Tag Archives: gun control

Why I support your right to carry a gun, but don’t carry one myself

Two men died in a shootout after a “road rage” incident last week.

“Initial investigation shows the Ionia men, ages 43 and 56, pulled into the car wash parking lot after a road rage incident. They exited their vehicles and eventually drew handguns and exchanged fire, police said. It wasn’t clear what the two men were arguing about.

Life EMS transported the men to Sparrow Ionia Hospital, where they were pronounced dead.

Police said both men, whose identities have not been released, held permits to carry concealed weapons.” [source]

Why I don’t carry

I support the right to carry a concealed weapon, but this story sums up why I choose not to carry a gun myself. Maybe I am naive, but it seems that a gun would almost always cause more problems than it would solve.

I imagine if just one of these guys would not have been carrying a gun they would both be alive.

Suicide Culture: Why the Media Feeds us Gun Control

The Gun Control debate is getting a lot of attention. There have been two mass shootings in recent history so everyone is focused on prevention – and rightfully so. No one wants to hear about another school shooting. No one.

With all this attention on Guns I can’t help but feel like we are missing something. Something important. There’s a bigger issue at hand – one that isn’t sexy and doesn’t generate the controversy needed to sell ads. It’s mental health.

Mental Health and Gun Control

What did both of the shooters from Aurora and Newtown have in common? They were both mentally unhealthy. In fact, over half of gun related homicides are suicides. Another giant chunk of gun related homicide is criminal on criminal shootings. So why are we so focused on Gun Control when the clear problem is a cultural and mental health problem.

What’s wrong with our culture? What is driving people to choose death over another day at work or with their family? Maybe it has something to do with the pressure we put on each other to meet these unobtainable expectations. Maybe it’s our haste to diagnose someone with ADD or ADHD and put them on medication instead of dealing with a hyper kid. Maybe it’s both.

What Japan taught me about America

About a year ago I took a trip to Japan – the former suicide capitol of the world. The work culture there is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. People were like zombies, consumers of production, on the train commuting to and from work. Some people look miserable – no life in their eyes. Production and dedication to work are their priorities.

In one of the most wealthy nations on earth – where money and all that shines is what matters – people are miserable. I suddenly saw in Japan all the things I could never see in myself as an American.

Media Spin and Real Questions

I wonder what else we as Americans are failing to see about ourselves. What is the root of our own self inflicted mental health disease. Why did two young men decide killing a handful of random strangers was a better option than their own lives. What’s going on here and why aren’t we asking these questions. Instead we turn toward the media to blame guns.

A fun way to debate is to draw heavily on stats. One popular stat is that England had only 39 gun related homicides compared to our 11,000 or so. However, when you look at our total homicide rate per person, our crime rates, and account for suicide – Great Britain is arguably worse off than we are. If the ultimate goal was to reduce violence and crime what did Gun Control ultimately solve? Nothing.

Don’t blame our lifestyle. Don’t blame the pop culture indoctrination. Take care not to look to closely at the way we perceive our own self image – the way the media told us we should look. Don’t examine the medications we are feeding our children because some of us are too lazy to parent. If we start asking too many questions, good questions, the media can’t sell Pfizer and Victoria Secret ads.

In the end it’s all about revenue – that’s why the media feeds us Gun Control.

Gun Stats: Gun Deaths by Category

Since I couldn’t find a chart I liked – I created this one. Seems like if we could do something about mental health issues and gang violence we could almost ignore guns all together. Why are so many people committing suicide? Why are so many people turning to gangs. These are the real questions we should be asking.

Is gun control the solution? I don’t think so. Here are the facts so you can decide for yourself.

Gun Deaths by Category

Sources:

1.Total Firearm Deaths: 31,672 http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/injury.htm
2.Total suicides by firearms: 19,392 http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/suicide.htm
3.Justifiable Homicide (self defense by citizen against felon): 201 http://cnsnews.com/blog/stephen-gutowski/fbi-77-justifiable-homicides-involved-firearms-99-police
4.Justifiable Homicide (by police against felon) 343 http://www.bjs.gov/content/homicide/d_justify.cfm
5.Accidents: (2010) 851 http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr61/nvsr61_06.pdf
6.Gang related (2010) 8880 http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr61/nvsr61_06.pdf

The PodTruth Show: Episode #1: YAY FOR GUNS!!

PodTruth Episode #1Atticus and Holden host their first weekly episode of PodTruth. You can download or stream the episode below. We discuss, gun control, happiness, money, and finances. Enjoy!

Direct link to the .mp3 file.

Subscribe to the PodTruth Show via RSS feed or iTunes.

The Second Amendment and Obama’s Executive Orders

Biden came out today and said that President Obama may act alone with a series of executive orders to combat gun control. Maybe you think that is a good thing, maybe you think it’s a bad thing. In either case I think an executive order on gun control would result in an interesting discussion as related to the second amendment.

The Second Amendment

I hate it when people say that the 2nd Amendment is “the right to bear arms.” That’s just not true.

The “right” to bear arms is not a right granted by the Government. At least the founding fathers didn’t believe that. They believed that the right to defend yourself – including the right to have a weapon was a natural right.

What the 2nd Amendment actually does is outlaw any attempt by the Government to take away this natural law (i.e., no outlawing Guns).  Let’s read the amendment:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

The Amendment says “the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” Meaning the right to bear arms, which we have naturally, cannot be taken away by the Government or anyone else.

Executive Orders and Gun Control

I doubt that Obama will even think about issuing an Executive Order outright banning any weapons, but just the fact we are having the conversation is curious. Executive Orders always reek of forced unapproved policy.

More likely Obama will make getting a gun more difficult. Perhaps increase the requirements  documentation, background checks, etc. – I’m not sure what I think about that yet, but i do know it is an interesting phenomena when any leader starts issuing executive orders on issues that do not involve an emergency or war.

Why not let the congress handle it? Does President Obama think he knows better than the elected officials of the very people these congressmen and women represent?  I do not agree or like the idea of executive orders when it comes to things like this – it is more akin to a dictatorship than a presidency.

If the majority of the people truly believe in an issue let them voice their concern to congressman and pass a law the old fashioned way. Let the political system work! Even if the President is absolutely right, he’s wrong.

In principal going above the heads of elected representatives is bad medicine.

Gun Laws in the wake of the Connecticut Mass Shooting

Here we are again in the wake of the most tragic mass shooting in U.S. History.  28 victims, 20 of them children, were murdered by a psychopath in the name of nothing, for no reason, and has given none of us one ounce of closure.  To call this a tragedy is an understatement.  To try to put into words what the parents of these beautiful children must be feeling is impossible.

To imagine those unwrapped Christmas presents laying under the tree on Christmas morning. To think of the parents who have to live with the loss of their child every year – the holidays a constant reminder of what was taken from them. To finally muster the courage to pack your child’s bedroom and say goodbye. When it finally sinks in that your child will not be there on Christmas morning – smiling, excited, innocent – I can’t even imagine.

All these things have come to pass – or will come to pass – but one thing still remains.  One conversation: Gun Control.

Gun Control

I’ve covered Gun Control many times. I’ve tried to take a logical approach to the statistics and come to a reasonable conclusion about what it means to be a nation with an armed populous. Now 28 more people have been slain – so what do we do now?  What does this mean? Is it the time to open the discussion about Gun Control?  Is it time, for once and for all, to do what so many countries have and disarm? No.

By focusing on Guns we are missing the point. We are avoiding the elephant in the room. We aren’t having the right discussions at all.  What we need to talk about is us.  What’s wrong with our culture, with society, with our psychology?  How can we as a nation blame violence on Guns alone without taking a very careful look at ourselves in the mirror?  Why are we killing each other, what is happening to us culturally, what is the root cause of this issue?

Culture Health

We are a culture in trouble.  We have the highest gun related crime rate of any developed nation on Earth.  Why?  Is this a gun problem or something deeper?  Has TV and music corrupted our young people to such an extent that murder has become ingrain in our psyche to such an extent we resort to violent behavior?

We are in trouble unless something changes. Even our Government is built upon violence.  Have no delusions  We have the biggest military in World history.  The military industrial complex is the largest arms dealer in world history. So how can a Government enforce laws around gun control when they themselves supply all the world with weapons of destruction?  Hippocrates.

It just doesn’t fit. A culture of violence is one built from top to bottom and it has to be solved at all levels.  Peace has to come from the leadership as well as the populous – is our Government willing to lead by example?  No.

This isn’t an anti-government rant – I’m just pointing out that a culture of violence and love for Guns has saturated us.  The media, the Government, entertainment, and the people – all engulfed in a lust for violence that we can’t easily detach ourselves from.  Pro-gun or anti-gun ask yourself this: What is the real problem?  Guns or the system that promotes the idea of violence?

Tighter gun control laws without changing the moral fabric of the people will be more like chaining a rabid dog to a fence post without training him – you can take away the dogs freedom and it may solve a few problems, but he’s still rabid. How many people can you chain, spy on, and control in the name of safety?

Look in the Mirror

I’m not saying these shootings are any of our fault.  Not even close. But we have to agree that changing the way we embrace and cheer on violence has to change.

It’s propaganda. We love violence because we have been trained to. So it’s no surprise when a few of us begin to act out the thing they have come to embrace.

Does your 8 year old still find it entertaining to kill another person in a video game?  Are you still apathetic about the brown people being killed in the middle east by drone strikes that are eerily similar to the video game that your child loves to play so much?  Are you embracing love and humanity or war and murder?  Where do your dollars go at the movie theater? Do your actions scream peace?

Pro-gun or Anti-gun I really don’t care as long as we can all agree to do something about ourselves first.

Edit: A friend pointed this article out to me today. A mass shooting eerily similar to the one in Connecticut from back in the late 1920s. People have a very short memory.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bath_School_disaster

The President isn’t Stupid – He will not tackle Gun Control

The President has said publicly that he will not use what happened in Colorado as an opportunity to pass more gun control laws. I’m inclined to believe him.

Via Salon.com

White House press secretary Jay Carney said yesterday that Obama will not push any new gun laws. He said Obama is committed to preventing gun violence, but through “existing law” only. The president “believes we need to take steps that protect Second Amendment rights of the American people but that ensure that we are not allowing weapons into the hands of individuals who should not, by existing law, obtain those weapons,” Carney told reporters on Air Force One.

It doesn’t take much to see a fight against the 2nd Amendment is virtual political suicide – something Obama doesn’t want to tackle in an election year.

Via the Pew Research Center:

Despite the most recent shooting in Colorado public opinion remains divided when it comes to Gun control.

“Public opinion about gun control has changed little in recent years. In the latest Pew Research survey on the topic in April, 49% say it is more important to protect the rights of Americans to own guns, while 45% say it is more important to control gun ownership. Opinion has been divided since early 2009, shortly after Barack Obama’s election.”

What this means for Gun Control

With the election in sight Obama will not try to tackle another controversial issue. Even with the opportunity at hand Obama will undoubtedly call of his democratic dogs when it comes to Gun control laws. He doesn’t want to be put in a position where he has to support (or not support) a controversial new federal mandate. He doesn’t want to piss off conservatives and give them more incentive to make it to the poles or anger liberals and convince them to stay home. This eleciton cycle – Gun control is a lose, lose topic for Obama.

If Romney is smart maybe he will put Obama in a position to pick a side. Forcing Obama to piss a few people off is the only hope Romney has and is something Obama has done a great job doing to Romney so far.

I think conservatives can breathe easy.