17 are dead… 6 are wounded…
An AR15 simulacrum,mega magazines,a disgruntled,mood dysphoric 19 year old and the nonsense begins again.”it’s mental illness”,”it’s happenstance”,”guidance counsellors are available…” And the beat goes on.The issue is complex but gun control is key.The Repugs have A+ NRA ratings so what’s a few kids’ lives? ” You will never be alone”says the Merchant of Malice.What does that mean?Thanks to the party in power the mentally ill have gun rights.The NRA gave in excess of 31 million dollars to the Trump campaign.Where did it come from? It’s more than 15 million more than ever before.The far left says it came from laundered Russian money.(laundered through Trump real estate) The right says nothing.We have to adjust to a new normal,set through greed,stupidity and ineptitude.Conceal and carry federal legislation is 3 senatorial votes away.Why the Hell not! It’s just like a driver’s license…isn’t it?
17 More. Will It Ever End ?
17 are dead… 6 are wounded…
Reference comment dated 18 Feb 11:59AM
Katherine, the fact is that large segments of our population are not aware of all the data. And many are looking at the same data and reading it differently. I think that we all want the safest future for ourselves and our loved ones, but we vary greatly as to the best way of doing this good thing. We see fundamentally different risks and different gains. We also vary in our understandings about the power of deterrent (and what constitutes deterrent) in human behavior. The conservatives value more highly what I call the gift of personal responsibility. It is linked closely to INDIVIDUAL liberty. It values an ability and pride to protect ourselves and our loved ones. It makes us more aware of can-do factors and less sympathetic with “they-or-it-made-me-do-it” victim attitudes. We not only do not trust a big government to protect us, but we understand that big government itself has the potential to become a tyrant if the citizenry becomes too weak. World history seems to verify the following: “Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Our founders were aware of this danger and structured a divided government possessed of equal but competing powers. The second amendment fits this concern as it provided a degree of security that the citizens themselves could have a power that deters an extreme corruption of our government. The political left has the opposite view. Government for them is supposed to provide somewhat equally the “things” that we all need. Only through a large, powerful government can this group’s ideas of social engineering be successful. “Social justice” requires a government powerful enough to redistribute resources to those groups deemed by the elite to be unequally needy. “From each according to ability to each according to need” seems to sum it up. Citizens who are armed may resist this effort. The left, to be successful in its efforts to “transform” US needs a citizenry that cannot prevent this change.
So, when we speak of guns serving as a deterrent to bad behavior it extends to potential government corruptions as well as deterring criminals in their efforts to take advantage of us. Seen as a very important function of the gun in society, this group is not likely to allow itself to be disarmed. That is one of the reasons that the comparison with traffic fatalities is more accurate than a leftist mindset is likely to understand. Everyone seems to accept huge losses of precious life to have the right to drive. Conservatives know that the rights of liberty, freedom to be personally responsible – freedom itself – carries with it the risk that some are going to misuse it.
I assume that smart minds are also minds who want the safest future for their fellow humans. I assume that smart minds understand that a perfect, no-crime, no-death solution is impossible. This being the case, smart minds will STRIVE TO KNOW the degree to which private ownership of guns deters more crime and destruction than they enable. This being the case, I would expect smart minds to be looking for research that provides statistical evidence as to how often guns are being used to deter bad behavior as well as statistical evidence showing the number of times guns were used to harm what number of innocents. Only with knowledge of both can anyone’s opinion ACTULLY guide us to actions that ACTUALLY save the most lives. Smart minds will logically understand that anything else is just ignorance, moral preening, and/or dirty politics.
Anwar Ghali tells us that, “the mentally ill commit less murders that the mentally “sane”. Is this proportional to their populations or just outright numbers?
There are some locations in these states where getting a license to use a gun is close to impossible, or far more complex than getting a driver’s license. While on the subject of licensing to drive I understand that nearly 40,000 of our fellow citizens are killed yearly by auto accidents. That averages a slaughter of 109 human lives of all ages per day for each and every day of the year. Apparently, for the conveniences and benefits of vehicle use (at high speeds) this huge loss is acceptable. As said before, smart minds will want to know the degree to which private ownership of guns deters more crime and destruction (of all forms) than they enable.
O Mi God! Wahnsinn oder Torheit? Villeicht die Beide!!!
Sometimes my thoughts come out in a language that they appeared in first.Madness or folly perhaps both is the meaning even if the German is bad.Guns deter diplomacy,bullets deter dialogue.DS’ comments ignore the issue of profit and the abuse of power.The Good Book ( Bible) indicts “the love of money” as ” the root of all evil” The abuse of money,power,women and the poor appear to characterize this ” boys will be boys” administration.. It just may be that the Bible and other religious sources have something going for them!
In reference to the gun issue I pointed out that those truly interested in saving the greatest number of lives need to know the answer to the following question: Does the availability of guns in our country deter more killing of innocents than they inspire? To answer this question we need accurate information about how many times guns were used for good purposes versus how many for killing innocents. Somehow Daedal2207 seems to think that I have ignored “profit” and “the abuse of power”. If profit and abuse of power are factors related to deterrence or the causes for innocent deaths they AND ALL OTHER FACTORS AS WELL should be considered as we make our judgments. I thought that this was an obvious part of the question’s logic.
Thank you, Katherine, for presenting your “CDC National Center for Health Statistics”. Comparisons can be helpful. I have found that the WEB presents a variety of answers as to the number of traffic fatalities that occur each year in the US. Recent years have apparently seen a diminishment from earlier averages, yet as your number indicates it is still about 35,000 lives or about 96 per day every day of the year. My point remains the same. We accept this degree of loss (currently approx. 96 random innocent lives killed per day) for this degree of gain (we love our cars and fast speed limits!). If this isn’t the reality, explain how I am wrong. This balancing act of “cost” versus “gain” in some way applies to every rational judgment we make; why would the gun issue be an exception? (The fact that some do make it an exception may have something to do with “shaping” the evidence to protect or advance cherished, but weak-in-substance agendas.)
By the way, many statistics regarding gun deaths are greatly inflated (more than 60%) because they include suicide by gun. These gun deaths are overwhelmingly not “innocents being killed by bad guys”. “FACT: In 2013, there were 33,636 gun deaths in the U.S, an increase from the 2012 total of 33,563: 11,208 homicides (33% of total gun deaths), 21,175 suicides (63% of total gun deaths), 505 unintentional shootings (less than 2% of total gun deaths), 467 from legal intervention (1% of total gun deaths) and 281 from undetermined intent (.8% of total gun deaths).”
The fundamental question remains: Does the availability of guns in our country deter more killing of innocents than they inspire? We have statistics about the number of murders committed each year. Also, research has been done attempting to measure the number of times guns are used to deter crime. Example: “More guns, Less Crime” by John R. Lott (an American economist, political commentator, and gun rights advocate. Lott was formerly employed at various academic institutions including the University of Chicago, Yale University, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Maryland, College Park, and at the American Enterprise Institute conservative think tank). Readers who respect the rational gathering of data and quality analysis will find that this work helps us understand the life-saving balancing act. Typically, many trying to advance cherished beliefs that are threatened by these objective methods of evidence have slandered and demonized this author and his work. The solution? Read it, be honest, and make up your own mind.
O Mi God! Wahnsinn oder Torheit? Villeicht die Beide!!!
O My God! Madness or folly? Maybe the two !!!
Ecclesiastes 1:14 – 1:18
And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly: I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit.
I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit. That which is crooked cannot be made straight: and that which is wanting cannot be numbered. I communed with mine own heart, saying, Lo, I am come to great estate, and have gotten more wisdom than all they that have been before me in Jerusalem: yea, my heart had great experience of wisdom and knowledge. And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly: I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit. For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.
Heavens, what a farce it is, what a motley crowd of fools!
They abound in so many forms of folly and devise so many new ones every day that a thousand Democrituses wouldn’t be enough to laugh at them
From The Praise of Folly by Desiderius Erasmus, 1509
From CDC National Center for Health Statistics
MORTALITY U.S.A. 2016
NUMBER ALL INJURY DEATHS: 199,752
62.6 per 100,000
NUMBER ALL POISONING DEATHS: 51,966
16.3 per 100,000
NUMBER ALL MOTOR VEHICLE TRAFFIC DEATHS: 33,736
10.6 per 100,000
NUMBER ALL FIREARM DEATHS: 33,594
10.5 per 100,000
COUNTRIES RANKED BY HIGHEST RATES
OF FIREARM-RELATED DEATHS
06 EL SALVADOR
11 UNITED STATES
14 SOUTH AFRICA
17 COSTA RICA
THE SECOND AMENDMENT DOESN’T SAY WHAT YOU THINK IT DOES
…But when you actually go back and look at the debate that went into drafting of the amendment, you can squint and look really hard, but there’s simply no evidence of it being about individual gun ownership for self-protection or for hunting. Emphatically, the focus was on the militias. To the framers, that phrase “a well-regulated militia” was really critical. In the debates, in James Madison’s notes of the Constitutional Convention, on the floor of the House of Representatives as they wrote the Second Amendment, all the focus was about the militias. Now at the same time, those militias are not the National Guard. Every adult man, and eventually every adult white man, was required to be in the militias and was required to own a gun, and to bring it from home. So it was an individual right to fulfill the duty to serve in the militias…
…We are not governed today, in 2014, by British common law. Law evolved, the country evolved. It was a very rural place. There were no cities. There were no police forces. It was a completely different way of living. So gun rights activists turned this into a constitutional crusade. Those who want more guns and fewer restrictions realized they could gain some higher ground if they claimed the Constitution…
…In 1991, former Chief Justice Warren Burger said that the idea that the Second Amendment recognizes an individual right to gun ownership was “a fraud” on the public. That was the consensus, that was the conventional wisdom…
THESE 4 COUNTRIES HAVE NEARLY ELIMINATED GUN DEATHS — HERE’S WHAT THE U.S. COULD LEARN
AUSTRALIA PAID ITS CITIZENS TO SELL THEIR GUNS TO THE GOVERNMENT
“The group landed on a massive buyback program, costing hundreds of millions of dollars offset by a one-time tax increase, that bought and destroyed more than 600,000 automatic and semiautomatic weapons and pump-action shotguns.
Over the next few years, gun-death totals were cut nearly in half. Firearm suicides dropped to 0.8 per 100,000 people in 2006 from 2.2 in 1995, while firearm homicides dropped to 0.15 per 100,000 people in 2006 from 0.37 in 1995.
A US buyback would mean destroying more than 40 million guns— but at the state level, the undertaking might not be so massive.”
JAPAN PUTS ITS CITIZENS THROUGH A RIGOROUS SET OF OF TESTS
“Japan, which has strict laws for obtaining firearms, seldom has more than 10 shooting deaths a year in a population of 127 million people.
If Japanese people want to own a gun, they must attend an all-day class, pass a written test, and achieve at least 95% accuracy during a shooting-range test.
Then they have to pass a mental-health evaluation at a hospital, as well as a background check, in which the government digs into any criminal records or ties and interviews friends and family members.
Finally, they can buy only shotguns and air rifles — no handguns — and must retake the class and the initial exam every three years.
Unlike in the US, Japanese law has long outlawed guns. Still, the wisdom from Japan seems to be that tighter regulations keep guns confined only to those fit to use them.”
NORWAY EXEMPLIFIES THE POWER OF SOCIAL COHESION AND TRUST
Compared with the US, Norway has about one-third of the number of guns per 100 civilians — and about one-tenth of the rate of gun deaths per 100,000 people.
Sociologists who study the Nordic model have found that social cohesion between citizens and the government goes a long way toward ensuring a (mostly) peaceful society.
For example, an analysis in 2015 found that the number of fatal shootings by police in Norway in the past nine years was less than the number of fatal shootings by US police officers in one day.
Gummi Oddsson, a cross-cultural sociologist from Northern Michigan University, has found that Nordic governments go to great lengths to build trust in local communities.
He told Business Insider that US states could look to strengthen a sense of trust through measures like community policing, a tactic that emphasizes partnership between law enforcement and communities.
The thinking goes that people will begin to feel safer around the police, who will then have a better understanding of the neighborhood and be able to address problems before they happen.”
THE UK TOOK A MULTI-PRONGED APPROACH
“The UK’s approach that combines elements of those of the other three countries.
Around when Australia adopted its gun regulations, Parliament passed legislation banning private ownership of handguns in Britain and banned semiautomatic and pump-action firearms throughout the UK. It also required shotgun owners to register their weapons.
A $200 million buyback program led to the government’s purchase of 162,000 guns and 700 tons of ammunition from citizens.
GunPolicy.org estimates that in 2010 there were 3.78 guns per 100 people in the UK, while the US, meanwhile, is estimated to have 101 guns per 100 people.
The result has been roughly 50 to 60 gun deaths a year in England and Wales, which have a population of 56 million. Compare that to the US, a country about six times as large that has more than 160 times as many gun-related homicides.”
SWEDEN MAY HAVE THE ANSWER TO AMERICA’S GUN PROBLEM
“…gun violence is low in Sweden. The country ranks 10th out of 178 countries in the world for per capita gun ownership but in 2014 had only 21 homicides by firearms.
In contrast, the US is first in per capita ownership and had more than 8,000 gun homicides in 2014.”
All guns in Sweden have to be stored in a locked safe.
Shooting scores must be registered.
Gunman must demonstrate the ability to hit a realistic target (in this case, a full-sized plywood moose at 100 yards, NOT a paper target).
The focus of gun ownership is on gun owner’s RESPONSIBILITIES NOT gun owner’s RIGHTS.
Only responsible people are trusted with firearms.
To apply for a firearm permit, you must first take a YEAR-LONG hunter training program and pass a written and shooting test.
Convicted of a felony? No guns for you!
Beat your wife? No guns.
Under a restraining order? No guns.
Drunk driving? No guns.
“I doubt most Americans understand how its hunters focus on gun responsibilities. Novice hunters are taught how to handle guns: Assume every gun is always loaded — even if you’re sure it’s not. Never point a gun at anything you would not shoot. The ground and sky are the exceptions, but not a house, a barn, or the neighbor’s cat. If you find yourself looking into someone’s gun muzzle, you’re always right to call out the hazardous infraction…”
“…How many more mass shootings must we watch with helpless impotence while asking, “What I can do?” To protect what we love — our hunting life — we must differentiate ourselves from other gun owners.
By choosing to register our guns with our wildlife agencies, we would follow a long history of putting restrictions on ourselves for the greater good: bag limits, season lengths, blaze orange clothing, and so on. We will be recognized as the responsible registered gun owners.
Sweden shows it’s possible to have a serious hunting culture with firearms restrictions. With rights comes responsibility. Let’s show the way. Who will be the courageous, visionary sportsmen and women who establish the first hunter registration system in Vermont, or New York, or in my home state of Wisconsin, and take a step forward to sensible gun use in America?”
“In reference to the gun issue I pointed out that those truly interested in saving the greatest number of lives need to know the answer to the following question: Does the availability of guns in our country deter more killing of innocents than they inspire?”
Don, have you ever considered answering it?
Don, with respect to your 17 Feb 2018 at 11:00 pm comment:
Deaths by car versus deaths by gun is a false comparison: No one NEEDS a gun. By contrast, cars are the standard mode of transportation in the U.S.
(Tangentially, Pew Research estimates there are anywhere from 270 million to 310 million guns in the U.S. — close to one firearm for every man, woman, and child. Statista reports that in 2016 approximately 222 million people had driver’s licenses in the U.S. and 133,218,368 passenger vehicles were registered in the U.S. in 2015.)
How would you define the use of guns for “good purposes”? What does that mean?
I do not think that anyone contributing to this blog is “trying to advance a cherished belief” or “is threatened by objective methods of evidence” or wishes to “slander and demonize” anyone, although John R. Lott may have experienced these issues.
I think we are looking for solutions.
We need to go beyond dialog and statistics to confront the pandemic reality of violence and suffering that guns have caused in this country. It doesn’t matter whether the violence, pain, death were a result of mass shootings, suicide, murder, or whatever cause by guns.
We need to present a plan that works. That is the only reason for this dialog.
Katherine G: “We need to present a plan that works. That is the only reason for this dialog.” Exactly right!
Apparently we have a different idea as to the meaning of what “works”. Katherine’s prior sentence, “We need to go beyond dialog and statistics …” Tells us that the only possible way we have to measure the quality of what “works” in the real objective world is not acceptable to her. Writ large among the population, this resistance to empirical evidence explains many of our social ills (Often religious based, but amazingly prevalent among secularists as well). This defines exactly the meaning of a cherished belief, one so important to one’s psyche that numbers and logic become meaningless or worse, things to be mocked should they be applied in a fashion that is threatening of that belief. No matter all the times we as a country and as individuals have used weaponry to save lives, this (I would argue primary) function of guns can be demonized by those wishing (needing?) to believe that these inanimate objects cause only suffering and pain.
Katherine asks if I have ever tried to answer my own question: “Does the availability of guns in our country deter more killing of innocents than they inspire?” This sentence followed: “To answer this question we need accurate information about how many times guns were used for good purposes versus how many for killing innocents.” Note that I used the word “WE need accurate information”. I then go on to explain some sources where such information can be acquired. In other words, Yes, I consider it a question that needs to be asked constantly because in some contexts the availability of power (guns are just one form of power) will more likely be used to harm than help. We need to keep power out of the hands of those incapable of handling it. This does not mean that it is good to keep power out of the hands of those who can use it well.
Deaths of innocents by car accident and by gun are comparable in the sense that the ugly nature of the real world (as opposed to utopian) provides only best, not perfect answers to survivability. Both the car and the gun are important life-saving tools, yet each inflicts considerable pain and suffering on significant numbers of innocent lives. Our job as responsible citizens is to ACCURATELY MEASURE the REAL nature of risk versus gain. Without statistics, and objective thinking, this responsible task would be impossible.
What I mean, Don, is that we can talk ourselves blue in the face. We have the empirical data and information. We need to take the next move, stop talking, and act!
Guns are not ” just another form of power “.Guns are more accurately a means of communication the use of which interdicts other forms of dialogue.To feel powerful because one possesses a gun is foolish if not delusional.Suicide by gun may belong in a statistical category from homicide by gun but it is not in a different moral sphere.Attempted suicide by gun mostly by men is usually successful. Attempted suicide by other means mostly by women is much more often unsuccessful leading to ” cry for help” interpretation and the possibility of intervention.The folly of ” guns are just a form of power” is made manifest by the fact that gun suicide is statistically a phenomenon of white males over 50 in the U.S.
Yes ,the conflation between gun violence and mental illness is unjustified.
OPPOSE DE-REGULATION AND REDUCED REGULATION OF GUN POSSESSION, OWNERSHIP AND CONCEALED CARRY
For driving – a process so simple that it can be broken down and performed by computers – states require each and every individual to undergo certified training, a basic counter interview and vision test, pass a written and performance test, and purchase personal and liability insurance prior to the State issuing a driver’s license. Although vehicles may, at times, be categorized as lethal weapons, they are not primarily used as weapons. They are intentionally designed to transport people. Even so, every driver must be licensed by the state or risk penalty and/or the loss of driving privileges.
By contrast, guns are designed to be intentionally destructive or lethal weapons.
Use of guns often requires split-second cognitive assessment of behavior and emotions. Split-second decisions often lead to great harm and/or deadly consequences.
Yet, the State of Ohio requires:
For rifles & shotguns
. . . . . No permit to purchase
. . . . . No registration
. . . . . No licensing of owners
. . . . . No permit to carry
. . . . . No permit to purchase
. . . . . No registration
. . . . . No licensing of owners
. . . . . A permit is required to carry concealed.
Should the purchase, possession and/or carrying of a gun require less training and regulation than ownership and operation of a car?
Initial hospital costs due to gunshot wounds, not including rehab and subsequent hospital visits, in the U.S. was $5.9Bn during the 8-year period 2006 through 2014. That is just the cost of those people who made it to the hospital for the initial post-shot visit.
Proposed Requirements for Pre-Ownership & Licensing
. . . . . Intelligence assessment
. . . . . Cognitive assessment
. . . . . Emotional assessment
. . . . . Anger-triggers assessment
Proposed Required In-depth training in safe gun use
. . . . . Theory
. . . . . Science
. . . . . Practice
We are not Cowboys and families of settlement communities in the 1800s West. The ownership, licensing and use of guns should be highly regulated and require regular re-certification and training. Guns are lethal weapons. The States and Federal governments’ requirements for owning and carrying a should not be less than those for owning and driving a car.
The State of Ohio and the U.S. should INCREASE the REGULATORY REQUIREMENTS for owning and possessing a gun, and for carrying a concealed gun or weapon.
The State of Ohio and the U.S. should require professional assessments of intelligence, cognitive ability, and emotional triggers, all of which contribute to whether a gun is used threateningly, endangeringly, lethally, or appropriately.
Pre-licensing monitoring of intelligence, cognition, and emotional triggers and monitoring/certifying at regular intervals would help reduce the number of incidents of gun violence in the state and the country.
A focus on emotional and anger triggers is particularly imperative to reducing or eliminating gun violence.
After assessments in these three areas, CLASSROOM & FIELD TRAINING AND TESTING in safe gun use SHOULD BE REQUIRED BY LAW.
TRAINING RE-CERTIFICATION, including mental health status and background checks, should be required no less than once every three years and provided by educationally certified gun-training instructors and certified programs, such as CCW Safe ( I am not affiliated with CCW Safe ).
I agree that there should be gun control. Though, I understand that the mentally ill commit less murders that the mentally “sane”
Anwar Ghali, MD, MPA