A Modest Suggestion on Gun Violence

17 good people were killed Wednesday in Parkland, FL.  CNN reports that the town, the school, the survivors and their families have damn well had enough of “thoughts and prayers”.   That’s not a solution.  Neither is blaming mental illness.  Easy access to military grade weapons strikes me as part of the problem, but there is no proof of that.  We don’t understand what triggers mass shootings.  We have no idea of how to prevent them, or how to identify probable shooters ahead of the killing.  We have no data to help us form and advocate legislation that might minimize these incidents.  We lack the necessary facts to make the arguments to limit banana clips, bump stocks, assault rifles, and even body-armor piercing ammunition.

The Lucky Ones in Florida

Other than dates, place, and body counts we have no data on mass shootings.  Let that soak in.  We know a lot about auto accidents because they have been studied, extensively.  We know much of what there is to know about the dangers of cigarettes, the causes of heart disease and cancer, and from that knowledge (largely developed by the CDC) others have developed action plans that have already produced significant, measurable improvements in mortality from those causes.

So Much Life Gone

So why not do something similar about the causes and possible prevention of gun violence?

A Student Who Will Learn No More

We have not done this, and cannot, because for 20 years the Federal government has forbidden the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from investigating deaths and injuries caused by firearms.   Our leaders, cowed by the money and political power of the NRA, have chosen ignorance over gun facts for far too long.   They have done this for a reason foreseen many years ago by the Gun Lobby:  Guns Kill People.

The Heroic Baseball Coach

You either agree with me completely, or you think I’m a libtard moron.  No need to kid ourselves; that’s who we are.  But, can we agree on this:  knowledge is good.  Knowledge is based on facts.  We need more facts on gun violence.

The Heroic Football Coach

And that’s where our politicians live as well.   They can’t get much of anything done.  Their world is too black and white, too red and blue, too us and them.  And without the data to form a cogent argument, we will not reach a political solution for gun violence in my lifetime, nor the lifetimes of my Kat and my kids.

The Heroic Geography Teacher

Then get some data.  More Americans have died of bullet wounds in the past fifty years than in all of America’s wars from all causes combined.  Is that not insane?

 

Let’s get the CDC on the case of what facilitates gun violence, and perhaps what to do about it.  Employ science to study gun deaths and mass shootings.    Let science do what our politicians will not.   The Truth Is Out There.

 

It’s up to us to find it.

13 thoughts on “A Modest Suggestion on Gun Violence

    1. Martha and Noel,

      Let’s hope that all over this land people realize Something Must Be Done. It is a matter of reaching critical mass and I think we are getting close.

      Thanks for the kind words.

      Jackson

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    1. Global warming denial, tax cuts for the rich paired with pennies from heaven, job-killing regulations (designed to prevent another Great Recession) have all been sold as something they are clearly not. Democrats late in Bill Clinton’s term were reluctant to take a principled stand on guns, so they quietly went along with info-suppression and the slogan “Guns don’t kill people: People kill people.” When I was in business school we called it Marketing. Thanks for checking us out.

      Jackson

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    1. They hide from knowledge … because knowledge might imply a need for action of the sort that would damage the NRA.

      Which might just be the point of inquiring into gun violence.

      We have to stop putting the 2nd Amendment ahead of A Right to Life (for those already born).

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    1. In my and most states, you can figure how your elected officials vote by party. For those who have not followed this issue, by all means check out the NPR link and learn how those representing you voted.

      Australia and USA are alike and so different. And Fortune blocks me for my ad blocker use. Our situation is so dire all I hope for anymore is nibbling around the edges of gun control — assault weapons bans seem like the most we can expect even from a Democrat administration and Congress.

      That said, let’s go for all we can get. Who knows? Trump may have got religion on assault weapons — seizing them from suspected kooks until said kooks win their hearings on suitability to possess an AR-15 is the kind of threat Republicans understand. And fear.

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  1. Sounds like the next step in avoiding any reasonable changes to the gun laws will be arming willing teachers to participate in shootouts. They will soon be teaching classes at the local OK Corral. Training teachers will certainly take on a whole new level of violence.

    What will they think of next… regardless, how ‘bout some fun facts…….

    ‘Barely a week after the latest mass slaughter by a disturbed teenager carrying an AR-15 assault rifle into a Florida school, I’m not sure I even want to know what’s next. Fun fact: you need to be 21 in Florida to legally purchase alcohol, but only 18 to get that combat rifle. Fun fact: in February 2017, by rescinding an Obama-era regulation, President Trump made it easier for people with mental problems to buy guns. Fun fact: Thanks to the killing of 17 students and teachers in Parkland, Florida, Columbine is no longer the worst high school mass killing in our history. Fun fact: In the United States, there is now, on average, a “mass shooting” (four or more people shot) nine out of every 10 days of the year. Talk about terror! Talk about terrorism! And so it goes in the age of The Donald.’

    That last one really makes you wonder…………………………………

    Cheers…

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    1. I am somewhat optimistic that our President’s comments about the NRA’s grip on the GOP might loosen things up. Long and short: stay hopeful and do what you can to be a positive agent of change.

      Jackson

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    2. Pete, you and I sound like vintage Kurt Vonnegut or Camus. The ridiculous has become the everyday, and the best I can hope for is that our Constitution can hold this nation together for three more years. Failing that, I do hope that neither of us metamorphoses into a 180 pound fly.

      Like

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