Stop Pretending That Guns Are Not The Problem

Yes, Virginia, you can blame the guns. Sort of...

While the Jovan Belcher tragedy may have helped Jason Whitlock and Bob Costas formulate their personal opinions on gun control, it is doubtful the events in Kansas City will have any lasting or meaningful impact on the public debate.

The furor will ebb and flow periodically, with each high tide of outrage lower than the one preceding it, until all vestiges of it are swallowed by Honey Boo Boo or Dancing With The Stars.

But while the topic is still in the front pages, perhaps some context would be helpful. I don’t agree with Mr. Whitlock’s proposition that if Jovan Belcher had no access to firearms that both he and the mother of his child would still be alive, there simply isn’t enough information about Belcher’s motivation or intent.

But what I can say is that if there were no guns in our society the homicide and suicide rates would plummet dramatically. Maybe a hypothetical scenario best illustrates this point.

Suppose I were to give you a device you can wear on your belt. Just a box with a little red button, and if that button is pushed a person of your choosing dies immediately. No discussion, confrontation or mess. The person would simply disappear. Let’s also suppose that I want to give every single person in America the right to purchase this device, would there be
resistance to this idea?

I would most certainly think so. It would be far too easy to kill a person, and many people could not possibly be expected to use the device in a rational or judicious manner. It’s a frightening scenario yet when that red button morphs into the trigger housing group of a pistol strangely
the conversation changes.

Would Americans be less responsible with my little red button than they would be with firearms, simply because the right to own firearms is constitutionally guaranteed? Doubtful. Yet that seems to be what many like to pretend.

The fact is that the pervasive presence of firearms in society has caused the death of countless Americans. Notice that I have made no statement whatsoever about the ethical implications of this. My red button could just as easily be used for self-defense or law enforcement purposes just like any firearm, but we need to stop pretending that “people, not guns, kill people.”

That’s technically true, of course, but it is a red herring with zero relevance. The very nature of a gun is what’s important. They are designed to kill as fast and as easily as possible.

As far as I can tell no child has ever died in the crossfire of a drive-by stabbing, primarily because there is no crossfire. Getting beaten with fists or stabbed with a knife is generally a survivable situation, while getting shot generally is not.

Nothing that I have written here advocates the repeal of the 2nd Amendment nor does it advocate any particular policy change, but if we are to make any serious headway in our culture of violence we need to stop pretending that firearms don’t contribute to the problem.

It doesn’t matter how much money the NRA pours into its efforts to highjack America’s founding fathers into advocating a position that many of them would have found abhorrent.

The 2nd Amendment is a function of a weak central government which lacks the ability to finance a standing army, which was exactly the federal government’s position in the 18th century.

Please stop dusting off the fossilized remains of a frontier culture, which no longer exists, in order to make a political point. All discussions should remain on the table if we actually want to solve a problem.       

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Christian Erickson December 04, 2012 at 08:57 PM
That article is for the purposes of demonstrating that a discussion is taking place in many countries, not just here. Since the publication of that article, voters rejected the referendum to ban home storage of rifles but ammunition is rarely stored at home anymore in Switzerland. Let me also state that I was a Machine Gunner in the Marine Corps and a police officer. I am not advocating the repeal of the 2nd Amendment.
Joe December 04, 2012 at 08:59 PM
"It doesn’t matter how much money the NRA pours into its efforts to highjack America’s founding fathers into advocating a position that many of them would have found abhorrent." And you channeled which of them to make that absurd assumption? Read the Federalist papers and why the 2nd was demand by the same founders you seem to be speaking for.
Steve December 04, 2012 at 09:00 PM
You pulled that tripe right out of your Eddie the Eagle coloring book didn't you? Too bad it's not true. http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/d/doctor-deaths.htm
moe green December 04, 2012 at 09:06 PM
who is going to protect me and my family at our house? the county police? by the time they put away the coffee and donuts the bad guy will be gone and drinking a beer. you never need a gun until you need one badly. remember, it is called the second amendment, not the second suggestion..
Joe December 04, 2012 at 09:07 PM
Firearms save as many if not more lives than they take. Fact! Not emotional pablum. "Armed bystander stops stabbing outside school" http://www.woai.com/mostpopular/story/Armed-bystander-stops-stabbing-outside-school/6zTYMpy8pUOeyrbElEBOTQ.cspx "92-year-old man shoots, kills alleged burglar" http://freebeacon.com/24981/ "Winslow Township Pharmacist Fires Handgun At Would-Be Robber" http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2012/09/12/winslow-township-pharmacist-fires-handgun-at-would-be-robber/ "12-year-old Oklahoma girl shoots intruder" http://www.koco.com/news/oklahomanews/around-oklahoma/12-year-old-Oklahoma-girl-shoots-intruder/-/12530084/17053634/-/142tpxt/-/index.html "Update: Dollar General robbery suspect charged with murder" http://www.wokv.com/news/news/local/customer-shoots-robber-dead/nRLjK/ "The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office says a customer at the store on Dunn Avenue shot 22 year-old Rakeem Odoms three times when Odoms refused to hand over his gun. Odom's partner, 19 year-old Aundre Campbell, fled the scene and has since been caught by police. He faces a felony murder charge for Odom's death because it happened while he was committing a crime. The 57-year-old grandfather who shot Odoms was doing some late-night shopping at the Dollar General store on Dunn Avenue when all of the sudden, two men stormed in and tried robbing it."
Joe December 04, 2012 at 09:07 PM
http://www.kc3.com/self_defense/Self_Defense.htm Man credits gun in foiling intruder Businessman Fired Shots 79-Year-Old Shoots Two Intruders, Police Say Police: Storeowner Fires In Defense; Robbery Suspect Dies Pistol-packing hiker kills brown bear in sudden Chugach foothills attack Pizza man saved by gun, but fired for packin' heat
Joe December 04, 2012 at 09:20 PM
Steve, can't you see the link? Stop lying when there is no need to lie. No go back o playing in your sand box as the child you are.
Steve December 04, 2012 at 09:25 PM
Now you did it. You are going to get cut and pasted to death by JoeBlob. He is going to scour the internet and find every example of anyone ever using a gun for self defense and paste it here. It's his common defense when he feels he is losing an argument. It's his version of a little kid sticking his fingers in his ears and going "La,La, La Laaa!"
Joe December 04, 2012 at 09:27 PM
One day Stevie when you grow up you too can discuss adult issues as an adult. "In Hospital Deaths from Medical Errors at 195,000 per Year USA" http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/11856.php "Preventable Medical Errors – The Sixth Biggest Killer in America " http://www.justice.org/cps/rde/justice/hs.xsl/8677.htm "More Treatment, More Mistakes" "According to a 1999 report by the Institute of Medicine, as many as 98,000 Americans were dying every year because of medical mistakes" http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/01/opinion/more-treatment-more-mistakes.html "Medical Errors Costing U.S. Billions" "From 2004 through 2006, patient safety errors resulted in 238,337 potentially preventable deaths of U.S. Medicare patients and cost the Medicare program $8.8 billion, according to the fifth annual Patient Safety in American Hospitals Study. " http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/08/AR2008040800957.html \Want more or are you busy getting the sand out of your vagina Steve?
Joe December 05, 2012 at 01:43 PM
Now comes Stevie sore from a bruising on deaths caused by medical mistakes in which he was soundly defeated and he does what he does, attacks the person and not the facts. Didn't get all that sand from your vagina did you Stevie? If this story is about firearms and the effects they have on society then it is, to a rational mind, not yours, but a rational mind, legitimate to post stories in support of the side one may take EXACTLY as the writer has used the latest tragedy of a murder suicide to push his own agenda. One day Stevie you too can discuss an issue using only facts and opinions and not your playground banter.
Joe December 05, 2012 at 01:55 PM
Mr Erickson, the "American gun culture" is LAW ABIDING American's for centuries using firearms for sustenance, safety, protection and recreation and since the Bill of Rights, Americans exercising their God given right and the guarantee WE the People wrote into the Constitution. It is NOT the urban problem we see today with the vast majority of murderers being prior criminals. It is NOT the use of firearms for evil.
Steve December 05, 2012 at 02:24 PM
LOL "Urban problem" First you get caught perpetuating hoax e-mails, now you get caught trying to use racist code speak. In the words of the famous Antoine Dodson "You are Dumb. You are sooo Dumb."
Joe December 05, 2012 at 02:45 PM
Hoax emails? I post links that prove you wrong and you then whine about me supporting my post then you claim all those links are lies? Got nothing but personal attacks Stevie. Noting at all. Seeing as how the urban, yes the young black culture, is where we see the problem with firearms, I noted it. But any rational mind would understand that. Grow up Stevie and stop being a Patch Vulture Bully. Make all the empty accusations you feel you need to make to make yourself feel better about yourself Stevie. It makes you look foolish.
Steve December 05, 2012 at 03:03 PM
You posted a hoax e-mail and tried to pass it off as your own idea. Didn't fly. Then you use your racist code speak referring to the "urban problem". Studies have repeatedly shown that deaths by firearms are evenly distributed between urban and rural areas. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/405837
Joe December 05, 2012 at 09:57 PM
Many more "households" are today run by single mothers who are much less likely to own a firearm. The low of 30% is most likely form the VPC, not an unbiased source. The number of households in America in 1973 according to the census was 68,251,000. Today we are closer to 120,000,000 households. Apples to oranges.
Joe December 06, 2012 at 01:41 PM
So according the the TRUE racists, anyone using the word "urban" is now racist. How do the people who run the Urban League feel about being racists? How do those who work for that racist government group Housing and Urban Development feel about being racists? How about the racist company named Urban Outfitters? Or the Urban Institute? Or the Urban Waters Federal Partnership? Or the Urban Ministry Center in Charlotte NC? When a rabid liberal is so thoroughly destroyed with facts there is no place to run except behind the race card as Stevie has proven over and over again.
Joe December 06, 2012 at 01:43 PM
Frank removed another of his posts that was debunked by facts. The one about the "fewer number of households owning firearms" from about 50% to 30%.
Joe December 06, 2012 at 01:45 PM
Steve, why provide a dead link? I have proven my post with many links and you have provided zero to support your lies.
Steve December 06, 2012 at 02:29 PM
The website must have changed something. I linked to the actual study. Here is a synopsis: http://www.kbtx.com/health/headlines/94916809.html Don't be silly. Everybody knows exactly what you mean when you and your ilk through your code words out there. Don't try to play dumb.......
Joe December 06, 2012 at 02:58 PM
Child gun deaths? And that has what exactly to do with the issue? You flail and fail as usual.
Steve December 06, 2012 at 03:03 PM
It doesn't matter if they are child deaths or adult deaths the same thing holds true. There are as many rural deaths by firearm as their are urban deaths. http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/ficap/forum/docs/dec03branas.pdf You are the only one flailing here. MAybe it's time for you to post a hoax e-mail or start with one of your "Lawnmowers can kill people. Why don't we ban lawnmowers." crapola.
Joe December 06, 2012 at 03:30 PM
I offered 4 links to the numbers of medical mistake deaths and you still deny it? Judas is your name, blind is your game.
Steve December 06, 2012 at 03:51 PM
You really should let Snopes be your friend...
Joe December 06, 2012 at 04:53 PM
So Stevie, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Medical News Today and The American Association of Justice sources are not to your liking? Snopes has what to say to debunk the 90,000 + deaths by medical mistakes? Yopu have not provided one link to any source that says that number is wrong. Not one! Yet as the blind Judas you are, you will deny the numbers. A case study for a Psych student is in order.
Joe December 06, 2012 at 08:19 PM
"Who's trying to take them? " you asked? How about the Washington DC government, the government of Chicago to name a few. thankfully, the SCOTUS said no to them in Heller and McDonald respectively.
TONY MEDEIROS March 28, 2013 at 03:31 PM
Joe and Steve, Stop the fighting. Bottom line. Americans are granted the right to possess and carry firearms by the 2nd amendment if you are not a felon, criminal, or have any domestic violence charges against you. I am all for an extensive background check to make sure the individual is sound and can legally purchase a firearm. But once I pass all of this, I should be able to carry and use a firearm to protect me and my family from criminals and our government.
Merlinthesocialjusticewizard March 28, 2013 at 04:18 PM
Steve does not want you to talk about facts and truths. Instead, yes, wait for it, yes, here it comes......the race card. After being proven wrong time and time again on this site, he once again resorts to using the race card. But one question he will not be answering anytime soon is this: If asking for voter id discriminates against those that are poor or minorities, is it not racist and bigoted to ask us to show or id in purchasing a firearm in the background check process? As far as Christian, you guys should have sniffed this out miles and miles away. His next article will talk about the "economic inequalities" of inner cities as being the reason for violence, and not the cultural flaws that make it acceptable for violence to flourish in the first place. Soon after that post, we will start hearing about how if only they took 10 percent or more out of bank accounts past the FDIC insurance limit and transferred the funds to "urban" banks, the violence would all melt away like the wicked witch of the west.
Merlinthesocialjusticewizard March 28, 2013 at 04:24 PM
If I may, I would also like to bring up the fact that Christian goes into that same tired mold of trying to equivocate the 2nd amendment and modern society and make statements about the 2nd amendment being only viable to a frontier country. Does that, in effect, mean Christian that the 1st amendment does not apply to the internet, smart phones, cell phones, tv, and dvds and netflix, or even cable because the 1st amendment does not specify them?
Steve March 28, 2013 at 04:46 PM
"After being proven wrong time and time again on this site,...." You've never proven me wrong even one time, Escargot. Tony, Louisiana just passed legislation which gives Felons the right to carry firearms in public. The 2nd Amendment doesn't exclude Felons and doesn't even mention "law abiding".
TONY MEDEIROS March 28, 2013 at 06:12 PM
Steve, you are right, the 2nd amendment does not exclude Felons or mentally disturbed. Once you are convicted of a felony you lose certain rights by the definition of a felon. We have a real problem with Common Sense in this country. Common sense would tell you not to allow weapons to get into the hands of the mentally ill, criminals, those convicted of a felony. Our state and federal governments are about as messed up as they can get.


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