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Saturday, December 15, 2012

39 gun murders in UK, 9,000 in US

A shooter opened fire at the elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, on Friday, killing scores people including many young children. (photo: Michelle McLoughlin/Reuters)
A shooter opened fire at the elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, on Friday, killing scores people including many young children. (photo: Michelle McLoughlin/Reuters)

Juan Cole
Informed Comment

14 December 12
ask myself, “Why?”

Why do US cable news networks intensively cover these mass shootings, making it the only story for a day or two and prying into every detail of them, when they aren’t interested in preventing them from happening again through banning semi-automatic weapons? Is it just, like, a natural disaster to them?

Why don’t the news anchors or discussants ever bring up the simple fact that between 1994 and 2004, the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994: The Federal Assault Weapons Ban prohibited assault weapons? The prohibition was not unconstitutional. Congress foolishly put in a 10-year sunset provision, and of course Bush and his Republican Congress allowed it to expire.

Why doesn’t anyone blame George W. Bush for these mass shootings? He’s the one who led the charge to let the assault weapons ban expire. Why aren’t the politicians in Congress who take campaign money from assault weapons manufacturers ever held accountable by the public? 

Why don’t the news programs bring up the reported moves of Sen. Diane Feinstein to prepare new legislation banning assault weapons and their accoutrements? Are they so afraid of the NRA that they can’t even discuss the legislative process in public?

What in the world does the 2nd amendment have to do with these incidents? Do they look like a “well-regulated militia” to you? Semi-automatic weapons are the 18th century equivalent of artillery in terms of their ability to kill. Do you think people should be allowed to have artillery pieces in their back yards, too? Is this some sort of sick joke, that you are telling us our children have to die because the Founding Fathers wanted madmen to have high-powered weaponry?

Why does complaining about semi-automatic weapons (and the means to make ordinary guns semi-automatic by attaching e.g. ammunition drums) being freely available always devolve into an argument about gun control and hunting? No one minds if people buy rifles to shoot deer with in the countryside. An ordinary, non-automatic rifle can’t produce a mass killing like that in Connecticut because it cannot get off so many rounds so quickly. Nobody hunts with an automatic pistol, and if they do, they should be publicly shamed by, like a group of hot girls calling them wusses as they set off in their hunting jackets.

Why aren’t there more class-action lawsuits against the people responsible for the proliferation of high-powered weaponry in our society? Lax gun laws and inadequate security checks in Mississippi, West Virginia and Kentucky and 7 other states meant that they supplied nearly half the 43,000 guns traced to crime scenes in other states in one recent year. The guns aren’t randomly acquired, and they aren’t used or Saturday night specials. They come disproportionately from specific states.

Likewise, a relatively small number of corporations produce and market semi-automatic weapons for the civilian market. Why aren’t they named and shamed?

Why doesn’t anyone on these news channels ever mention that firearms are used in 300,000 crimes a year in the US?

Why doesn’t anyone on television news ever simply give this statistic: In one recent year, there were 39 murders by gun in the UK, but 9,000 in the United States? Why is it wrong to let Americans know how peculiar is the situation Americans have to live in?

3 comments:

Don said...

Your priorities in life SUCK if your first reaction is to take away guns...it is about mental health and the responsibilities of individuals, family members, neighbors, etc., to see that their family members, friends, and neighbors are mentally sound and if not that they are receiving mental health care....it is all about managing the crazies...and it is your duty to society to make sure people receive the attention they deserve...this type of tragedy can be prevented...in China, a madman slashed 22 kids yesterday with a knife...also remember that auto accidents caused 34,000 deaths, and multiples of that number in maimed people a year in the US...keep it in perspective, and remember the US Constitution guarantees that individuals have the right to bear arms...if you have a problem with that, get the hell out and go live somewhere else...

Jimmy B said...

And your priorities in life really suck if your highest priority is to let the gun manufacturers continue to pad their pockets with blood money. The numbers are very very simple so simple I think you might even be able to grasp them.

Shawn said...

I ask myself, "Why?" liberal gun-grabber reporters try to pass themselves off as "Informed". But since you asked why let me enlighten you sir.

1. Cable networks carry mass shootings and intensively cover it because it increases their ratings and thus the money they make. Since most networks are leftist it also furthers their socialist agenda.

2. They don't bring it up because it wouldn't further their agenda of gun grabbing. During this time period the "Columbine" shootings occurred proving this ban had no effect. The ban was logically left to expire because of the ineffectiveness of the legislation.

3. Because George W. Bush didn't shoot anyone. The same reason that politicians that took money from Boeing whose airplanes were use to kill thousands.

4. Really? Do we live on the same planet? LOL. It's on TV all the time. There have been continuous attempts at gun control for over 100 yrs. there are 271 statutes and almost 100,000 words of law on gun control.

5. Let's look at the whole statement rather than looking at a piece out of context, it should then be clear. "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." It's no joke, the founding fathers in their wisdom knew that to insure the safety of the Republic the people would have to armed as well as the government to ensure that a tyrannical dictator could not rule. There is no talk of "sporting" guns here, because at this time period if you didn't hunt you didn't eat. The important part is the one that you left out; "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed".

5. Hard to respond because your paragraph is nonsensical. Adding a drum magazine to a gun doesn't make it semi-automatic. A gun is either select fire (which includes fully automatic & semi) or semi-automatic, or single shot. Wrong again my poor misinformed gun grabber, here is a link to a gentleman shooting a single shot bolt action rifle at the rate of 38 rounds per minute. http://bulletin.accurateshooter.com/2012/04/scandinavian-bolt-rifle-speed-shooting-stangskyting/
The only one your correct on nobody does hunt with automatic pistols since they have been illegally banned from the public since 1986.

6. You must be a lawyer or have one in your family, because negligent litigation is the top reason why all are insurance rates are so damn high. Lawsuits against gun manufactures and dealers would be like suing Boeing because their airplanes killed thousands during 911.

7. Likewise a relatively small number of corporations produce aircraft for the civilian why aren't they shamed - got me on that one I don't know. But I do know there are hundreds of manufacturers of semi-automatic weapons domestic and abroad.

8. Stats, Stats, Stats. Roll them any way you want to get your agenda filled. Lot's more people in the US than the UK equals lots more murders. More people are killed every year by blunt instruments than rifles. Hey we should ban baseball bats and tire irons. More people are killed every year with hands, feet, head-butts than rifles. Ban those too. And don't get me going on knifes, yep them too more are killed by knifes than by rifles. This is all off the FBI stats on homicides.