Why A Gun Will Not Make You Safer!

guns

Every gun sold in America makes you less safe than you were the minute before that gun was sold.  The gun lobbies and Second Amendment devotees want you to believe the opposite.  There are two motives for this.  One is to sell more guns.  This is a motive for the gun lobbyists, gun manufacturers and NRA.  The second motive is by the Second Amendment advocates who seriously believe that guns will protect you from “bad” guys with a gun.  This is wishful thinking which more often than not is false.  However, there are many cases on record where guns have protected people from criminals and other deviants.  Nevertheless, statistically speaking, you are not safer with more guns.  In fact, you are less safe as each gun sale adds to the growing epidemic of gun violence in USA America.  You will only be safer when there are less guns to be had for sale.  The argument I am going to present will clearly prove my point.  However, before I present it let me state the following truths.

  • I am a gun owner
  • I am a military veteran
  • I actually like guns, knives, and other weapons (nunchakus, hunting bows, etc.)
  • I have hunted moose, seal, elk, pheasant, and deer
  • I do believe that some guns should be available for hunting and sports shooting

So, why do I believe that more guns lead to more school shootings, massacres, homicides, suicides, and other violence?  Why do I think that we need to seriously dial back on the following three aspects of guns?

  • Gun availability
  • Gun lethality
  • Gun carry

To understand why more guns are dangerous, we must first start with understanding human psychology.  You will accept that anger is a normal human emotion.  Assuming a bell-shaped curve of ranges for anger, some people will get much angrier than others.  Some people will resort to violence, road rage, domestic abuse, fights, etc. when they are angry.  Let us assume that one percent of people sometimes fall into the “extreme” anger range.  Thus, out of 1,000,000 people, there will be 10,000 people who may become violently angry at some perceived slight, disrespect, or abuse.

young-girl-firing-two-gunsNext, let us establish a lethality of weapons.  I will put it thus:  fists are not as lethal as brass knuckles.  Brass knuckles are not as lethal as clubs.  Clubs are not as lethal as knives.  Knives are not as lethal as guns.  Handguns are not as lethal as rifles.  The range of lethality that I have noted is “most” often true but there are always exceptions.  Thus, I will say again, the lethality of the potential weapons structure I have described is most often the case but not always.

Now, let us assume that one percent of the people who fall into the “extreme” violent range might act out using a weapon of some sort.  That would mean that during any particular episode of extreme anger, a hundred people or one percent of 10,000 people could conceivably pick up a gun to use as a weapon.

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If we take the fact that there are 257,000,000 people over the age of 18 in the USA as of 2020 (Annie E. Casey Foundation Data Center), then extrapolating from the one million people we started with, we would have to multiply the 100 potentially violent and angry people who might use a gun by the percentage of gun owners in America who have a gun available.  According to a Pew Study, four-in-ten U.S. adults say they live in a household with a gun, including 30% who say they personally own one.

So, we need to multiply as follows:

257,000,000 million adults over the age of 18 in the USA

X

30 Percent of adults who personally own a gun in the USA

X

100 potentially very angry people per every million adults who might be tempted to use a gun

257,000,000 x .30 = 77.1 million X 100 per million = 7710

That gives us the following:  7710 potentially very angry people on any given day who might use a gun in some act of violence.  Now let’s half that number since women are not usually as violent as men and we arrive at the following figure of 3855 adult men in the USA who might go berserk, grab a gun, and enter what domestic abuse counselors call the “Cycle of Violence.”

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The “Cycle of Violence” can be described as follows:

“The term cycle of violence refers to repeated and dangerous acts of violence as a cyclical pattern, associated with high emotions and doctrines of retribution or revenge.  The pattern, or cycle, repeats and can happen many times during a relationship.  Each phase of the cycle may last a different length of time, and over time the level of violence may increase.  It often refers to violent behavior learned as a child, and then repeated as an adult, therefore continuing on in a perceived cycle.”WIKI

maxresdefaultThis cycle explains quite well what happens in many cases of gun violence or other types of violent outburst.  In phase two, tensions are building up.  This could be from a variety of different causes.  It might be strains from the work place or strains from home relationships with family and children.  The strains are often cumulative particularly with people who may lack the ability or means to discharge their stress.  The stress builds up until the individual finally explodes.  The explosion could be in words or actions.  Actions might involve throwing things, punching things, hitting things or various levels of assault against things or people using a wide range of weapons.

download (1)Phase three is the incident itself.  A trigger is needed to set the individual off.  Perhaps the individual gets fired or their spouse asks for a divorce.  Maybe they have a fight with a neighbor, or a car cuts them off at an intersection.  When the trigger occurs, the individual explodes.  The explosion could involve a violent attack that might go from simple threats or curses all the way to shooting someone.  The availability of weapons will play a major role in the level of violence.  This is one reason why a “waiting period” for purchasing a firearm makes  a lot of sense.  In two recent mass shootings, there was no waiting period for the purchase of a high-powered rifle and the individuals engaged in shooting massacres within a week of buying their rifles.

Phase four is a down period or a period of extreme remorse.  The violent individual feels a deep sense of guilt or regret and longs for forgiveness and to makeup to their victim for their transgressions.  If their victim is still alive they will apologize profusely and swear to never do it again.  They will promise anything to make amends and obtain forgiveness.  Obviously, if their victim or victims are dead, one act that they can take to escape their feelings of remorse is to end their own lives.  This explains why so many of these mass shooters commit suicide before they are apprehended.

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If the violent individual makes it through phase four and is still alive, there will be a phase of calm and peacefulness.  It will seem like everything is going to be okay.  Phase one may last days or weeks but unless the individual receives some type of therapy, the tensions will inevitably build up again.  The result will be another explosion after another triggering event takes place.  This is how the cycle of violence works over and over again.

The result of this anger cycle combined with an easy access to guns is an epidemic of gun violence.  It is an epidemic that includes nearly 25,000 suicides a year and about 14,000 homicides a year.  There are clearly only two solutions to reducing this death rate.  One solution would be to reduce the potential number of people in our society who are prone to violent outbursts or what some might label as mental illness.  The second solution would be to reduce the number of guns available or at least make it more difficult to obtain a gun when someone has a violent outburst.

downloadMany anti-gun control people push the solution that more mental health is needed.  The problem with this solution is that anger and angry outbursts are as normal in the population as mom, God, and apple pie.  There is no way to treat all the people in America who might lose their temper on a given day.  There is no way to tell when or where these outbursts will take place.  Therapy for “normal” people is not on the radar.  Make no mistake, your best friend, your neighbor, your cousin just might “lose” it tomorrow and go on some type of violent jag that results in death for someone else.  It happens all the time.  The papers are full of reports of people who lose it and end up killing their loved ones and themselves.

20150404_USD000_0The other solution is to reduce the availability or the lethality of guns in society.  This solution makes the most sense.  We can somewhat reduce the availability of weapons through background checks, waiting periods, age restrictions, gun training, and reducing the ability to carry a gun in public.  We must get rid of these ridiculous concealed carry laws.  It should be illegal to carry a gun in public concealed or otherwise unless you have a permit with a valid reason for why you need to carry a gun.

1999-_Gun-related_deaths_USAWe can reduce the lethality of guns by limiting clip capacities and by eliminating rifles that were designed for military purposes and not hunting.  Why anyone would need a rifle with more than a three round capacity is beyond me.  Rifles should be for hunting or target shooting and nothing else.  Any game that you are hunting will be gone long before you can chamber and fire your third round.  A .223 caliber was first designed for the military in Vietnam.  I had to qualify on an M-16 in 1965 when they were first issued.  It was like shooting a bb gun.  Easy to shoot with a round that was designed to wound and not kill.  They said this would take two or more people out of the war instead of just one dead body.  The individual shot by a .223 would be severely wounded and would need someone to take him back to a medic or out of the war zone.  Read any of the gun magazines today and it looks like they are selling guns and accessories to someone who is going to war.  Helmets, bullet proof vests, high-capacity magazines, laser sights and guns more fit for killing humans than hunting are touted and readily available.

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I don’t deny that it would be difficult to make some distinctions between a military or assault rifle and a rifle that could be used for hunting.  It some cases it would be like trying to differentiate between tweedle dee and tweedle dum.  However difficult it might be, it could be done as long as two reasonable people could agree on the definitions.  No definition will convince or persuade everyone.  We must not let perfection stop us from trying to protect the lives of our children and our citizens.  If some mistakes are made in banning guns that are best designed for killing then so be it.  We will all be better off for it.   It is the only solution that will end the epidemic of gun violence in the USA.

PS

I think my theory above accounts for a large percentage of mass murders and some suicides. I know that a small percentage of mass murders are committed by individuals with a grudge against another group, ethnicity or race. Call them racists or ideological nut cases. I doubt they go through any “cycle of violence” such as I have described. My guess is that they develop some screwball theory and believe that their violence will help them wipeout whatever group they harbor negative attitudes against. Their hatred could be political, racial, or other wacko ideologies.

As for suicides, the major reason for suicides according to the mental health literature (retreatbehavioralhealth.com) is due to depression. Women tend to overdose with pills while men tend to use a handgun. Gun checks, gun licenses, gun waiting periods are probably not going to reduce deaths by suicide substantially since I cannot imagine how a background check or a license would stop someone who is depressed from owning a gun. Nevertheless, the easy availability of guns and their lethality does make them very dangerous for anyone suffering from depression.

Autobiographies from the Dead – Abdullah the Terrorist

For the next several weeks, my blogs are going to consist of “autobiographies” written by some very special people.  They have one thing in common.  They are all dead.  Some have a burial place and some were simply discarded like pieces of trash.  Their stories will be told by the deceased themselves.  They cry out from the fields, rivers and graveyards to speak.  I have heard their cries.  They want me to tell their stories to you.  They want you to know what their living and dying was for.  This week, Abdullah will tell you the story of his life and death.

Abdullah the Terrorist

AbdullahMy name is Abdullah.  My name means “One who serves Allah.”  They will call me Abdullah the Terrorist.  I have killed twenty-five Jews, five Christians and of course myself.  They will call me a suicide bomber.  Calling it suicide is ironic since I did not want to die and neither did any of the thirty people I killed.

I am twenty-four years old and have recently graduated from Al-Azhar University in Gaza with a degree in Pharmacy.   My parents said that people will always need medicine and I could help many of my people with such a degree.  I had always wanted to help people and I thought of being a doctor but I did not like seeing blood.  Another irony, since I probably have not helped any of the thirty people I just murdered and now I am covered with their blood and my blood.  The blood of an Arab mixed with the blood of infidels.

I am not a fanatic.  I did not choose to do this act.  Never in my wildest fantasies did I think I would become a terrorist.  I am not the type of person who wanted to sacrifice themselves for a cause.  I certainly did not need thirty or forty virgins.  I had all the virgins I could want while I was in college.  How did I get to this place?  I should not be dead.  I should be enjoying a good career, a happy family and a long and prosperous life.

Father PrayingMuslim FamilyI was taught by my father and mother not to hate people.  I was the eldest son in a family of six.  I have two younger sisters and one younger brother.  My father was a well-respected business man with a small appliance store.  He had gone to college for two years but dropped out to help his father run a family business.   My mother is a stay at home mom who loves to read, sew, cook and take care of the family finances.  Both my mother and father are very devout Muslims.  My father always told me, “If you hate people, you are no better than the people you hate.”   So how did I become a “Terrorist?”

It began about a year after I graduated from college and after I had started working as a pharmacy assistant at a small pharmacy in Ramla.  The pharmacy was about an hour commute from my home in Gaza.  I had no problem getting a position there as I had never been linked to any anti-Israel activities.  One day, my father was visited by three men in masks shortly after my family had eaten dinner.  We were all told to “get lost.”   My father was given the following message.

“Allah has been good to you. You have a thriving business.  You prosper and your family prospers.  Over the years, nothing has ever been asked of you for your people and nothing has ever been given.  You take but you contribute little to the freedom of our country.  You are a Palestinian but you ignore the sufferings of your neighbors who are oppressed by the Jews.”

“What do you want of me” said my father.

“All we ask is that you speak to your son.  We want him to join us and help his people.”

“My son has his own free will” replied my father.

“Yes, but your son is also a Palestinian and all good Palestinians are expected to help overcome our oppression.  This is not a request.  It could go very badly for your family if you are on the wrong side here.  You are either with us are against us.  There is no in-between.  Speak to your son and explain this to him.”

“Are you threatening me?” said my father.

“We do not threaten.  We speak for the good of our people.  You have been asked nicely.  Please talk to your son and explain how it is to him.”

They left my father with the address of a meeting place for me to go to.

Later that week, my father came to talk to me about his conversation with the freedom fighters.  He told me what they had said.  He told me that he would not force a decision on me and that it was my choice whether to join them or not.  He said that regardless of my decision, he would stand by me and respect me.

Hamas visits AbdullahI would not dishonor my father and mother and family.  I decided to meet with the men whom he had talked to.  At our meeting, it was emphasized that I had a responsibility to my country as well as my family. Terrorist I was told that many of my friends were also freedom fighters and that I would bring great honor to my family by joining them.  I did not really have a choice.  There were no other options.  Thus, I became a freedom fighter for my country or in the West, I became a Terrorist.

terrorist meetingA few months went by and nothing really terrible occurred.  I continued working at the pharmacy by day.  At night, I ran messages around the town and other minor errands.  My family and friends continued on as before and to all appearances nothing really changed in my life.  Then one day, I was called to a special meeting.  Many of the upper level officers were there.  I had seen some of these men before but as a low level soldier I had never talked to them.  One older and very important looking man stood up and said:

“Abdullah, your time has come.”  Your country has need of your services.  You are the only one who can carry out this assignment.  It will require great bravery and great dedication to our mission.  Your actions will bring great glory and honor to your family.  You will be remembered by all of our people and the name of Abdullah will go down in history for your heroic deeds.”

My knees were shaking and I was full of fear but I answered “What must I do?”  I was going to become a real Jihadi.

Terrorist with bombThe next few weeks were full of instructions and operational details.   I often went between my pharmacy and a pharmacy in East Jerusalem to exchange products and some medicines.  On one of these trips, I would carry a package strapped to my chest.   I would probably not be inspected too thoroughly at the checkpoints since the guards were very used to seeing me come across.  They would usually just wave me through.  I did not have to use too much imagination to know what I would be carrying.  The entire apparatus that I had strapped to me weighed about twenty pounds.  It had a large cord with a ring on one end.  The other end of the cord was attached to a detonator.

My instructions were to go the pharmacy where I made my purchases and exchanges and simply act as I usually did.  I was to do this on a typical workday so as to appear that I was simply doing my job.  The time of day that I was to make the trip was between one and five in the afternoon.  It was thought that at this time of day, the pharmacy would be the busiest and there would be more Jews and tourists waiting for drugs or prescriptions.   I was to count the number of people in the pharmacy and note whether more or less were coming in.  If there were at least twenty five people shopping, then I was to yell out “Allahu Akbar” and pull the detonator.

The day started out like any other day in my life.  I rose at 7 AM.  My brother and sisters were all getting ready for school.  Mom was making breakfast for all of us and dad was doing some work on the internet.  I knew it was going to be the last time I would see any of them but I tried to act like nothing was different and nothing was going to happen.  We ate breakfast and I said goodbye to each of my siblings as they left.  As I went out the door, mom reminded me to take my lunch and I gave her a hug and told both my mom and dad goodbye.  I did not say farewell as I did not want them to be suspicious.  It was all I could do to leave my home knowing it would be the last time I would ever see it.

On the way to the pharmacy, I stopped at our headquarters.  Two men attached the weapon to my chest under my tunic.  The officer in charge asked me if I wanted to go over operational details one last time.  I said no and he asked me if I wanted to take anything for my nerves.  I again replied no.  I left for the pharmacy.  Once at my place of employment I went about my normal routine until 1 PM.  At that time, as I had planned, I said that I needed to go to Jerusalem to pick up some medicine and supplies.  This was a fairly usual procedure for me, so no one raised any eyebrows.

I passed through the check point with no problem.  I was greeted cordially by the guards who made some funny remark that I did not catch.  I guess I was too nervous to concentrate on any banter. I proceeded on to the bus which took me to the large pharmacy in East Jerusalem where I often purchased supplies.  I entered the revolving front door and was surprised at how many customers were either shopping or waiting to have a prescription filled.  I started to follow my instructions and count the number of people who were in the shop.  I stopped after I counted at least twenty five people who were there.  I knew it was time.  I took a deep breath and said a quick prayer to Allah.  I reached under my jacket.  I took hold of the large round ring.  I pulled it as hard as I could.  That is the last thing I remember doing.

**FILE2004** Paramedics take care of a victim who was wounded in a suicide bombing of an Egged bus no. 19 in Jerusalem. Eleven people were killed and over 50 wounded, 13 of them seriously. Both the Fatah-related Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades and Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack. January 29, 2004. Photo by Flash90 *** Local Caption *** ????? ???????  ???? ??? ???? ???? ?? ??

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Paramedics take care of a victim who was wounded in a suicide bombing of an Egged bus no. 19 in Jerusalem. Eleven people were killed and over 50 wounded, 13 of them seriously. Both the Fatah-related Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades and Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack. January 29, 2004. Photo by Flash90
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öéìåí æåí 77 çãùåú ôéâåò ìéã îåîðè

öéìåí æåí 77 çãùåú ôéâåò ìéã îåîðè

I have never seen such mayhem and carnage.  Even in war movies, it is nothing like this.  There are no words that can describe the horror.  People are screaming and crying and pulling their hair out.  Body parts and blood are everywhere.  People are calling out names and looking through the debris.  People are fainting and others are vomiting.  Everywhere, people are weeping.  Ambulances, doctors and nurses are attending to some injured people while others are being carried out on gurneys.  I look for my body but I cannot find it.  People are cursing Allah and many are swearing retribution on my people.  I am wondering if this is Jahannam and I am in it.  Surely, I am not in Jannah.

“Did I do the right thing?”   This is the question that now torments me.  Did I help my people?  Was it worth the cost to other people? What have I now brought down on my country?  I need to find Allah and ask him these questions.  My soul will never rest until they are answered.

Time for Questions:

What is a terrorist?  What is the difference between a terrorist and a freedom fighter?  Do you think terrorism is ever justified?   Do you think terrorists might be just like you or I?  Are terrorists cowards or courageous?  What do you think of the comment that the American Revolutionists were considered terrorists by the British during the American War of Independence?

Life is just beginning.

The following deaths are attributed to US military Action during Operation Iraqi Freedom. The toll of Iraq’s war dead covered by the report is limited to the early stages of the war, from March 19 when American tanks crossed the Kuwaiti border, to April 20, when US troops had consolidated their hold on Baghdad.

Researchers drew on hospital records, official US military statistics, news reports, and survey methodology to arrive at their figures.

Total war dead (Iraq) From March 19 to April 20

Between 10,800 and 15,100, with a midpoint of 12,950

Combatants killed (Iraq)

Between 7,600 and 10,800, with a midpoint of 9,200

Noncombatants killed (Iraq)

Between 3,200 and 4,300, with a midpoint of 3,750

Up to 15,000 people killed in invasion, claims thinktank  by Suzanne Goldenberg in Washington

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