Sunday, February 28, 2016

Excuse me?

They’re killing machines - NY Daily News:

Yes, firearms are indeed "Killing Machines".
That's what they were designed to do, and they do so most effectively.
(Name Not Acknowledged) gunned down three and injured at least 14 more with an automatic rifle in Kansas Thursday, blasting away randomly from his car and then in the industrial building where he worked. Just another day in America. 
 This nation cannot awaken from a nightmare: Madmen wield weapons of war to indiscriminately slaughter, in their workplaces, on streets, in movie theaters and in elementary schools.  (Name Not Acknowledged) added to the tally of slaughter as Connecticut Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis is considering the merits of a wrongful death suit — brought by family members of Sandy Hook Elementary School children and one survivor of that assault. LUPICA: GUN-LOVING GOP HOPEFULS IGNORE KANSAS MASS SHOOTING They are trying to sue Remington, America’s top manufacturer of guns and ammunition in the civilian marketplace, for negligent entrustment in manufacturing AR-15s for purchase and use by ordinary Americans. These assaults rifles are weapons of war.
Excuse me?

In the first place, this idiotic guy was the instrument of senseless slaughter.  Whatever weapon he chose to use was not the instrument .. it was just a tool.  You know, like a hammer (useful for building homes) or a knife (useful for building Dagwood Sandwiches),

Overblown rhetoric, such as this article typifies, are not helpful.  Yes, newspapers (et al) are useful; they keep us informed.

Guns and Knives and Newspapers can have a negative side effect.

When someone deliberately misuses them, every gun/knife/newspaper casts a shadow on every instrument of their ilk, and tangentially on every person who uses said instrument in a responsible manner.

Those who use a knife to slice a ham for a sandwich, or a newspaper to line the cage for their canary, or a firearm to defend themselves and/or their home/family may have to live with being tarred by the same brush.

Yes, people use guns to kill people.  Usually that's A Bad Thing!

Sometimes, maybe not-so-bad, as in defense of your nation or 'way of life' (war).

Guns can also provide a positive benefit, as in defense of yourself, your family, or your home and/or other property.

Newspapers are also useful to wrap fish in.  I can think of no other utility to be found in a newspaper except to disseminate lies, misconceptions. scandals and sordid tales.  ("If it bleeds, it leads!")

Guns are an unique tool

Guns can also be used for other purposes, usually not as dramatic as defense.  For example, there are a wide variety of sports which use guns as their main instrument.  We call these sports "Shooting Sports".  In the sports of Skeet and Trap, shotguns are useful tools for competition, while many of us use shotguns to take small game (birds and rabbits, and Jeb Clampet went out shooting for some food and found oil ... black gold ...  "Texas Tea".

(Which isn't really pertinent but I'm just trying to lighten up these folks who see only Bad Things when they talk about guns, so excuse me for living!)

There are a wide range of statistics which suggest that from 100,000 to 1.2 MILLION times a year, firearms are used for personal defense.  Hmmm ... folks are telling us that 30,000 people are killed in America each year.  Which, although not acknowledged, include the kindly and gentle folks who are killed by policemen while resisting arrest.

As is true with any tool, Guns are used in many deaths (which is not the same thing as saying "Guns Are Responsible For Many Deaths", which you often will find in newspaper reports).

Little children killing each other with 'found' firearms?  Yes, that happens.  The thing about that is that one would expect parents to secure their firearms, but tragically their families are devestated when these same loving parents are just too butt-face stupid to protect their children by making access to guns-in-the-home inaccessible to children.   Bad gun?  Or stupid parent?  You tell me.

Suicide?  Look at the "death by firearm" statistics for America.  A HUGE percent of suicides use firearms as the instrument of their deliberate deaths.  Why?  Because they are "Killing Machines", and (almost) invariably effective in achieving the purpose to which they are put by sick, despondent or otherwise going-to-die-somehow-anyway persons.  The japanese cannot own firearms, but they are among the highest rates of suicide of any country.  One of their favorite modes of suicide, I am told (I cannot verify this, it's anecdotal) is to throw themselves in front of a train.  Another charming method of self-murder is to find a place where a pier or a dock is being installed, and place their head between the vertical posts and the pile-driver used to smash the timber into the bottom of the bay.  Should the Japanese make a law restricting pile-drivers?  It wouldn't matter: suicidal people will ALWAYS 'find a way'.  During the mid-90's when firearms were highly restricted in America, the suicide rate did NOT diminish.

Suicidal people will always find a way, but unfortunately many other manners of suicide are less effective (you should excuse the expression) and sometimes result in grave injuries or illness, during which the potential suicide must endure pain, debilitating injuries, various forms of maiming and other really yucky consequences.  And as soon as they recover from that, they go on to kill themselves by some other manner.   I cite the death of Mork from Ork, who at least had the good grace to not exacerbate the "Suicide by Firearm" rate when he chose to hang himself.

Distasteful social reference?  Absolutely, it is.  There is nothing about suicide which can be described as less than "distasteful", and I have little respect for suicides.  But there it is, and there is nothing you or I can do about it ... except, perhaps, wish that these sad people had chosen a faster and less painful way of removing themselves from the gene pool.

Does Suicide count as a "positive benefit of firearms"?

I don't think so.  You don't, either.  But according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (yes, there really is such a thing, it seems):

  • Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in America
  • For every 'successful' suicide, there are 25 attempts
  • Can you imagine someone so depressed that he/she tries 25 times?

Also, according to the CDC:

  • There were over 40,000 suicides in America in 2013 (compare this to the often-quoted figure of "30,000 homicides by firearms in America every year")
  • And if you're feeling particularly morbid today, the "LOST ALL HOPE" website lists firearms as the most lethal method

This is even depressing ME, and I'm writing the article.  Fortunately, I'm not so depressed that I've lost all hope.  I can't wait until "tomorrow", to see what goofy things will happen next!

Okay, so we (or I) have got off track a little bit.
But suicide needs to be considered when we are discussing the positive and negative effects of Firearms.  The reason that it takes such a prominent discussion here is that of the "Firearms Deaths" statistics which are so widely touted in articles in Liberal newspapers as "A Bad Thing".

Don't get me wrong. I have regrets when some poor depressed person chooses to kill themselves rather cope with life, as the rest of us do.  But I hold these people in contempt at the same time.  And frankly, I hold these people in contempt ... if only because when they choose a gun as the instrument of their death the make gun owners look bad.  If they are determined to kill themselves, why don't they find a less controversial method?

(The answer is: it's efficient, and usable by a solitary person.  When is the last time you read about a suicide who used a hammer to kill himself?)

What are other uses for a firearm?

Well, I like to shoot guns in competition.
Some people use then to hunt ... a nice hunk of venison on your plate is much tastier than a similarly sized hunk of beef, and probably less inundated with "Growth Hormones".  Also, it's really hard to find a fresh-killed pheasant in the supermarket.  (Full Disclosure: I find it a bit off-putting when I sit down to a pheasant dinner and bite into a #8 shot pellet.  It fair puts me of my feed, it does.)

Some people like to collect firearms.  Much in the same vein of people who collect Hummel figurines, I guess, or Star Wars Action Figures.  But guns are a bit more "macho", I think.
(I'm not sure why I think that, but it looks good in print, doesn't it?  Makes me sound less ... poofy.)

HMM , WHERE ARE WE NOW in our list of uses for guns?

So, what's all this bold talk from a one-eyed fat man saying there's no use for guns in America?
The Duke is spinning over in his grave, even as we speak!


Anonymous said...

Evil Black Guns

Anonymous said...

The power and the sanctity of the media is enshrined in our constitution. Where would we be without our current watchdog media?

Jerry The Geek said...

I'm pleased every time a reader recognizes my "Snark Attack".