There have been 1.4 million firearm deaths in America since 1968, compared to 1.2 million deaths in war in our entire history. There are 30,000 deaths each year from gun violence. This horror is made possible by easy accessibility to guns. And that is made possible by the power of the gun lobby in Washington. Picture above: Grace McDonnell - died at Sandy HookOur country is being devastated by the needless deaths of the innocent. All in the name of profit. That must change.
Guns are devastating our communities:
Guns do not make us more safe:
- "Having guns in the home triples the risk of suicide and doubles the risk of homicide, researchers reported on Monday." (source, 1-20-14)
- "7,391 American kids and teens under age 20 were hospitalized
from firearm injuries in 2009, according to a Yale School of Medicine
study. That means, on average, a child or teen is shot almost every
- "For every time a gun is used
in self-defense in the home, there are 7 assaults or murders, 11
suicide attempts, and 4 accidents involving guns in or around a home." (source)
- According to Mother Jones' analysis of U.S. mass shootings in which four or more people were killed from 1982 to 2012, none of the 62 incidents studied was stopped by an ordinary citizen carrying a gun. Additionally, since 2007, according to data collected by the Violence Policy Center, individuals with permits to carry a concealed weapon have been responsible for 28 mass shootings where at least three people were killed. Mass shootings have also occurred at schools despite the presence of armed security or law enforcement who presumably are better equipped to stop shooting incidents than students carrying guns. (source)
In terms of deterrence, a recent study found that states with higher
levels of household gun ownership have higher levels of firearm crime
and do not have lower levels of other types of crime.
study, in 2003, found that counties with higher levels of household gun
ownership have higher rates of household burglary, not lower. Burglars
like to steal not only cash and jewelry but also guns. A homeowner with a
collection of firearms may not want to advertise that fact.
...More than 42% of the time, the victim took some action — maced the
offender, yelled at the offender, struggled, ran away, or called the
police. Victims used a gun in less than 1% of the incidents
(127/14,145). In other words, actual self-defense gun use, even in our
gun-rich country, is rare.
It is sometimes claimed that guns are
particularly beneficial to potentially weaker victims, such as women.
Yet of the more than 300 sexual assaults reported in the surveys, the
number of times women were able to use a gun to protect themselves was
Indeed, a study of 10 previous years of crime survey data
found that of more than 1,100 sexual assaults, in only one did the
victim use a gun in self-defense.
...In addition, hundreds of thousands of household guns are stolen each
year. Gun theft is a main pathway by which guns end up in criminal
hands. The public health costs of gun ownership are very high. (source)
Guns are too easy to obtain:
- Around 40% of all legal gun sales involve private sellers and don't require background checks. 40% of prison inmates who used guns in their crimes got them this way. (source)
- An investigation found 62% of online gun sellers were willing to sell to buyers who said they couldn't pass a background check. (source)
- 20% of licensed California gun dealers agreed to sell handguns to researchers posing as illegal "straw" buyers. (source)
The NRA prevents sensible gun legislation by dictating to the Congress and White House what laws it passes:
- Former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell decried federal lawmakers
for failing to pass a permanent ban on assault weapons, such as the one
used in Friday’s deadly Colorado movie theater shooting.
- Rendell said it was an “act of cowardice by the Congress” not
to renew the ban, which expired in 2004, and blamed lawmakers for being
too “terrified” of the National Rife Association, which has lobbied
against the ban, to actually do it. (source)
Public Supports Gun Control
- "According to the new poll, 49 percent of Americans want gun
laws made more strict, while 27 percent want no change and 18 percent
want them to be less strict."(May 2014)
- "92 percent of Democrats, 74 percent of independents
and 72 percent of Republicans support tightening background check laws.
Support for states taking guns owned by mentally ill people wasn't quite
as unanimous, but was supported 76 percent to 10 percent among
Democrats, and 46 percent to 25 percent among independents. Republicans
were about evenly divided, with 40 percent in favor and 38 percent
Even some Republicans think that restricting the use of assault rifles makes sense:
- Texas Republican Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, a strong ally of
the National Rifle Association and its legislative priorities, told
CBS’s Face The Nation on Sunday that she could support tighter
regulations of high-capacity magazines in the aftermath of the shooting
in Newtown, Connecticut.
“You know, I think we ought to be
looking at where the real danger is, like those large clips, I think
that does need to be looked at,” Hutchison, who is retiring from the
Senate, said. She added, “it’s the semi-automatics and those large
magazines that can be fired off very quickly. You do have to pull the
trigger each time, but it’s very quick.” (source)
- Last month, I sentenced Jared Lee Loughner to seven consecutive
life terms plus 140 years in federal prison for his shooting rampage in
Tucson. That tragedy left six people dead, more than twice that number
injured and a community shaken to its core.
- Loughner deserved his punishment. But during the sentencing, I
also questioned the social utility of high-capacity magazines like the
one that fed his Glock. And I lamented the expiration of the federal
assault weapons ban in 2004, which prohibited the manufacture and
importation of certain particularly deadly guns, as well as magazines
that can hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition.
- [...]I say all of this as a gun owner. I say it as a
conservative who was appointed to the federal bench by a Republican
president. I say it as someone who prefers Fox News to MSNBC, and
National Review Online to the Daily Kos. I say it as someone who thinks
the Supreme Court got it right in District of Columbia vs. Heller, when
it held that the 2nd Amendment gives us the right to possess guns for
self-defense. (That's why I have mine.) I say it as someone who,
generally speaking, is not a big fan of the regulatory state. (source)
- Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) told The Republican/MassLive.com on
Wednesday that he now supports federal action to ban assault weapons
after the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. Brown, who lost reelection
in November to Elizabeth Warren, was once a darling of the National
Rifle Association, which awarded Brown a lifetime ‘A’ rating during his
first senate campaign for 2010′s special election to fill the late Ted
Kennedy’s senate seat. Brown had supported the state’s assault weapon
ban but remained opposed to any federal action until last week’s tragedy
changed his mind. “As a state legislator in Massachusetts I supported
an assault weapons ban thinking other states would follow suit. But
unfortunately, they have not and innocent people are being killed…As a
result, I support a federal assault weapons ban, perhaps like the
legislation we have in Massachusetts,” he told the news organization. (source)
- During an appearance on CBS’s This Morning on Wednesday, GOP
pollster Frank Luntz starkly admitted that the National Rifle
Association’s (NRA) widely-panned proposal to put armed guards in public
schools in the wake of the tragic shooting rampage at Sandy Hook
Elementary School is out of touch with public sentiment and the American
Parents of Victims Speak out
"That's what the [National Rifle Association] is thinking right now,"
Parker said. "The NRA is saying, it will go away. And, you know, they
are the most
powerful lobby in the country. And someone has got ... to
take them on. By God, I am going to do it."
- "The father of one of the California shooting victims
eviscerated politicians for not enacting stricter gun laws in the wake
of the Sandy Hook shooting."
- '“Where the hell are these people we elect to congress that we
spend so much money on? These people are getting rich sitting in
Congress, and what do they do? They don’t take care of our kids. My kid
died because nobody responded to what happened at Sandy Hook.”' (Source)
We need a Ban on Assault Weapons and large capacity gun clips:
- It worked before. From 1994 to 2004 we had a ban on assault
weapons. And during that period the homicide rate declined where
previously it had risen.