Simply Put, This Is Disgusting

I’ve written about gun control before, sometimes in response to a recent mass shooting, sometimes just to share my thoughts. Of all the hot-button issues we face as a nation, this is my number one.

My wife and I have supported Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action through donations, protest marches, and phone calls.

The chart above indicates that on a per capita basis, we own about 120 guns for every 100 people in the U.S. Here is a list from Wikipedia that provides a ranking of civilian gun ownership per 100 people. If you take a look, the U.S. is number one at 120.2; number two is the Falkland Islands, at 62.1. There are only four countries where the rate is over 40 guns owned per 100 people.

The chart also shows gun-related deaths per million people; with the use at about 120. Wikipedia has this data as well, but shows it per 100,000 people. The U.S. is ranked at ninth at 12.21 gun-related deaths. The countries ranked ahead of us? Venezuela, El Salvador, Eswatini, Jamaica, Honduras, Guatemala, Brazil, and Columbia.

It is true that most gun-related deaths in the U.S. are related to suicide, with 7.32 deaths per 100,000, which ranks us first (highest) in the world. For gun related homicides, the U.S. has about 4.46 deaths per 100,000, ranking us 17th in the world. Besides the eight countries noted above, this list also includes Mexico, South Africa, Panama, Philippines, Barbados, Costa Rica, Paraguay, and Uruguay. There are only 24 countries in the world that have a gun related homicide rate greater than one person per 100,000.

Whether it is gun ownership, or gun-related deaths, the U.S. clearly has a gun problem.

Many people note the Second Amendment as giving citizens the right to bear arms. Ignoring the fact that many people disagree with such an interpretation, to me it is simply worth noting that the Second Amendment was an amendment, a change to the original Constitution. While it is certainly extremely difficult to change the Constitution (there have only been 27 amendments to it in nearly 250 years, with only one of them being repealed), it is possible. The Constitution and its amendments are not etched in stone, it is a living, breathing document, and it has been amended as needed.

I think this is one of those times.

So while I would be thrilled to see some “common sense” gun laws passed, to me they don’t go nearly far enough to fix the problems.

We have too many guns, and too many people dying because of those guns.

My thoughts on gun control are simple, yet radical:

  • repeal the Second Amendment – it may have been relevant 250 years ago, but not any longer
  • institute a complete ban on all guns. yes all guns, even for hunting. Guns serve one purpose, to kill.  And what gives us the right to kill another person or creature?

Yes, my views are extreme, but so is the chart above.

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

P.S. I struggled with whether to allow comments to this post, since it is such an emotional topic for me. As such, I was worried I might reply to someone in a less than respectful manner. However, I decided to leave the comments open, and let the readers share their views. I know people have different views than me on this issue. However, I will not be responding to any comments. I think the post above clearly states my views on guns and gun control.


22 thoughts on “Simply Put, This Is Disgusting

  1. I rarely get pushback on WordPress on gun control posts. As near as I can tell, we’re a pretty progressive crowd–which I attribute to the notion that writers are introspective, and anyone willing to take the time to actually think about the issues will approach the world with progressive values. My ‘political’ posts get reprinted on the Good Men Project website, and even though that site slants hard-left, it gets wide readership and I pick up some pretty angry comments on that. Those ‘dissenting’ comments leave me feeling extremely uncomfortable.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Somewhere along the line in American history, the whole culture related to gun ownership seems to have changed. The lobby arm of the gun manufacturers, the NRA, probably has a lot to do with it. In the old West where guns were necessary for safety and providing food, people had the good sense to see that guns and civilized society didn’t mix. Some towns banned possessing firearms. That was the issue that led to the famous Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. No one claimed those common sense measures violated the 2nd Amendment, or if there were any such claims, they failed.

    I don’t get why people sometimes use the phrase “proud gun owner.” Why would owning a device that has as its sole intended purpose and use the killing of another person make anyone proud? Are there proud gallows owners out there?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Eswatini and South Africa are so high on the list it’s scary. We have stricter gun controls here but you can’t stop the illegal trade. Thankfully we don’t have mass shootings here. Just gang wars and violent crime to contend with.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t own a gun, but I do know there are plenty of responsible gun owners. The biggest issue for me are the type of assault weapons that ordinary people can get their hands on easily. The other significant issue for me is how some people swear their loyalty to the Constitution, and yet they manage to ignore huge parts of it. The 14th amendment guarantees all citizens “equal protection of the laws,” but how can anybody think that everyone receives equal treatment? It might be a noble wish, but it’s just not what happens.

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  5. When our son was posted to the USA for three years with the air force we were proud of a new step in his career, but my first thought was that his children would have to go to school! When schools closed down because of the pandemic our first thought was at least they would be safe from gun massacres! They actually had a fabulous and safe three years in the US and are now back in England. Anything can happen to your family anywhere. Few countries can look smugly at other nations. We had our own awful Dunblane school shooting – which did result in stringent gun crackdowns. We have mishandled the pandemic and had the awful Grenfell Tower fire. We have teenagers stabbing each other, as Donald Trump was quick to point out. So we all fall short at looking after our citizens, but we share the awful frustrations of our good friends in the US – Jim your ideas are the obvious ones to folow, I wish more people would see that. Even big changes would still leave the task of collecting up and melting down guns – turning swords into ploughshares.

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  6. Jim, I am glad you chose to speak your mind! Although I do not fully agree with your thoughts, I do support your right to share your opinion and I recognize and respect your perspective. Your solution is beautifully simple and would certainly address the problem. But at this point I will take any legislation that at least addresses some of the concerns. Hoping for a repeal of the 2nd Amendment maybe a little too hopeful. Great post and timely!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Well done, Jim for speaking your mind and offering a solution…Whether it’s a gun or a knife if you carry one the chances are you will use it…Much needs to be done by governments and regulatory bodies my guess is they won’t but they should…

    Liked by 1 person

  8. i know that to repeal an amendment would take many years of fighting and may never pass, as much as it might benefit our country. we have to act quickly and start chipping away at the process, limitations, controls, bans, etc. so that we can get something in place as a starting point and make something change right away. people have guns for a variety of reasons and i do think it’s important to pull back in any and every way we can to ensure we are as safe as possible, the less guns the better, a clear correlation. my daughter is married to an aussie and guns are only for using at shooting clubs, where they are kept until used on site. it is very rare you hear of a shooting there and this is the reason why. if someone chooses to hurt someone by other means, a knife, etc., the damage inflicted is not the same as is possible with a gun, especially an automatic weapon which has no place in civilian life. i know that our forefathers, when writing the amendment, had no idea the level of gun worship that would develop over time, and no concept of automatic or military grade weapons in the community. i recently saw a study that said that 98% of people who say they own a gun as self defense, would never use it in a defense situation, due to lack of easy access when surprised, fear, or instead having it used on them. thank you for your post.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. It is very difficult for civilians to get guns in South Africa. You have to undergo a psychological evaluation and pass two tests to get a gun license. It takes at least a year. I am sure this reduces the number of armed civilians in this country.

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  10. Jim I learned to shoot when I was still a kid. My uncle was what some would call a “gun nut” but he did instill in me the notion guns are weapons and meant for killing. That said I’ve never owned one. I do believe stringent laws are good but will always be subverted. I have gotten so jaded about this I have come to the conclusion I just live in a violent country. Australia and Canada had “wild west” phases in their history but don’t seem to have the same legacy from it. Even a constitutional change forced through would not change the culture. People are more concerned with having guns than having good mental health and child care. Maybe if we had those the guns would be used less even if they were around. It makes me very sad.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. It sickens me how proud some people are to own guns and how the 2nd amendment gets preached over and over again! I am sure our forefathers are rolling over in their graves! This Country has got so out of control with guns and while I agree with you , i sadly don’t know if we ever will get out of the big hole that we created with guns!

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  12. A brave post, Jim, and I admire you for speaking so clearly to your views. I think any caring, rational human being will agree with you. Getting rid of all guns sounds drastic, but we did it here after Hungerford and Dunblane. Other weapons exist, of course, but they don’t have the mass killing power of guns, and despite the former guy’s deluded claims to the contrary, we are generally a much safer country. The fact that we don’t feature on either axis of your chart tells the story. I hope the vested interests over there can be overcome, but I’m not holding my breath.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Growing up in Montana, I was not part of the hunting crowd. Over my 65 years, I still appreciate those who hunt with rifles designed to hunt big game. Watching the human carnage with other uses of guns has totally distorted their peaceful use. Do our citizens truly need military-style weapons? Is it time for the gun lobby and politicians to stop hiding behind the Second Amendment?

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  14. Being English, I can’t understand gun culture, or how it’s become an almost religious aspect to life across the Pond. I think that’s part of the issue – guns are treated with a reverence, much as the 2nd Amendment and the Constitution are treated as immutable documents (even though as you say, they’re not). Given the homicide rates and deaths by guns (the FBI’s data puts gun homicides as being responsible for 75% of homicides in 2019), how nothing has happened to even try to curb this is… staggering.

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