Remember Israel where even schoolteachers may be carrying rifles slung over their shoulders. Their political situation makes that safer than gun-free zones for sure, and by now with all these crazies shooting up American schools it ought to be recognized that something similar is the case here too.
Israel has very strict gun laws. There is about one legally owned firearm for every 50 Israelis. There is about one legally owned firearm for every American. To get a gun licence in Israel, you have to need it for your employment; be an officer of above a certain grade in the Israeli military, or live in a West Bank settlement. Even then you have to go through a mental and physical exam; a background check by the Public Security Ministry, and pass a competence exam.
It's easier to get a gun here than in Israel; though even here you have to demonstrate a clean criminal record and pass a competency exam. In some parts of the US it's perfectly legal to sell rifles to children.
Today's news reports from Utah: Stray Bullet Kills Teen. Zackary Kempke was riding in the back seat of his family's car when he was struck in the head and killed instantly by a bullet fired by another family engaged in target shooting from several hundred feet away. No charges have been filed at this time.
This reminds me of an incident from maybe 15 years ago where a hunter fired at a deer and missed, striking and killing a housewife hanging wash out on the line. No charges were filed.
Guns are too dangerous to be in the hands of the general public. Those who do own guns should only be permitted to fire them at approved, regulated and inspected firing ranges. Hunting ground borders should never be within shooting distance of a non-hunting related structure/house/business, or hiking/biking/snowmobile trails, etc.
In general, I agree with you that gun laws in the US are too lax and that greater controls are needed. However, "stray bullets have been known to kill people in the past" is not a relevant argument.
There are good arguments for gun control. Suicide is a good one. Lots of people commit suicide in the US because guns are legal. Despite some of the bizarre denials we've seen on this forum that one is incontrovertibly true.
People being killed by stray bullets not meant for them, though - this is clutching at straws. This does not actually happen often. Lots of legal things that serve no purpose other than entertainment have led to accidental deaths. Shooting a woman hanging washing in the distance while out hunting would rank with these freak, unfortunate events. It's not a police driver.
Thanks for the stats. However, these don't support your claim.
quote:2016 Death by following means: Total firearms 11,004 Handguns 7,105 Rifles up to 375 over 2015, 258 due to mass shootings. Shotguns 262 Cutting instruments 1604. Blunt objects 472. Personal weapons, hands, fists, feet. 656. You can find those stats: https://ucr.fbi.gov/...es/expanded-homicide-data-table-4.xls
Firstly, the stats you're looking at are for homicides. Your claim was that more people were killed by, amongst other things, fists than by rifles. The number of homicide victims killed by firearms makes up less than a third of those killed by firearms, so you're not comparing apples to apples. I don't think Percy is expecting you to murder someone - your guns are more likely to kill someone by accident or someone committing suicide than by you actively trying to kill someone.
Whilst we don't have any figures for the number of suicides and accidental deaths caused by fists, I'm guessing less it's negligible.
To nitpick a little, your claim about more people being killed by fists (or feet) than by rifles can also not be substantiated by the above. The numbers for fists, feet and personal weapons are combined; and are less than double the total for rifles. It's entirely plausible that the majority of those involved weapons, meaning rifles would easily account for more murders than fists. They almost certainly account for more deaths.
I'm afraid you've made a right balls up of your calculations there.
1712/0.00010256410256 is about 16.7 million. You've accidentally added a few zeroes somehow.
Now, I am not at clear on what the 1,712 is supposed to represent, I think some context has been stripped from marc9000's excerpt. The source of the percentage quoted is pretty clear, though. 32,000 is 0.00010256410256% of 312 million. So if the numbers being cited are real that would be the percentage of the US population killed by firearms in that year.
ABE: Wait, sorry, it's me making the balls up. My mistake is the same one made by the author of marc9000's post. So if the original numbers are right that means 0.010256410256% of the population were killed by firearms that year.
Yes, I realised that I made the same mistake as whoever made the original image in doing the percentages; so I was the one two orders of magnitude off.
Marc9000 pulled a random page of nonsense off the Internet and presented it unattributed. We've already given far too much attention to it.
I disagree! I find things like this fascinating. I spent a while playing with the numbers to try and see what the 1,712 could possibly be referring to and got nothing, so I decided to try and find the original source to see if it would make anything clearer.
It didn't. I found the original facebook image; and some internet forums discussing it, but none of it gives more context to the numbers. And I could find no one even venturing a hypothesis as to what 1,712 we'd been left with and how.
The percentage thing is an easily comprehensible mistake, but I find it find it fascinating (and a little depressing) how widely this meme has been spread with so little questioning of this totally meaningless number in the middle of it.
But it wouldn't much matter - it would always show how weak and dangerous the gun control argument really is. If you don't agree, why don't you show some kind of a complete table of figures that supports gun control? You could show for example, how much less the suicide rate is in countries like the United Kingdom, where there is very tight gun control. (uh-oh, sorry, that wouldn't work well for you, suicide is a serious problem in the UK, they just hang and poison themselves.)
Percy's already pointed out that the suicide rate in the US is much higher than in the UK. Interestingly, the difference between the two is about the rate of suicides by firearms in the US. So if none of the people who shoot themselves in the US died, the US and UK would have about the same suicide rate.
Now, I think this is mostly coincidence, since obviously the causes are more complex than that, but it still amazes me how many people refuse to accept that having guns around will mean more suicides.
It's often claimed that someone determined to kill themselves will kill themselves anyway. And that is, of course, true. But that also fails to understand the mindset of a lot of people who commit suicide. The fact that someone committed suicide does not mean that they spent their entire waking lives walking around plotting to end their esistence and overcoming any obstacle to doing so. Most people who have suicidal thoughts do not kill themselves. And suicidal thoughts are not a constant - people can have dark moments, and then feel fine the next day.
The thing about guns, is that they offer a very quick and easy suicide method with a high probability of success. Person A who keeps a loaded gun in their drawer and one day thinks 'fuck it' and blows their own head off, is not necessarily more suicidal than Person B who has no access to guns and thus survives the night. The more effort is required to commit suicide; the higher the risk of suffering; and the higher the risk of failure; the stronger that 'fuck it' feeling has to be to overcome the natural resistance to killing yourself.
This is well understood and is why, for example, drugs you can overdose on are now sold in smaller quantities in the UK than they used to be. Sure, this is annoying to those who have to go and buy new boxes of pills more regularly than they used to, but it also dramatically reduced the number of suicides by overdose. Because when people were in that darkest moment they did not have enough to hand to do the job. And in the time it takes to get enough, that darkest moment has passed.