn Cochran, 10, and Alyssa Cochran, 11, were all killed in their DeSoto (MO) home when their mother shot them.
  • Jackson Engels, 11, and his older sister Bailey, 13, were killed by their father in Dundee (OR).
  • Lincoln Leatham, 2, picked up a non-service gun left in the Springville (UT) home by his father, a police officer, and died after shooting himself.
  • Amari Markel-Purrel Perkins, 6, accidentally shot and killed himself with a gun found in his Clinton (MD) home after an adult hid the weapon inside a Spiderman backpack.

A man was shot in the head and killed after a relative on a kayaking trip urinated on a gravel bar along the Meramec River near Steelville, Missouri. James Robert Crocker, 59, thought he owned the land and picked a fight. The dead Army veteran wasn’t the one who picked up rocks, but Crocker said that he “just shot the one closest to me.”

Another “responsible” gun owner didn’t kill anyone, but she tried. When a woman saw a SUV in her driveway turning around, she opened fire on the couple and their five children, ages four to twelve. The kids’ mother yelled that they were turning around, but the woman fired again.

In Missouri the Ku Klux Klan, noted for perpetrating violence on minorities, is volunteering to be in the Neighborhood Watch. So far, they are targeting only white neighborhoods to fit with the mission on their website: “There is a race war against whites….”

Wisconsin doesn’t need the KKK for protection; they have the Arizona-based Bulletproof Securities, a “no compromise security force,” in the popular Penokee Heritage Park. Camouflaged, masked commandos are crawling around the popular hiking and camping destination because Gogebic Taconite plans to build “what could become the largest open-pit iron-ore mine in the world,” according to the Sierra Club’s Taconite Mine Web page. They’re likely to succeed because Gov. Scott Walker signed the Wisconsin Mining Act (aka “Bad River Watershed Destruction Act”) that strips any environmental protections Wisconsin. When somebody gets killed, the company can just say it thought it was one of the those environmentalist “terrorists.”

People in Gilberton (PA) are taking action against the infamous Police Chief Mark Kessler, asking the National Guard to disarm the suspended police chief and his followers who call themselves the “Constitution Security Force.” Kessler started by posting online videos of his firing automatic weapons while calling for violence against Democrats and Secretary of State John Kerry. Because the guns used belonged to the borough police force, the Council called a meeting to discuss disciplinary action. Kessler used another video to call on his personal militia to attend the meeting. Although a few brave people faced Kessler and his hundred-plus followers brandishing guns and the insurance threatened to withdraw its policy, the Council only suspended Kessler for 30 days. The state of Pennsylvania sent helicopters to the meeting, but officials may be afraid to fire Kessler.

Protesters at women’s clinics understand how dangerous guns are. This week, anti-abortionists went to the Wichita (KS) City Council asking that the South Wind Women’s Center be closed because it draws gun violence. South Wind is in the same building as Dr. George Tiller’s clinic. Before he was murdered in his church by an anti-abortionist terrorist four years ago, Shelley Shannon, another anti-abortion terrorist shot Tiller in front of his clinic.

The only gun violence will come from the protesters who want to close the clinic. Mark S. Gietzen, chairman of the Kansas Coalition for Life, made threats toward an escort who makes sure that women can safely enter and exit the facility when he said,

“The way this guy acts, I’m afraid that someone’s going to shoot him. He’s asking for it.”

The danger of gun ownership in the country by all these so-called “responsible” gun owners is their paranoia. Almost 30 percent of registered voters agree with the statement: “In the next few years, an armed revolution might be necessary in order to protect our liberties.” These are the same people who subscribe to conspiracy theories; one-fourth of people in this country believe that facts about the Newtown shootings “are being hidden” and another 11 percent “are unsure.” Connecticut Carry, a pro-gun lobbying group, has accused the father of a child murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School of “profiting off of the tragedy.”

Angry fearmongers foment hatred in the country through their irresponsible statements about public officials and agencies. The widening income inequality results in resentment while the most resentful continue to elect lawmakers who worsen the gap between rich and poor. Their answer is a violent uprising; the rest of us need to use the ballot box and courts to fight back against them.

We need to stop the philosophy of “I’ve got mine and you’re not going to take it, but I’m going to take yours—because I have lots of guns.”

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3 Comments »

  1. “At this time, several states have more deaths from guns than car accidents”

    Really? Which states would that be and what year?

    “the NRA promotes unfettered access to guns and gun ownership with no protections for anyone from them.”

    That is not true. The NRA believes in protections balanced against rights. What you are really saying is that they don’t agree with the draconian “protections” that you would like to see.

    “‘Tragic mistakes with cars, boats, swimming pools, etc. to ad infinitum’ are minimized by regulations…”

    I don’t really see much evidence of that. People who drink to near passing out seem to be able to get, and often keep, a license until they kill someone.

    lwk
    free2beinameria2.wordpress.com

    Like

    Comment by lwk2431 — August 19, 2013 @ 3:57 AM | Reply

  2. Good story about how a few careless people mean that all gun owners are careless.

    I would guess from the title of your blog, “Nel’s Day,” that you are a woman. Now some women chose to be prostitutes, but that doesn’t make you a prostitute, does it? Some people make tragic mistakes with cars, boats, swimming pools, etc. to ad infinitum. And just about all of those things kill more people by accident than guns.

    lwk
    free2beinamerica2.wordpress.com

    Like

    Comment by lwk2431 — August 18, 2013 @ 5:13 AM | Reply

    • Prostitution is against the law, but the NRA promotes unfettered access to guns and gun ownership with no protections for anyone from them. “Tragic mistakes with cars, boats, swimming pools, etc. to ad infinitum” are minimized by regulations that the NRA and their followers refuse to allow for guns and gun ownership.At this time, several states have more deaths from guns than car accidents. And did you know that prostitutes are also male?

      Like

      Comment by trp2011 — August 18, 2013 @ 3:43 PM | Reply


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