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Gun Safety Is About Freedom


Gun Safety Is About Freedom

Derrick Johnson

Fear at school was something the Little Rock Nine knew all too well. Facing vitriol, racism, and merciless violence, the Little Rock Nine were escorted, for their own safety, by federal troops to their high school classes. For those brave students selected to make the promises of the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision a reality, fear and terror were a normal part of the school-day routine.


Freedom indeed. We can’t yell “fire in a crowded theater” or school cafeteria, but we can sure as hell bring our concealed guns to both.


Yup. We have the right to buy assault rifles - even if we are not old enough to buy alcohol - or conceal/carry our semi-automatic pistols, but we don’t have the right to protect our children from being slaughtered by them, or to ask that people buying them pass stringent background checks and waiting periods.

God bless 'Murica!


I disagree with his emphasis on school shootings, but Johnson offers some startling statistics that we would be well advised to bear in mind: “Gun violence is the number one killer of African Americans ages 15 to 34. Though African Americans make up only 13 percent of the U.S. population, we represent nearly 50 percent of all gun homicide victims. Over 80 percent of gun deaths of African Americans are homicides. Roughly speaking, 1 out of every 3 African American males who die between the ages of 15 and 19 is killed by gun violence. African American children and teens were less than 15 percent of the total child population in 2008 and 2009, but accounted for 45 percent of all child- and teen-related gun deaths.”


" Additionally, data shows that in the ten years following the Tasmanian massacre, gun-related homicides and suicides dropped by 59 percent and 65 percent, respectively. "

Ok, here’s some stats from close to the US. While the number of firearms in the US has increased here’s what else happened: firearm homicide dropped by 49% since 1993, the victimization rate for other violent crimes with a firearm-assaults, robberies and sex crimes-was 75% lower in 2011 than in 1993. Also, violent non-fatal crime victimization overall (with or without a firearm) also is down markedly (72%) over two decades.


Your source? How about shootings by toddlers?


Not really good with words so copied and pasted right out of the report. Grab any part after “While the number of firearms in the US has increased here’s what else happened” and google it.


No thanks. If you want me to accept your stats, YOU will have to give me a source. It’s not hard to copy the link you got it from, unless you didn’t go past the google hit list.


Should we be happy about these statistics too?

Below is a list of the 10 deadliest single-day mass shootings from 1949 to the present. (If the shooter was killed or died by suicide during the incident, that death is not included in the total.)

  1. The Harvest Music Festival
    At least 58 killed
    October 1, 2017 - A gunman, identified as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, fires from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on a crowd of 30,000 gathered on the Las Vegas Strip for the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival. At least 58 people were killed and more than 515 injured. Police believe the gunman killed himself.

  2. Pulse night club
    49 killed
    June 12, 2016 - Omar Saddiqui Mateen, 29, opens fire inside Pulse, a gay nightclub, in Orlando. At least 49 people are killed and more than 50 are injured. Police shoot and kill Mateen during an operation to free hostages officials say he was holding at the club.

  3. Virginia Tech
    32 killed
    April 16, 2007 - Student Seung-Hui Cho, 23, goes on a shooting spree, killing 32 people in two locations and wounding an undetermined number of others on the campus of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. The shooter dies by suicide.

  4. Sandy Hook
    27 killed
    December 14, 2012 - Adam Lanza, 20, guns down 20 children, ages 6 and 7, and six adults, school staff and faculty at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. – before turning the gun on himself. Investigating police later find Nancy Lanza, Adam’s mother, dead from a gunshot wound.

  5. Luby’s Cafeteria
    23 killed
    October 16, 1991 - In Killeen, Texas, 35-year-old George Hennard crashes his pickup truck through the wall of a Luby’s Cafeteria. After exiting the truck, Hennard shoots and kills 23 people. He then takes his own life.

  6. McDonald’s in San Ysidro
    21 killed
    July 18, 1984 - In San Ysidro, California, 41-year-old James Huberty, armed with a long-barreled Uzi, a pump-action shotgun and a handgun, shoots and kills 21 adults and children at a McDonald’s. A police sharpshooter kills Huberty one hour after the rampage begins.

  7. University of Texas
    18 killed
    August 1, 1966 - In Austin, Charles Joseph Whitman, a former US Marine, kills 16 and wounds at least 30 while shooting from a University of Texas tower. Police officers Ramiro Martinez and Houston McCoy shoot and kill Whitman in the tower. Whitman had killed his mother and wife earlier in the day.

  8. San Bernardino
    14 killed
    December 2, 2015 - Married couple Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik open fire on an employee gathering taking place at Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, killing 14 people. They are killed in a shootout with police later in the day.

  9. Edmond, Oklahoma
    14 killed
    August 20, 1986 - In Edmond, Oklahoma, part-time mail carrier Patrick Henry Sherrill, armed with three handguns, kills 14 postal workers in 10 minutes and then takes his own life with a bullet to the head.

  10. Fort Hood
    13 killed
    November 5, 2009 - Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan kills 13 people and injures 32 at Fort Hood, Texas, during a shooting rampage. He is convicted and sentenced to death.

There were several other incidents in which 13 people were killed:
April 3, 2009 - In Binghamton, New York, Jiverly Wong kills 13 people and injures four during a shooting at an immigrant community center. He then kills himself.
April 20, 1999 - Columbine High School - Littleton, Colorado. Eighteen-year-old Eric Harris and 17-year-old Dylan Klebold kill 12 fellow students and one teacher before dying by suicide in the school library.
February 18, 1983 - Three men enter the Wah Mee gambling and social club in Seattle, rob the 14 occupants and then shoot each in the head, killing 13. Two of the men, Kwan Fai Mak and Benjamin Ng, are convicted of murder in August 1983. Both are serving life in prison. The third, Wai-Chiu “Tony” Ng, after years on the run in Canada, is eventually convicted of first-degree robbery and second-degree assault. He is deported to Hong Kong in 2014.
September 25, 1982 - In Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, 40-year-old prison guard George Banks kills 13 people, including five of his own children. In September 2011, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturns his death sentence, stating that Banks is mentally incompetent.

If we just pay attention to numbers and cold, hard and dead facts, then we are all guilty of this the McNamara fallacy:


Nope, you gotta do some work yourself. By the time i wrote this i could have spoon fed you the link, but looking for it yourself will help you in the future. You’ll thank me some day :grinning:


My point was numbers are going down despite the number of guns going up. Which invalidates the author’s premise for the article.


It is true that the numbers of violent crimes have come markedly down since 1993 as you say - and that the number of firearms has gone up in the same period. However, there are two key reasons why your logic is wrong:

  1. the percentage of people with access to a gun has not gone up (it’s just that a few gun owners, have been buying way more firearms so the total number of firearms has gone up - but not the number of people with them. Currently about 30% of Americans own a gun and about 40% live in a household with a gun - same as in surveys from the 90’s
  2. the principal reason why the crime rates have come down is because of the aging of the population. Violent crimes are mostly committed by young men. As the baby boomers aged, the rates came down. To examine crime rates fairly, you have to look at age-adjusted values (rates per a standard aged population). Those rates have stayed pretty flat for decades (for murder rates see for example: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/66/wr/mm6631a9.htm).

So basically that argument is a wash with no real bearing on the gun debate. The percentage of households with guns and the age-adjusted crime rates have both stayed fairly constant.


I didn’t even notice he was arguing crimes, leaving out suicides and accidents, like those toddlers. Truly apples and oranges.


Yes - the suicide issue is really the place where we have the most deaths and where good programs can really make a big difference - programs that integrate both a gun safety component and despair/isolation avoidance component.


That’s because you didn’t bother to search and read the actual paper. Anyway, the percentage of suicides by gun also went down between 1999 and 2014, Apparently stangulation (hanging) gained popularity.


Disingenous at best. That drop in Crime occurred in other Countries as well and at a rate equal to or greater then in the USA. If you look at the comparative stats crime in both Countries peaked in 1994 and hen began a decline.

VICTIMS of crime overall in Canada ir more or less the same as in the USA. The difference is the USA is more likely to have a LETHAL outcome. In essence in the USA 1000 guys the victim of Vioent crime. In Canada it 100 the victims of violent crime. Per capita the same (the numbers just for purposes of example). In the USA however a violent crime incident is 4 to 5 times more likely to end up with a death. This is the direct resulty of easier access to guns.

The same holds true with homicides deemed accidental. Children in the USA are far more likley to be killed by the accidental discharge or use of a firearm then in Canada.Ths results is more children killed by another on a per capita basis. (a Child “playing” with a knife is less likely to kill another child then is a child “playing” with a gun.)


Estimated by whom? And please take your racist idiocy and deflection somewhere else.


Keep in mind that I was responding to Lamonte7 who was saying that gun availability has gone up while crime has gone down.
You are citing CBS Poll data on percentage of households with a gun and indeed that data source has shown a decrease the last 40 years. If you look at the Gallup Poll the percentage of households with a gun has remained steady over that period. If you look at the National Opinion Research Center polls, the percentages have gone down similarly to the CBS Poll. If you look at the NBC/Wall Street Journal Poll, the percentages have remained steady. When I was responding to Lamonte7 - I was giving him the benefit of the doubt.

I am actually surprised that you see the data as trending down - which is the interpretation that is usually taken by gun control advocates rather than people with your position on the issue.


That would be in the part of your previous post that tried to link race, abortion, and violent crimes.


Your theory which managed to get abortion, racism, and guns all in one remarkable sentence implied that lower black population was underlying the lower rate of crime the last forty years. The demographics of the U.S. over time shows that Whites went from about 88% of the U.S. population in 1970 down to about 70% today while Blacks went from about 11% of the population up to about 14% today. Thus, completely opposite of your implications, the drop in violent crime has happened while the percentage of Whites has gone down and the percentage of blacks has gone up. Hmmmm… fewer Whites, fewer violent crimes (I’m not advancing that as a causal theory - just noting what your logic points to). Bringing abortion into this was completely ridiculous - but abortion rates have gone down substantially the last couple of decades as birth control has become more available - so again in completely the opposite direction of what your crazy theory would say. BTW - it has always been access to birth control that drives abortion rates not race or abortion laws.
You also claim that blacks commit more total crimes than whites and other races - but of course whites commit way more violent crimes. So perhaps you meant to say that the rates are higher for blacks. This is true - blacks are both the offenders in crimes and the victims in crimes at a higher rate than whites. We live in a very segregated and income-driven society. That is what drives this.