Nel's New Day

July 16, 2014

Archie Andrews One of 2014 Gun Statistics

archie diesArchie Andrews, 73, died from a gun shot today because he protected his friend Sen. Kevin Keller from an assassination attempt. Anyone who has read comic books for the past seven decades knows Archie, from DC Comics Life with Archie. In this way, Archie Comics and co-CEO Jon Goldwater brings the issue of senseless gun deaths to entertainment media.

The first gay character in the Archie Comics series, Keller is a married military veteran and newly elected senator. He pushed for more gun control after his husband, Clay, was involved in a shooting while trying to prevent a robbery. Today’s #36 shows the killing; #37 will show Archie’s friends paying tribute to his legacy one year later.

Goldwater said that the comic’s plotline was not a publicity stunt but a way to educate readers about gun violence.

Superheroes such as Marvel’s Spiderman and Captain America have died, but Archie has always been like the person living next door. Goldwater thinks that Archie’s death has more impact because he’s human—“he bleeds.” Archie may bleed only on the pages of a comic book, but he represents the tens of thousands of people who bleed and die each year because of the nation’s lax gun laws and a misguided approach toward patriotism.

Exactly how many people die from gun shots each year in the United States is impossible to know because the NRA and the gun industry have coerced Congress into preventing the  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from compiling national statistics on gun-related deaths and injuries. To overcome this ignorance, Jennifer Mascia, assistant editor for the New York Times, has attempted to collect these statistics by gathering the information state by state for Joe Nocera’s The Gun Report.

In examining over 40,000 deaths from guns since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School that Mascia could find, she discovered that half the shootings came from arguments, frequently fueled by alcohol, among friends, neighbors, family members, and intimate partners. More and more, people solve their problems with guns, not fists. Loaded guns are easily accessible, many times to children who shoot themselves or each others. Suburbs are the new magnet for gun violence

Mascia also discovered:

  • In Iowa, it’s easier to sell a gun than lemonade.
  • In Arkansas, it takes less time to buy a gun than to qualify for food stamps.
  • In Arizona, you need a permit to cut hair, but not to carry a concealed weapon.
  • In Florida you’re fingerprinted to be a substitute teacher, but not to buy or carry a gun.
  • It’s easier to buy an assault weapon than it is to vote.

guns-and-government different countriesJapan averages four—yes, four!–gun murders per year although its population is 41 percent of that in the United States. If our gun deaths were equal to those in Japan, the United States would have ten each year. Getting a firearm in Japan requires a massive amount or paperwork, 20 hours of lectures, a written test, and a shooting class. The person must pass a criminal background check and a physical and psychological exam as well as submitting to half a dozen police interviews and more police interviews of your friends and family. Before a gun is issued the person must provide a floor map of the home with the location of the firearm’s storage and photos of locks on the gun safe. The process requires about a year. You are asked to produce a floor map of your home and indicate where a firearm will be stored, as well as photos of the locks on your gun safe. Approval usually takes a year. Even the mob in Japan doesn’t bother to get guns.

Canada requires third-party character references for gun ownership, and officials conduct interviews with an applicant’s spouse, partner, or next of kin before issuing a license. That’s before the person is required to pass a firearm safety and law class and take a practical training course. Gun-owners are required to re-apply and re-quality for their licenses every five years.

Tightened legislation in Australia after the 1996 Port Arthur massacre banned semi-automatic rifles and pump-action shotguns. Owners of firearms must provide a reason to obtain these. The country has had no mass shooting since the legislation went into effect. Most important, suicides by guns, which cause 60 percent of adult firearm deaths, declined in Australia after the legislation.

By contrast, mass shootings have become so much “business as usual” in the U.S. that they receive less and less attention in the media. A week ago, four children as young as age four and two adults were killed in Houston’s suburb, Spring. The one survivor, a 15-year-old girl, was able to tell police where the gunman was going to kill more relatives and save their lives. Archie’s fictional death received much more press than this mass shooting.

Even ultra-conservative Justice Antonin Scalia believes in limits on gun ownership. In District of Columbia v. Heller, he wrote, “Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.”

The theory of a good guy with a gun stopping a bad guy with a gun has been debunked many times. At the mass shooting surrounding Gabby Giffords, a good guy almost shot the people who had already disarmed the killer. A good guy pulled his gun in Las Vegas after a man killed two police officers, but the killer’s partner shot and killed the good guy. Bad guys get their guns by grabbing them from the good guys, especially in home invasions. Many police officers, who have supposedly been highly trained, shoot themselves and others around them.

As the NRA and gun industry fight to make gun regulations more lax, people who fight any regulations such as universal background checks claim that the entire solution could come from enforcing existing laws. Cross-referencing gun checks with mental health records is required, but Montana and South Dakota submitted only three mental health records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System in 2012. North Dakota and Massachusetts turned in one; Rhode Island submitted none. A year ago, only four states had laws requiring that mental health records be sent to the system, and the federal government cannot require it. NRA and the gun industry have made sure that conservatives will not support this reporting.

Other common-sense solutions have been rejected by gun enthusiasts. Smart guns activated only by the owners could stop children or intruders from discharging firearms, but gunners are so frightened by the smart guns that they threatened to kill the two vendors who tried to sell them in the U.S.

Lax laws in conservative states across the nation are creating a culture of killing others for little or no reason. People—usually men—pull guns because they don’t like a type of music or get into an argument while waiting in a line at the local pizza place. Or they accidentally shoot through walls and ceilings because of their carelessness.

Many state gun laws don’t even make the gun owners liable. Most states don’t have requirements for securing guns. In many cases, gun owners aren’t made responsible when their carelessness causes a death. For example, bad guys in early July broke into a Pennsylvania home, tied him up, and took at least 31 guns from his weapons’ stockpile. Most likely, the bad guys, who now have an additional 31 firearms, targeted the person because of the weapons. In some states, they don’t even have to report that their firearms have been stolen, allowing the bad guys an unlimited method of acquiring guns.

In a speech to the Howard County chapter of Open Carry Texas, Michael Brian Vanderboegh proposed killing voters who opposed unfettered ownership of guns. On a Fox & Friends Facebook page, Kathy Perkins, founder of Moms with Guns, posted a photo of President Obama with the statement, “Where is an assasin (sic) when you need one?” A responses suggested a way to contact a hitman.

Although they ignore other parts of the U.S. Constitution, ammosexuals consider the Second Amendment to be sacred. Their ignorance keeps them from understanding that the document has evolved during time. The original constitution allowed slavery, considered blacks to be only three-fifths of white people, and restricted voting to only white property-owning men. Their behavior is calling for changes in the Second Amendment, to return it to the original meaning of a militia.

To all the people who strut around with guns: if you’re strong enough to do this, you’re strong enough to decrease the violence from guns.

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2 Comments »

  1. I grew up reading Archie and Betty. Very courageous to end his character this way. No longer the 50’s where Archie and Betty fretted over innocent problems. Of course, that was just an image and kids wouldn’t be interested in such whitewashing today.

    As to the mom with guns lady and the hit man comment, bet they got a visit from the FBI. Can’t yell fire in a theatre and cannot ask for someone to kill POTUS! What would we do without stupid people.?;-)

    I am so sad for everyone killed on the plane from Amsterdam. My best favorite first FB friend is from there.

    Best of everything that life brings your way, Xena.

    Like

    Comment by 2dogsonly — July 18, 2014 @ 8:40 AM | Reply

  2. Reblogged this on Blackbutterfly7 and commented:
    Excellent information.

    Like

    Comment by Xena — July 18, 2014 @ 12:31 AM | Reply


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