The Year of Moving Forward

The Year of Moving Forward
At our 4 person wedding reception in DC

Monday, May 11, 2009

Why I Support Tougher Gun Laws

First, watch this video by Bonnie Tyler. This was her first single following vocal cord surgery after which she disobeyed doctor's orders and did not let her voice rest, leaving her with the raspy voice. She thought her career was over. Be sure to watch her other video at the end of the post.

Alabama 2nd in gun deaths

That is the headline in the Local News section of the Birmingham News.

We are second only to Louisiana. Here the gun death rate was 16.9 per 100,000 (in 2006).

In Alabama, hundreds of people each year die in gun-related homicides, suicides and accidents, according to information from the Alabama Department of Public Health.

Hundreds. This is not an inflated number

During 2006, there were 43 accidental gun deaths, 400 suicides by gun, and 333 homicides by gun and 8 deaths by guns of undetermined intent in Alabama.

The next year, accidental deaths by gun decreased to 28, an improvement. But there were 399 suicides by gun, no change, and 373 homicides by gun, an increase, and 14 undetermined guns deaths, an increase. These statistics come from the Alabama Department of Public Health.

Picture credit

Here is the press release from VPC (Violence Policy Center) from which some of this information was taken. Their data comes from the CDC.

From the press release:

The analysis reveals that the five states with the highest per capita gun death rates were Louisiana, Alabama, Alaska, Mississippi, and Nevada. Each of these states had a per capita gun death rate far exceeding the national per capita gun death rate of 10.32 per 100,000 for 2006. Each state has lax gun laws and higher gun ownership rates. By contrast, states with strong gun laws and low rates of gun ownership had far lower rates of firearm-related death. Ranking last in the nation for gun death was Hawaii, followed by Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New York.

VPC Legislative Director Kristen Rand states, “More guns means more gun death and injury. Fewer guns means less gun death and injury. It’s a simple equation.”

The VPC defined states with “weak” gun laws as those that add little or nothing to federal restrictions and have permissive concealed carry laws allowing civilians to carry concealed handguns. States with “strong” gun laws were defined as those that add significant state regulation in addition to federal law, such as restricting access to particularly hazardous types of firearms (for example, assault weapons), setting minimum safety standards for firearms and/or requiring a permit to purchase a firearm, and have restrictive concealed carry laws.

From the B'ham News article:

Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, said Alabama needs to strengthen gun laws, including adding regulations to sales of guns at gun shows and placing restrictions on the types of guns that are available.

"The one point I try to stress is that we're not anti-gun," Helmke said of his organization. "With the right to have guns comes a responsibility and an awareness of the risk."

These German students created a video called the Violence Policy Center Show regarding gun control in the United States. I am pretty sure they have no relation to the group by the same name in this country.

I'm not in favor of tough laws that prevent people like me from purchasing and owning guns. Heck, every gay person in Bessemer should own a gun, after the events of last month (if you don't know what I am talking about here, email me. More info to be released soon). I'm for laws that make less guns available on the street, where most convicted criminals say they purchased their guns.

Here's another Bonnie Tyler video, "My Guns Are Loaded."


Anonymous said...

If the gentleman who was abducted from his home, robbed and had his car stolen and burned had been a gun owner he could have defended himself. The police would not have to look for the offenders, they would be laid out for them on the front porch.

Joe said...

Well, maybe. A gun owner does dot always have his gun by his side. Plus, there were two of them, so it could have turned out very ugly.

Still, nothing wrong with defending yourself.

Oh Brother said...

Readily available firearm education and firearm training would go along towards curbing accidental gun deaths. Does the Bessemer PD offer any courses for its citizens? I know they make the range open to the public one day a month. Of course education and training probably won't help curb suicide and intentional homicide deaths.

Also, if people would secure their firearms (don't leave them in the car over night and lock them up when you leave them in the house while your away) there wouldn't be so many stolen firearms available for criminals to use.

I own and carry a firearm due to past incidents. But if someone were to catch me at a time when I did not have my gun on me I wouldn't be able to do anything. As far as I know the victim may have had a gun in the house but was unable to get to it. It sounds like a no win situation for the victim.

Thomas said...

Fewer automobiles would mean fewer traffic deaths. So lets have automobile control as well.

Once again, democratic thinking. In this FREE COUNTRY of ours, we have the right to have guns. It is in the constitution. But you liberal (NOT PROGRESSIVE) demos again want MORE government control and LESS freedom. Because you know better how I need to live my life than I do.

Joe said...

Thanks for agreeing with me, Thomas. Read my post. I said I'm not against gun ownership.

By the way, I will settle for gun control laws similar to automobile control laws. We already have automobile registration, drivers license, DUI laws. Lots of regulations regarding automobiles.

Joe said...

"Because you know better how I need to live my life than I do."

The conservatives and Evangelical Christians want to tell me how to live my life and want to deny me from living it as I want and forming a legal partnership.

Passing amendments against equality, that's bringing more government into our lives and into our bedrooms.

Joe said...

Oh and Thomas. I was reminded that, as with automobiles, we could be mandated to obtain gun insurance. Then if your gun is used in a crime, you are liable, but your insurance would pay.

Bhamdaniel said...

Well, I for one, am always in support of men & women with bare arms! Now, when we talk about the rights to freedom of speech and expression, freedom to dissent, an end to capital punishment,etc... THEN, I'll talk about the right to own your own machine guns, bullets that penetrate the cover of Law Enforcement officers,and all the bombs of say, an Eric R. Rudolph. Or didn't you know that, "guns don't (really kill people) only people do." Just like Charleston Heston..., "Moses, Moses the Red Sea closes over you when you least expect it to. Okay, so what the heck do I mean by all this? Well, here's my 2 cents worth:
What does all of this mean for the contemporary gun debate? Proponents of gun control must not demonize gun owners, particularly given the fact that most gun owners support reasonable gun regulation. Any solution to America's gun problem must have the support of gun owners.Rather than abandon the Second Amendment and dismiss it as a relic of another era, supporters of gun regulation need to reclaim this part of our constitutional heritage. Supporters of regulation need to point out that liberty without regulation is impossible. The right to be free from the threat of gun violence deserves as much respect as the right to bear arms. Or just BARE ARMS would be quite nice.

rev. bill said...

I don't quite understand you Joe. Are YOU a Christian or not. I think in the past you have claimed to be a follower of Christ, but obviously, based on your posts, your walk and your talk are not the same.

In the post above, you wrote:

"Evangelical Christians want to tell me how to live my life and want to deny me from living it as I want .."

Well, if you are indeed a Christian you know what the Bible says. You must DENY yourself and follow Christ. That means you can't always "Live life the way you want." You have to live it the way HE wants. I realize that to the unbelievers reading this, it makes no sense and that is quite alright, but if you indeed are a Christian, then you know this is true.

Joe said...

I'm not about to get started on a back and forth about thia again. But "living "life the way I want" is not about being gay. It's about living a secure life with a partner in a relationship that is recongnized by the state with all the rights and responsibilities afforded to other couples.

That is the way He wants.

No one ios perfect, Bill, so maybe my "walk" does not always follow my "talk," but then whose does?