Today I woke up and, like most people I know went straight to Facebook to see how everyone I know was doing. While I was yawning and skimming over the content, I saw a picture that I read, then verified via other online sources to be an undoctored and legitimate piece. Before I go on, I would like you to read it for yourself. So here it is, I’ll talk to you after you read it:
It’s pretty funny stuff, at least until the gravity of his actions sinks in. I am hoping this wasn’t actually a true story, realize what Mr. New did to make his point. He left a deadly weapon in full view of everyone, dropped some bullets by it and walked away.“Mail Gals” and garbage men and even a little girl passed by that gun. Neighbors drove by it, random people moved across its line of sight and the gun didn’t fire once. Fortunately for Mr. New, none of the people who passed by his gun said “Look! A gun!” and had taken it for their own purposes. How did Mr. New know there wasn’t a neighbor who was starting to go nuts but hiding it, walking in front of his unsecured and unsupervised firearm? How did he know that little girl wouldn’t think it was a toy and grab it up and shoot her dog or anyone else walking down the street with it? He didn’t. To prove his point, he was more than happy to put the public at risk. And his article was met with roars of laughter. This is where the problem lies.
According to the latest crime statistics given by the FBI, while gun violence was used in 69.3 percent of all murders, only 3.7 percent of property crimes were home invasions of any type. and when compared to total crimes committed in the United States, home invasions make up a nearly insignificant amount, meaning they rarely happen. Statistically speaking, you are more likely to have your home attacked by a tornado than you are by someone trying to break in. Yet it is on this very platform that gun owners stand tall. The right to protect yourself and your family. While not a huge gun lover myself, I stand by this right, if for no other reason than a heavily armed population has kept other countries from even thinking about invasion. So I am happy to say that, even though I’m not one who likes guns, they have a very great and important reason for being in the hands of the public. That said, we need to take a look at the public these guns are in the hands of.
Let’s take our first look at the, for some reason, controversial Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. According to the media, police officials, medical staff and eyewitnesses, Adam Lanza took his mother’s.22 caliber Savage MK II-F bolt action rifle and killed his mother with it before driving to the school and laying waste to 20 children and 6 adults. If true, as video testimony shows as well, this is very tragic.
In december of 2012, 22-year-old Jacob Tyler Roberts killed two people and himself with a stolen rifle, spreading fear throughout Portland, Oregon.
14 year-old Endina Martin of Chicago was slaughtered when a rival minor learned that someone she knew had a gun in their car. Instead of a fist-fight which most children would do, she stole the gun and it ended in death.
Are you beginning to see the pattern here?
According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Statistical Abstract of the United States, over three-quarters of the deaths by firearms were done with a gun that was stolen, and of that number upwards of 90% of the mass murderers, such as in the Sandy Hook slayings, were done with weapons taken from friends or family members.
So how does all this make gun control laws that the government has been wanting to pass become foolish? After all, except in the hands of an expert, smaller clip sizes would give people the chance to escape as they reload. Smaller calibers could reduce the number of fatalities. Good things all of them. But personally I feel we are barking up the wrong tree.
From all the data collected, it is obvious that most gun owners, regardless of how much they brag about shooting home invaders that will most likely never come, will never hurt anyone. In that sense they are both responsible and fit to own a gun and protect themselves, their loved ones and the community they live in. However, according to the statistics, this is about where most gun owners end the responsibility they have to their weapon.
If we are to believe the facts from sites such as Nationwide Children, New York governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s NY Safe Act and the White House’s Now Is The Time pdf. on gun control, as well as countless other sources that I do not wish to fill the article up with, the largest threat to America lies in the hands of the gun owners themselves and where they put their guns. It is estimated on these sites that between 60-80 percent of gun owners do not keep their guns in locked containers. Typically they are kept in bathroom drawers, near the bed or displayed in and around the home. While the defense of these gun owners is that they wish quick access to the firearm should they ever be assaulted in their home, the facts are that this leaves the weapon in easy access to children and to angry, mentally unstable friends. It is here that the beginnings of most of our greatest tragedies have their start, and it is here that the laws should be pointed at.
Instead of going after the guns and trying to stop them from being deadly, which is their entire purpose, we should instead be focusing on passing laws that punish gun owners who let their weapons fall so easily into the hands of people and children that should not be able to get to them. If gun owners were held as responsible for the deaths as the murderer that stole the gun, how hard would it be to expect more locks on doors, more security systems being put up to warn authorities and how greater would the unity between neighbors would arise? As I read through the mountain of data I’ve collected to write this article, if the pressure was put on the gun owner to see their weapons are very secure, and if laws were made to severely punish those found guilty of lax gun safety, the sheer number of deaths by firearm could potentially drop by over 80%. This taken by the 200 or so articles I have read where prevention would have stopped the attack from ever happening.
Sandy Hook would never have happened. Columbine would never have happened. Thousands of children would be celebrating their birthdays because they wouldn’t have pulled the gun out of daddy’s desk drawer and played with it. Jodi Arias would have had to find some other way of dealing with the domestic issues she was having with her partner, Travis Alexander.
So my question is, if making gun owners keep their guns locked away or face severe penalties would reduce the number of deaths, especially mass murders like at Columbine and Sandy Hook, why are we so focused on gun clips and caliber sizes? It just seems very stupid to me.