Gun Violence in America: Questions and Answers

It’s hard to understand what drives America’s fascination with guns.  It seems you can’t go to the supermarket anymore without patrolling the bread aisle with some idiot with a Glock hugging his hip.  Other idiots are protesting businesses that refuse entry to those carrying weapons, defying government and police, while displaying assault weapons.  No wonder tourists don’t want to come to America.  How did this happen?

How the world views America.  Courtesy of

How the world views America. Courtesy of

What drives crime and are guns more prevalent in the Deep South?

Poverty drives the majority of daily crime but it’s not crime per se we’re talking about. America is a violent nation, true, but violence is inherent in people. In America we happily give guns to anyone, regardless of criminal history, psychological background, and even your ability to see, as evidenced by some recent rulings allowing the blind to own guns. Gun ownership, however, isn’t limited to the Right, as the South, which has its share of crazies, is awash in weapons, although I suspect there are more Republicans in the deep red states, a big change from decades long past. That being said I don’t recall any mass shootings in the South, although there have been school shootings.

The NRA says all Americans should have guns because there are violent criminals everywhere.  Is that true?

No.  The vast majority of daily crime is committed in inner-cities, not in the subdivisions of America. The Republican party and other NRA propagandists such as FoxNews will have the people believe that crime is around every corner, therefore people should arm themselves against the ever present threat, happily touting their mantra “the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” That’s total bullshit of course, as evidenced by the poor “good guy” at Walmart who pulled a gun on the Las Vegas killers only to be killed himself.  In most of America you’ve a better chance of winning the lottery than being the victim of a violent crime. It’s true people do win the lottery but that doesn’t mean they spend until broke while relying on that off chance.

Aren’t  knives just as dangerous as guns?

No they’re not.  Guns make everything easy. It’s easy to shoot your neighbor because he’s pissed you off than it is to go in the house, get a kitchen knife, go back out and stab him. It’s quicker to blow your head off with a gun, than it is to cut your wrists. Guns are impersonal, and convenient. You don’t have to get close just pull the trigger and shoot in the general direction of the person or persons you don’t like.  The fact is about 1.3 school shootings happen every week, excepting summer, with over 74 since Newtown.  You don’t see those statistics with knives.

Why are so many people anti-government these days?  I don’t remember that happening 20 years ago?

The NRA and its Republican allies, with the help of their propaganda arm, FoxNews, are working hard to convince certain elements of the populace that the government, the people with the big guns, is about to steal your homes, rape your wives, eat your children, and God forbid, take away your precious guns and make you their servants, It’s precisely these bizarre beliefs that drive the type of gun violence we saw in Las Vegas, and Forsythe, Georgia, not to mention the Bundy Ranch insanity.

I remember a different NRA.  What has happened?

Once upon a time the NRA was a folksy, down home organization designed to encourage safe gun ownership, offering classes for hunters and other who wanted to take up the hobby.  That has all changed, however, much to the detriment of the nation.

The constant drumbeat of NRA propaganda that our very freedoms and liberty are under assault can provoke the unhinged and lead them to believe that extreme, murderous action to preserve their freedom is just and patriotic.

The fact is the Second Amendment has been liberally interpreted to enrich the gun manufacturers and their toadies such as the NRA and most of America’s elected representatives. Until we throw out the craven politicians and elect people with balls enough to modify the Second Amendment, an unlikely event, the NRA, the Republicans and the massive gun lobby will continue to hold sway over the nation and more innocent people will die.

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Posted by on June 11, 2014. Filed under COMMENTARY/OPINION. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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14 Responses to Gun Violence in America: Questions and Answers

  1. Bill Formby

    June 11, 2014 at 5:50 am

    Mike, my friend you are certainly right but you are probably scratching the itch caused by much deeper problems. Most of those problems have to do with down right ignorance born of misconceptions of how and why this country was founded and, unfortunately, a big push by the millenniums, or whatever you called those folks born after the 1980’s. I pointed to Glenn in another post that the Second Amendment was actually a restatemnt of a clause from the Statute of Winchester in 1285 AD in England from the period of the Tythings and the Reeves and the Shires in which it was mandatory that every man and boy above the age of 16 arm himself to whatever to degree his station in life allowed him so as to be available to respond to the “Hue and Cry” of the Night Watch” should a highway man or thief be found among the town, or “Tun” as they called them them. They also needed them in a call to arms to protect the country when needed at the kings discretion. The same concept is true of the Second Amendment for anyone who cares to actually reads it. It clearly says, “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.”
    Now, keeping in mind the time that both of these documents were written and approved, 13th and 18th century neither England nor America had a standing army. Only a fool would presume that the same situation exists today. In Fact, today the people expressly state that part of their reason for bearing and owning arms is because they may want to revolt against the very government that put this in place. But of course America has more than its share of fools as we have seen in the recent past.
    At the time of the passage of the Second Amendment there were few hand guns available and there were no rapid fire semi automatics. Had their been a mere company of military people could have wiped out the entire British Army in a matter of days. The primary reason, other than protection of country for guns was the hunting of game for subsistence. But that was not good enough.
    In this country we carried it forward to advance across the country and wipe out it Native inhabitants and sent back to the settle areas glorious tales of manly battle with savages who were nothing more than people trying to preserve their way of life even though they were hopelessly out manned and over powered by the weapons. There way great glory captured by Buffalo Bill and others for wiping out the subsistence of the Natives, i.e., the buffalo. Eastern writers told tall tales of their adventures and made them heroes.
    So it is no wonder that in this country that we worship violence and guns. We held out idols like Jesse James, Billy the Kid, and were fascinated by killers like John Wesley Hardin. They were considered “men’s men.” Macho, what every red blooded American male ought to be like. To day there is a fascination with things like “the gun that won the west”. We hold them up as icon, virtually as idols. After the end of the Civil War the Southerners were bitter about the war and held onto there guns and had a fiercely suspicions nature toward the Union. This still hasn’t died and in fact has spread to the western states.
    In Short we are anything but a civilized nation. We have gun toting people who have taken up the mantra of the NRA to the point of intimidating people in Texas who simply want to run their business without armed gangs intruding on them. People who, as recently as 5 years ago could walk down a street without being in fear of facing a group of people with AL 47’s strap on them walking toward them. All this in a time when a child could be suspended from school for making a play gun out of his thumb and fore finger.

    Go figure. This country has gone nuts and is about one click about a Banana Republic.

  2. Glenn Geist

    June 11, 2014 at 8:40 am


    I’ve been busy and haven’t had a chance to respond. Of course the 2nd amendment had a militia in mind, but can we really understand its popularity — and can we really ignore it or even reinterpret it because of that? That’s a tad jesuitical for my taste. It says what it says and it says the right shall not be infringed. The reason in my opinion is irrelevant and of course it never says (and I don’t think it implies) that a militia is the only reason for the guaranteed right.

    Infringed is a strong word and far too strong for my taste as well, but short of amending it (and I don’t think the country has more than a fraction of the votes required) we’re going to have to learn to live with it.

    Precedent is long standing that we can exclude certain people and lasses of people, we can exclude weapons and types of weapons and if we want to further limit who an keep and bear, I think this is our most practical course of action.

    Americans love guns, despite the opinions of those within the urban bubble we love to hunt and shoot and others like me like vintage and antique weapons for their own sake. A large segment of the public hunts and shoots for recreation and this is a huge country with almost limitless tracts of wilderness complete with predators. We have to account for the needs of inhabitants of such places no matter how far such an existence is from the world of Manhattanites. I live in the suburbs, but we have bear, boar, puma a host of nuisance animals and of course 900 pound alligators – and recreational shooting is as popular as NASCAR. America is what it is and after all, if we are to pretend to be a democracy, respect has to be paid to the will of the people.

    From what I read, support for additional gun regulation is declining – and so is gun crime – despite the breathless rhetoric. I may be wrong but I think we have to stop pretending we can make hundreds of millions of guns disappear any more than we can legislate away our demand for Cannabis.

    There are ample statistics to argue that bans and restrictions and waiting periods and the rest are at the very most a minor factor in crime rates and also that the apparent boom in rampage shootings is only an apparent boom, the rates being roughly what they were 50 years ago and far less than they were 20 to 30 years ago.

    • Mike Pinto

      June 11, 2014 at 7:10 pm

      There’s a difference between what drives crime and what drives mass shootings. When one thinks “crime” one should think South LA, and large population centers, where the majority of crime occurs. That being said there’s no way that we’re going to be able to stop the gun train. It’s long left the station and it’s gathering steam.

  3. Glenn Geist

    June 11, 2014 at 8:42 am

    And yes, we have the loony revolutionaries, but can we really say they represent more than a tiny fraction of the more than 100 million gun owners in the US? Is anti-government terrorism nearly what it was 100 years ago? Really?

    • Michael John Scott

      June 11, 2014 at 10:52 am

      Nope. Not even close Glenn, but as long as this tiny minority is killing cops and other innocent people it’s going to be a matter of perception.

  4. Marsha Woerner

    June 11, 2014 at 9:01 am

    And despite the claims that “regardless, the criminals will always be able to get guns!”, a lot of the personal gun violence has absolutely nothing to do with criminals! A good part of it is, for the most part, law-abiding citizens who get hotheaded and have guns available! Joe Nocera of the New York Times posted an extensive list of gun violence just so far this year. Violence that didn’t necessarily involve “criminals”:
    Yes, there are violent criminals, and they will always be able to find a way to get a gun! But I personally do not believe that owning a gun in order to protect from a rare criminal trumps the serenity retained by not owning and maintaining a deadly weapon that is much more likely to be used in a “non violent-criminal” situation.

  5. Rachael

    June 11, 2014 at 9:10 am

    Mike this was a great article and I learned a lot. I’m not sure Bill read it all the way through though 🙂

  6. Jess

    June 11, 2014 at 10:06 am

    I think the NRA and their fearmongering about every single thing needs to be reined in, seriously I do. We are the only country in the world that allows such a lobby to have such sway in our politics and we are now at ludicrous speed because of it. It’s a never ending circle of too much violence, I need a gun to protect me and my loved ones and that one gets the gun, so the other one needs a gun because that one got one and they might be dangerous and so on and so on. NRA will come out soon with a new comment about how if more people had had guns these shootings would not have happened and round and round the wheels go again till the next shooting. Which if they paid attention, this latest shooting had two law enforcement officers and I am guessing they had their guns on them and didn’t stop them from being killed or the civilian. I saw somewhere yesterday there is, on average, one school shooting per week since Sandy Hook and all those babies were murdered, when I was reading about that Oregon school shooting. It is beyond terrifying you might walk out your door and get shot putting gas in your car, or grocery shopping in some parts of this country. Idiots leaving loaded guns in the toy aisle at Target and walking through there, proudly showing off their metal penis enhancers while picking up Oreos or toilet paper.

  7. James Smith

    June 11, 2014 at 10:26 am

    I see that the idea that the real problem is far deeper than guns or any other weapon is gaining traction. Unfortunately, solutions will be neither simple nor easy.

    The concept if requiring a license for gun ownership (not nearly original with me) has merit but will not be a total solution. The deeper issues will have to be addressed and no answers can be assured.

  8. Paul Gallagher

    June 11, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    I am sad to say I believe we are beyond hope, at least for through the next generation. This nationalist movement was spurred on by the election of Barack Obama and few if any have the power to stop their march to Washington, all of them carrying guns. Even if dems miraculously won both houses there wouldn’t be enough votes for any type of gun control because there are too many frightened dems.

  9. Norman Rampart

    June 11, 2014 at 6:24 pm

    As I live in England, given our current difficulties with Islamists, could I borrow a gun from someone?

    • Mike Pinto

      June 11, 2014 at 7:11 pm

      Ha! Sound like you may need one Norman. I wouldn’t be able to tolerate that sort of life, especially if some Jihadist told me I couldn’t walk my dog in “his” park.

      • Norman Rampart

        June 11, 2014 at 8:04 pm

        My dog will bite his balls off…and she isn’t even my dog really…just my best pal (belongs to my neighbour)

  10. Dawn Paxton

    June 12, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    A bunch of gun hating libtards ain’t gonna take my guns away. We will put you in your place trust me ont ath. Assholes!!!!!!!!!