Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Guns: This Is Why

I live in Texas, a big gun-loving state. Just a few days ago when discussing the recent Supreme Court decision, I missed my opportunity to get on my soapbox when someone baited me by asking, "What, you wouldn't allow me to protect myself?" This is why, dumby: You are far more likely to blow yourself away than to protect your precious dvd collection.

When people talk about guns, the words they use include "rights, freedom, American, 2nd amendment, protection, safety, etc." But somehow suicide, accidental gun injuries and death, and domestic violence never rise to become part of that conversation. For the life of me I don't know why. Is it that we are confronted daily with images in the media of heroic gunfights between the bad guys vs. the good guys? But what about the good guy vs. himself? Or the bad guy grabbing the good guy's gun and using it against him? Or the good guy's young child accidentally shooting her foot off? Why do we never talk about these things?
clipped from www.cnn.com
ATLANTA, Georgia, (AP) -- The Supreme Court's landmark ruling on gun ownership last week focused on citizens' ability to defend themselves from intruders in their homes. But research shows that surprisingly often, gun owners use the weapons on themselves.
Public-health researchers have concluded that in homes where guns are present, the likelihood that someone in the home will die from suicide or homicide is much greater.
Studies have also shown that homes in which a suicide occurred were three to five times more likely to have a gun present than households that did not experience a suicide, even after accounting for other risk factors.
One public-health study found that suicide and homicide rates in the district dropped after the ban was adopted.
More than 90 percent of suicide attempts using guns are successful, while the success rate for jumping from high places was 34 percent. The success rate for drug overdose was 2 percent, the brief said, citing studies.
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And what's better is that the article concludes with some controversial statistics about guns and mentions that both sides agree that research about gun violence has dropped sharply in the last decade. Apparently the CDC (the main funder of research on gun-related injuries), cut back in 1996 when Congress ordered that none of the agency's appropriations be used to promote gun control.

This is a classic case of the Bush administration's famous policies on scientific research.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

A majority of court cases now have resulted in 5-4 decisions. This means judge appointees are influenced by their political positions. This is a huge consideration when we vote for our next president.

11:24 AM  
Anonymous Renee said...

Considering what happened with Joe Horn is it really a good idea to arm the citizenry. The man shot two men in the back and declared that he was going to kill them before he did it.

11:54 PM  

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