The recent shooting in Tucson, Arizona has me thinking about gun laws recently. I have found this topic to causing to fixate and become paralyzed with anger. I couldn’t figure this out originally. I live in Canada, have never been to the states (shut up). Why was I in such a fit every time I thought about this? And then I read one of Jerry Coyne’s recent posts and remember Greta Christina’s excellent post about atheists and anger. Anger is not bad. In fact, it is transformative and the driving force of every social movement in human history. I should be angry that innocent people die needlessly every day. So here goes some anger.
The 2nd Amendment is by far one of the dumbest laws still in existence:
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.
I don’t on which planet single individuals constitute a “well regulated militia.” The statistics are no better: This is depressing and enraging.
- In 2007, guns took the lives of 31,224 Americans in homicides, suicides and unintentional shootings. This is the equivalent of more than 85 deaths each day and more than three deaths each hour.(1
- On average, 33 gun homicides were committed each day for the years 2002-2007.
- On average, 46 gun suicides were committed each day for the years 2001-2007.
- A federal government study of unintentional shootings found that 8% of such shooting deaths resulted from shots fired by children under the age of six.(2)
- Abused women are five times more likely to be killed by their abuser if the abuser owns a firearm.(3)
- Firearm-related deaths and injuries result in estimated medical costs of $2.3 billion each year – half of which are borne by U.S. taxpayers.(4)
This is the tip of the iceberg. And their problem is becoming Mexico’s and Canada’s. However, the mentality of the States (at least some of them) is that more guns equals safety. This is blatantly false. When comparing ownership levels by state and gun deaths we see correlation. And the US is not the only place where this is visible. Although there is more of a correlation between suicides and gun ownership than murders and ownership(bottom of page 4).
One thing that is for certain: I’ll be looking at these numbers when I start hear back from employers.
Unfortunately, I doubt gun owners are going to be convinced by statistics, and this is why anger is needed. We need passionate responses to cowardly acts of murder, not more guns. We need family and friends to help and intervene to saved loved ones. We need everyone to stand up for what is right for all citizens and to the defend those who cannot defend themselves.