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home : opinion : columns July 3, 2015


12/30/2012 6:00:00 AM
Guest Column: Talking statistics on guns and other stuff
Alexander James
Kingman Resident

This is in response to "Guns make America a battlefield," which appeared in the Dec. 20 Miner.

It reads, in part: "Statistically, 32 people a day are killed by firearms in America. This equates to nearly 1,000 people's deaths per month. One thousand deaths on a battlefield would be considered with great alarm."

You want to talk statistics? Let's talk statistics.

Heart Disease (preventable): 599,413 deaths per year, 1,642 deaths a day.

Tobacco (preventable): 443,000 deaths per year, 1,213 per day.

Poisoning (preventable): 41,592 deaths per year, 113 deaths a day.

Motor vehicle accidents (preventable): 34,485 deaths per year, 94 deaths a day.

Firearm homicide (is evil preventable?): 11,493 deaths per year, 31 deaths per day.

Statistics obtained from CDC FASTSTATS.

Yes, America is a battlefield, but it sure isn't from guns. This is a quote from the Bureau of Justice summary of homicide trends in U.S., "In the last decade (since 2000) the homicide rate declined to levels last seen in the mid-1960s" (Cooper & Smith, 2011). Further, according to the CDC and Bureau statistics, the homicide rate and firearm related homicide rate has been steadily declining since the early-mid 1990s, despite what media outlets will have you believe (BoJ, n.d.).

Secondly, "mass shootings" have not been increasing - they have stayed consistent since the '80s - it's media coverage that is clearly increasing. I feel that you can logically make the connections, but if not, please, all I ask is that you find an unbiased source of information, as neither Fox, ABC, the Washington Post nor Mother Jones tell a complete and accurate story.

Folks, I am not here to tell you that I, as a law abiding American citizen, need to have a semi-auto rifle that cosmetically appears military in nature, nor do I need 30 round magazines. There are lots of things Americans don't need, and many of those things cause far more deaths per year than a gun, which, in case you forgot, is a tool, an inanimate object. I am not here to blame some other item or organization for the shooting in Connecticut, but I would like to remind everyone that making hasty, emotionally charged decisions has never lead to good long-term results, nor am I saying that nothing needs to change.

What if, after the next mass shooting that takes place in a "No Gun" free-fire zone, politicians call for censorship of the Internet and media outlets? How would you feel about that? You might say that violates your First Amendment rights! Yet the Internet and TV were not around when the Founding Fathers made our constitution, so why should free speech apply to those outlets?

Just as you now tell me that I can't have a semi-automatic rifle because the Founding Fathers obviously didn't intend for that, I ask you; did the Founding Fathers intend for Facebook, Twitter, TV, video games, and mass media coverage that constantly promote/perpetuate gun violence and evil in general? Did they intend for motor vehicles that take more lives per year than firearm homicides? Did they intend for the populace to literally eat themselves to death with processed foods?

When does it become OK to censor one amendment for "the greater good," and not OK to censor another? You might say that I don't need that sort of gun, but I say that irrational freedoms are just the thing that makes this country the country that it is.

All I ask is that you keep an open mind on this issue and please consider my viewpoint, which is one of a sane, law abiding citizen who takes the right to own and safely use firearms seriously, as do millions of others.


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Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, January 4, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

“Seriously, Nephew? "Ahh, pure class, as always. Good job." Coming from you, the king of 'class', this is the epitome of the pot calling the kettle black. Best laugh I've had all week!”

I am pleased I provided you with a bit of humor, but must now ask that you post some examples of where I have been classless to the extent of calling a member of Congress “a cow?” I am also not the one that calls the president a homosexual, an atheist, a Muslim, a Communist, a socialist (really, these people need to decide on a label). Nor am I the one that calls a member of the United States Supreme Court a lesbian. Or the Secretary of State a liar.

But please, point out where I have stepped across that line. Thank you.


Posted: Friday, January 4, 2013
Article comment by: Frank Lee Speaking

@Doing Research

"Thoughts?"

Yeah, here's a thought. Just a typical nonsense idea from a leftist gun grabber that would not last past the first court challange. Come back when you have an idea that does not seem like it was drug induced.

LOL


Posted: Friday, January 4, 2013
Article comment by: Seriously ?

Seriously, Nephew? "Ahh, pure class, as always. Good job." Coming from you, the king of 'class', this is the epitome of the pot calling the kettle black. Best laugh I've had all week!


Posted: Friday, January 4, 2013
Article comment by: Nice Chuckle

@T J

"Chuckles, show me a gun that can shoot someone 35 times is 20 seconds."

My apologies, I was only borrowing YOUR words from an earlier post.


Posted: Friday, January 4, 2013
Article comment by: Tj Denton

Chuckles, show me a gun that can shoot someone 35 times is 20 seconds. You cant because guns dont shoot themselves. And a knife can easily be used 35 times in 20 seconds. And people are talking about banning assault rifles, and that is....well, dumb

Posted: Friday, January 4, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

“And remember, she is the cow who once said:”

Ahh, pure class, as always. Good job.


Posted: Friday, January 4, 2013
Article comment by: Nice Chuckle

@FLS

"Sen. Diane Feinstien is. Her proposal will ban more than 100 specific guns."

As I said, nobody is seriously talking about banning guns.

@FLS

"So you are a firm believer in prosecution of all pot smokers for violating federal law,"

I am a firm believer that if something is against the law, you do not do it until you, or somebody, works to make it legal. Simple. Easy.


Posted: Friday, January 4, 2013
Article comment by: Doing Research

I've been making the same argument about the amount of money spent on the "War on Terror" for years.

Did you know that dogs, sharks and lightning killed more Americans than terrorists in 2012?

Here is YET ANOTHER easy solution that will fall on deaf ears:

Tax bullets proportional to cigarettes. Do this on a scale where the calibers of bullets being used to kill people are taxed higher than "hunting" rounds or whatever. Then that also gets a geographic ratio applied, so the closer you are to a city the closer you a "high crime" area the mosre expensive. And those taxes go to police.

So if you buy a .22 round near a large city, it's $10 each. If you drive 200 miles away, then it's more like $1 each.

Then you have an economist tell you the maximized price point where people in gangs will still buy bullets, but won't want to squeeze off a whole clip because it's expensive. So you use the tactics you all claim our socialist commie government is using to drain you dry on people who are doing the shooting.

Thoughts?


Posted: Thursday, January 3, 2013
Article comment by: Oh Really

@ Lori Gabriel-Dane

But people who smoke are killing themselves, not other people. And it has been proven that "2nd-hand-smoke" does not hurt other people.

You are very wrong on this!

http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/tobaccocancer/secondhand-smoke


Posted: Thursday, January 3, 2013
Article comment by: Frank Lee Speaking

@Lori Hyphenated

Hey Lori, as a big critic of armed security in schools you will love this.

"When children from Sandy Hook Elementary school return to class in neighboring Monroe, Conn. today, they’ll be entering “the safest school in America,” according to the Associated Press"

“Law enforcement officers have been guarding the new school, and by the reckoning of police, it is ‘the safest school in America,’” the AP reported Thursday."

Here is the name of the local newspaper, the Monroe Courier. Why don't you write a letter and tell the locals there how misguided they are? Maybe share with them your idiotic, "More guns are not the answer" line.

And this from a story in that local paper on the new school.

"kids.”

When it comes to using Chalk Hill for Sandy Hook Elementary School students and staff, Agostine said, he expects there will be a special police presence at the building when it opens. He said the added security will be needed to reassure staff, students and parents as well as to keep the media away."

But hey, what do they know. Think of how they can benefit from your leftist enlightenment on school safety issues.

Have you had enough punishment Lori.....or are you hungry for more?

LOL


Posted: Thursday, January 3, 2013
Article comment by: Frank Lee Speaking

@nice chuckle

"Just for the record, nobody is talking seriously about banning guns, and you know it."

Sen. Diane Feinstien is. Her proposal will ban more than 100 specific guns. We are just waiting for her to release the list. Some would be grandfathered and owners could keep them, but they would be required to register them and the owner would have to be photographed and fingerprinted.

And remember, she is the cow who once said:

"If I could’ve gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States for an outright ban, picking up every one of them — Mr. and Mrs. America turn ‘em all in — I would have done it. I could not do that. The votes weren’t here.”

She is a U.S. Senator. So much for your claim that no one wants to ban guns. The moment she thinks she can, she will.


Posted: Thursday, January 3, 2013
Article comment by: Frank Lee Speaking

@nice chuckle

"So, let's take your logic and use it then. Everything should be legal since people are still going to do it anyway. Hmmmm.....I like that.

So you are a firm believer in prosecution of all pot smokers for violating federal law, right chuckles?


Posted: Thursday, January 3, 2013
Article comment by: Nice Chuckle

@T J

"no chuckles, killing someone is illegal, owning a gun isnt!! should we outlaw knives chuckles? should we outlaw baseball bats? ROCKS for that matter, all used to kill people but for some reason people want to outlaw guns. ive said it before and ill say it again. a person who wants to outlaw assault rifles is either ignorant to the issue or simply has zero common sense."

Nice attempt again at a straw man argument. How about you show me a knife, bat or rock that can strike somebody 35 times in 20 seconds?

Just for the record, nobody is talking seriously about banning guns, and you know it.


Posted: Thursday, January 3, 2013
Article comment by: Squirt and Drench

@ baby Smith Father Colt

Brilliant strategy on Obama's part then, IF it was his idea. What could stimulate America's economy more than very brisk gun sales? And you conservatives didn't give him any credit ... tsk, tsk.


Posted: Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Article comment by: baby Smith Father Colt

@Capt. Nice

"Do you really think the left cares about your facts and statistics?"

Do you really think the right, middle, or left really cares about the facts? This is just pump n dump. Suddenly there is a shortage of ammo or guns and sales skyrocket. Just an easy way to sell junk firearms to people who buy the hype.
Have seen this same thing at least twice every decade.


Posted: Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Article comment by: tj denton

no chuckles, killing someone is illegal, owning a gun isnt!! should we outlaw knives chuckles? should we outlaw baseball bats? ROCKS for that matter, all used to kill people but for some reason people want to outlaw guns. ive said it before and ill say it again. a person who wants to outlaw assault rifles is either ignorant to the issue or simply has zero common sense.

Posted: Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Article comment by: Nice Chuckle

@T J

"chuckles, thats my point!! it doesnt matter if assault weapons are illegal or not, crimes will still be commited with them, all you are doing is removing them from the hands of people who abide by the law! you will never remove them from the hands of criminals..EVER!"

So, let's take your logic and use it then. Everything should be legal since people are still going to do it anyway. Hmmmm.....I like that.


Posted: Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Article comment by: tj denton

chuckles, thats my point!! it doesnt matter if assault weapons are illegal or not, crimes will still be commited with them, all you are doing is removing them from the hands of people who abide by the law! you will never remove them from the hands of criminals..EVER!

Posted: Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Article comment by: Nice Chuckle

@T J

"what law has ever prevented a criminal from conducting criminal activity?? there are laws to prevent meth use, do we still have drug addicts? yes. there are laws against theft. are things still stolen? yes. murder is illegal. are people not murdered every day, several different ways? so just tell me what your gun bans accomplish...will they take assault weapons out of the hand of criminals??"

Nice attempt at a straw man argument.

Just because something is illegal and people still do it does not mean they are not committing a crime. If what you said was 100% true, there would be no need for courts or prisons.


Posted: Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Article comment by: tj denton

lori

please answer my question! i honestly want someone to answer it but for some reason no body will! and its not a difficult question...
what law has ever prevented a criminal from conducting criminal activity?? there are laws to prevent meth use, do we still have drug addicts? yes. there are laws against theft. are things still stolen? yes. murder is illegal. are people not murdered every day, several different ways? so just tell me what your gun bans accomplish...will they take assault weapons out of the hand of criminals??


Posted: Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Article comment by: It's Unbelievable

It's unbelievable to me that there are even debates happening, on small internet scales, to larger political scales that deal with removing a Constitutional right!! Downright worrysome really...

@ J J

I don't think you'd like it if someone removed your right to say something so foolish. No matter how misguided your opinion is, you have a right to have, and speak it any dang time you want. Thank God!!

@ Frank Harris

There was nothing stupid about that column at all. Do you think American's won't be "inflicted" by bullets just because actual law abiding citizens no longer have them? That's very naive!

@ Lori

It's funny you mention 2nd hand smoke as being a farce. Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't the government use that farce to implement another tax? Wasn't there laws placed because people bought the 2nd hand smoke law? What makes you think this gun debate is any different? It's freedom stripping at it's finest and people are becoming blind to it!!


Posted: Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Article comment by: Lori Gabriel-Dane

To Frank Lee Speaking:

I did not include tobacco because I agree that that is preventable. But people who smoke are killing themselves, not other people. And it has been proven that "2nd-hand-smoke" does not hurt other people. If you think about it, 2nd hand smoke has been around as long as there have been smokers. Now, there are less smokers than ever before, so why is the cancer rate higher than ever before? Second hand smoke is being used as a scapegoat to protect the cancer-causing radiation that leaks into our atmosphere on a routine and daily basis from every nuclear power plant in operation. Don't believe me? Read
"Unacceptable Risk" by McKinly C. Olson,

As for poisoning, I will agree with you on that one, as well. But not totally. One person's death from a spouse who wants to get rid of their partner by poisoning them can hardly compare to the mass killing of 20 children.


Posted: Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Article comment by: Frank Lee Speaking

@Lori Hyphenated

"No one DELIBERATELY takes poison unless, like I said, they are suicidal. Guns, on the other hand, CAN be used to DELIBERATELY kill people."

Wow, good thing there are strict laws against illicit drugs. Why if they were not illegal, I could deliberatly give someone an overdose of an illegal drug or something........Oh, wait a minute. LoL

Notice how you ignored the fact that there are plenty of cases every year of people murdering other people by DELIBERATELY using poisonous substances to do so. Oh wait.....that simply did not fit into your neat little anti-gun rant, did it Lori? Wait, wait, I know, Lori.........One person being shot is a "tragedy".......A person being poisoned, eh, who cares, right Lori?

You really seem to be losing the logical reasoning side of the gun debate lately. Looks like you are resorting to just making stuff up now.

LOL


Posted: Tuesday, January 1, 2013
Article comment by: Frank Lee Speaking

@Lori Hyphenated

"Since when is heart disease preventable? Thousands of babies are born each year with heart defects. Many people who live right, eat right, and exercise daily, die of sudden heart attacks - how was that preventable?"

I was stymied as to why you would try to convince anyone that the above problems are not preventable. With the exception of the birth defect, they are. Then it hit me when I realized the one in the middle of his list that you carefully and deliberatly avoided.......This one:

"Tobacco (preventable): 443,000 deaths per year, 1,213 per day."

Beats having to confront the possible outcome of a two pack a day habit and enables one to use the lame excuse that disease is impossible to avoid.

So were you trying to convince the rest of us, or yourself.

LOL


Posted: Tuesday, January 1, 2013
Article comment by: tj denton

lori,

you can prevent heart disease by taking actions to live a healthier life style, will it stop all heart related emergencies? no, but will it lower them? yes.

as to the gun situation, if you acknowledge that there are crazy people out there with weapons, then why would you want to prevent law abiding citizes equal means of protection? and as for whats next on the market, what has stopped any terrorist from commiting mass murders??? please answer me that question lori!! PLEASE tell me what any measure of law has ever stopped someone from commiting murders!!



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