Gun laws and gun deaths

While this fact has been known to anyone doing the slightest bit of research, a recent chart done up by one group shows the relationship between stricter gun laws and gun deaths. And lo and behold, once again we learn that gun control works.

What they did is take the state with the least amount of gun deaths per capita (Massachusetts) and assign it a zero on the scale and the state with the most (Alaska) and assign it 100, and then compared the strictness of the gun laws in each state.

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No matter what the gun lovers say, gun laws work. We see this in states that have strong gun laws and in countries that do.

You’d think this would be common sense, right?

(Here’s a link with more detail about how this chart was made.) Please stop messaging me about “my chart.” I didn’t make it.

GOP denies real causes of gun violence

What is it about America that causes us to have so many mass shootings? What makes us different? Why don’t other countries have this problem?

“Clearly, it’s a mental health issue,” claim the Republicans, while slashing the budget for mental health and taking away the mental health background check requirements for gun purchases.

“Other countries have mental health issues,” we reply, “yet they don’t have this problem.”

“Look! A squirrel!” they reply while stuffing wads of money into their pockets from the NRA.gun chart

The fact is that while we have 4.4% of the world’s population, we own 42% of the world’s guns. And those guns aren’t evenly spread out among Americans. Only about 23% of all Americans own guns, but 3% of the population owns 50% of the guns.  And I’d be willing to bet that 99% of all the mass shootings come from that 3%.

So we Americans are allowing ourselves to be the deadliest advanced country in the world for the sake of 3% of the population that probably has mental problems we are not addressing. (For the record, the only countries with more gun violence per capita are poorer, less-developed places: Uruguay, Panama, Brazil, Columbia, Jamaica, Guatamala, Swaziland, El Salvador, Venezuela, and Honduras.)

But the Republican solution to gun violence here in America?  “Let’s do nothing! Maybe that will work.”

squirrel

 

The Gun Industry is more important than your lousy lives

Another mass shooting in the only country in the world that won’t do a thing to stop them.

“I know!” Republicans say. “Let’s do nothing! That should solve the problem!”

The vast majority of Americans support reasonable gun control such as stricter background checks. Even the majority of NRA members.

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Republican Jesus says “Beat your swords into plowshares … No, wait! Guns! Much better.”

The NRA, however, is no longer a group of hunters but instead is the lobbying arm of the gun industry which funds most of its activities. The NRA acts in opposition to the desires of a majority of its members.

That’s the real enemy: The people who profit from the deaths and the politicians who care more about money than lives.

If we did nothing to protect ourselves against Islamic terrorists, people would scream that it would then be our fault for not defending ourselves properly.

These exact same people who scream about Islamic terrorism are not only doing nothing to prevent more gun deaths like this, but are actively working to make these deaths even easier, by getting rid of reasonable laws to prevent the mentally ill from getting guns (while at the same time eliminating funding for treating those mentally ill).

If this had only happened in a church, where the prayers would be so much more powerful and … Oh, wait

Well, if this had only happened in one of those states where everyone can open carry, because then a good guy with a gun would have stopped the … Oh, wait

GOP on guns: Let’s try doing nothing. Maybe that will work

GOP: Mental illness is the problem, not guns.

Dems: Women have mental illnesses in the same percentages as men, but only men do these mass shootings.

GOP: Look! a squirrel!squirrel

Later:

GOP: Mental illness is the problem. We should be addressing that instead. By the way, we’ve closed all the mental facilities, defunded money for them, and removed “mental health” from health insurance coverage. Oh, and also made it easier for the mentally ill to get guns.

Mental illness affects people all over the world. Yet, for some reason, the rest of the world doesn’t have these things happen every few weeks. Hmm, what’s the difference? What is it about America that gives us gun death numbers that dwarf all other civilized countries?  Could it be … guns?

Somehow, the gun lovers are convinced that since we can’t stop all gun violence, we shouldn’t do anything at all.

GOP: “Terrorists have used planes to attack us! Quick, let’s make everyone take off their shoes, go through huge searches, stop them from bringing toothpaste on board, and be subject to a ‘no flight’ list of those suspected!”

“Guns have killed thousands each year unnecessarily! Too bad there’s absolutely nothing we can do about it.”

Well, we can do something about it. Every country that has has seen a huge drop in violent gun deaths. Every state that has discovered that their violent crime decreased as well. Will this stop all gun deaths? Of course not, any more than laws against drunk driving have stopped all drunk drivers. But the laws certainly have reduced the amount of accidents on the road.

“Let’s give up and not do anything to solve this problem” seems to be the most unAmerican thing you can say.

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Shooters, Background checks, and hypocrites

by guest blogger Mark Waid

First: like everyone with a soul, I condemn the shooting of the Congressmen in Alexandria. It is horrible, it is unacceptable, I wish those wounded the best. I am genuinely sympathetic towards them. Let’s get that out of the way right off the bat.

That said: Mo Brooks.

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cartoon by Dan Martin

The victims were, to a one, among the very same representatives who fight tooth and nail against even the slightest, most basic common-sense gun control measures or closing of loopholes, who serve the NRA more faithfully than they do their own constituents, and who throw up their hands (“What’re you gonna do, amirite?”) every time someone dares suggest that maybe, just maybe, an entire nation of reasonably intelligent people might be able to figure out some way to help stop the murders of Sandy Hook children besides, or even simply in addition to, insisting that every civilian be armed at all times. At least one of the Congressmen who was there, Rep. Tom Garrett of Virginia, present on the field, eyewitness to the horror, has since told us that if they’d only been allowed to bring their own guns, they’d have been safer, because everyone knows that the first and most natural thing you do when you take to the diamond is strap on your gun holster. Just remember not to slide.

Yet as incomprehensible as I find these Congressmen’s priorities to be, let’s give them the enormous benefit of the doubt that they really, sincerely do believe that arming everyone regardless of whether or not they’ve had the slightest bit of firearms training truly is the best and only way to fight the problem and not just what the NRA pays them to say. Let’s go wide and assume they’re voting 100% with their conscience. All of them. Except for the one totally devoid of a conscience when it comes to you and your children.

Let’s turn our attention to Alabama representative Mo Brooks.

Of the men on that field, Mo Brooks is a uniquely vomitous waste of carbon. A representative who has repeatedly campaigned against any sort of stricter background checks at all — any — at all — in any form — had this to say about the shootings right after he doubled down on his absolute, unwavering conviction that our founding fathers were talking about SKS 7.62 assault rifles when they drafted the Second Amendment:

“With respect to this particular shooter, I’d really like to know more about him — whether he was an ex-felon, by way of example, who should not have had possession of a firearm — I’d like to know other things about his background before I pass judgment.”

You know what, Mo? WE ALL WOULD. Gee, IF ONLY THERE’D BEEN SOME SORT OF PROCESS IN PLACE THAT WOULD HAVE PROVIDED THAT SORT OF INFORMATION BEFORE SOMEONE GOT SHOT. THAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN HELPFUL.

Maybe I’m missing something. Maybe there’s some way I’ve overlooked that Mo Brooks didn’t suddenly get around to changing his mind about the usefulness of background checks until someone pointed a gun at him. But it wouldn’t seem so.

Absolutely nothing I’m saying here is a call for Second Amendment repeal. Not my point. And background checks would not have stopped the shooting. Hodgkinson apparently purchased his assault rifle legally. We know this. Likewise not relevant to what I’m saying unless you want to deliberately and willfully miss my point.

My point is about naked, “I deserve better than you because I’m a Congressman” hypocrisy.

My point is that Mo Brooks, who steadfastly opposes more informative background checks at every turn, just told us that he wants a more informative background check on the shooter. Not on any of the shooters involved in any of the 152 other 2017 mass shootings thus far, mind you. Just this guy. The one who was an immediate threat to Mo Brooks, not the others who threaten you or me. Because for Mo Brooks, when it comes to the ones who shoot at us and our kids because he won’t tighten background checks or do anything to make obtaining guns the slightest bit more difficult for those who we know after the fact should not have had them because of various mental health problems or histories of violence … well, y’know, who could have known?

Mark Waid is an Eisner Award-winning American comic book writer, known for his work on titles for DC Comics such as The Flash, Kingdom Come and Superman: Birthright, and for his work on Captain America, Fantastic Four, and Daredevil for Marvel Comics

School Shootings: The new normal

Ho hum. So what’s in the news today?  Another school shooting? A child killed? Three dead?

Meh.

Nobody cares about that any more, don’t you know? We hardly even notice these things any more. Well, unless the killing is committed by a Muslim — then it gets attention.

This is the new normal, where crazy people can get guns easily and instead of stopping the problem at its core like every other modern nation has done, we just chalk it up to the cost of living in America. After all, what’s more important, the livgun-deaths-us-other-countries-chartes of children or the right to own deadly weapons?

Seems that question has been answered.

I used to post about these every time they happened, and I referred to it as the “Gun Control Shuffle”:

1. Have a mass shooting.

2. Bury the dead and cry.

3. Politicians talk about the need for gun control so this never happens again.

4. Gun manufacturers, through their lobby group the NRA, warns that the government is out to take everyone’s guns.

5. Gun lovers buy lots of guns because they believe the NRA and the right-wing media.

6. Gun manufacturers’ income skyrockets.

7. Gun manufacturers use this money to bribe politicians through their lobby group, the NRA.

8. Despite overwhelming public support, no gun control passes.

9. Another mass shooting occurs.

Repeat every few months.

I got tired of posting it, because instead of repeating every few months, it got to be every few weeks.

But apparently that’s the world we want to live in now.