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Roughly speaking Canada has 35 million people and the USA about 315 million. That makes it seem like, even though Canada is a country where hunting is also widespread but has large urban centers like us, they’re much safer as far as gun violence goes, but of those 9400 Americans shot to death, how many were involved in criminal activity? Statistics that don’t discriminate between a two year old innocent and a 17-year old gang member aren’t reliable. Statistics that don’t discuss the level of criminal activity and violence between countries can be misleading.
I’d need to see more, but then what number is acceptable? Would we help by decriminalizing certain drugs? This needs to be discussed and we need to remember what prohibition did to the gun death rate while discussing it. I’m wondering how Colorado will fare over the next few years in terms of gang violence.
I really don’t see how America’s love of guns and its probably exaggerated sense of need for self protection would go away without the NRA. We loved guns long before the NRA and no matter how excited we get, much and perhaps most of America does not share the fear and loathing.
What would have helped the tragic situation of the young girl shot by her brother with an unsecured handgun? Whoever left that gun there and left it loaded is guilty of reckless endangerment at least, and if the mother knew about it, so is she. Was the boyfriend a criminal that he felt it necessary to be armed at his girlfriend’s house? What national policy would have made it less likely for him to be armed? Handgun bans come to mind, but the statistics suggest they’re totally ineffective.
The NRA has training programs designed to teach kids what to do if they find a gun. I have no way of knowing how effective they are and schools generally hate the NRA so much they forbid kids to see them anyway, but I have a feeling a kid – a 2 year old kid for certain – is going to ignore any training and I know for sure, I would have at that age. Our culture makes guns very attractive to kids, in my opinion. It’s the adults we need to educate. It would have been so easy to unload that gun!
It’s a complicated problem that’s beyond me to solve, but I think it is that way for most of us and partially because we have these ideas about guns and the law which aren’t always true and indulge in hyperbole to the point where gun control arguments aren’t respected — and some deserve not to be. Some Americans had rifles and pistols in 1776 – not just muskets. The drafters didn’t suggest that canons and torpedoes and land mines should be restricted. Some of those pistols, after all, could fire multiple shots, albeit clumsily.
Let’s stop raving about muskets and about how you can own any sort of gun because you can’t and haven’t been able to since the 1930′s. We need to stop fantasizing about printed plastic guns and semi-automatic hunting rifles that look sort of military and other diversions that have nothing to do with the problem of kids finding carelessly treated guns left around by criminals and idiots. It’s not the NRA, it’s your neighbor and maybe you.