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Here's the thing about gun-nuts: They are mainly fools and victims.  They are fools because they spend an extraordinary amount of money on their arsenals, thus keeping the gun lobby manufacturers happy.  And they are victims because if there is a necessary condition for someone being shot, owning a gun would be it.

As reported by the Violence Policy Center, "states with higher gun ownership rates and weak gun laws have the highest rates of gun death."  We're talking about Alaska, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, and Wyoming.

I won't bore you with more statistics, for brevity's sake and to get to my main point, but I encourage people to visit this link: Guns in The United States: Facts, Figures, and Firearm Law.

Here's why they're cursed.  First, as I mentioned before, cult-like adoration for the big manly guns (and ammo) basically puts the owner with the fetish for guns at greatest risk of being harmed.

Yes, we get the sporadic mass shootings by some deranged gun-nuts, but when compared with the 30,000-plus total gun deaths in the U.S. (or about 88 per day), statistically speaking, the casualties for those are minuscule (if horrendous for the people affected, of course).

Second, from what I know about the dynamics of violence, no matter the NRA bullshit propaganda, statistically speaking, a gun owner is highly unlikely to ever be in a position to use his gun to protect himself against a robbery.

The robbery is more likely to happen by surprise.  You're at an ATM, turn around, and there is a gun in your face, asking you to hand over the cash.  Or you're walking to your car while looking at your iPhone, open the car door, and out of nowhere, a guy with a gun is right behind you asking you for the keys.

To the contrary, those who own guns with the mentality to be ready for those moments, oh that glorious moment when they can actually be justified in shooting the thug that's robbing them, may feel a false sense of security knowing they have a gun, thus increasing the likelihood to be shot by the bad guy.

Here's the thing, when I've owned guns, it has never crossed my mind that I would be in a "perfect" position to ever use it to protect myself against a robbery, or something like that.  It has been just a hobby; it was kind of cool to let the semi-auto 9mm do its thing at the shooting range.

My experience growing up in violent environments where shootings were almost a daily occurrence is that the best thing you can do to protect yourself is to try to avoid situations where you may become a target.  So basic stuff, like just being aware of your surroundings, locking your door as soon as you get inside the car, keeping an eye on people who may be acting a little strange in public.

I estimate that those things (basic safety precautions) are more effective at keeping you safe, than any gun, by a 10 to 1 ratio.  By the time the bad guy has a gun in your face, you may as well hand over the cash, and keep your life.  Either way, your super-duper $2,000 dollar semi-auto is not going to do jack-shit by the time that happens.

Finally, there is a fringy element on the right, the extreme paramilitary-type guys with the semi-auto in one hand and the bible in the other, holding both tight to their chest, rocking back and forth, wild-eyed, just waiting, waiting for just the right time, the right conditions to either take on the government, or some other perceived threats, being egged on by the right wing talkers (aka gun lobby tools).

Again, they're good for the gun lobby manufacturers and dealers, and for businesses that peddle underground bunkers, and for those who sell survivalist provisions, etc.

But it is highly unlikely that they will ever get their wet-dream realized, where their right-wing revolution kicks off, giving them the excuse they are looking for to act.  It ain't going to happen.  So they will basically continue playing G.I. Joe in their camouflage garb, keeping their bunkers well-stocked, and spending huge amount of money on their arsenals, for a revolution that will never come.

Again, all the while just by having so many guns around, the only people they are endangering the most are themselves and their families (unfortunately, of course), statistically-speaking.

And yes, yes, I'm aware about the dominionists, and about the egging on by the NRA telling people that police forces can't defend them because they don't have any funding, and that people need to armed themselves against thugs and robbers and criminals (using lots of code language).  And I'm aware about many of these people infiltrating our military, including higher echelons, etc.

Yes, there is some danger there, but guess what?  If it ever got to that, which is highly unlikely, I'll bet on the good guys, on the real men (and women) of valor, of integrity.  History is on our side.  It has been messy, but as a society, we've beaten back the racist ultra-nationalists, the religious extremists, every single time.

So, yes there are lots of guns in the U.S. (something very unfortunate). But guess what?  Liberal and progressive-minded cities have less guns, and therefore less gun deaths.

Obviously, we can't relent on pushing back on the NRA, and ALEC, and their nonstop attempt of flooding the country with guns; that's a given.  

But in the final analysis, the gun-nuts have it worst, for many reasons: On average, it is almost impossible for any given person to find themselves in a situation to use their guns to protect themselves (anecdotes notwithstanding); they are spending a fortune on useless arsenals (which at least keep the gun lobby happy); and they will never get their right-wing (dominionist) revolution; and they are putting themselves at greater danger than non-gun owners.

So keep up the fight, but do not despair... We'll win in the long run.

Originally posted to Ray Pensador on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 10:31 PM PDT.

Also republished by Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA) and Shut Down the NRA.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I hate diaries like this...it's just not reality.. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kalmoth, erush1345, KVoimakas

    The news is filled with stories of people saving their own lives by having a gun...

    Folks don't like guns I get that, but too make the argument, that guns are not saving lives or someone can't save their life with a gun is inaccurate...

    This guy went out of business because he got tired of killing gangbangers coming into his shop with guns trying to rob him.....

    http://www.youtube.com/...

    Youtube is filled with CCTV videos and news clips disputing the very argument you are trying to make...

    You don't like guns...fine...but a lot of people are saving their own lives, by the use of one

    •  I stand by my assertion. You can find anecdotes (8+ / 0-)

      of people who have used guns to defend themselves, but they are statistically insignificant.  I assure you that if I take 100 gun owners at random, and ask them one by one how many times they've used their guns to protect themselves against a robbery or a violent crime, and you'll find maybe one two three.

      About liking guns, I actually found it kind of fun when I used to go to the range to shoot my 9mm semi-auto.

      I just don't see a situation where I would use it to defend myself.  Is not that it can't happen; but is extremely unlikely.

    •  There currently is a diary published here (6+ / 0-)

      called gunFAIL

      Up to this time no one has published a weekly diary for gun success. Maybe you are going to do that?

      And NO I have no problem with guns. I have problems with oopsie responsibility. OOPSIE I lost my gun, watch out.  OOPSIE I misfired my gun, duck. And the time honored belly up to the bar method of gun purchase.

      NO I don't want to confiscate your gun. I want gun owners to keep their guns and not let them into the wrong hands or shoot them by accident.

      guns are fun v. hey buddy, watch what you are doing -- which side are you on?

      by 88kathy on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 05:14:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You Tube videos of brave guys telling (10+ / 0-)

    the story of their salvation by gun would not be my first trusted source.  Or my third.  There's a reason the NRA has blocked every effort to track gun violence stats, that fact alone should tell all of us that there's a lot to hide.  

    I've never met anyone who saved him/her self from crime by having a gun at hand, and I'm 63 and live in Texas.  I do live a couple blocks from a guy who was shot with his own gun by the guy stealing the truck the gun was riding in.  Had the truck been a better shot maybe?  And there's the fAmily mourning the child who found....

    There's the story the NRA dreads, and it happens every damn day.

    I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

    by I love OCD on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 11:37:12 PM PDT

  •  Is Chicago a liberal, progressive city? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    erush1345

    Their voting and gun regulations say so but I don't think it really backs up your claim:

    Liberal and progressive-minded cities have less guns, and therefore less gun deaths.
    I think if you review crime statistics, you'd be surprised to find out who is really committing the majority of gun violence.

    The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

    by ctexrep on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 03:05:58 AM PDT

    •  Who is committing the majority of gun violence? (7+ / 0-)

      And who is getting shot?

      Request the diarist's permission to repost my comment about the gun violence many people prefer to avoid discussing.

      What's the bottom line?
      The cost of gun violence is born by those who survive, those who must pick up the piece of shattered lives; that may be the person who survived a gunshot, or it may be those who survive the deceased.

      In much of our discussion of firearm death, we speak of gunshot victims in terms of a binary function - did they die on the spot or did they survive. But that is only because the finality of death makes the reporting of it much more timely (usually). The authorities must be called. Next of kin must be notified. Someone must determine the probable cause of death. Accident? Suicide? Homicide?

      Of course there are other factors that influence whether someone will survive a gunshot, such as access to state of the art medical care.

      A few weeks ago the Washington Post published an analysis of firearm suicides, a topic that is difficult for many people to talk about, and compared their findings side by side with homicide data.

      Gun deaths shaped by race in America
      By Dan Keating, Updated: March 22, 2013

      Gun deaths are shaped by race in America. Whites are far more likely to shoot themselves, and African Americans are far more likely to be shot by someone else.
      Washington Post - Gun deaths shaped by race in America - Figure 1 (Image 2)
      Washington Post - Gun deaths shaped by race in America - Figure 1
      The article nails one of the most confounding features of suicide, an aspect that many people find hard to understand, unless they've experienced the dynamic of suicide up close and personal themselves, or with someone they know well.
      The impulse to commit suicide has been described as a trance, and the speed and lethality of a gun make it harder to interrupt the trance. Attempts at suicide are more than 20 times as likely to be fatal when a gun is used.

      (Harvard School of Public Health, Case Fatality Ratio by Method of Self-Harm, United States, 2001).

      The article maps the origins of our national divide on gun safety and breaks out some key findings state-by-state, as gun deaths per 1 million people.
      Washington Post - Gun deaths shaped by race in America - Figure 3 (Image 4)
      Washington Post - Gun deaths shaped by race in America - Figure 3
      "Gun deaths in urban areas are much more likely to be homicides, while suicide is far and away the dominant form of gun death in rural areas. States with the most guns per capita, such as Montana and Wyoming, have the highest suicide rates; states with low gun ownership rates, such as Massachusetts and New York, have far fewer suicides per capita."
      For more detail, they created an interactive map, Gun suicide and homicide: statistics shaped by race. Note: All charts show age-adjusted rate per 1 million people unless noted.

      The summary captures why it is so hard for us to reach agreement about new legislation.

      Contrasting life experiences, whether from a family member’s suicide or the death of a relative in a homicide, drive the nation’s split over an essential element of the gun debate: Would fewer guns save lives? Survivors of homicide victims consistently tell pollsters that the answer is yes, but the response to suicide is different.
      “We have less empathy with those who take their own lives,” said Sean Joe, an expert on suicide and violence at the University of Michigan. “So we don’t have the same national outcry. The key argument for me is that increased access to firearms increases suicide and homicide.”
      Suicide frightens us. Sometimes, it makes us feel impotent, or guilty. We often wonder if there was some way we could have known, or something we could have done. Like homicide, the forward costs of attempted gun suicides are born by the survivors, who too often must also bear extra burdens of shame and regret.

      "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

      by LilithGardener on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 04:49:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The diarist paints a picture (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bruddaone, erush1345, KVoimakas

        that "gun nuts" are the threat.  Are they?

        Your statistics are very true - but if someone has one or one hundred guns doesn't seem to matter.

        I looked to see if there was any data that relates suicide or murder to owning an arsenal.  I can't find one.

        Depressed people and guns aren't a match made in heaven.  Suicide is typically a permanent solution to a temporary problem - therefore guns in household of depressed people leads to higher rates of suicide.  I'm not sure but if half of gun deaths are suicide, you'd probably be able to stop half of the people who commit suicide with guns from doing so - the others would just find another way to do it.

        The diarist paints a false picture of who, where and what the threat is and by doing so takes the gun debate into the land of fallacy - just as those he criticizes make their argument based on lies.

        I prefer to deal with reality - both sides of the issue.

        The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

        by ctexrep on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 06:17:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The answer to your question is at the links (6+ / 0-)

          Consider the lethality of method - (see the Harvard link cited in the WaPo article, it's linked in my comment).

          Suicide attempt by gun is 20x more likely to succeed if a gun is used than a different method. Simple math means that of the 2/3 of gun deaths that are reported as suicides, 19/20 attempts would not have succeeded if guns were not readily available, and another method had been used.

          And yes, there are plenty of gun owners who seem to relish threatening others with their guns. And yes, there are also many so-called responsible gun owners who leave the guns unsecured where they are found by children and teens, who commit more than half of all unintentional shootings.

          "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

          by LilithGardener on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 06:32:36 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Chicago can't regulate the suburbs which have (6+ / 0-)

      stores right on the line. In fact one store which has sold most weapons used in most crimes and is still open.

      guns are fun v. hey buddy, watch what you are doing -- which side are you on?

      by 88kathy on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 05:17:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's not the store (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        88kathy, erush1345

        it's the people with clean records that buy them and then sell them to criminals (thereby making themselves criminals)

        In their study, U. of C. researchers combed through gun-trace data to determine the weapons most likely bought by straw purchasers.

        Those are people without criminal records who buy guns for felons — often at a hefty markup.

        Now, it goes on to say that the law has a hard time with those who follow the law but not the "spirit of the law" - yet....
        Most of the suburban store owners who were the subjects of stings in the late ’90s were acquitted of gun charges.

        John Riggio, owner of Chuck’s, has never been charged with wrongdoing involving his store.

        IMHO, part of the gun control bill in our state (Connecticut) should have had huge sentences for trafficers and anyone stealing or being caught with a stolen gun.  These guns are for one purpose - to commit crimes and the people who deal or posses them should go to jail for a minimum of 20 years - that would have some bite - but all we got was watered down feel-good crap.  The assault ban was more defined so now manufacturers can make assault weapons that aren't illegal - but it still did nothing to address the real gun violence which is handguns.

        The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

        by ctexrep on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 06:28:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Here's the link. (6+ / 0-)

      Chicago gangs don’t have to go far to buy guns

      Of those guns, 268 were bought at Chuck’s — nearly one in five.

      guns are fun v. hey buddy, watch what you are doing -- which side are you on?

      by 88kathy on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 05:22:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I could not agree more: (7+ / 0-)
    My experience growing up in violent environments where shootings were almost a daily occurrence is that the best thing you can do to protect yourself is to try to avoid situations where you may become a target.  So basic stuff, like just being aware of your surroundings, locking your door as soon as you get inside the car, keeping an eye on people who may be acting a little strange in public.
    I estimate that those things (basic safety precautions) are more effective at keeping you safe, than any gun, by a 10 to 1 ratio.  By the time the bad guy has a gun in your face, you may as well hand over the cash, and keep your life.  Either way, your super-duper $2,000 dollar semi-auto is not going to do jack-shit by the time that happens.
    The "self-defense" myth is paranoid delusion. It's so rare that it actually happens and so popular a myth, you have to wonder at that disconnect.
    Like you, I have lived in dangerous places and been faced with bad situations and never once would owning a gun made me any safer, in fact, having a gun would have gotten me killed. When the sh!t comes down, it happens so fast and so unexpectedly that there's no time to get a gun out of your pocket, just reaching for it would get you plugged.

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 06:27:32 AM PDT

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