Monday, July 27, 2015

The Bullets that Killed Jack and Jill

Jack and Jill both wanted to drive up a hill. 
Jill drove a car, Jack drove a gun. Jill was successful, Jack couldn’t drive his gun. 
Jack and Jill were mad at each other. 
Jill took her car and aimed it all Jack, but he saw her coming, so he hid in the wood. 
She jumped out, grabbed her gun, and ran quickly after.
I wrote this nursery rhyme after a debate with a gun rights enthusiast that compared deaths by vehicular crashes to deaths by guns. His reasoning was that cars kill more people than guns, are more prevalent than guns, and therefore, controlling guns doesn't make sense.

Unfortunately, the statistics and the logic don't line up with his reasoning, either.

The most accurate accounting of vehicular deaths are from 2010. The number of people that died from the result of crashes in vehicle crashes in 2010 is approximately 33,000. A conservative estimate of annual gun deaths from the CDC is over 33,000 dead a year. This is a conservative estimate as not all deaths by guns are reported to the CDC or even reported to the police.

As we all know, cars are used much more frequently than guns are. People who drive cars often drive those cars on daily basis. Guns, on the other hand, are not used in daily life by the vast majority of those who own them. These guns are either used for personal protection, hunting or for recreation use. Guns are used to fire bullets in each of these uses. The only use that guns don't fire bullets are historical artifacts or family heirlooms.

Currently, there is much more involved in obtaining and maintaining a driver's license in the vast majority of United States than it takes to purchase and keep a gun. For a vehicle to be legal to drive, it needs to have a valid registration and insurance, not to mention a driver with a valid driver's license.

A gun does not require any of these things, not even insurance.

A vehicle you can see coming at you. Most often, a vehicle is driven on a road.

In a growing number of states, concealed weapons permits are being issued to gun owners. In some states that initially required permits and courses before obtaining these permits, even these minimal requirements are being rolled back.

So, even before these concealed weapons made it legal to carry weapons everywhere, a gun could be hidden from sight until right before it was used to fire those bullets, it's primary purpose.

You tell me. Can you see a gun coming at you better than you can a car? Can you ride a gun to work?

I'm certainly not against gun ownership. However, sensible legislation and sensible gun ownership has been taken off the table. The bodies continue to pile up . . . the limited background checks do we have aren't even universal. The patchwork quilt of state by state system we have between federal, state and local governments and institutions is not working either. 

Yet, you have presidential candidates pontificating on the stump calling for absolutely no gun-sense legislation, saying we should focus efforts on the mentally ill. These are these same candidates that have done nothing for their own state populations of mentally ill. In fact, in many cases, these candidates have cut services or denied services to the mentally ill.

If that isn't irony, it's certainly an iron nail in someone's coffin. 

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