Addicted to Violence;We're Consciously Victimizing Our Kids

The concluding paragraphs of Bob Herbert's column in today's New York Times: "A study released a few years ago by the Harvard School of Public Health compared firearm mortality rates among youngsters 5 to 14 years old in the five states with the highest rates of gun ownership with those in the five states with the lowest rates.

The results were chilling. Children in the states with the highest rates of gun ownership were 16 times as likely to die from an accidental gunshot wound, nearly seven times as likely to commit suicide with a gun, and more than three times as likely to be murdered with a firearm.

Only a lunatic could seriously believe that more guns in more homes is good for America's children.

Here's the whole Herbert column and another inspiring one by Adam Gopnik in
The New Yorker.

No matter how many statistics we present to our Federal government however, they remain steadfastly loyal to the Second Amendment. I think there may be hope however in the burgeoning campaign of Mayors Against Illegal Guns .

Comments

Correlation != causation

I have guns, several of them and I've never killed myself, or accidentally shot someone else, or more importantly given them or made them accessible to a child.

If people can't store their guns out of the grasp of minors, and they can't responsibly use firearms they should not own them.

The NRA's Eddie Eagle program teaches children gun safety and I think all families with children and guns should consider this program or another like it. It is irresponsible to own guns if you do not educate your children about the dangers of their misuse.

Guns are not evil, guns do not kill, however there are any number of irresponsible gun owners. Gun ownership may be a Right, but as with all Rights there are duties associated. Gun owners have the duty to assure that their guns are stored safely when not in use, and to educate themselves and their family about the proper use of firearms and what horrible things can happen if they are misued.

Anecdotally, after > a decade working in a large trauma center / ER I saw only a handful of self inflicted or accidental fatal gunshot wounds, I saw someone who tried to kill themselves with OTC or prescription medications almost daily. Do we ban Acetamenophen? It is one of the most dangerous OTC drugs there is -teen aged girls find it especially appealing, but they seldom realize how toxic to the liver APAP really is and I've seen at least a dozen patients with liver failure (and resultant death) from APAP overdose. It is a slow and miserable death.

Re:Correlation != causation

How can you say "guns do not kill"?? People of any age can and do get killed DAILY in this country by an angry spouse, child, parent, employee, stranger, maniac on the loose or drive-by shooter. That doesn't include suicides, made much more convenient when a gun is in the house.

Maybe patients don't end up in your emergency room because they're already DOA. Too late for Eddie Eagle then.

M-220 Tube-launched, Optically tracked, missile

I don't really think the second amendment is a hunting amendment. The purpose of the amendment was not to allow us to hunt deer but to protect ourselves from our government and other governments. That is why I have a M-220 Tube-launched, Optically tracked, Wire-guided missile (TOW) as my primary means of self defense. Children are very unlikely to shoot themselves with one of these when they find it in the closet. (Or more likely on the launcher on the top of my armored vehicle.)

Good start to the debate

Only a lunatic could seriously believe that more guns in more homes is good for America's children. This is the kind of wonderful language that will allow us to find common ground and build consensus.

So why tell us?

So were you sitting around your house thinking, "Hmmm I bet the librarians that read LISNEWS have massive arsenals aound their houses. I should warn them that they are in danger." WTF is the point?

You said it too....

People of any age can and do get killed DAILY in this country by an angry spouse, child, parent, employee, stranger, maniac on the loose or drive-by shooter.

You see the gun is just an instrument. I will grant you that guns should not be in the hands of people who will use them improperly, but so are cars and if you ask my friends so is my violin.

I know it is trite, but guns don't kill people, peole kill people.

As to suicide, yes firearms are indeed the leading method of suicide in the US, however it is not the only method. In a CDC study it was found where guns were not readily available other methods were employed just as frequently (I can dig up that report if you wish.)

The ease of acquiring a gun does little to the suicide rate. It may affect method, but not rate. As an example I've excerpted some stats from a WHO report on suicide.

Suicide Data by Country (excerpt) Per 100K people:

Country
Year
Male

Female

US
01
17.6

4.4

Canada
01
18.7

5.2

Iceland
01
19.6

45.6

Japan
02
35.2

12.8

As you can see the availablilty of firearms (as demonstrated by the gun control legislation in force in the locale) does not reduce the suicide rate. In fact if you look at the above statistics you will see that the country with the most stringent gun control laws in the free world, Japan has the highest suicide rate.

Certainly suicide is a problem, but gun control does not seem to be the solution, mental health care is the solution.

Re:So why tell us?

Because...

No matter how many statistics we present to our Federal government however, they remain steadfastly loyal to the Second Amendment.

The damn federal government remaining loyal to the Constitution. We need to get the SRRT involved. Librarians of America unite, disarm the masses. You know what is best! Look at how wonderful Cuba is!

Pink Pistols

Pink Pistols: Gay Gun Rights Group Is Ready to Fire
Part social gun club, part political platform, the group's slogans are, "Armed gays don't get bashed" and "Pick on someone your own caliber."

Write your own

I had never heard of this columnist until yesterday when I came across a blog that had set up a template for generating automatic columns by him by using his favorite anti-Bush phrases. It was very funny.

I still remember when I was about 13 the brother of a friend killing himself with his dad's hunting rifle which he found hidden under a bed.

Statistical studies are interesting. According to JAMA, the general aviation fatal crash rate is 82 times the rate for major airlines; and in Alaska it is 3 times higher than the national average for general aviation; and for EMS flight crews the death rate is 15x that of other occupations. As with dog bite incidences, the key factor is male gender (owner, dog and bitten), but that is hardly ever the headline.

I bet you'd love this article...

The Disarming of America by Dan Simpson. Mr. Simpson is a retired diplomat, is a member of the editorial boards of The Blade and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Link:
http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?A ID=/20070425/OPINION04/704250310/0/OPINION

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