Nel's New Day

June 21, 2014

ASK, A Start to Gun Sense

Filed under: Uncategorized — trp2011 @ 8:08 PM
Tags: , , , ,

In late May, a woman visited her 78-year-old neighbor in Payson (AZ) with her two small children. They wandered off into another room where the three-year-old shot and killed his 18-month-old brother.  This is just one of thousands of reasons for the national ASK campaign that kicks off today. It urges parents to ask if there is a gun where their children play. In the United States, where almost eight children are killed with guns every day, one-third of the children live in homes with guns. About 1.7 million children live in homes where firearms are kept loaded and unlocked.

Trying to ensure that the environment where children play has enraged many people, usually men, who say that it’s none of anyone else’s business if they have unlocked and loaded guns around children. This is just one piece of evidence demonstrating the extreme culture of violence throughout the United States.

Here’s more:

A man reported that an 8-year-old was firing an assault rifle in the street over the head of pedestrians. The mother explained that she had a 13-year-old babysitter and that the gun belonged to a convicted felon. No one was charged.

In Montana a man set a trap for burglars in his garage and killed a teenager after firing blindly into the building. Germany might be able to prosecute the man because the murdered teenager was a German foreign-exchange student.

Gun activists walk around Texas with loaded assault rifles, including a Target store where a loaded Glock was found among children’s toys.

Federal airport screeners have found 892 guns in carry-on bags, a 19-percent increase from last year. And 2013’s total was 1,813. About 80 percent of the guns are loaded. And all the gun owners claimed they “just forgot.”

A 15-year-old student took his older brother’s gun to school, killed another student and himself, and injured a teacher. Although the Troutdale (OR) police chief said that the gun was “secured,” it was left in the boy’s bedroom and several other guns unsecured in the home.

Two men at a surprise party in central Pennsylvania on Father’s Day were playing with a gun; the guest of honor shot another man when he tried to hand him the gun.

Justin Ayers, 33, and his wife were celebrating the birth of their three-day-old baby when a 62-year-old neighbor shot off his gun through the wall and into the back of Ayers’ head, killing him. The neighbor had a previous felony conviction.

Two of Cliven Bundy’s followers on the Nevada ranch went to Las Vegas and shot and killed two armed police officers. A third man who pulled a gun on one of them was shot and killed by the other killer.

Since the Sandy Hook massacre 19 months ago, there have been 74 shootings at school. Conservatives, backed up by CNN, even claim that some of these are not “real” school shootings because they involve drugs—sort of like their need for a “pure definition” of “real rape.” The justification is that “it’s not a school shooting when someone goes and shoots a specific person on campus. It’s a shooting that happens to take place at school.”

These stories are such the tiny tip of the iceberg. People kill other people when they hug them, when they traing them in proper usage of guns, when they try to scare them—the list goes on and on. DailyKos GunFail keeps track of disasters by week, if you have the stomach for reading them.

States with weak gun violence prevention laws and higher rates of gun ownership have the highest overall gun death rates in the nation, according to this week’s study from Violence Policy Center (VPC) using new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. The inverse is true: states with the lowest overall gun death rates have lower rates of gun ownership and some of the strongest gun violence prevention laws in the nation.

States with the Five Highest Gun Death Rates 
(Rank State Household Gun Ownership Gun Death Rate Per 100,000)

1 Louisiana: 45.6 percent ownership, 18.91 deaths
2 Mississippi: 54.3 percent ownership, 17.80 deaths
3 Alaska: 60.6 percent ownership, 17.41 deaths
4 Wyoming: 62.8 percent ownership, 16.92 deaths
5 Montana: 61.4 percent ownership, 16.74 deaths

 States with the Five Lowest Gun Death Rates
(Rank State Household Gun Ownership Gun Death Rate Per 100,000)

50 Rhode Island: 13.3 percent ownership, 3.14 deaths
49 Hawaii: 9.7 percent ownership,  3.56 deaths
48 Massachusetts: 12.8 percent ownership, 3.84 deaths
47 New York: 18.1 percent ownership, 5.11 deaths
46 New Jersey: 11.3 percent ownership, 5.46 deaths

The number of deaths even in these states, however, is intolerably high and far greater than in most Western industrialized nations. The data come from 2011, the most recent year for which data is available. You can find your state ranking here.

  • Nationwide gun death rate: 10.38 per 100,000.
  • Number of people in U.S. killed by gunfire: 32,351 in 2011 increased from 31,672 in 2010.
  • Death rates in other countries: United Kingdom, 0.23 per 100,000; Australia, 0.86 per 100,000.

Gunners now claim that they are feeling threatened, that this is the reason that they carry assault rifles into family restaurants and the baby section of Target. Others are frustrated that gun nuts give such a bad impression of gunners. editor Bob Owens wrote, “If someone has an idea of how to break through to them that they are not only hurting their alleged cause but gun owners as well, I’d love to hear your advice.”

Several comments to Owens agreed. Larry Nutter  wrote, “A person with a long gun is actually carrying a, ‘shoot me first sign’ but don’t realize it.” David Deering added, “Can any sensible person really think a bunch of guys who look like they just escaped from their parent’s basement carrying long guns is a good way to convince anyone to have a positive outlook toward gun owners?”

People in the United States are slowly—very slowly—beginning to protest the overt display of violence. Chains such as Starbucks, Chipotle, Chili’s, Sonic and Jack in the Box have stated that open-carry customers aren’t welcome in their business as have Costco, Toys R Us, Babies R Us, Food Lion, Whole Foods, and IKEA. One woman who made a video of the Open Carry men so shamed them that they erased the video of the event on their website. Fortunately, Mother Jones had saved it for posterity.

The backlash after Sandy Hook caused the introduction of over 1,500 bills with the lax ones initially gaining more ground. Georgia passed a law allowing guns almost everywhere in the state, and Indiana legalized shooting police officers.

Gun sense prevailed elsewhere: New York, Connecticut, Delaware, Colorado, California, and Rhode Island all require background checks for all gun sales. Four states also require gun owners to report lost and stolen weapons. Wisconsin added four other states that prevent domestic abusers from owning or possessing guns.

In a reversal of previous anti-gun sense decisions, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the buyer of guns have to actually be the buyer of guns, not a person who will turn around and pass it off to another person. In 2009, former police officer Bruce James Abramski, Jr. of Collinsville (VA) lied on his federal form about buying a gun for himself because it was actually for his uncle. As usual in controversial cases, the Abramski v. United States vote was 5-4 with Justice Anthony Kennedy the swing vote between the two court factions.

The Supreme Court is avoiding the constitutionality of gun laws. Justices rejected a New Jersey case about discretionary permission for concealed carry, the Texas’ ban on concealed carry for people under 21, and a federal law for selling handguns to those under 21.

Meanwhile those NRA-identified “good guys” continue to be stupid with their guns. A Georgia man was trying to put away his .45 caliber pistol at a gas station in Macon shot off the end of his penis. The bullet exited through his buttocks, and his pants stopped it. When he dropped his pants, the spent round dropped on the floor. At least five other men in the United States have done the same thing since 2010.

ordinary gun

The biggest tragedy is that shootings happen every day resulting in the main-stream press ignoring them. We just move along, hoping that we’re not going to be one of those who gets shot by those “good guys.” As Jon Stewart reported on The Daily Show, Fox network suffered from shock and awe on the day after the school shooting in Troutdale (OR), but it was from Rep. Eric Cantor’s (R-VA) primary loss. As for the shooting, another day another shooting was their response.



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