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On Gun Control and Highway Deaths

Tuesday, April 17, 2007
At last, it's time to face controversy head-on. I'm sure everyone's aware of the tragic events at Virginia Tech University; a lone gunman shot at least 30 people to death, more were wounded. I can't do justice to the nature of his crime except to point out that it re-emphasizes me lack of faith in humanity.

And, just as sure as a lone individual goes and does something stupid, there are those out there that will seize the opportunity to advance their agenda. In this case, it's gun control.

Of course, this is being pushed to the forefront of the national consciousness. My friend even wrote an interesting piece on his blog about the topic. I, for one, think we shouldn't let the highly visible acts of the few effect the quiet lives of the many.

Let's look at gun-related deaths in the US. A quick check out there finds that, on average, about 30,000 people die each year from gun-related deaths. That number is big, yes... but let's put it into perspective.

Take, for instance, the number of highway fatalities in the US. It appears that, recently, that number was at about 43,000. That's 143%! Obviously, something needs to be done. We need tighter automobile controls! Thousands of people die each month, and what are we doing about it? Let's ban cars. This should be an easy fight since the Right to Own an SUV is nowhere to be found in the Constitution. You can fix the gun problem after you fix the car problem.

Oh, let's take it one step further. It appears that roughly 560,000 people die each year from cancer! So for every one person that dies by gun, we have over 18 that die from cancer. I'm certain that death by cancer is, on average, just as painful and hideous as death by gun-related activities. I'd love to legislate against cancer, but I'm thinking that might not be effective. I would love, however, to focus our efforts on the real killers of Americans instead of jumping all over hot-topic news articles to fix something a lot smaller.

Perhaps I'm cynical. Perhaps I'm missing something. But I do see (and strongly oppose) over-zealous reactionary responses to loud events while we overlook or ignore the bigger problems. Maybe one day we'll fix that.


Blogger JustaDog said...

Today the Japanese mayor of Nagasaki was gunned down my the local mafia.

Japan has one of the strictest gun controls in the world.

In Japan, law enforcement and criminals have guns. A criminal with a gun can go rob/rape/murder any civilian with the knowledge there will be no gun that will threaten them.

So much for gun control

6:40 PM, April 17, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gun deaths per 100,000 population (for the year indicated):

Homicide Suicide Unintentional

USA 4.08 (1999) 6.08 (1999) 0.42 (1999)

Canada 0.54 (1999) 2.65 (1997) 0.15 (1997)

Switzerland 0.50 (1999) 5.78 (1998) -

Scotland 0.12 (1999) 0.27 (1999) -

England/Wales 0.12 (1999/00) 0.22 (1999) 0.01 (1999)

Japan 0.04* (1998) 0.04 (1995) <0.01 (1997)

If we were trying to limit the number of deaths in our country i could see how gun's have something to do with our contributing to that. Yet other Country's have just as many guns, they don't have the violence the US does.

However, if it's lives we are trying to save. I don't think Guns are the largest impact. There is no constitutional right to be able to sell tobacco, the number one killer: "Cigarette smoking is responsible for more than 430,000 deaths each year"

8:51 AM, April 19, 2007  
Blogger Julien Chambers said...

Boobies for a brighter future!

11:49 AM, April 19, 2007  
Blogger Burton said...

Alex, does that 430,000 figure into the 560,000 cancer deaths?

12:41 PM, April 19, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes i'm sure it does. Meaning of the 560k cancer deaths 430k were related to smoking. Now how they make that relation isn't very clear. Does everyone smoke more than three cigarettes a day? Or is there second hand smoke involed?

I don't think they can ask the tumor "are you smoke related."

For those of you that don't know me (anyone here that doesn't?), I love to shoot guns, I own what could be considered assault rifles (according to the ban Clinton had going), and I smoke cigars about two to six in a month depending on what's going on.

1:17 PM, April 20, 2007  

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