Monday, December 14, 2015

2015 | the year in US gun violence

The costs and benefits of cheap and easy access to firearms are written between the lines of this summary from the Gun Violence Archive.

You can find out how many people have been shot near you this year right here (one murder/suicide .57 miles from my home this year).

Click here to connect with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America — the movement birthed in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook massacre in Newtown, Connecticut three years ago today. 

Use these links to communicate your passion directly to your US Senators and Congressional Representative.

If you're good with things as they are for a little while longer, no action is required at this time.


Anonymous said...

adult naivety is worse is worse than "gun violence!" a gun is inanimate, it can't do anything on its own. knives, bats, drugs, alcohol, water, bee stings, stranglings, bicycle accidents, tub drownings, suicide, lung cancer, old age, kooks, murderers, terrorists, leftists, socialists, secularists, veterinarians, all types of cancer, EVIL, etc etc etc...

Jim Hancock said...

[Edited to reduce snark]

Hey Anonymous,

As noted in the post, if you’re satisfied with the details of human-on-human weapons homicide in the world’s only developed nation where “gun violence” is a “thing,” no further action is required of you.

If you change your mind, you can pitch in later.

If I decide to surrender my naiveté on this subject, I’ll mention it prominently in this space.

Thanks for chiming in.

Anonymous said...

wouldnt it be nice if the other side of an argument never lifted its head, then we could push any agenda we wanted. our founding fathers knew that a person has a right and duty given by God to protect his and his family, friends and the unprotected. ban guns and who will own guns?

Jim Hancock said...

Hey Anonymous,

Starting from the bottom:

No one I know is suggesting a ban on guns, and framing your conclusion as if those were the stakes is either disingenuous or hints that you may be fighting a straw man. So, are we in two completely different conversations?

The conversation I’m in has many of us - including a supermajority of gun owners - calling for sensible limits on who may purchase and possess certain classes of weapons and accessories designed or configured for combat and/or murder. Limits on rocket launchers, bazookas, hand grenades, flame throwers, explosive charges, and fully automatic weapons are already in place with no deleterious effect on democracy. I suspect it’s weapons at the margins - assault rifles and high capacity magazines - that you and I might argue about. Am I wrong about that? Is it your position that your son-in-law should be permitted to stand his ground with a flame thrower and hope the noise at the back door is not your daughter coming home from the late shift?

When you speak of rights and duties given by God, unless your primary scripture is the Torah, or the Koran, it seems clear to me that the weight of those God-given rights and duties is quite different than what I think you mean by the phrase, “a right and duty given by God to protect his and his family, friends and the unprotected.” What exactly is the primary scripture from which you draw your understanding of rights and duties?

The US founding fathers ratified one crisp statement about arms:

“A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

We might spend the rest of our lives, you and me, arguing about the precise meaning of that sentence.

Your declaration that, “our founding fathers knew that a person has a right and duty given by God to protect his and his family, friends and the unprotected” is unsupported by the language they agreed to include, and the States ratified, in the Articles of the Constitution of the United States, and the Articles in Addition to and Amendment of the Constitution. Our founding fathers were not 21st century American evangelicals, fundamentalists, or for that matter 21st century anything. They were, mostly, 18th century Anglicans and other Protestants (with a handful of Catholics, deists and, perhaps, a rational theist or two). Not that there’s anything wrong with that. But forcing their beliefs and practices through a modernist religious sieve may produce a bit of purified juice at the expense of straining out the bulk of the fruit. They chose, carefully and explicitly, to exclude their various religious convictions, hopes, dreams, and aspirations from the founding documents because they chose, carefully and explicitly, not to impose any single expression of those religious convictions, hopes, dreams, and aspirations on their fellow citizens or - again carefully and explicitly - on the world, as evidenced by the unanimously ratified treaty with Tripoli in 1797. I have friends who argue that what’s in certain private correspondence reveals the true heart of the founders. That may be true and, in selected cases, may bolster your declaration that the founding fathers knew something in private that they did not say in public about God’s will. But if it is true in those cases, it must be equally true in other, contrary cases… So we find ourselves stuck, for the better, I think, with what they agreed to in public documents, laws, regulations, and treaties.

Finally, I welcome a reasonable argument from the other side.

Thanks for chiming in, Anonymous (have we met?).