This is in response to Rick Godfrey’s As I See It missive in defense of Sen. Michael Hough after Hough was taken to task by Moms Demand Action (MDA). Mr. Godfrey takes to task MDA and other gun control groups not mentioning that 66 percent of annual firearm deaths “are suicides! Yes, people killing themselves, not killed by others.” A fatal gunshot is a violent act whether it is done to oneself or another, and suicides do not need an asterisk. Further, in some ways, a suicide can be even more emotionally impactful on its survivors and is another example of the necessity of screening for mental health issues before gun purchases. I respectfully read Mr. Godfrey’s piece and ask that he be equally respectful of categorizing gun violence.

Teresa Soltis Schwab

Ijamsville

(17) comments

KellyAlzan

Build the wall!!

gabrielshorn2013

Que?

rikkitikkitavvi

Is this the real Kelly? I have my doubts.

DickD

She is just pulling your chain, rik.

phydeaux994

Compared to 22 other high-income nations, the U.S. gun-related murder rate is 25 times higher. Although it has half the population of the other 22 nations combined, the U.S. had 82 percent of all gun deaths, 90 percent of all women killed with guns, 91 percent of children under 14 and 92 percent of young people between ages 15 and 24 killed with guns. Legislation at the federal, state, and local levels has attempted to address gun violence through a variety of methods, including restricting firearms purchases by youths and other "at-risk" populations, setting waiting periods for firearm purchases, establishing gun buyback programs, law enforcement and policing strategies, stiff sentencing of gun law violators, education programs for parents and children, and community-outreach programs. Despite widespread concern about the impacts of gun violence on public health, Congress has prohibited the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) from conducting research that advocates in favor of gun control. The CDC has interpreted this ban to extend to all research on gun violence prevention, and so has not funded any research on this subject since 1996.

gabrielshorn2013

Good response phy, but you should have provided some citations for your numbers. A couple of points. Governments may enact laws, but they are meaningless if they are not enforced to their full extent, or in many cases, at all. Prosecutors seem to be more willing to promote their win/loss record, thus negotiating away firearm offenses that could put offenders away for decades, and allowing them out to reoffend. That is outrageous. As for the studies you support, why is it mandatory that "the government" fund it before they can begin? It sounds more like an excuse. There is plenty of money on the anti-gun side. Surely they can use some of those funds to gather meaningful data to support their argument. Finally, since the data that Dick provided below shows that after suicide, the next highest cause of firearm violence is gang-related activity, much of which is in inner cities. Meaningful training for real world jobs paying a good wage may divert many of those kids from being recruited into gangs.

DickD

Gabe, the gang problems need to be resolved. We have some of them in Frederick County, but nothing seems to be done about it, something like the opioid crisis. Still, I want more gun control so we do not have children shot by some mentally sick people.

rikkitikkitavvi

More "control" is the battle cry of tyrants. A perfectly sane person one minute can be a totally insane person the next. Don't you think?

gabrielshorn2013

Although tragic, such occurrences are still rare. Most of those people, such as Adam Lanza (who murdered his mother to get his weapon) obtained their firearms illegally. Others, such as VA Tech shooter Seung-Hui_Cho, was never reported to mental health issues that should have disqualified him fro from obtaining a firearm. The Air Force failed to add Devin Patrick Kelley to the FBI list Kelley was prohibited by law from purchasing or possessing firearms and ammunition due to a domestic violence conviction in a court-martial while in the United States Air Force.

DickD

Recent statistics show about 32,000 deaths per year from guns. About 60% are suicides, 3% are accidental, the remainder are due to gun violence. Of that number, about 11,100, there are 8,900 due to gang violence, leaving 2,200 deaths per year caused by those that have no purpose other than to kill others. Many of those deaths are caused by assault weapons. What can and should be done is a sharp crack down on gangs, limit ammunition, make all pass tests before being issued a license to possess a gun. This will not stop suicides, there will always be a way to commit suicide. https://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/09/upshot/gun-deaths-are-mostly-suicides.html Not all of those suicides are by gun, but a majority are. And while some people feeling suicidal impulses will choose another method if a gun is not at hand, public health researchers cite two reasons guns are particularly dangerous: 1) Guns are more lethal than most other methods people try, so someone who attempts suicide another way is more likely to survive; 2) Studies suggest that suicide attempts often occur shortly after people decide to kill themselves, so people with deadly means at hand when the impulse strikes are more likely to use them than those who have to wait or plan. That means that strategies that make suicide more inconvenient or difficult can save lives. Guns, when they are in the home, can make self-harm both easy and deadly. http://jpfo.org/articles-assd03/gun-stats-perspective.htm "There are roughly 32,000 gun deaths per year in the United States. Of those, around 60% are suicides. About 3% are accidental deaths (less than 1,000). About 34% of deaths (just over 11,000 in both 2010 and 2011) make up the remainder of gun deaths. Sometimes the 32,000 and 11,000 figures are used interchangeably by gun control advocates. Clearly, the 32,000 figure is a far more dramatic number and is often used for impact. These numbers are also regularly compared to other countries' gun statistics. But are they true?" "........ the reality is that gun homicides are overwhelmingly tied to gang violence. In fact, a staggering 80% of gun homicides are gang-related. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), gang homicides accounted for roughly 8,900 of 11,100 gun murders in both 2010 and 2011. That means that there were just 2,200 non gang-related firearm murders in both years in a country of over 300 million people and 250 million guns." "The 2,200 figure is perhaps the most relevant of all gun statistics in the gun control debate given that the gun control laws are specifically targeted to this segment. If the government were interested in stopping gangs - and as a result also stopping the major contributor of gun violence - the gun laws would be more targeted. Yet most gun control legislation would do little-to-nothing to slow the growing gang problem." "The reason that horrible tragedies like the Newton, Connecticut and Aurora, Colorado shootings are so gut-wrenching and shocking is rooted in a reality that such incidents are extremely rare."

gabrielshorn2013

Thank you Dick for supporting what we have been saying all along. The overwhelming number of gun-related deaths are suicides, and school shootings are rare. The overwhelming majority of the remainder are gang-related (drug trade, etc.). The rate for non-gang related firearm deaths is 0.0067% or 6.7 per 100,000 population, assuming the current US population 325.7 million (2017). I am not sure where you got the information for your claim that "Many of those deaths are caused by assault weapons". According to the latest available information from the FBI (2017) (https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2017/crime-in-the-u.s.-2017/tables/expanded-homicide-data-table-8.xls) there were 403 total rifle deaths out of 10,982 total firearm deaths (non-suicide), for 3.7 percent of all firearm deaths. So-called "assault rifles" are a small percentage of the rifles used in homicides, so I don't see how that qualifies as "a large number". Compare that to handguns (7,032), shotguns (264), other guns (187), firearms not stated (3,096), knives (1,591), blunt objects such as hammers or clubs (467), hands, fists, or feet (696). What we need is a comprehensive crime plan where anyone found guilty of a crime with a firearm (those crimes found in 18 USC 922) serves their ENTIRE consecutive sentences (one for each criminal count, found in 18 CFR 924). Most of the firearm violence is from repeat offenders, just ask the mayor and police chief of Baltimore. If they were in prison serving their entire sentence, they would not have the opportunity to kill someone else, such as Radee Labeeb Prince who killed three people at Advanced Granite Solutions, after multiple felony convictions, including those involving firearms.

DickD

I share your concern about repeat offenders. Still, I wonder if there is anyway we could change them to be productive members of society. Probably not, but it is expensive to keep people locked up too. It reminds me of how England sent their convicts to the U.S. and Australia. Maybe we could find an island and send convicts there. Or maybe to Russia. Still, it is upsetting that 2,200 children are killed by mass shootings too, How we will stop that, short of not allowing any guns I do not know. No, I am not a fan of the government to take all guns and to prohibit ownership.

gabrielshorn2013

Keeping violent offenders in prison is far more desirable than letting them out to murder someone else, regardless of cost. Investment in meaningful training and certification may help. One reason for recidivism is the inability to get a job after prison. Maybe training in a trade to steer them away from crime in the first place. The article didn't give ages, so the 2200 figure was across all ages, not children. It was also all shootings, not just mass shootings. Mass shootings are still relatively rare, and have trended downward since the 90s.

DickD

https://paleofuture.gizmodo.com/britain-sent-thousands-of-its-convicts-to-america-not-1707458418"The joke about Australia is that it was founded by a bunch of criminals. And from 1788 until 1868, Britain did send roughly 164,000 convicts to the land down under. America’s dirty little secret? The same exact thing was happening here. In fact, experts estimate that over 52,000 British prisoners were shipped off to colonial America. In fact, it was precisely because of America’s fight for independence that the Brits had to start sending their criminals to Australia. But from 1718 until 1775, convict transportation to the American colonies flourished. Some estimates claim that almost 10 percent of migrants to America during this time were British convicts."

gabrielshorn2013

Thanks Dick. Yeah, I know about that. Try an Ancestry or 23andMe "spit kit". You may discover that you have DNA relatives in Australia, especially if you were of English, Welsh, or Irish ancestry.

DickD

I am Irish and Welch, Gabe, along with some German. Which one controls? [innocent]

gabrielshorn2013

Welsh Dick, not Welch. Welsh (cymreag) are people, Welch is grape jelly. Cymru am byth! Rwy'n siarad Cymraeg.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Engage ideas. This forum is for the exchange of ideas, insights and experiences, not personal attacks. Ad hominen criticisms are not allowed. Focus on ideas instead.
TURN OFF CAPS LOCK.
Don't threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
No trolls. Off-topic comments and comments that bait others are not allowed.
No spamming. This is not the place to sell miracle cures.
Say it once. No repeat or repetitive posts, please.
Help us. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.