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Would America’s Love of Guns Go Away Without the NRA?

Pic courtesy kdvr.com.

Pic courtesy kdvr.com.

It’s easy to be incensed, easy to assign blame, but harder to come up with a solution to America’s gun problem, if there is one. We need to temper our tempers by remembering that gun incidents are not increasing but decreasing, and I’ve seen convincing numbers suggesting that gun sales are on the way down as well.

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.

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Posted by on April 10, 2014. Filed under COMMENTARY/OPINION. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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7 Responses to Would America’s Love of Guns Go Away Without the NRA?

  1. James Smith Reply

    April 10, 2014 at 7:27 am

    Exactly!

  2. Jim Snuff Reply

    April 10, 2014 at 10:17 am

    It is as if any irrational person still thinks the US is a fair nation.

    Don’t think about it. Warranted wireless taps, definite detention of citizens with charges, disapproval of rendition of prisoners and no torture, stop and frisk with probable cause, search and seizure with a warrant, knock for entry, confiscation and destruction of rubbish that might have been used to wrap snacks like candy bars, police kindness, police accidents that investigated, a free media, and the civil-rights enhancing”Patriot” Act.

    Acts of police behaving legally, with fundraisers, charity, and warranted arrests now appear almost weekly. Rarely are these events of concern. Most often “an investigation” is not required, and not forgotten.

    

In addition, the USA, with 25% of the world population, has 2% of all of the prisoners in the world. That means the USA has the least people in prison of any nation in history. Even by percentage of residents with hats, not just sheer numbers. USA is # 1



    That sound like a free country to me.

    As Dwight D. Eisenhower said about communism, “I like sausage. First, I eat a small slice. That isn’t worth fighting over. Then I eat another small slice that isn’t worth fighting over. Then another and another. Finally, I have eaten the whole sausage!”

  3. Maggie22 Reply

    April 10, 2014 at 11:13 am

    This post makes sense, although I believe that the NRA is the propaganda wing of the dark side of government, and without it, while people wouldn’t lose their love of guns, they would lose their reasons for buying one, excepting the sportsman. Very good article I must say however.

  4. Timmy Mahoney Reply

    April 10, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    Glenn with respect you are mistaken about the weaponry used in 1776. The first repeating rifle was the Spencer, designed by Christopher Spencer in 1860. The first handgun designed to fire multiple shots was designed by Sam Colt and patented in 1835, 1836, and 1839. It was generally eschewed by everyone, including the military, but was used on a wide scale for the first time by the Texas Rangers in a battle with the Comanches. The original Colt fired light loads and had five cylinders.

  5. Wiretapper Reply

    April 12, 2014 at 10:02 am

    We in Sweden have strong laws about weapons, and obligatory (with tests and stated reasons) licenses and limits to number of weapons and types (and HOW TO STORE THEM, its not easy breaking in to a weaponlocker built like a safe, either for kids or burglars wanting to steal them to arm themselves). Break safetylaws by acting/storing/handeling the weapons badly… Byebye licenses (and weapons! ) and legal punishment.

    And sure, the fatalities by weapons are way down from the numbers in the US….

    I cant understand the gun nuts in the US, in comments it seems like they are either wanting the guns to defend themselves against burglars (bad idea, see murderrates by burglars in contries as sweden without gunlove)

    Or

    (sadly a large (mad) minority) “To defend us agains a future (or current) evil US goverment or invading sovj.. eh russians” (“evil rulers” that certanly would be afraid of civilians with handguns/rifles, having soldiers in the millions, and military weapons up to nukes themselves).

    And/or the “survivalist” types arming themselves for a armageddon, that (if it happened for any reason, war, famine, breakdown of society aso.) would result in the majority of them, would declare their own small thiefdoms/kingdoms and war with each other (while the rest of the world rebuild their societies)….

    Legatimate hunters or target shooters are not “hurt” by stronger laws, we have numerious hunters and recreational target shooters, but the general public (and the gun/rifle owner)is MUCH safer with our laws..

    The “strangest” (according to US Gun nut “logic” i heard) is propably that you dont even hear protests (even anonymously) from the swedish gun/rifle owners for “more USA like/liberal weapon laws” We all prefere ours (including my hunting family)..

    Btw. states allowing anyone to carry them in public (or even concealed! ) besides the police/military, is quite insane….

    • Michael John Scott Reply

      April 12, 2014 at 11:08 am

      America’s gun laws are far too liberal and they have been written based on faulty logic, i.e. crime is on the rise in America, therefore Americans need to carry guns to protect themselves from violent criminals. In point of fact violent crime is down and has been for the last 20 plus years. The propaganda machine driven by America’s wealthy gun lobbies and gun manufacturers has created a false sense of insecurity causing people to ask themselves whether or not they should be carrying a gun everywhere they go because there might be a bad guy out to kill them. That of course is ridiculous and not at all supported by the facts. Thanks for your input and I agree that allowing untrained civilians to carry guns in public, concealed or otherwise, is quite insane.

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