Sobering facts.The number of children and teens in America killed by guns in 2006 would fill more than 127 public school classrooms of 25 students each.More preschoolers (63) were killed by firearms than law enforcement officers (48) killed in the line of duty.Black males ages 15 to 19 are almost five times as likely as their White peers and more than twice as likely as their Hispanic peers to be killed by firearms.Between 1979 and 2006, the yearly number of firearm deaths of White children and teens decreased by about 40 percent, but deaths of Black children and teens increased by 55 percent.Since 1979, gun violence has ended the lives of 107,603 children and teens in America.Sixty percent of them were White; 37 percent were Black.The number of Black children and teens killed by gunfire since 1979 (39,957) is more than 10 times the number of Black citizens of all ages lynched throughout American history (3,437).
At New Trajectory, my blogger friend, Baldr, wrote this article about a gun turn-in program in Oregon. Forty guns were collected from people who have decided they didn't want or need the guns any longer. Some did it for money. Great. Maybe they realized that having a gun in the home is just not safe. They would be right and, in the light of articles like the one above, they made a good decision. But regardless of the merits of this program, the gun rights extremists just had to show up to make some noise:
Of course, like all the gun turn-ins, there are the pro-gun extremists who turn out at the entrance to the event to hassle anyone who attends, hollering at people who come to turn in their guns, offering to pay big money for their weapons. Some convince the patrons to sell them their guns. But the real reason the extremists are there, of course, is just to protest our attempts to remove weapons from the streets and from those who might abuse them. These are the people who want more guns for more people in more places, at any cost, and fight to remove commonsense controls. Their answer to gun violence is to add more guns to our community and oppose any measures to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, children, or the dangerously mentally ill.In addition, some of the people who turned in their guns had no time for the NRA:
"I'm an old Army guy, a military policeman," he said. "Believe me, I know what it takes in a self-defense situation."
But Pyburn has no use for the powerful National Rifle Association and its anti-gun control agenda. "I'm not anti-gun, but I am anti-NRA," he said. "There's no practical way to keep guns off the street without a national registration system."Really? That's a radical idea. Note that it's coming from a gun owner ( or maybe now an ex-gun owner) who understands that gun registration would actually make us safer. The gun rights extremists are not interested. Their way of making us safer is for them to have all the guns they want and carry them everywhere they go. Never mind that that also means more guns are available for people who shouldn't have them. Kids are not responsible with guns. Keep those guns safely stored and locked- away from curious children and teens. This is just plain common sense. And if you have decided you don't want guns in your home any more, programs like gun turn-ins sponsored by police departments and gun control groups around the country are one way to safely dispose of them. Gun rights extremists should be happy about this. After all, don't we all want kids to be safe? After all, don't we all want to reduce the number of senseless gun deaths and injuries in our country?