A great article in Politico written by Evan DeFilippis and Devin Hughes exposes the myth that most people who own handguns for self defense are missing. They write about examples of home owners shooting someone at the doors to their homes and killing innocent people. From the article:
And finally, the article points out the obvious:What do these and so many other cases have in common? They are the byproduct of a tragic myth: that millions of gun owners successfully use their firearms to defend themselves and their families from criminals. Despite having nearly no academic support in public health literature, this myth is the single largest motivation behind gun ownership. It traces its origin to a two-decade-old series of surveys that, despite being thoroughly repudiated at the time, persists in influencing personal safety decisions and public policy throughout the United States. (...)It may sound reassuring, but is utterly false. In fact, gun owners are far more likely to end up like Theodore Wafer or Eusebio Christian, accidentally shooting an innocent person or seeing their weapons harm a family member, than be heroes warding off criminals.
The myth of widespread defensive gun use is at the heart of the push to weaken already near catatonic laws controlling the use of guns and expand where good guys can carry guns to bars, houses of worship and college campuses—all in the mistaken belief that more “good guys with guns” will help stop the “bad guys.” As Wayne LaPierre of the NRA railed in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting: “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun, is a good guy with a gun.”
But the evidence clearly shows that our lax gun laws and increased gun ownership, spurred on by this myth, do not help “good guys with guns” defend themselves, their families or our society. Instead, they are aiding and abetting criminals by providing them with more guns, with 200,000 already stolen on an annual basis. And more guns means more homicides. More suicides. More dead men, women and children. Not fewer.This is a long and informative article about the myth of gun ownership. If public policy is based on a myth we should be demanding the facts. If guns are rarely used in self defense but more often used to kill innocent people in moments of rage, anger, despair, relationship problems, suicide, "accidentally" or when the shooter is dangerously mentally ill or under the influence of alcohol then why is that not what elected leaders hear when making gun safety policy? Are they missing something on purpose? Do they know the facts and ignore them anyway? Or have they not been adequately informed or are too lazy to find the facts? Or are they so afraid of the corporate gun lobby that facts don't matter anyway?
So when the Texas open carry guys try to convince legislators to vote to undo some of their few sensible gun laws, legislators are getting an earful and an eyeful. When the fervor of the issue is coming from extremists who carry loaded guns with them, it isn't taken lightly or kindly. Let's look at what they are doing to make their points:
- Defiantly making 3D gun parts on the steps of the Capitol building. That's a great idea!
- Threatening Texas legislators in their offices. Josh Horwitz of Coalition to Stop Gun Violence wrote this piece and points out the obvious concerns about the "guys with the guns" making the rules. Again, the chief spokesperson for the biggest gun lobby, touting the biggest myth of all:
They are calling negative attention to themselves which is why they are going to have trouble getting their way. No one likes to be intimidated by people carrying loaded guns around. These folks want to normalize the open carry of guns in America. Instead they are showing themselves to be the gun nuts that they are. Even Open Carry Texas opposes the tactics of Watkins' group and that's saying something all things considered.
This article sums it up nicely:
You’d think that some of the “good guys” with guns would offer to stand outside their doors. But that’s not going to do much good for average people just trying to get through the day in America without being shot. Panic buttons won’t help us and neither will these alleged good guys who are clearly part of the problem, not the solution. Even gun rights advocates can see that.
Can we say that the gun nuts are not exactly getting the attention they wanted?
To continue with what the gun lobby is missing, I offer this great article from Media Matters highlighting the NRA's latest false assertions about exercising second amendment rights. These lame attempts to scare Americans are actually dangerous.
And in other news, this is an interesting place for a stolen gun to be found. No further comment.
And in scary news, the home of Vice President Biden was seemingly the target of someone shooting a gun from a car driving by the perimeter of the house. I wonder if the shooter thought it was amusing or did he/she have evil intentions? No matter how we look at this, it does not make us feel better about our country. Too many people with too many guns and too easy access to them by those who shouldn't have them is making for dangerous and tragic times. As I said in my last post, will the country and most particularly the gun lobby wake up? But I digress.
And in news about kids bringing guns to school, check out this Georgia first grader who had a loaded gun in his pants waistband. He thought it was a toy? Good grief. "Every gun in the hands of a child must first pass through the hands of an adult." No one was charged for this potentially tragic incident. Some parents were not happy with this situation. " My child is in the first grade and had lunch with this child,” Culver added. “I could have been burying, or other parents could have been burying our children.”" This mother understands the pain of other mothers who buried their first graders gunned down at Sandy Hook elementary school. First graders should not have loaded guns at school. First graders should not be gunned down while going to school. Only in America is this a typical school day.
I have missed many shootings in this blog post. They are happening at an alarming rate. What we are missing here is common sense. Families are missing their loved ones. Some shooters miss the mark. Many shooters do not. The following incident is a prime example of the American gun culture gone wrong. It was hard to miss this story because it's all over social media sites and news outlets.
In Oklahoma a man shot a small town police chief 4 times when the chief entered the home looking for evidence of an alleged bomb threat. No, he wasn't killed because he had borrowed a protective vest just before going into the home and came out with an injury to his arm. What if he hadn't? Well, apparently that wouldn't have mattered to the good folks of Oklahoma. The man was not charged. This is the quote I like from the article: " "This is country, this ain't Oklahoma City," Jimmy Rhoades told KFOR. "You're taught from a young age that if somebody comes into your house to shoot.""
So the logic here is that when you live in the Oklahoma country you get to shoot anyone who enters your house without fear of being charged for it? The officer entered the home without a search warrant but identified himself as an officer. Does that mean the home owner should automatically get out a gun and start firing? Let's look at who this home owner was: "Neighbors also saw Ross lying on the ground of the porch following the botched raid at the gun enthusiast’s home decorated with signs warning of a zombie apocalypse." There are some photos of the now released shooter on this Facebook page. This is Oklahoma folks. OK then:
Brand new state! Brand new state, gonna treat you great!
Gonna give you barley, carrots and pertaters,
Pasture fer the cattle, Spinach and Temayters!
Flowers on the prarie where the June bugs zoom,
Plen'y of air and plen'y of room,
Plen'y of room to swing a rope!
Plen'y of heart and plen'y of hope.
Oklahoma, where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain,
And the wavin' wheat can sure smell sweet
When the wind comes right behind the rain.
Oklahoma, ev'ry night my honey lamb and I
Sit alone and talk and watch a hawk makin' lazy circles in the sky.
We know we belong to the land
And the land we belong to is grand!
And when we say--Yeeow! A-yip-i-o-ee ay!
We're only sayin' You're doin' fine, Oklahoma! Oklahoma--O.K.Am I missing something or does this sound like the opposite of the "zombie apocalypse? Where is common sense?
The Open Carry Texas folks continue their nonsensical and totally absurd rallies in support of doing whatever they want to do with their guns. This happened yesterday in Port Arthur, Texas. Again, you've gotta love the photos of these folks trying to look normal. From the article:
You can't make this stuff up. These folks represent maybe 5% of gun owners and Americans eligible to carry guns, if that. But they are making enough noise to want the public to think they are a majority. That is the myth, again, of the gun extremists. They have missed the fact that most Americans don't find them to be credible, normal or safe. Wearing ridiculous outfits and carrying military style weapons around is not cool with the public. Making a point with idiotic demonstrations is hurting the cause and imploding the myths touted by the gun lobby. The public understands that more guns do not make us safer and more people wandering on our streets with guns is not a model of public safety.The group is upset with comments Police Chief Mark Blanton made about Open Carry after he said he believes it’s is a burden on law enforcement. Port Arthur has a large minority population, and most see the group as primarily white, which it totally is.The group decided to leave downtown Port Arthur because only a few people showed up to listen to their statements, so the members said they would travel to an area near Central Mall where they could reach more people.Open Carry fashionistas donned body armor, first at the Port Arthur Police Department, moving later to the Central Mall to find a “bigger audience”. I’m sure the folks at “Kiddie Rides”, “HobbyTown USA” and “Central Mall 10 Theaters” really appreciated this display of patriotism in their parking lot on a Saturday afternoon.