• Guns, deaths, guns, deaths, guns, deaths…

    If only we had guns to protect us. Dan Yowell said this on facebook in answer to a university altercation which left one dead and three injured:

    “Kid who has a gun for protection protects 3 kids into the hospital and protects a fourth kid to death. Glad he was protected. Bad stuff might have happened.”

    And then there was the eight-year-old girl the other day who, after not letting an elven-year-old neighbour see her new puppy, received a fatal gun shot. Yes, the girl died when the boy went back next door to get an easily accessible gun and shot her. Arguments + guns = death. if only the puppy had a gun to defend her.

    And then this week also had the accidental death of a brother at the hands of another eleven-year-old boy whilst shooting targets. Arguments or accidents, these people shouldn’t have access to guns.

    The US has homicide rates about 4 times higher than the UK’s:

    And yet the rate for gun deaths compared to the UK, and homicide-by-gun deaths is:

    The UK doesn’t even feature. Here is a wikipedia stat for firearm death rates:

    Screen Shot 10-10-15 at 01.17 PM

    The key figures for homicide death rates are 0.05 vs 3.55. That is a WHOPPING 71 times bigger!!! Which is to say that whilst homicides are 4 times greater in proportional number, gun homicides are 71 times greater in the US than the UK.

    If this is not the statistic needed to convince you that guns and gun availability is not in some way connected to gun homicide deaths, then there is no help for you. I find these stats staggering.

    The Washington Post penned this opinion piece, one amongst any that can be seen online:

    Another day, another tragic school shooting.

    HOURS AFTER a student at an Arizona university was fatally shot and three others were wounded, the college president sought to reassure the community. “An isolated and unprecedented incident,” Northern Arizona University President Rita Cheng said of the early Friday morning shooting. If only her words were true. Sadly, U.S. school shootings are anything but isolated and unprecedented. They occur on average more than once a week.

    This week, it was Ms. Cheng’s sad duty to hold the news conference that has become one of the rituals of school shootings. “A terrible tragedy. . . . Our hearts are heavy,” she said at the Flagstaff campus where freshman Colin Brough was killed. Last week, it was officials at Umpqua Community Collegein rural Oregon who had to confront the heartbreak after a shooting spree left 10 dead, including the gunman, and nine injured.

    The circumstances of the two shootings differ. The Arizona incident reportedly followed a confrontation between two student groups, while the Oregon shooter went on an unprovoked rampage. But both could happen only in an environment where it is all too easy to get a gun. No sooner had Ms. Cheng finished speaking Friday than another school, this time Texas Southern University in Houston, went on lockdown after two people were shot, one fatally, at a student housing facility near the campus.

    According to Everytown for Gun Safety, there have been at least 149 school shootings since 2013, 52 this year alone. The mass shootings, such as at Umpqua last week or Sandy Hook in 2012 or Virginia Tech in 2007, get the most attention. But many of the incidents occur, as apparently happened in Flagstaff, when an altercation escalates and — instead of walking away or, at worst, throwing a punch — someone reaches for the all-too-accessible gun.

    On Oct. 3, 2014, it was at Langston Hughes High School in Georgia, where an18-year-old student allegedly traded insults with a 17-year-old from a different school and shot and killed him. On April 16, 2013, it was at Stillman College in Alabama, where an argument about a bet over a video game resulted in one student being shot twice and the other charged with attempted murder. On Jan. 16, 2013, it was the turn of Chicago State University in Illinois, where a fight broke out at a basketball game, spilled into the parking lot and ended with a 17-year-old fatally shot.

    This week we wrote about an 8-year-old girl shot dead allegedly by her 11-year-old neighbor after she wouldn’t let him see her puppy. We observed how in other countries without as many guns, fights between children don’t end in such tragedies. The same applies to students who argue over bets or basketball games or school rivalries or whatever silly thing sparked Friday’s early morning confrontation in Flagstaff. We’re all for better mental-health treatment, peer counseling and programs to discourage the misuse of alcohol. But the most obvious way to reduce gun violence is not to have so many guns so readily available when people fight, drink and get angry.

    Category: FeaturedGun ControlPolitics


    Article by: Jonathan MS Pearce