This blog is still alive, just in semi-hibernation. When I want to write something longer than a tweet about something other than math or sci-fi, here is where I'll write it.
Friday, December 14, 2012
Time for inclusive action.
Most of my readers will be surprised to see this logo on my blog. No, I'm not a member.
I just think that reaching out to this organization is the best way to start the conversation.
The NRA is proud of their record of education when it comes to gun safety. Time to put that pride to good use.
The numbers are very clear that it's far too easy for emotionally and mentally disturbed people to get access to firearms. For me, the statistic that makes this crystal clear are the suicide rates.
The murder rate across the country is about 4 out of 100,000. That's also about the suicide rate for women. In comparison, about 10 in 100,000 people each year die in auto accidents.
The suicide rate for men is 19 in 100,000. To make matters worse, women actually attempt suicide about three times more often than men do. Men actually kill themselves more often in these attempts because they are massively more likely to use a gun.
Guns aren't a bulwark against tyranny. In modern society, they are a hobby, not unlike riding horses is a hobby. In the 18th Century, both of these things were important parts of everyday life. Now, not so much.
I don't want to stop the gun hobbyist any more than I want to stop the horse hobbyist.
I want to see less massacres and I want to see less people who have a suicidal urge having access to a weapon that is nearly 100% effective if used in a certain manner. That manner takes a split second to execute and is irreversible.
We should call the bluff of the NRA on their pride in gun safety education. It starts with making it illegal to buy a gun by mail or Internet. The next step is effective background tests. After that, a gun license should have to renewed like a driver's license. If you can't use a gun safely and effectively anymore, you shouldn't be able to use it legally.
It saddens me so deeply how split our culture is, how the right wing has been sold the idea that anything they hear that does not come from a right wing source is a lie. I know the conspiracy theorists will never believe any change in the gun laws isn't the first step towards the U.N. troops coming to disarm all Americans.
Mike Huckabee, time to shut up. Even when there was school prayer there was the dichotomy between male and female suicide rates. Ted Nugent, time to shut up. The tool does make a difference, as we can see from the school attacks today in Connecticut with 27 dead and a madman in China attacking a school in China armed with a knife, none dead.
We aren't trying to take away your stupid little hobby. We want people to own guns to be responsible. That's something the mentally unstable can't do by definition. We want to take away their guns, not yours.
Time to man up and show us you're sane. If you aren't up to it, you don't deserve a gun.