Lately, there have been countless discussions regarding gun control. Obviously this has become a highly divisive issue with hardly any moderation.
First, full disclosure - I AM a Second Amendment advocate. However, I am both a realist and a moderate on the topic. I do agree with several
proposals being presented; closing the gun show loopholes, requiring background checks on EVERYONE purchasing a firearm, eliminating ridiculous
high-capacity magazines (over 30 rounds), requiring training and certification prior to purchasing a firearm and re-certification every 5 to 10 years
- but that is about all I can get behind. I just wanted you all to understand where my head is as I propose an analogy on how gun control is like the
recently implemented bans on texting and driving.
First, we can all agree that car accidents kill far more innocent civilians than guns do - in fact, a HUGE number more! Hence the creation of DUI
laws and Distracted Driving laws as these compromise a majority of automotive related deaths. Let's take a look at some data from the Census Bureau
to better understand the issue at hand.
From this data from the Census Bureau
we see that TOTAL UNINTENTIONAL injury deaths for 2012
was statistically estimated to be 118,021, or 38.4 per 100,000 people. Interesting to note here that FALLING deaths equaled 24,792, or 8.1 deaths per
100,000 people and that MOTOR VEHICLE deaths were 34,485, or 11.2 per 100,000 people. Also interesting to note is that UNINTENTIONAL POISONING deaths
were 31,758, or 10.3 per 100,000 people. More on all of this later.
On to the homicide data... As we can see from this data from the Census Bureau
, 2012 was
statistically estimated at 16,799 deaths, or 5.5 per 100,000 people, ranking the HOMICIDE as the 15 leading cause of the death in the US - more on
that later. Drilling deeper into the data, the previous link also lists 11,493 gun-related HOMICIDES, or 3.7 per 100,000 of the population.
Now, to be fair, I want to point out that the above data does NOT include suicides as suicides are likely to occur regardless of the available
mechanisms and is a mental health issue, not a modal-control issue. BUT... for purposes of open disclosure, there is some interesting information
from the Census Bureau on suicides here.
By the way, SUICIDE is the NUMBER 1 cause of death in
the US. Article here.
I'd like to point out some anomalies... First gun-related suicides are HIGHER than gun-related homicides; 18,735 (6.1 per 100K) versus 11,493 (3.7
per 100K)! In fact, suicide ranked number 10 in cause of death. Further research will demonstrate that suicide by firearm is an access issue, not a
possession issue - I'll address that as well. The issues surrounding suicide are much too complex to address here - but I wanted full disclosure.
Please start a different thread if you are interested in debating this topic - thanks in advance for not cluttering this thread.
Ok, to tie this all together... according to NTSB data for 2010 (latest available), Distracted Driving was the leading cause of automobile accidents
and the second cause of automobile related fatalities. "Distracted driving" is a broad area of measure and difficult to nail down posthumously, but
estimates are over 80% of Distracted Driving fatalities are cell-phone related - texting in particular. Again, this why we are seeing a HUGE increase
in laws restricting the use of these devices while driving. BUT... we are NOT seeing a call for banning smart phones, why? Automobile deaths are
THREE TIMES HIGHER than gun homicides. In other words, cell phone use while driving causes well over TWICE the number of deaths as gun-related
homicides! Let that sink in for a moment...
So, as I'm travelling with my family over the holidays, during a 35 mile trip to visit family I pass not 1 or 2 but SIX people looking down at their
cells phones (texting or dialing), deviating from their lanes and putting everyone on the road in danger. I bring this to light because I actually
witnessed and accident/fatality due to a young woman who I passed while she was texting - all over the road - she sideswiped the vehicle behind me and
ran the car into a retaining wall, killing the driver!
Summary... Distracted Driving causes more than TWICE the number of deaths as gun-related homicides with cell phone use being tops on the list. The
government has passed laws to prevent this, but as we can see, the law hasn't prevented anyone from engaging in the illegal activity. To follow the
logic of anti-gun proponents, cell phones should be better regulated than firearms! In fact, Diane Feinstein should be advocating for a complete and
total ban of cell phones altogether - "Americans - turn them in!" But they're not - why!?!? This should be a very thought-provoking question to
every American. If we are to believe that this entire gun-ban initiative is to save lives, why are we not looking at the more obvious causes of
death? I surmise it is because saving lives is the excuse, not the premise.
Further, as evidenced above, creating laws banning things does nothing to actually solve the problem. In fact,
here is good scientific
overview of the effect of gun control laws
. Whipping up fervor among the emotionally drunk is a ploy - one whose motives should be closely
examined before allowing the "Solution" to proceed. As I have just demonstrated, there are a great deal of areas that would have a greater effect
on "Saving lives" than implementing a gun ban.
What say you all?