Sunday, June 26, 2016

Gun Sense and Sensibility

In the news too much lately - the taking of innocent lives by someone who either legally or illegally had possession of a firearm, their act having nothing at all to do with their personal attention to maintaining the law but by a personal or radical religious based mania that involves the taking of human life, by any means.  Had the gun not been available there are knifes, there are bombs.  Even if you are so inclined to discount terrorism, preferring to keeping your head in the sand about that - there is daily reminders that poverty, poor education and a lack of a effective mental health framework in this country is a factor in some of the spikes in gun violence.

There are studies from both sides - all with statistics  (and charts and graphs)  "increased gun ownership means more killings" vs. "more handguns in the hands of private citizens prevents violence!"  Yet what those studies don't tell you is  they are generally based on association, pass Law X and you get Y Effect.  But they don't tell you that the Y affect was solely because of X.  Y could happen due to X but it could also happen due to changes in demographics, economics and other factors that have no bearing on Law X.
As a responsible firearm owner and a child of LEO's,  I'm as upset by the senseless loss of life due to ANY violent crime - the family of six, including two small children, there in the Gage Park neighborhood in Chicago who were beaten and stabbed to death, and the 15 year old caught in a crossfire of a gang related shooting - their lives being no less important then the scores that lost their lives recently in Orlando.

When it comes to gun violence, the media's focus is pulled understandingly towards the appalling mass shootings in community gathering places, schools and government buildings, where firearms are banned, and where all should be safe.  Such events are indeed heart-rending.

But where the biggest loss of lives occur, on a daily basis, is in the cities, especially,the one where I make my home, one that has an incredibly high level of violent crime, even having some of the most strict gun laws on the books.
Young black men are especially vulnerable. In 2012 just a little over  6% of the US population were black men, but they accounted for more than 50% of all gun homicides that year. For black families in America, the chance of a male child dying from a gunshot wound more than double the risk than dying in a motor vehicle crash, a common cause of death as we all come of age and believe we are invincible. That chance is even greater for families in poor, high crime/high unemployment urban neighborhoods, from which the majority of these murders occur.

The media has often neglected to tell this tragic story, Yet the truth is that homicide in America is largely driven by day-to-day gun violence in poor, minority communities that the media fails to report. The majority of America's mass shootings don't happen on a college campus or in a movie theater. They happen at family cookouts, on basketball courts, and at block parties, in housing projects and in poor but tidy neighborhoods .  They happen in places where I would not safely pass and in places where in broad daylight a mother believes her child is safe to walk to school.

For example, a total of 90 people were killed in mass shootings in 2012, including the horrific assault weapon massacre at a movie theater in Aurora, CO. That same year, 2,363 young people, mostly minorities were murdered in gang related homicides (www.nationalgangcenter.gov). In 2014, 82 people were shot in Chicago over the Fourth of July weekend alone.  Most who are arrested with illegal weapons serve the absolute minimum sentence allowed by law and then are released.
But the solution expressed by too many in politics:

More gun laws.

How simple is that.  I'm all for reducing violent crime - why didn't I think of that?

Because the whole "murder is illegal" kept Columbine from happening, Newton, San Bernardino, Aurora, Fort Hood. Right?

So make it EXTRA illegal to have a firearm, or own a particular type, and that's sure to stop these mass murders in gun free zones and we can see a major shift in the loss of life in Chicago.
But let's go that extra step.  Since pretty much everything you need to manufacture a firearm is available in most Big Box Hardware stores, you need to make it illegal to buy those things.  What happens if you ban firearms, and every plumber, electrician and handyman has access to things from which a weapon can be formed?   Society as we know it would end, if you believe the gun control crowd's thinking that access equals intent.

If you're going to follow THAT particular line of reasoning, - we need to look even beyond things we can buy.

With a growing concern over access to AR 15 style rifles and how you can fashion one for yourself many people have shown concern as to access to 80%  receivers which would allow someone with basic machining skills to have access to a firearm without undergoing a background check. Furthermore, there should be some concern that anyone operating a foundry manufacturing aluminum castings should be subject to similar scrutiny classifying most forms of aluminum castings as 50% receivers. A more stringent set of regulations possibly proposed by East coast mayors (and those that follow them on Twitter) would require that bauxite ore be categorized as a 10% AR 15 receiver requiring a special permit for the refinement of the ore and BATFE approval for anyone who attempts to obtain mineral rights to property that may contain bauxite ore.

Does that make sense to you?

Me either, that's just silly.
The issue with gun violence is much more of an issue than pieces and parts and permits.  Just as it is anyone's threat, it's everyone's responsibility - those that wish for an Utopian peace with no evil or weapons.those of us who chose to carry a firearm, but only legally and responsibly.   Because those that don't follow the laws - would take out either of us if given the opportunity.

Firearms are currently the Pandora's Box of all political parties.  The box is open - and you can't force it shut with  by simply enacting further laws, added to the current laws which are neither followed or strictly enforced. We need to do more than blame the tool.  We need to address the source of the lawlessness and the terror that's behind it, keeping our eyes open to the ideologies of those that wish to harm us, support proactive mental health assistance in this country, as we work as a community to support and establish programs that keep kids in school and off the streets.

All are equally important for sensible gun laws alone are not going to take care of the root cause behind the violence.

A piece of paper won't deter those who don't obey the laws - that's something we can never forget.(c) www.mausersandmuffins.blogspot.com