November 10, 2015 9:47 pm
America, we have a gun problem, and I feel the need to speak up. I don’t usually talk about political issues, but this is more than a political issue. It’s a question of life and death.
The title of this picture is “Kids Playing with Guns.” A perfect illustration of America’s unhealthy Gun Culture.
The Philadelphia Inquirer on October 25th ran a piece about a civil court ruling against a gun dealer in Milwaukee. The dealer was found guilty of breaking the law by knowingly selling a gun to a straw buyer. A straw buyer, in case you aren’t aware, is someone who buys a gun for another person who could not make the purchase on their own. These guns often end up in the hands of criminals, as it did in this case. The result of the gun dealer allowing the sale in question was two police officers being injured by that same gun.
The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms law, passed in 2005, gives those who make and sell guns nearly complete immunity from any responsibility for what is done with their guns.
Just to give some contrast here, if a child’s car seat was found to be responsible for injury or death, there would be little question that the manufacturer or seller, depending on what went wrong, would clearly be held accountable. But the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms law means, as far as guns are concerned, the companies hardly need to worry about culpability.
In the decade since that law was passed, there have only been two successful civil cases that were able to bypass this law, and the Milwaukee case was one of them. There is something wrong with this picture.
Many who oppose gun control will tell you the adage, “Guns don’t kill people, people do.” Let’s take a look at that. The lawyer who won the Milwaukee case argued against that idea, pointing out that, for the criminal to use the gun to shoot the officers, there had to be a gun, a trigger to pull, in the first case. To put it another way, a famous musician has said that if guns don’t kill people, why do they give soldiers guns when they go to war? Why not just send the people?
As many of you know, my husband was murdered with an axe. If there had been no axe nearby for the disturbed man to use, then my husband would have survived that day. Guns are designed to kill, and nothing more. If you say guns don’t kill, then what’s the very point of making it in the first place? Yes, it takes a person to pull the trigger. But if there is no trigger to pull, nobody is going to get shot.
It seems vulgar to me to talk so openly about people being shot, injured and killed. At this point in American history, however, there is so much gun violence that we must talk about it, vulgar or not.
It’s time we had a serious discussion about guns, and leave the slogans behind. People are dying every day who don’t need to die. If another country was killing as many of our people as die from guns every year, we would be at war with them. Why do we put up with us doing the killing ourselves? This is madness, and it needs to end.
As soon as anyone talks about guns it seems that people immediately get upset and think we mean to take all guns away from them and they can’t go deer hunting. Well, I’m not suggesting such a thing. And I fully understand that you have a constitutional right to own a gun. I’m also sure that the writers of the constitution never would have dreamed that it would come to this. If you want to go deer or turkey hunting you don’t need an automatic military rifle with 30 rounds of ammunition.
I had a phone call the other day from a gun shop employee asking if I would like to buy a gun. When I told her that I had no gun, in fact had never touched a gun and was not interested in buying one now, she said, “You live by yourself and you don’t have a gun?”
“Well, aren’t you scared someone might come to harm you?”
“Oh, I lock my doors.”
“But if they break in?”
“If someone wants to shoot me I’m not going to shoot them. I’m going to say, ‘You can shoot me if you want to and if I die I’ll go to heaven but you, you will have to give account to Almighty God for what you did.'”
The caller hung up.
She doesn’t know that even if I had a gun I could probably not hit the target. I have trouble just playing miniature golf.
I’ve traveled to many other countries and I often feel safer there than here. I think we could learn from these governments because they make it much more difficult to own a gun. Even the policemen in many places have batons rather than guns and the crime rate in those countries is way lower than America. There is a huge amount of political spin – or even outright disinformation and lying – which is applied to firearm-related data. Sometimes it can be difficult to know what the truth is. There are some facts, however, that are unquestionable, no matter which side of the debate you are on.
In the Vietnam War, from 1961 to 1975, about 58,000 Americans were killed. This is equivalent to about eleven deaths per day. In 2013, gun violence in America claimed more than 33,000 lives, or about ninety gun deaths per day. At this pace, the number of Americans killed across fourteen years of open warfare in Vietnam are killed on our streets and in our towns in just twenty one months. These facts are very accurate, and you can research them yourself.
And it is not just mentally ill individuals who are causing the problems, as some gun-control opponents believe. There is so much anger in this country. We don’t seem to have a clue about what to do with disappointment or hurts. We are racists. We lash out in violence. Birds fly, fish swim and people sin. God has set government to keep that sin in control. Every day we hear of theater shootings or school shootings, park shootings etc.It’s very sad. Hats off to this lawyer and his civil suit for moving in the right direction.
And may we, as a nation, find the courage to follow him.
Crosses are set at the Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012, in memory of the school shooting victims in Newtown, Conn. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)
This post was written by Grace Fabian