Thursday, September 20, 2018

Gun Ownership: Not Just a Right, An American Obsession

by Dan Ehrlich (writer), London/L.A./Seattle, February 01, 2011

How Can We Consider Ourselves Civilized in the Face of Annual US Gun Carnage?

Gun ownership for many Americans has become sort of an obsessive-compulsive disorder, almost a reason to be alive even though firearms annually account for more than 30,000 US deaths.

The offensive defensive posture of the gun lobby and right wing politicians in the wake of the Tucson bloodbath points out how sensitive and militant these hardy frontier people are in their pick-ups and RVs. Just give one a gun rack and a “proud to be an American” sticker for the rear bumper of his Japanese car and its almost like being in heaven.

Now, I have nothing against people owning guns for sport or self-defense. I even own one. What I find about as hard to swallow as a slug from a Colt .45 is their almost sensuous love for these weapons and the need to buy more and more of them, from automatic hand guns to assault rifles.

To me, some of these people seem less than civilized morons…morons who feel they have a God given right to buy guns. They feel these weapons will act as a safeguard against tyranny and protector of liberty. But most amazingly, some of these obsessives actually link gun ownership with a love of Christ...the Prince of Peace.

In any case they apparently haven’t been paying too much attention to national and world events to not notice that the liberties they so cherish are gradually being eroded, and without a shot from their guns being fired in their defense.

The US Constitutions guarantees citizens the right to bear arms. But bearing arms doesn’t specifically mean owning arms. It means we have the right to carry guns. So, the mere mention of gun control after incidents such as Tucson and its panic stations for the gun lobby.

Yet, I have to ask myself are more than 32,000 gun deaths, 10,000 by criminal acts, the mark of a civilized society? Because, as an American I would like to think I’m part of an advanced civilized nation that puts the welfare of its citizens above all other concerns.

Firearm injury in the United States has averaged 32,300 deaths annually between 1980 and 2006. It’s the second leading cause of death from injury after motor vehicle crashes.

Firearms are involved in 68% of homicides, 52% of suicides, 43% of robberies, and 21% of aggravated assaults. In the last twenty-four years, an average of 32,300 Americans died each year from firearm injuries.

Firearm death rates in the United States vary by state and may show a correlation between urban wealth and education vs. rural poverty and unsophistication. The five states with the highest firearm death rates are Louisiana, Alaska, Nevada, Mississippi and Alabama. Hey Sarah time to reload. The states with the lowest rates include Hawaii, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New York.

Compared to high-income Asian countries (Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Japan), the firearm mortality rate in the U.S. is more than 70 times higher (14.24 per 100,000 in the U.S. compared to 0.1925 per 100,000 in Asia).

The correlation between firearm availability and rates of homicide is consistent across high-income industrialized nations: where there are more firearms, there are higher rates of homicide overall. The U.S. has among the highest rates of both firearm homicide and private firearm ownership. In 2001 an estimated 35% of U.S. households had guns.

Compared to other developed countries, no one can come near the US. The following are gun deaths for 2008: Germany – 381, France – 255, Canada – 165, UK – 68, Australia – 65, Japan - 39 and the USA - 11,127.

You can’t escape the conclusion: There’s something terribly wrong with America…because this isn’t a one-off stat…it happens every year. And as economic conditions continue to be depressed and the impoverished numbers grow, so will gun violence. Granted, we are not the most violent nation in the world, but as I said, for developed and so-called civilized societies, we seem to be way out in front.

What to do about it? I spend half the year in civilized London, where thuggish youths mainly knife people.

About the Writer

Dan Ehrlich is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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1 comments on Gun Ownership: Not Just a Right, An American Obsession

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By D. E. Carson on February 15, 2011 at 06:04 pm

BA-Hahahahahahaha!!! "Michele Moore" I LOVE IT!!!

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