Fill ‘Er Up! At Your Nearest Gun Station

 A man was killed last week in Joplin outside a nightclub, at least one and possibly both men involved packing heat.

Oh, don’t ask why someone would want a gun with them during a night of drinking and dancing. I mean, what could possibly go wrong?

In any case, here are some stats on guns in America that I had not seen before:

♦ There are more than 129,817 federally licensed gun dealers in the United States, a staggeringly high number that almost matches the number of gas stations across the country—143,839. Think about that. Think about how many convenience stores you pass in a day and then think about all those folks out there selling guns for a living each and every bleeping day.

♦ There were 5,459,240 new firearms made in the United States in 2010, nearly all of them for American consumers. Not only that, we imported 3.2 million more.

♦ In 2010, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) ran 16,454,951 background checks for gun purchases. Of those, less than one-half of one percent—78,211—were denied.

♦ “Since 1998 there have been more than 151 million NICS checks.  Each check doesn’t necessarily represent a single gun, just a single transaction. If one were to purchase two guns at one time, there would only be one check.”

♦ “According to the FBI Uniform Crime Report, between 2006 and 2010 47,856 people were murdered in the U.S. by firearms, more than twice as many as were killed by all other means combined.”

So, why should one be surprised when one sees this headline, even here in the capital of God-loving America:


8 Comments

  1. Duane,

    If you think the gun nuts are going to be impressed by your statistics, think again. The NRA, with the help of such right wing fanatics like Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity, et al, have created this irrational hysteria that Obama is going to come to your house and take your guns away. Stastistics don’t matter.

    I have addressed the Second Amendment issue on my blog, http://theabsurdityindex.wordpress.com/2012/01/20/second-amendment-what-second-amendment/. The point I tried to make was that the 2nd amendment is no longer operative but that gun ownership is still constitutionally permissible.

    What I don’t address there is the issue of gun control. To the extent there is a right to own firearms, then there is an equal right to be kept safe from their use against you, illegal or otherwise. To me, keeping people safe is a proper government function. Ergo, gun control is an obligation of government.

    There have been strict gun control laws in place since the Revolutionary War and through most of our history. Even in the Wild West, there were very strict gun control laws. Places like Dodge City and Tombstone required that any person coming to town surrender his guns at the sheriff/marshal’s office; to be returned only when the visitor was escorted to the city limits. Of course, such facts have been grossly misrepresented, if not totally ignored, by the gun hawks.

    Well, I could go on, but you get the point. The sad fact is that, despite the statistics you quote, along with a multitude of others you could have included, any proposed legislation to provide reasonable control of firearms would be eviscerated and rendered impotent by the gun lobby.

    Herb

    p.s., Did the shooting in Joplin have anything to do with that ‘57 Chevy sticking out of the building???

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  2. King Beauregard

     /  August 26, 2012

    Driving around today, I passed a sign for a “Charity Gun Raffle”. Let that sink in; that’s the sort of country we are.

    By the way, “Charity Gun Raffle” would be an awesome band name. As an extra added bonus, just imagine all the confusion it would cause on billboards and announcements. Hell, for all I know, Charity Gun Raffle will be performing at the Medina Eagles Club and I completely misunderstood the concept.

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  3. ansonburlingame

     /  August 27, 2012

    OK, here is a set of “points” with which I agree, the “uncontrolled” sale and use of firearms in America. Give me a single issue upon which to vote and I will join the “left” in such a vote.

    But what Graham leaves out is how to constitutionally achieve control of guns, particularly hand guns and assualt weapons?

    The ONLY way to do so is to change the Constitution, the 2nd Amendment, as far as I can see. To me that Amendment is VERY clear and I have yet to see some legal experts “wiggle around” those words related to the “right” to carry arms for all Americans.

    As much as I dislike the lack of control of hand guns and assualt weapons, I remain MORE loyal to our Constitution. Follow it or change it is my call.

    Anson

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    • Anson,

      As I pointed out in the blog piece referenced above, the 2nd amendment is very clear – it has everything to do with arming a voluntary militia and nothing to do with gun ownership. SCOTUS doesn’t get it.

      As I’m sure you know, the Founders, because of the British occupation of the Colonies, were in fear of standing armies. They wanted resident citizens, a militia, to perform that duty. But those citizens needed some training if they were to be a cohesive and effective force. That is, they needed to be “well regulated.” Those facts explain why the language in the amendment is unambiguous.

      Even Scalia, who is supposed to be an originalist, doesn’t know his Constitutional history. If he did he would not have ruled against the District of Columbia in striking down the Firearms Control Regulations Act of 1975.

      No, the 2nd amendment these days is intended for the National Guard, not the NRA. There is no Constitutional amendment needed here. We just need to get politics and big money out of the Court. Maybe the outcome would have different in the Citizens United case if the Court wasn’t under those influences.

      In any case (pun intended), just because SCOTUS says it, doesn’t make it so. And we don’t have to like it.

      Herb

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      • King Beauregard

         /  August 27, 2012

        The Second Amendment is unique in that it not only guarantees* a right, it also explains why that right is there. You don’t find any language about “the free expression of thoughts being crucial to the functioning of democracy” in the First Amendment, or “the act of self-incrimination relieving the courts of their obligation to construct a case” on the Fifth Amendment.

        I have a sneaking suspicion the Second Amendment has that verbiage in there to expressly keep people from thinking they have a right to “second amendment remedies”; but that doesn’t stop people from reading it how they will. As for the value of militias, the War of 1812 (a.k.a. “The War We Don’t Like to Talk About But the Canadians Can’t Get Enough of, Seriously Don’t Get Them Started”) proved pretty conclusively that militias are of no use against actual armies.

        *: The Bill of Rights doesn’t guarantee any rights anyway, since all it addresses is conflicts between individuals and the state. But conflicts between individuals are another matter; the state certainly has the authority to curb your rights if they are infringing upon someone else’s. So there’s nothing sacrosanct about anything mentioned in the Bill of Rights; your rights diminish when they impact other people. Seeing as the main point of guns is to impact other people, yeah.

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      • Herb,

        I have read Scalia’s opinion in that case, and whether you or I think he knows his history, he thinks he does and he wrote extensively about it, as he bifurcated the two clauses in the Amendment.

        And as for SCOTUS making it so, I’m afraid SCOTUS does make it so until an amendment is passed or until another SCOTUS says it ain’t so.

        By the way, your piece on “Congress” in the paper never mentioned the reason for the dysfunction there: Republicans. Why is that? How can you write a piece about how bad Congress is and never mention a word about the folks that have made it that way? Huh? I don’t get it, my man.

        Duane

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