All In a Day’s Work


Respectfully submitted by Lawrence E. Rafferty (rafflaw)-Weekend Contributor

On February 7th, 2014, the sad reports were compiled from the deadly day before.  On Thursday, February 6th, at least 24 people were shot and 14 of them were killed.  Two of the dead were small children.  The shootings and killings were from cities and towns all across the country.  A 17 month old girl was accidentally shot by her 3 year old brother in North Carolina.

A 13-year-old was accidentally shot and killed while playing with a shotgun in the state of Washington.  In Seattle, Washington, a man was shot and killed by a fellow tenant.  A man in his 30’s was shot several times and critically wounded in Owasso, Oklahoma.  A 18 year man was shot and killed at his uncle’s home in South Carolina.  These and others were all wounded or killed by gunfire on February 6th, 2014.  Just one sad day out of many.

We have written a few times before about the need to do something, anything that might be useful in reducing gun deaths and the reactions varied from agreement to claims that Americans have a Second Amendment right to carry guns and daring government officials to try to get their guns.  There is no argument that we all have the right to own and carry guns.  However, don’t citizens have a right to protect themselves from those who carry guns?

Amy Scott is fighting for her life in Alabama because she was shot at her grandparents home.  A 24-year-old man was shot and killed in Nashville, Tennessee.  A 37-year-old man in San Jacinto, California was shot to death.  Some of these many killings were probably crime related.  A large number appeared to be accidental and with some, the cause or motive of the shooting is unknown.

This past week, the trial commenced in Jacksonville, Florida, in the alleged murder of an unarmed black teenager by a another man at a gas station.  The defendant, Michael Dunn, is attempting to use the Florida Stand Your Ground law to claim that he was in reasonable fear for his life when he fired up to 10 shots into the car next to him at a gas station.  Three of the shots hit and killed 17-year-old Jordan Davis while he was sitting in the back of the car.

This shooting allegedly started over a disagreement over the teenagers loud music which the defendant took exception to. I was particularly struck by this story, not just because of the Stand Your Ground defense, but because the defendant pulled his weapon out of his glove box after he claims a shotgun was pointed at him from the other car.

“The jury in the trial of Michael Dunn, which began in Jacksonville, Florida, on Thursday, will hear how a 47-year-old software developer — who is white — grabbed a 9mm pistol from his glove box and fired repeatedly at 17-year-old Jordan Davis, a black student, during a November 2012 altercation that started as an argument over loud music blaring from the car Davis was sitting in at a Florida gas station.

After shooting Davis, Dunn fled the scene with his girlfriend, drove to a hotel for the night, ordered pizza and watched movies. When he was arrested the following day, Dunn told investigators that he had fired in self-defence after seeing someone in the car point a shotgun at him. However, police found no weapon in the vehicle.” Guardian

The defense attorney pulled out all of the stops in attempting to persuade the jury that Mr. Dunn was justified in firing up to 10 shots into the teenager’s car, even as the teens attempted to drive away to evade the gunfire. ‘ “God didn’t make all men equal. Colt did. Colt is a firearm,” Strolla said. “(Dunn) had every right under the law to not be a victim, to be judged by 12 rather than carried by six.” ‘ CNN

That is an amazing statement by the defense attorney.  Evidently, those with guns have the right to shoot and worry about it later.  At least according to the defense attorney.  While all of the courtroom fireworks were proceeding, even more people were being shot and  killed due to gunfire.  A 25-year-old man was shot and wounded in Omaha, Nebraska on February 6th.

A county employee near Boring, Washington was shot and killed.  A 40-year-old man was shot in the leg in front of parents and school children in Brooklyn, New York.  All in one day.  One violent day, but one out of many violent days due to gun fire.

The shooter in the Jacksonville, Florida killing who is claiming it was a self-defense related shooting, also seems to have some very disgusting and racist ideas.  The prosecution in that case produced copies of letters written by Mr. Dunn that were racially incendiary, to say the least.  I am not attempting to make this a racial shooting, but the letters may convince some that if it was white teenagers playing their music loudly, there would not have been a shooting tragedy that day.

Adrian Maynard was shot twice while he was departing church with his grandparents in West Virginia.  Again, on February 6th, 2014.  Why do Americans have this apparent addiction to guns?  I believe that reasonable measures can be taken to reduce some of the shootings and deaths, but unless Congress gets an earful from citizens across the country fill up their email in boxes and voice message systems with demands to pass background checks on all weapons sales and transfers or other reasonable ideas, the shootings and the killings will continue unabated.

How can we as Americans look ourselves in the mirror when the gun violence continues?  Do we act only when the violence strikes our families or our friends?  If the killing of innocents in schools cannot bring meaningful action, what will it take to bring that action?  The shootings and deaths that we highlighted are all from February 6th, 2014 and reported on February 7th, 2014.  The latest Stand Your Ground case in Florida just happened to be on trial on that same sad February 6th.

One sad day out of 365 sad days.  When will it end?

Lawrence E. Rafferty–Weekend Contributor

“The views expressed in this posting are the author’s alone and not those of the blog, the host, or other weekend bloggers.  As an open forum, weekend bloggers post independently without pre-approval or review. Content and any displays or art are solely their decision and responsibility.”

66 thoughts on “All In a Day’s Work

  1. Raff,

    Without restricting the guns and possession to circumstances that are deemed acceptable…… How do you suppose your goal be accomplished…. I own several …. I do not travel with them… Nor do I keep live Ammo in the clip…… These sound like stupid people that you cite examples of….I recall as a youth living in a very rural area….. That we would swim in the creek and jump in from the railroad trestle….. Today that same action would get you arrested for trespassing…… We just used to get shooed off….. Not everyone that has done this has survived….. One kid about a mile down got sucked in by an eddy…..should swimming be banned….

  2. And I bet most of the shooters were “responsible gun owners” before they decided to shoot some one or the guns were owned by “responsible gun owners” before they decided to leave them out for a child to use it! Responsible gun owners should welcome restrictions on gun ownership and should support severe punishment for gun owners who don’t act responsibly. Why is the alleged Second Amendment right the only Cinstutional right that is unlimited even to the point of insanity? Is the Constitution really a homicide pact?

  3. I can look in the mirror very easily. Gun deaths are a tragedy. However, any of your “if only we could…” solutions would be a lot worse, of course.

  4. While we’re at it, why don’t we mention the 30,000 highway deaths annually, the million-plus killed by hospitals and doctors and pharmaceutical companies annually, the tens of thousands that die from food poisoning annually, from cigarettes, from alcohol — from everything for chrissakes? I don’t know what is more sickening, the anti-gun drone or the hypocrisy!

  5. Well this shooting won’t end by taking guns away from law abiding citizens. And I believe the calculated end result of new gun laws is complete confiscation of firearms—again from those who obey they law. Corrupt lawmakers will make sure that the wealthy, of course, will always be able to have firearms or armed guards. Lives of the wealthy are far more important than us little worker bees.

    From MADD in 2012: (
    10,322 people killed by drunk drivers—28 deaths a day.
    345,000 Injures caused by drunk drivers– 945 a day.
    Total annual cost associated with drunk drivers—$132,000,000,000
    That’s 132 billion or 132×10^9….a lot of zeros.

    Show me a gun law that will keep guns away from criminals and I’ll support it. Show me a gun law that further restricts our 2nd Amendment rights and I’ll fight against it.

    For those who are unfamiliar with legally purchasing a firearm they should acquaint themselves with ATF Form 4473. This form must be completed whenever a firearm is purchased from a licensed firearm dealer—even dealers at gun shows. After the form is completed a phone call is then placed to verify that the potential purchaser is not on a prohibited list. One cannot buy firearms on the internet without going through this background check—it just doesn’t happen. If a firearm is purchased from an on-line store the weapon is transferred to another brick and mortar gun shop chosen by the buyer. At this point the buyer goes to the gun shop and then has to undergo the background check described above. Guns are not purchased on-line and delivered to a private residence.

    Taking firearms away from law abiding citizens will just create more targets for the thugs—it will not end the killing and violence in our society.

  6. Of course Birth is the leading cause of death.
    I have to question your selecting firearms as a cause at all as they do nothing until a human being decides to, and what to, use them for.
    Banning Births would solve the firearms problem too.
    While you’re at it listing statistics, smoking, dui’s and religion roll up some pretty impressive numbers to detail.
    Keep busy………….Darrel

  7. Once again, I am not suggesting taking away guns from people, but good faith measures to make sure people who shouldn’t have them can’t get them. How do we reduce the gun violence? If not by reasonable gun control measures, how? Give us some ideas how you would reduce the gun violence. We know bringing more guns into the situation hasn’t worked. What will tomorrow’s totals bring?

  8. rafflaw,
    The problem with your argument is that there are already many gun control laws at the Federal and State Level. The SA has numerous restrictions and the one Federal law that isn’t on the books is gun registration. And when or if, guns are ever registered then you can kiss the SA good-by—our corrupt politicians will then be able to confiscate each and every one of them.

    You talk about gun violence and how you want to reduce gun violence. How about addressing violence in general? We manage to kill people in many different ways and removing guns from the equation will not remove the violence. You are sadly mistaken if you believe guns are the reason for the violence—it’s us, humans, that are responsible for the violence. How do we stop the violence? I have absolutely no idea.

  9. If you want to limit gun ownership, then also limit car ownership, visits to hospitals and doctors, meds, alcohol, et cetera, et cetera. How that will work out for you, will put things into better perspective.

  10. Just over 1 million babies were aborted in the U.S. in 2011 (Guttmacher Institute). That means that an American child is at far greater risk from its own mother than from any gun carrying lunatic.

    Rafflaw: if you really want to reduce violence, let’s focus on reducing abortions.

  11. I am moderate to conservative on fiscal issues. I am very liberal on most social issues. On “gun control” I stand with the NRA.

    Removal and severely restricting use of guns is the only practical way to prevent their illegal and unfortunate use. I agree that the US has many tragedies that would be avoided without guns. I hope the current laws are worth these tragedies. When I see the concentration of political and economic power I fear that threat of individual gun protection stands as a deterrent to further loss of rights that many people throughout the world do not have.

  12. Horrible events, which healthy societies deal with and move on, are held on to like a junk-yard-dog with a bone here in America. Instead of surviving life’s issues and moving on we wallow in the drama and use it to strenghten and justify our behavior and fears.
    This country is probably safer than it has always/ever been, yet the population cowers in fear (goaded on by the media and politics) and prepares itself for the next (almost welcomed) catastrophy.
    “We” are very sick, our kids are killing each other, but look at these comments which most often sidestep that core issue. Canadians have more guns per capita, yet they don’t often kill each other with them
    Until we can grow up and acknowledge what we’ve become, then face this together as rational citizens, this killing will increase and sadly continue. God help us.

  13. raff, Your city had “good faith” laws to restrict gun ownership and they were deemed unconstitutional. But, even w/ those draconian laws, Chicago has a despicable death rate via guns. Why can’t people see that criminals ignore the laws and good people obey them. Chrissake it’s so damn obvious!!

  14. rafflaw: “Give us some ideas how you would reduce the gun violence. We know bringing more guns into the situation hasn’t worked.”

    I’m not sure if I’ve done it in this forum, but I’m pretty sure at some point I and others gave a long list of things we could do that might have real impact.

    During the post-Sandy Hook period, Joe Biden said, “We simply don’t have the time or manpower to prosecute everybody who lies on a form, that checks a wrong box, that answers a question inaccurately.” In other words, straw purchases are a known method for criminals to acquire guns, but there’s no interest at the federal level to do anything about it. Imagine if we used the force of the federal government to break illegal gun rings and conduct massive sting operations on straw purchasers? We can only engage in so many gun programs before we have to address the underlying social issues. Take your pick, racism, income inequality, mental health policy and stigma, a godawful healthcare system, a failing public education system hamstrung by an idiotic and inherently unfair funding methodology, the aforementioned drug war, cultural attitudes toward crime and violence, and on and on. But you can’t put that stuff on a bumper sticker, nor does it match the drama of holding up a scary looking gun at a press conference.

    Maybe we should study the cause of the astonishing drop in gun murders that has taken place in the last couple of decades.

  15. Cars and creeks are different than guns, but they are all used to commit violent acts, as are many other devices. Why not concentrate on the violence in our society instead of just one means to inflict that violence–guns. Do you honestly think that by eliminating guns that violence and killings will magically decline or disappear? I don’t know how you will be safer when all firearms are confiscated—and make no mistake, that is the ultimate goal of people like Michael Bloomberg. Why do you think Police Officers carry weapons…it’s not to protect you it is to protect them. I hope you are never the victim of home invasion, but just think for a moment what you would do if that happens. If you are not armed then you and your family will more than likely be assaulted or killed.

    Gun grabbers want all firearms confiscated but they are doing it one small step at a time, with each step appearing to be benign or reasonable. And then comes registration and at that point any corrupt politician can get any one or all weapons confiscated.

    I am beginning to get the idea that the desire to control guns, or their ultimate confiscation, is coming from the super wealthy who own our law makers. These super wealthy are not at all happy knowing the masses they want to control and subjugate are well armed.

  16. Thank you for drawing attention to this, but can we please stop calling them “accidental” shootings when children shoot other children? It’s not an “accident.” It’s the inevitable and entirely foreseeable consequence when adults keep loaded guns in a home with children in it. Each and every one of those adults was a “responsible gun owner.” Right up until the minute that child picked up that gun.

  17. Sharon,
    A “responsible” gun owner doesn’t leave a loaded gun out for kids to discover… Play with… and kill each other with. Just my view…

  18. Wow, the gun nuts came out early on this post. The same tired and stale arguments that ignore the same tragic killings and deaths. So what if 300,000 Americans die each decade from guns; there were abortions, there were driving deaths, there were swimming deaths. I guess that means we can simply ignore gun related deaths. Supposed gun rights are more important than life! Funny. That crowd is willing to see 300,000 people die each decade because it makes me feel safer! Amazing. Pretty soon you will be ale to print your own gun and ammo on your HP inkjet and then everyone can have their own arsenal and feel that much safer. That’ll work.

    Sadly, and pathetically, the gunners only have this illusion of safety to keep them feeling safe and secure. After all, they have willfully, even cowardly, given up every other right. But don’t touch my illusion, I mean my gun. They fear govt and claim that gun owners are the only defense against a tyrannical govt. What’s the most fascinating thing about this gun rights debate is that these 2nd Amendment purists think there is only one amendment worth fighting for; the 2nd Amendment. Yet these same purists have no problem with police tactics that attack the 1st Amendment rights of Occupy Wall Street or any other type of anti-establishment protest. The Dixie Chicks were accused of treason for calling George Bush a moron for going to war unjustly with Iraq even though they were simply expressing a prescient view of that invasion.

    Studies show where the higher the gun ownership the higher the murder rate: Louisiana has the 2nd highest gun murder rate in the country and the 13th highest gun ownership. South Carolina has the 5th highest gun murder rate in the country and the 18th highest gun ownership. Mississippi has the 8th highest gun murder rate and the 6th highest gun ownership. I don’t hear gun types mentioning those disturbing stats.

    The ridiculous drug war – which is designed for corporate prison profits and bloated government security budgets – is a main driver of gun violence and will kill thousands more until drugs are made legal.

    Many 2nd Amendment purists supported Homeland Security and privacy destruction laws for the Bush “war on terror”. 2nd amendment purists gave up every Constitutional protection under Bush (and now Obama) and now they only have their guns. Guns will not protect them against concussion grenades, tear gas and other chemical weapons. Guns won’t protect them against drone and robot vehicle attacks. Guns won’t protect their family against shutting off your electricity, utilities, communications, and water, and closing your online bank accounts and 401k. It’s all an illusion. It’s delusional to think that the 21st Century man can fight the monster they created. The military spends $700 billion a year on weapons. Local police forces spend billions on weapons and training. Homeland Security has a $56 billion budget. 2nd Amendment purists gave up everything but their gun and now that illusion of protection is all they have left, sadly.

  19. The death toll by murder in Chicago over the past decade is greater than the number of American forces who have died in Afghanistan since the beginning of Operation Enduring Freedom. ( silence)

    The yearly death toll in Washington DC (silence)

    Data shows this could this be a race problem?

  20. Sharon:
    I prefer the term “negligent,” however they are not inevitable. There are many ways to keep a loaded gun in a house with children safely, and the low number of deaths by this cause proves it. They make the news because they are rare, not because they are common. It feels otherwise because we have the ability to hear about every incident across a huge country with a huge population.

    For the last year available, 2010, the death toll from unintentional firearm discharges for the age group 0-18 was 114. That’s in a country with over 78 million people in that age group, 300 million guns, and up to 40 million households with guns. More kids die from falls, asphyxiation, drowning, accidental poisoning, and on and on. 103 died on their bicycles that year.

  21. Jason,
    I think the bigger picture needs to be kept in perspective, correct.

    I just wish you could get those lemmings in Congress to see this.
    I mean, just look at what 9/11 did to the psyche of Congress and the Nation. Thank goodness AQ did bring down those buildings with AK 47’s. THEN we’d have an issue with the NRA, right?

  22. bankster,

    “What’s the most fascinating thing about this gun rights debate is that these 2nd Amendment purists think there is only one amendment worth fighting for; the 2nd Amendment. Yet these same purists have no problem with police tactics that attack the 1st Amendment rights of Occupy Wall Street or any other type of anti-establishment protest. ”

    My wife and I own firearms, we enjoy target shooting and reloading our own ammunition. What makes you think that we, or other SA advocates (purists), are only concerned about one amendment? We do have a serious problem with police tactics, we have serious issues with the NSA’s illegal activities. What makes you think we ever supported Bush? We disliked the Patriot Act since its inception—why make such wide generalizations and call us ‘gun nuts.’

    It seems as if you are arguing that since so many of our Rights have been obliterated that we should just willingly give up another?

    Who are you kidding when you suggest that I can’t protect my family when the power gets turned off and the banks close? I was well trained by my government in living off the land and I’ll do very well thank you very much. Yeah, we’ll miss many conveniences that we take for granted but we’ll have food, water and shelter.

    Why do you think we want guns to take on the Federal Government? You must be spending too much time listening to tea party whackaloons who hate having a black man in the White House. My wife and I have no illusions about taking on the Feds—goodness gracious, that is a ridiculous idea and I don’t know one single gun owner who feels that way. Yeah, some do and those are the ones who advocate violence against our duly elected President. My wife and I have firearms for our personal enjoyment and for personal protection and that’s it. We actively support liberal policies, voted for Obama twice, and think our country is ill served by the intransigence exhibited by the current crop of Republicans.

  23. I’m not surprised, but I am bewildered why gunners won’t see, admit, or even acknowledge facts. For the majority of states, the higher the gun ownership, the higher the death rate by guns….

    For every time a gun is used in self-defense in the home, there are 7 assaults or murders, 11 suicide attempts, and 4 accidents involving guns in or around a home.

    Why is that so difficult to digest, so hard to understand? Why ignore reality? You can ignore the facts and the reality, but you do so at your own risk……

  24. Jamie doesn’t understand the very basic fact that criminals don’t obey gun laws and they are the folks killing people.

  25. Nick, you are an excellent example of ignoring reality and buying a slogan.

    I’m not a fan of criminals and I feel they should serve hard time for any crime using a gun. You are certainly justified for shooting the criminal who breaks into your house. But the reality of living and dying in a gun culture is that more guns equal more death.

    People with more guns tend to kill more people—with guns. The states with the highest gun ownership rates have a gun murder rate 114% higher than those with the lowest gun ownership rates.

    A Philadelphia study found that the odds of an assault victim being shot were 4.5 times greater if he carried a gun. His odds of being killed were 4.2 times greater.

    But, if you ignore reality guns will make you safer….in Bizarrowirld….

  26. John

    The death toll by murder in Chicago over the past decade is greater than the number of American forces who have died in Afghanistan since the beginning of Operation Enduring Freedom. ( silence)

    The yearly death toll in Washington DC (silence)

    Data shows this could this be a race problem?
    The military kills more of its own by suicide than the enemy does.

    And it rapes more of its own than all the enemies do.

    It is not a race problem.

    It is a heart defect.

  27. Bankster,

    It’s a shame you never read this Philadelphia study you so proudly displayed in your continuing effort to confuse people with mind numbing statistics.

    Forbes Magazine examined this study and called it: “A useless Study.” Useless….as in flawed, not accurate, misleading, etc. Here is a cut and paste from the first paragraph and please, in the future do your homework before providing people with useless information:

    “Luckily it doesn’t take detailed knowledge of statistics to see how deeply flawed and useless the study is. One simply has to look at the study design. Here is what the study does: they matched shooting victims in Philadelphia to a “control group” by randomly calling Philadelphia residences shortly after the shooting occurs and trying to find someone with the same race, gender, and age as the victim. The police department told them if the victim had a gun, and they asked whether the control group respondent had a gun. Then they used regression analysis to see if being in a possession of a gun made you more likely to be shot when compared to a control group of random Philadelphia residents.”

    The above link provides more information that you really need to read.
    It looks as if you are the one ignoring reality and are living in what you call “Bizarrowirld” (sic?)

  28. John

    Rapes, you want to talk about the 1000′s upon 1000′s of rapes in Chicago or just the rapes with murder.
    A heart defect should be treated anywhere and everywhere, no matter how many there are.

    Just remember to treat every heart defect as a heart defect, not a race problem.

    Otherwise it adds malpractice defects to the equation, rather than removing defects.

  29. Max-1:
    Get Congress to calmly study the real issues and pass rational, effective gun policy? You mean like they do on every other issue?

    Jamie Dimon:
    “For every time a gun is used in self-defense in the home, there are 7 assaults or murders, 11 suicide attempts, and 4 accidents involving guns in or around a home.” These numbers are from a study done by Arthur Kellerman in 1998. What’s interesting is that Kellerman did a similar study, one that was heavily criticized for its methodology, back in 1986. And he came up with very different results. For example, his suicide ratio dropped from 37 to the 11 you cite. Other numbers he came up with changed wildly as well. To put it charitably, Kellerman’s work is in dispute. Mother Jones cites at least one other questionable study and out and out lies about mass shootings being stopped by civilians.

    Can you answer for me why with gun sales through the roof, a shitty economy, and gun laws mostly becoming looser, gun crime and crime in general has fallen for 20 years (and currently stabilized)? In that time we’ve gone from less than half the country allowing normal people to carry concealed weapons and probably less than a million doing so to today where 41 states allow it and the number with licenses to carry is somewhere around 10 million. The dreaded AR-15 is and has been for years the most popular centerfire rifle platform. And gun crime continues to either drop or hold.

  30. Wayne, you were able to try and refute one data point with a Forbes opinion of four paragraphs.

    Regarding the study conclusions: From Science Daily: This is the same approach that epidemiologists have historically used to establish links between such things as smoking and lung cancer or drinking and car crashes.

    At least you didn’t try and refute the data that directly points to the fact that more guns per capita equal more gun deaths. I live in NY state and am 80% LESS likely to get killed by a gun than in guns-for-everyone Wyoming.

    Mind-numbing statistics…. I guess should use anecdotes, slogans and misconceptions to prove a point. Hilarious. You can have your fantasies, but that burdens those who want the facts.

  31. Of course you gun-toting idiots do realize that the rest of this planet mostly have sensible restrictions on guns – Americans are regarded as just a bunch of wannabe cowboys by the rest of the world !! It just seems to be getting worse as the hysteria rages on about “government coming to take our guns away” – you should be VERY glad I am not the government – I would take every last one and allow only hunting rifles to those who can pass a severe test of character !! God help the country – it is falling apart at the seams. Decent civilized people are what hold a country together – that is the non-screaming, caring masses !

  32. Jamie,
    I live in a forested region in Montana at about the 5,000 foot level. More likely to get chewed up by a Grizzly Bear than shot… fact, the odds of me being shot are pretty slim indeed. So you live in NY… that doesn’t mean much, unless you happen to inhabit NYC.

    And I didn’t refute the Philadelphia Gun study by quoting one paragraph….the title of the article did that for me: “A Useless Study.” Also, epidemiologists use actual case studies with real people and don’t rely on phone calls with unknown and unreliable witnesses to establish links between smoking and lung cancer. Caller: “Hey, do you smoke?” Do you have lung cancer?” Ok, thanks for participating in our rigorous scientific study. The Philadelphia gun study did just that—they relied on phone calls to reach their conclusion.

    The link you provided is just a link to the same Philadelphia study…is there something here that I missed reading the Forbes article?

    So, just explain to me how Chicago and DC have such high homicide rates from handguns while owning some of our Nation’s strictest gun control laws. How is that possible? Based on your logic Chicago and DC should have very low homicides by handguns—I mean they have tough gun control laws ipso facto they should have very low gun related murders. All we need to do is have stricter gun control laws and the murder rate in our country will plummet. Right? If I’m not mistaken this question about Chicago and DC has been asked several times here and I don’t remember seeing an answer…

  33. Wayne, have I said anything about stricter gun laws? Did you know that Montana has a higher gun death rate per capita than Illinois? Why is that?

    How about this:

    #9, Montana
    Gun deaths per 100,000: 14.5
    Permissive gun laws: 10th out of 50

    #43, Illinois
    Gun deaths per 100,000: 8
    Permissive gun laws: 45th out of 50

    Gunners look at Chicago and DC inner city gang wars and think that is the entire state or city and that it proves guns will keep you safer. Those places are outliers, not the general condition.

    I don’t care how many guns you have, but I feel safer where there are less guns,not more. The facts are that more guns = more gun deaths.

    Be safe from those bears. They don’t take prisoners…..

  34. Homes with pools kill far more children each year than homes with guns.
    It is refreshing to see a significant number of turlyites here not succumbing to emotional hysteria.
    Among many other reasons, the most obvious is that law abiding citizens will be disarmed, and non-law abiding citizens will not.
    That combined with the legal fact that police have no legal obligation to protect or serve, presents a very schizophrenic logic for this anti-gun public policy.

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  36. Gary, how can you say there is anti gun policy when there are at least 310,000,000 (million) guns in the hands of citizens??? Almost one gun per person – man, woman, and child. It’s gunner paranoia.

    The US populace owns more guns per capita than any other country in the world by far.

    Did you also know that law enforcement controls about 4 million guns in US? So they are outnumbered by 80 to 1 by citizens.

  37. No one with a felony criminal record can legally own, much less carry a firearm to use in case they need to protect themselves/family/property.

    Why is that?

  38. bankster,

    I do agree with you about the bears…they don’t take prisoners and a mama grizzly is one tough beast that is best left alone. Another nasty four legged critter is a Moose—they can be ornery at times.

    Look, my wife and I belong to a gun club and target shoot on a somewhat regular basis…although not in the harsh winter months. The people we see are probably just like those you see, except for the gun issue. These folks are honest hard working people that take gun safety very seriously. They are not wild eyed gun nuts or survivalists—they have families with the same needs and concerns as everyone else. I’ve taken two NRA gun safety classes and they constantly emphasize safety at all times…during the class and at home. Unfortunately there are gun owners who get careless and it is my speculation that they probably haven’t had any or very little training. I do think there is one gun control change I would agree with and that would be in the area of training and requiring a demonstration of basic gun safety. In Montana such a safety class is required for one to obtain a concealed weapon permit. However we are a shall issue State so unless one is on a prohibited list of some kind then obtaining a concealed carry license is rather routine. One has to show proof of citizenship, residency and have their fingerprints taken. In the nearby town where I live 30% of the residents have concealed carry permits and when one considers that the minimum age is 18 then there are a significant number of adult residents authorized to carry a handgun. I honestly cannot remember the last gun related murder we’ve had here—it’s been many many years.

    Yes, Montana does have very liberal gun laws and Montanans do own a lot of firearms as many residents are avid hunters—not for trophy’s but for food. We have a large number of out-of-state hunters that come here every year and unfortunately we do have our share of hunting accidents that in many cases end tragically.

    However the murder rate by gun per capita in Montana is 1.2 with the corresponding number for Illinois at 2.8 with DC leading the pack at 16.5. Interesting in that 57.7 % of Montanans own guns while that figure for DC is 3.6%. So we are not the wild West out here with people pulling guns and shooting at each other all the time—we respect firearms and consider them a tool in our day to day life.

    I guess we will have to agree to disagree on this issue of gun control….

  39. I am not a “gun toting idiot” I am a believer in the Constitution. We have a civility rule here now Veronica. While epithets like that were common in the recent past, those days are thankfully over. I refer you to the civility rule @ the top of the blog. Folks who want to limit the Constitutional rights of law abiding citizens are not bad people. They just have bad ideas.

  40. Wayne, thank you for writing about your personal experiences. I was wary of grizzlies while working in Alaska. Amazingly, all we were given while working in bear territory was bear spray! I’ve never hunted for food and would likely starve if I had to.

    Most people I know who own guns are very responsible and use care with their weapons. I have had friends who were shot accidently and survived, thankfully, but as you are well aware guns can and will kill. I’ve fired many a gun and used to enjoy target practice, but I stopped doing it after investigating lead shot and its detrimental effects on the environment, but that’s another story for another time.

    I am not advocating for more laws, since more laws lead to more unjustified fear that guns are being taken and that leads to more guns being purchased. NY just instituted new gun laws that weren’t necessary (7 round clip instead of 10? What is that going to do for public safety?) The only thing the new laws did was get the gun crowd riled and out buying many more guns, which data indicates is more dangerous.

    I am simply saying that the vast majority of studies show that more guns per capita lead to more gun deaths per capita, be it accidental, criminal or suicidal. After all, a shooting death is a shooting death nonetheless. More drunks on a highway will lead to more highway deaths. More pools will lead to more kids drowning……

    I prefer the facts to the slogans. If I lived by slogans I would have voted for Obama or Romney (voted third party, thank you). Enjoy your guns. As you said, they are tools, protection and entertainment, but they come with a heavy human and environmental toll.

  41. Thanks Bankster,

    I have spoken to several Park Rangers in Custer National Park who swear that Bear Spray is very effective, that and playing dead. Shooting a grizzly bear is not only very difficult, in most cases it will just make him/her more angry. To say nothing of needing a powerful firearm and and being an expert marksman. I’ve been around black bears a few times and they dislike me as much as I dislike them but fortunately have never had an encounter with a Grizzly. When I’m out and about I make a lot of noise, usually have a dog with me, and so far that has kept me safe.

    Although I voted for Obama I must say and admit that I am very disappointed in his Presidency. He is not the leader I thought and hoped we would get…he appears to be way too willing to compromise with those who refuse to compromise. His opposing Party has been anything but helpful and that has led to a lackluster performance on his part. He reminds me of a moderate Republican, and that’s ok if one wants that but I was hoping for a more liberal progressive Democrat in the mold of LBJ. LBJ just got things done period and didn’t care who got in his way.
    But I digress.

    Yes, guns can be dangerous and lead bullets and shot can and will cause issues in the environment. I do my best by using lead free primers and fully jacketed bullets and since I don’t hunt my environment impact from lead is pretty minimal.

    Thank you for your comments, they are appreciated and I wish you the best….we both have our viewpoints and I’m sure we will both defend those opinions as best we can. I enjoy a spirited debate.

    Take Care,

  42. Wayne, I appreciate your efforts to use your guns wisely and with the least amount of harmful impacts.

    While we may not agree on gun issues, I certainly agree with your political views. If it wasn’t for Vietnam, Johnson would have given FDR a run for his liberal money and he would have served another term. He certainly did know how to get things done, but at least the opposition party wasn’t quite as vengeful and obstructionist as today’s GOP. Even when they get what they want, they want something else. It’s bad for politics and tragic for the country. Another subject for another time.

    A spirited debate is challenging and enjoyable. We may not change any minds, but we can offer our arguments and maybe slip in an ah ha! moment occasionally. All the best…..

  43. What opposition? According to my history book, the Democrats controlled the House and Senate during LBJ’s term. If LBJ had any opposition, it was from Democrats who threw in with Republicans.

  44. Samantha,

    I’m not sure if you mean opposition from Congress or the public. In any event, Johnson faced a bitter struggle from those opposed to the Viet Nam War from politicians, civilians and some in the military. Johnson was very hands on with the military, which was resented by the military as they didn’t see the need for a mere civilian’s input on how to conduct military operations. It was a very contentious and violent period in our history and having served in the Army during that time I can assure you that Johnson faced opposition from many people in and out of the military. Johnson’s Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara was also roundly criticized for his role during this very unpopular war.

    The opposition that Johnson faced was directed at a seemingly never ending war that was killing a lot of young Americans. Even though I was in the military at the time, a Sgt in the Army, I too was very opposed to this war. When I first saw the Viet Nam War Memorial wall I fell to my knees with uncontrollable tears flowing down my face–many of my friends and fellow soldiers were on that wall. Even after all these years I today would not be able to re-visit that memorial.

    Johnson got the GI Bill of Rights through Congress, was very influential in Civil Rights legislation, appointed the first black Justice to the Supreme Court, Thurgood Marshall, passed a voting rights act, and was a staunch supporter of the environment. The Viet Nam War was his downfall, and it’s a shame because he could have accomplished a lot more if he had been re-elected. But that damn war……

  45. Jamie had used the word “party,” towards which I then directed my question. Yeah, that damn war. If only LBJ and so many other whoring politicians hadn’t been in bed with the military industrial complex! Is that what you mean?

  46. samantha,

    I’m really not sure exactly what I meant…and I’m not trying to be evasive here. War is such a horrible human endeavor: it reduces soldiers to being less than human, costs huge amounts of money and lives, destroys cities, countries and societies. This has been going on forever and I’ve tried to understand what drives us humans to these extremes and can’t come up with an answer. Money, power and greed seem to be a common denominator, which leaves me without any practical experience to draw from. I’m not an aggressive individual, not highly competitive, don’t understand the need for power and control and as such can’t understand those who are like this.

    It is my understanding that approximately 3% of our population are sociopaths. If so, it seems that a disproportionate number of them end up as CEOs and politicians who really don’t care or have empathy for others in their insatiable greed. So I guess maybe your comment does summarize my feeling: whoring politicians in bed with the military industrial complex that President Eisenhower warned us about.

    I must apologize as I’m in way over my head in trying to analyze these complex human motivations and actions. I spent my adult life working as a chemist in laboratories without paying too much attention to the outside world. Science is like that, human emotions don’t come into play when dealing with the world of molecules and atoms. They do what they are going to do based upon the laws of physics that we mortals are still trying to understand. I have always found it easier to understand incomprehensible fields such as quantum mechanics than I can human nature.

    I tend to digress a lot and really got off the subject at hand here. My comments here do not in any way address the central theme of this thread and I offer my apology for my lack of proper focus.

  47. one way to keep down gun deaths and to keep the criminals from owning the guns is by forcing the manufacturers to only make a set amount every year of certain guns. and to make sure those guns go where needed..

    what everyone seems to ignore is the fact that its the over production of manufacturing that allows the guns to hit the streets and allows the criminals to obtain them.. well that and the corporation making sure they hit the streets i mean how else are they to keep their prisons filled? how else are they to argue for their wars against fake terrorist and countries.. the truth is out here.. but no one wants to accept it. because in accepting the truth then they all have to admit everything they thought they knew were all lies.. which means their very existence is based on a lie….. if the laws on the books were worth their salt.. then the prisons wouldnt be half full. actually if any of the laws were worth a damn then the prisons wouldnt be half full… and the reason they wouldnt be half full is because only the elites would fill them and they damn sure arent about to do that……

    WE WOULDNT NEED GUNS IF IT wasnt for the corporation and all of their shenanigans. if we werent pledged as human resources to pay off debts not our own… there is no reason for sub machine guns, sniper rifles etc its technology that the corporation uses to not only steal all the resources of the world but to cow the people and countries who refuse to bow to them…. isnt it amazing how our ancestors managed to live so much longer then we do. before the guns,? before the new medications? all of this crap is supposed to give us longer life spans yet the life span has shortened by 30+ years.. and were worse off on every front… then anything our ancestors had to deal with…. especially when it comes to GUNS AND LAWS!!!!!!

  48. If we look at the facts of the situation, over the last few decades we have seen two trends:

    Firstly, increasingly liberalized firearm ownership and personal carry laws, as well as an increase in firearms being owned.

    Secondly, a major decrease in violent crime (including that involving firearms) and a major decrease in accidental/negligent firearm injury.

    That being the case, it rather tends to show that the claim “more guns equals more crime/death/gunshot victims” is simply incorrect.

    I suppose there are those who just don’t want to give up on a good talking point, even if it is inaccurate.

  49. Nice article, and yes something has to be done. However, in light of the increase in population, and the present day ownership of guns being more than there have ever been in America, gun violence is still the lowest it has ever been and it is still decreasing, according to the FBI Crimes Statistics. Such scattered gun violence has been the case since the beginning of gun existence. Only now is it common knowledge, because of media outlets reporting on the matters. The deaths from guns themselves are not argument enough to undermine our Rule of Law, the Second Amendment. If this argument were valid, then there would be no prescription drugs or alcohol. Both leading to more deaths in America today then gun violence ever. States should create some sort of incentive and motive to seek out more training and education on gun ownership, maybe a tax credit or even a write-off. You don’t throw the baby out with the bath water, and it appears that this reasoning has been public policy for some time now, as it relates to fundamental rights. Rights that are nonthreatening to government are the ones government seeks to secure and protect. But, when it comes to rights that may pose a threat, even theoretically, than such rights should at least be reduced to legal privileges, which to do so would be criminal on the government’s part. Our Rule of Law protects the minority from the majority. So, the argument of most Americans wanting to get rid of guns won’t work. Campaigns on gun education and responsibility should be the response to such gun violence. Yet this wont happen because it advocates the exercise of a fundamental right that the government sees as theoretically and potentially threatening.

  50. Regardless of the numbers, whether by the FBI or the CDC, this is still not argument enough to undermine the Rule of Law, which is that Americans hold an individual, fundamental right to be armed with a gun (Heller vs. DC). Sound “progress” in our society is made when the “public policy” not only sustains the well being, equal opportunity and the technological innovations that benefits the whole, but “equally” secures and protects the fundamental rights of the individual. Such policy is “not withstanding” to the Rule of Law. Public policy and public safety are subservient to the Law, not above it. The effort to progressively advance the common good is to “equally” advance the rights of the individual. To do the opposite is unlawfully unreasonable, and such policy undermines the collective’s well being. The collective is made up of individuals, who have individual rights and individual minds. Basically what we have here, are other individuals who have a different view of what American government should be like rather than what we have. Yet, the Constitution is still the Law of the Land, period. And, until the Constitution is scrapped and done away with, under a Convention, the individual right to bear arms still stands and shall not be infringed.

  51. rafflaw . Sadly, the number of people kills by arms in a well armed society is less than the number of people killed throughout history by societies where the Citizens are unarmed.

    It is interesting to note that the protection of individual rights, the intent of our Constitution, has not yielding that effect, except for a couple of issues, both important yet, the overall effect has been just the opposite. Except for the abolition and slavery and suffrage, individual and property rights have been abrogated to such levels that there are effectively no important ones left. The freedom of speech is useless when it falls on deaf ears; speaking out against government corruption is moot, if there are no real realistic methods to do anything about it.

    My point is that government policy often appears to effect the majority in almost the opposite as intended. With close observations of the majority of significant government policy, the negative ramifications of such policies appear to negate the positive effects. Example::antitrust laws actually created greater monopolization, higher prices and lower wages, exactly what it was supposed to prevent. The four decades between 1860 and 1900, before the legislation, lower prices and higher wages occurs. As soon as the legislation was enacted the opposite started occurring. Effectively, the legislation broke up the best and most competitive participants in the sector, allowing the weaker less competitive companies to gain greater market share. Not only did prices rise but wages started going lower as companies cut costs to keep the price demands of consumers down as much as possible.

    The point is, you must be very careful what you want government to do, as it may not over the long term, accomplish that goal and instead makes things worse.

  52. Theater goon, the facts speak for themselves, more guns = more gun deaths. Your assumptions are not correct be that by US standards or world standards:

    “There was a significant correlation between guns per head per country and the rate of firearm-related deaths with Japan being on one end of the spectrum and the US being on the other. ”

    Or for US:
    The new study found that states with the most laws had a 37 percent lower rate of suicides by firearm and a 40 percent lower rate of homicides compared with those with the fewest laws. – See more at:

    And generally, the more guns per capita, the more deaths by guns.
    “We observed a robust correlation between higher levels of gun ownership and higher firearm homicide rates. Although we could not determine causation, we found that states with higher rates of gun ownership had disproportionately large numbers of deaths from firearm-related homicides.”
    Read More:

    Facts speak louder than slogans or anecdotes….

    I’m out of here……

  53. I would like to add, that our Rule of Law is essentially designed, in response to the history of governments, to thwart negative human nature both in and out of government, and to “equalize” people in and out of government. The American Rule of Law does just that, makes “equal” the people not in government to the people in government. Government is an entity, only made up of other people, who are no smarter or better then you and I. Until we as a species evolve out of our human nature, whereby the greed for money and power, authoritarian rule, the exploitation of the weak, and the use of violence, then we can make policy that is “withstanding” to our Law. We must, however, for the time being, do our best to hold firm to the efforts our founders made to undermine the history of what government has been like. Thus, “public policy” that is “withstanding” to our Rule of Law, today, only prevents us from truly “progressing”, and actually moves society backwards, towards the days of authoritarian regimes and the “inequality” of people in and out of government. Once both the people in government and not in government have evolved out of the use of violence as a means to get what they want from other people, then I will surrender my right to bear arms.

  54. Right to Bear Arms… when the executive (likely a Republican) drops posse comitatus, the man-child with 100 guns will not hear the drones coming.

    Just because one can do a thing doesn’t mean one must do it. Gun ownership is a sucker’s bet. Spare me your “heritage.” Write some other permission slip that is based in reality, called instead “I like to shoot.”

  55. And there in lies the problem, “us vs. them” ideology. Political affiliation has nothing to do with reality. True “equality” is when the people in government are equal to the people not in government. Reality is relative to what we collectively make it. And, the “divide and conquer” perspective is doing very well with creating reality so far. Thus the whole left/right paradigm has gained a foothold as a limited and narrow way of thinking, sadly so. So, the argument of reality being based in a left/right paradigm obviously has its source in a limited and narrow way of thinking. Let’s move forward, not backwards.

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