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January 19, 2013


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kathy a.

yes. and the stories keep coming. today, 3 hurt in accidental shooting at a gun show. thankfully, only a shotgun and injuries; but the police chief is shutting down private sales at the show. in north carolina.

oh yeah, today is also gun appreciation day, and many are rallying against any gun safety measures. because really, what could be more meaningful during MLK weekend and in anticipation of the inauguration?

kathy a.

obviously, i agree with universal registration, background checks, and liability insurance, as well as mandatory safety training, and restrictions on the kinds of weaponry and ammo sold. i favor safety measures like trigger locks, locked gun storage, and innovations like (seems like i read this somewhere) safety mechanisms that only allow the owner to shoot the damned thing.

as strongly as i feel about never wanting guns around me, i know that others do not feel the same. i know people hunt, and that in rural areas there may be a need to keep bears away or to put down a dying animal. i know some people feel strongly about guns in the home for self protection.

but guns being what they are -- tools for killing -- i also think that responsible gun owners need to stand on the side of gun safety; that they ought to be worried about accidents, temper fits, and their guns being stolen. that if they really are responsible, they don't want their kids shooting people or threatening people; that they don't want a despondent loved one to eat a bullet; and they sure don't want random bullets flying around.

what i find very discouraging is the NRA party line, opposing any kind of restrictions or oversight whatsoever. they do not want background checks; they do not even want collection of public health data; they do not want ATF to do its job. it just does not make any sense to me, even allowing that others might have good reasons to want a gun.

my feeling is that obama and biden have proposed a good start -- one that should not even be controversial. this problem with gun injuries and deaths is going to take a long time to fix -- and it will probably never totally be fixed. we can't let perfection stand in the way of progress, though. every mind that is changed in the direction of fewer guns and more safety measures is progress.

SC and ltc, i really love the idea of pitting insurance companies against the gun lobby! nothing in the second amendment that says that when shit gets shot up, you don't have to pay for it.

low-tech cyclist

nothing in the second amendment that says that when shit gets shot up, you don't have to pay for it.

kathy - I love that line! It's a shame it's just a wee bit too long for a bumper sticker.

I really do feel pretty strongly that we ought to be able to say, "OK, you can have guns in your house, at your business if that's how you roll, at the shooting range, and out where you go hunting. But in between, you keep them locked in the trunk of your car. No more open carry, and concealed carry permits granted only with cause. When we see someone with a gun in public, we should be able to call the cops on them, end of story."

If rural people have a problem with this, maybe we ought to decide the issue on a county-by-county basis. If Highland County, VA, up in the Appalachians, wants open carry, let 'em, as long as Arlington County, VA, can go the other way on that question.

I'd forgotten today was Gun Appreciation Day, and apparently at least 5 people got injured by guns at gun shows today, including two at the safety check-in booth of the show in Raleigh, NC. Life's little ironies...


Did y'all realize that there have been more people killed by guns SINCE 1968 ALONE than have been killed in all the nation's wars combined? So said Mark Shields on last night's News Hour, and so has Politifact confirmed.

Holy cow, as Harry Caray would say.

kathy a.

o.m.g., linkmeister. i believed your assertion before looking at how they did the numbers -- because of my unusual attention to guns, and a fair knowledge of war casualties -- but it is useful to have the numbers reliably assembled.

and there are enormous numbers of gun injuries on top of those killed, every year. every day, every week, every month.

Mark W. Bennett

In what universe is "requiring liability insurance" a "free-market solution"?


lt-c -- I checked that Slate map to look at the gun deaths in my area. Since they are recent, my memory of news reports about them is pretty good. In every one there is a combination of either alcohol and immature unsupervised dumb ass stupidity (teenage girl dies after party where fueled teenage boy in adjacent room shows his gun off, and of course it discharges), family dispute (one can only imagine, alcohol involved somewhere I'd guess), a parking lot bar fight (more alcohol), and in one case, drive-by gang-dispute retaliation x three.

So what do we do about that? Maybe ask the NRA board members to comment. "Don't drink and shoot"? I'm reminded why in the towns of the Old West, the sheriff had men check their guns before heading to the local saloon.


I await an NRA press release here. Community by community the toll mounts, but our gun-lobbyists have nothing nada zip to offer. Particular conundrum with this avoidable tragedy. Christian pillar of community whose life's work seems to have been walking the talk, gunned down with his family by his son.


Anecdotal, I know. All the same, the story seems the perfect illustration of the steady headline numbness we've gotten too used to storing in the American memory bank. Another day, another horror.


I find the bright-line 'this isn't mental illness' schtick to be annoying. On one hand, we have people saying 'We don't want to stigmatize mental illness' while on the other hand ignoring any spectrum or varied intensity or duration of mental illness, locking all those who do seek treatment into a box.

What is mental illness if not experiencing these intense, irrational emotions and decisions? The number of murderers is a tiny, tiny fraction compared to any single common mental illness - this is true - but every time someone stands up and says that 'such-and-such isn't mental illness', or 'I never suffered from mental illness (but did participated in something irrational)' all I can think of is 'what is so terrible about mental illness that you must push it so far away from you that you'd rather stand near murderers?

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