Saturday, May 18, 2013

The Cost of America's Gun Fetish

A 5-Year-Old Kentucky boy accidentally shot and killed his 2-year-old sister recently with a .22 Caliber rifle he received for his birthday last year. The rifle is specially made for kids and is called a "Crickett" with the tagline "This is my first rifle". You can add "first accidental murder" to that list too. All jokes aside, the Southern Kentucky community has spoken and boy are they outraged by this horrible story. The county's coroner said quote"It's a little rifle for a kid...The little boy's used to shooting the little gun" which resulted with a little coffin for a little corpse.  He was later caught saying "What is more unusual than a child having a gun, is "that a kid would get shot with it." 

Kentucky Police Trooper Billy Gregory agrees saying, "In this part of the country, it's not uncommon for a 5-year-old to have a gun or for a parent to pass one down to their kid." If that doesn't scare you enough, the county judge also said "there's probably not a household in this county that doesn't have a gun". The family admits it's a tragedy but hold no regrets as they said "it has a child safety" and "he just picked up the gun before he realized it". Of course! He should have realized it. I mean come on, 5-year-olds have been through their share of armed conflicts to know if a gun is loaded or if the safety is on. I'm pretty sure it was covered in the latest issue of Toddlers and Tommy Guns magazine.
But Coroner, Gary White is wrong in his assertion about the "usualness" of kids getting shot. In 2010, "29 people between the ages of 1 and 19 died in gun accidents. Another 749 took their own lives using a firearm, most of which were owned by a parent". On top of that, "almost 120,000 children/teens have died from gun violence since 1979, nearly three times the number of military deaths during the Vietnam war, and over 17 times the number of deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan" so think twice before thinking that terrorism is a bigger threat to our country. The Children's Defense Fund (CDF) also reports gun death rates in America are more than seven times higher than they are in other high income countries. So why are kids in America more likely to die from gun violence than other countries? Is it just because we're a more violent culture or is it more likely because we have the most guns?

The victim's grandmother thinks she has the answer as she let out this religious vomit, "It was God's will. It was her time to go, I guess," she told WLEX. "I just know she's in heaven right now and I know she's in good hands with the Lord." If she died by the hand of God, don't you think his hands are the last place you want her to be? (Maybe Grandma ordered the hit...yea...there's only one person who can shit their diaper in this family!) This delusional thinking is another example of illogical thinking and making almighty God the answer for this preventable death. 

The fact is that before this decade ends we will have enough guns for every citizen (see chart) and more guns—which are likely to fall into the hands of unstable and criminal citizens— equal more deaths. American's currently have the most lax gun laws despite death rates not declining. According to CNN this is the 3rd incident in recent months regarding young children shooting others and with America still holding the highest gun fatality rate in the world so what is there left to prove?

Gun activists and NRA members will continue to use the second amendment as an excuse for these incidents and how it's their constitutional right, but what people fail to understand is the amendment was created only to protect the citizens from a militant government over 200 years ago! The "right" to bear arms doesn't excuse you from responsibility. Congress recently voted down stricter gun laws and mandatory background checks with the fallacy that crime and murder will still exist regardless. Right, but that doesn't make laws pointless or murder legal for that murder. The 5-year-old wasn't at fault in this situation, his parents and the gun were. The NRA also opposes mandatory gun locks in the home, which could have saved this little girl's life. 

On Jon Stewart recently, he notes these hypocrisies on FOX News where the anchors seemed adamant in throwing away every amendment when talking about the fate of the Boston Bomber guessed it, the second. Jon Oliver also brilliantly interviewed the Prime Minister of Australia who implemented stricter gun laws 15 years ago after a massacre, and their fatality rates have decreased significantly with ZERO gun massacres since then. Watch the interview below. 

Gun advocates think having more guns promotes more safety against outside threats and that deaths only occur because of weapon owners more than guns, but it's not a coincidence that the country with the most guns (over 300 million) has the most massacres. There is no evidence that supports owning a gun makes you safer in hostile situations, in fact, "armed civilians attempting to intervene are actually more likely to increase the bloodshed".

The laws easing on gun control make it easier than ever to illegally purchase guns with over 99 laws in favor of carrying guns in public places like schools and churches! (You can never be too safe against God's will) If people think criminals illegally purchasing guns is the problem look at Mother Jones' study which found nearly 80% of killers purchased their weapons legally. Gun reform is favored by 90% of Americans but Republicans in the Senate continually think any reform is violating their second amendment rights.

In the past year alone America saw Newton, Christopher Dorner, the Sikh temple and the shooting in Colorado. Approximately 4,000 Americans were killed by guns in the past four months, including a friend of mine from grade school, surpassing lives lost in 9/11 and there has not been even mild gun legislation. I guarantee these tragic deaths will continue if people continue to sit on the sidelines and watch it happen. I advise people to speak up against the legislators to protect someone you love from being another statistic.

R.I.P. Sam "The sun will set for you."

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