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Morning Sun
  • GUEST COLUMN: Guns in America

  • Being more interested in facts than opinion, I’ve been doing some research online about what we now know about gun violence. I think everyone knows we have more gun violence per capita in our country than other industrialized countries combined. In our country about 87 people a day die from a gunshot (suicide, homicide, accident) The question then is why?

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  • Being more interested in facts than opinion, I’ve been doing some research online about what we now know about gun violence. I think everyone knows we have more gun violence per capita in our country than other industrialized countries combined. In our country about 87 people a day die from a gunshot (suicide, homicide, accident) The question then is why?
    Interestingly the crime rate in other industrialized countries is comparable to ours. They see the same movies and play the same video games as we do. They have a similar rate of mental illness. The most obvious difference is that we have far more access to guns of all sorts and especially extremely dangerous ones like semi-automatic assault rifles. This in spite of the fact that a majority of our people support banning them.
    Some of us apparently fear Obama is coming to take all our guns, which would be funny if it weren’t so dangerous in obstructing meaningful action on gun control. These same people fear the government in general. After a previous massacre (there’ve been so many I forget which one) I put this question to my Facebook friends: why would anyone need a semi-automatic assault weapon with high capacity magazine clips? Certainly not for hunting a deer (which by the way I support hunting for food if you need to). One of my friends kindly explained it to me (I think he is a Libertarian). He said you need these weapons to protect yourself from our own government. I pointed out that, putting aside the paranoia of this thought, it’s still a very feeble weapon against a government. The government has several branches of military forces, planes, drones, tanks, bazookas, atomic bombs, etc.  It won’t matter much how big a gun you have if you want to fight the government - you’re going to lose. (I happen to think your vote is the best weapon for fighting the government and I don’t think my friend votes. I also support peaceful demonstration and talking to your representatives in Congress. Speaking of which, let them know if you support gun control - they are waiting to hear from us.)
    Recently I learned that a second use for these guns is for target shooting. It seems to me firing ranges could stock them and rent them out, like bowling shoes and roller skates. Problem solved.
    I wish someone would publish daily statistics on gunshot deaths. How many people died today and who were they? How many children accidentally shot themselves like the 3 year old in 2007 who played with a gun in the car and shot himself in the face. How many abusers killed their children and spouse today? How many teenagers committed suicide with a gun? If we read these statistics every day perhaps we would understand more why we need gun controls.
    Page 2 of 2 - I think we are not evolved enough to manage dangerous weapons - our emotions too often take over our brains. I also think when we do become evolved enough we probably won’t even want a gun around anymore. In the meantime how about some controls on guns? The president has proposed some reasonable controls. Please call or write your congresspersons to support them - your life could depend on it here in America.
    Joy Leeper is a guest columnist. Her views do not necessarily represent those of the Morning Sun.
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