Guns Don’t Kill People…..

…Projectiles traveling at 1500 mph kill people.

I have been trying to digest the most recent mass shooting in the United States but it keeps causing reflux and nausea. So much like college, I feel the need to induce vomiting to get the offending substance out.

So here goes….

I live in Philadelphia, sometimes affectionately referred to as “Killadelphia”, I am a teacher, I teach a demographic who has a homicide rate of 17%, I have buried two of my students in the last 5 years, both the victims of gun violence.

I have a wife who routinely takes public transportation, I wish she wouldn’t. There are numerous instances of people firing blindly into buses and trains in Philadelphia.  Recently, a man was arrested at our subway stop for carrying an AK-47 in a shopping bag on the train.  I have a realistic fear that someone will want to take a potshot at me as I ride my motorcycle through some of the more dangerous neighborhoods in Philadelphia.

But lets back up.

I was always an avid believer in the 2nd amendment, I believed in the freedom to own a firearm, I like shooting guns, I like trying to hit targets, and I like the engineering.

Even after the Columbine shooting I believed that there was no need for gun control, it was a freak occurrence, and of course, guns don’t kill people, people kill people.

But then there was the next incident, and the next, and soon “freak occurrence” was no longer applicable to these situations, instead “…yet another…” became the applicable phrase.  Now, here we are, two major shootings within a year in public places by people who were obviously mentally unstable.  The most recent seeing 27 people dead, 20 of them younger than 10.  The weapons of choice? Semi-automatic, and automatic weapons.  In fact in almost every incident of mass violence in the last 20 years has been semi-automatic and automatic weapons.

Not pipe bombs

Not knives

Not axes

Not fire

Not baseball bats

Not swords

Guns, powerful guns capable of firing 600 rounds a minute simply by moving your index finger half an inch.  It does not take skill, it does not take work, it does not take much effort to pick up a gun and fire it.  You don’t need to be close to your victim to kill them and worry about being overpowered, you don’t need to think about your actions with a gun, you simply just have to pick it up, point and move your index finger.  Look at a lot of these shooters, they are not physically imposing, they are people who without guns could not carry out their deranged fantasies.

You can make every argument you want about how if a person really wanted to kill someone they would find a way to do it.  This is simply not true.  The most recent individual would not have been able to kill 26 people if not aided by a tool capable of spraying metal projectiles rapidly at 1500 mph.

It is simple, how many mass killings (that were not classified as terrorism) have taken place without the use of guns in the last 20 years? Do we really believe that only the people who carried out these shootings were the only people who ever wanted to do this?

Of course not, but these people had something the others did not.  Access to powerful guns. Simple as that.

This is what people aren’t getting.  We are making it too easy for unstable people to kill.  But yet here we are, still defending our right to own firearms.

I have heard every argument in defense of guns….

“…a criminal will find a way to get a gun so laws don’t matter….”
“…the person did the killing, not the gun, they would have found another way…”

My personal favorite…
“If more people were armed others would think twice about shooting someone”.  The only problem with this argument is that the people involved in these shootings either plan on getting killed by police or turn the gun on themselves….meaning another armed person would do nothing to deter them.

Then there is the 2nd amendment argument, written in 1791 after America was fresh from fighting an oppressive government and wanted to make sure it couldn’t happen again.  1791, when an arm was a muzzle loaded, single shot, flint lock rifle. When the danger of tyranny was still on the front of everyone’s mind. But I need to ask, does anyone really believe if US citizens give up our handguns and assault rifles that suddenly we will become a military dictatorship?

Even the country that prompted our penning of the Constitution, the Tyrant we fought for Independence from, no longer allows firearms.  It is time to realize that the 2nd amendment is becoming not just obsolete, but dangerous.

America, it is time to realize the right of owning a firearm is encroaching on a more important right, the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. These are unalienable rights, rights that are greater than man created amendments, rights that our forefathers deemed so important they are not able to be amended.  A right 27 people, 20 of which were children, were denied.

Because of guns 27 people are no longer here.

You can make every argument you want, you can spin it any way you want, but the fact still remains….

They always use guns.

3 Comments

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3 responses to “Guns Don’t Kill People…..

  1. I agree that guns cause deadly violence, obviously; only gun-addicts (owners) deny it. Gun ownership leads to gun addiction & denial, so gun owners need a 12-step program.

  2. Mike

    We should all live in safe places with assault weapon bans, like new York, or Connecticut, for instance. And we should all be as safe as gun-free Chicago, or DC, or the UK. Speaking of which:

    Give me a list of countries that have disarmed their citizens and I’ll give you an identical list of countries where violent crime has surged. Look no further than just over our southern border in Mexico, or for a more recent experiment where Venezuela also banned private firearms ownership. Only the government and the criminals kept their guns, so the murder rate jumped over 10% in a single year. Unsurprisingly.

    Yes, guns are used to kill people sometimes. But they are used far more frequently to keep people from being killed. You know what kills kids? Swimming pools. A privately owned swimming pool is 100x more likely to kill a kid than a privately owned gun. Yet, when very bad people come to someone’s house in the middle of the night – even if all they have with them are their bare hands – a swimming pool isn’t going to do anyone much good. Neither is a telephone. Or a knife or a sword or a snake. Guns allow 90-year old women to defend themselves against unarmed 20-year old thugs. Nothing else fills that role.

    People have every right to disarm themselves against violent criminals. But they have no right to disarm these people, or the hundreds of thousands of people in similar situations every year in the US:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/TheArmedCitizen

    As for this observation:
    “In fact in almost every incident of mass violence in the last 20 years has been semi-automatic and automatic weapons.”

    You know what else they all have in common (with the singular exception of the Gabby Giffords shooting) – they all took place in gun-free zones. Most deadly school (or otherwise) shootings don’t even happen in America – they happen in European countries with far stricter gun laws than the US. See:
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/finland/4972587/German-school-shooting-Timeline-of-past-attacks.html

    Note that even Columbine occurred *during* the “assault weapons ban”. And while there was police at the school, their protocol at the time was to not engage the shooter. And that’s exactly what they did. We know how that turned out.

    But what’s not mentioned in that story is that one of those shootings –
    the Appalachian School of Law shooting – was stopped by not one, but two armed students. Sometimes the details don’t fit the narrative.

    Finally, here’s Jackie Mason’s take, via Penn and Teller’s much more enlightening Bullshit episode (also on YouTube I believe) on the subject:

  3. Mike

    I also look forward to reading your post advocating Hammer Control.

    http://washington.cbslocal.com/2013/01/03/fbi-hammers-clubs-kill-more-people-than-rifles-shotguns/

    Or, for that matter, a dissection of effective media hype.

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