Thursday, April 17, 2014

Regarding the Second Amendment...

It's been quite a while since I've done this. personally I'm rather shocked that all of my followers haven't abandoned this blog in favor of people who've been able to update recently. I'm also glad to see that the opposite is true.

Why have I been gone for so long? To put it bluntly, I got bored. I ran out of outrage with which to fuel the passion I had when writing posts that pointed out the idiocy of the administration, or the infractions on our civil liberties by both federal and state entities. I simply didn't have the drive to continue for a long while. It didn't help that I was attempting to live something called "life" either. I continue with my court reporting lessons, a stint as an insurance salesman. Now, because of that decision, I have a lot more time on my hands. So, I decided to dust off the old blog and write down my thoughts on things that happen day to day whenever it strikes my fancy to do so.

I chose today to do this because of a recent Facebook debate I was engaged in regarding the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Someone posted an article on gun violence that prompted several others, myself included, to chime in on the discussion regarding that particular subject, as well as the second amendment in general. I came down in favor. Several others...did not. One, whom I had initially mistaken for being against the idea of an armed populace, was actually advocating ways in which guns could be made safer and easier to use by law abiding citizens. I unfortunately let my passions get the better of me and began treating him as if he were just another gun-grabbing wannabe tyrant. This proved to be a mistake.

During that conversation, I was lumped in with a sort of "gun culture" that apparently accepts the number of people being murdered by gun violence in this country at 30,000 per year. After this person's repeated use of that number, I decided to do a little digging and see if that number were true, or even accurate.

Turns out, after glancing over, the number is indeed accurate but, fortunately, the article I found broke down the number to its base components by incident type. Here it is copied and pasted by yours truly for all who read this to see:

Suicide: 18,735 deaths
Homicide: 11,493 deaths
Unintentional: 554 deaths
Legal interventions: 333 deaths
Undetermined: 232 deaths

Notice the first category, suicide. 18,735 deaths per year. This means that according to Politifact's source, almost half of those people that die every year from gun violence are people who decide to put a gun to their head one day and pull the trigger. Compare this to homicide, which is in turn almost half of what the suicide rate is. The rest of the study shows that gun accidents, legal interventions and undetermined incidents are but a pittance compared to the above two rates. This of course does not include those who get shot and survive the encounter, as I am merely deconstructing the number of deaths, not the number of shootings.

What can we derive from looking at these numbers? Firstly, let's look at the overall population of the United States. According to Google, the number is 313.9 Million. Of these 300,000,000 people, one third are subject to some form of gun violence, be it a death or an injury. Of that one third, one third are actual deaths, using the 30,000 figure from earlier. Of THAT group, almost TWO THIRDS are suicides, with almost an additional third being homicidal incidents.

It would seem to me that access to firearms is not the issue, as many would have us believe. What we need to really do regarding gun violence is examine not the "how", but the WHY of gun violence. Why are people shooting each other? What can we do to convince them not to? Or, failing that, the next generation?

I wish I had the answers. Sadly I do not.