The prevalence of – and virtually open access to – firearms as a lethal item of public commerce has fostered a public health crisis in American society. A few of the most salient features of our crisis are:

According to the Congressional Research Service, from 2001 to 2011 there were more than 208,000 mass firearm deaths in the U.S. This is a reflection of the fact that as a society we’re swimming in guns. We’re the most heavily armed society in the world. There are almost enough guns for every American. Perhaps we should not be surprised that our firearm murder rate is the also the highest in the civilized world.

We lack effective public policy responses or even agreement on what should be done. Efforts to engage in a meaningful discussion of gun violence or effective public policies to address the gun carnage are vigorously opposed by the National Rifle Association to ensure the strong growth in revenues, markets and profits of the highly concentrated, $17 billion gun and ammunition manufacturing industry. The ”industry” includes the $3.1 billion gun and ammunition retail outlets, the financial health of which is directly tied to the continued growth of commercial sales. Ironically, the national gun control debate has stimulated sales, raising profits at an annual rate of 4.5%, particularly for the three largest manufacturers, attracting Wall Street hedge fund interest, one of which recently purchased Remington Outdoors, one of the largest manufacturers.

The NRA has been engaged in a cynical carnival barker’s sleight of hand to distract public attention away from the industry’s increasingly lucrative profits. The NRA is running a scam, using the Second Amendment and the Constitution to cover for its pecuniary relationship little more than a public relations ploy to provide ideological cover for the multi-billions in revenues and healthy profits enjoyed by the gun manufacturers. In a demonstration of moral vacuity, NRA gun manufacturers bestow an award, grandly named “The Golden Ring of Freedom,” on the NRA member company that donates $1 million to the NRA.

What can we do to address this public health crisis? Perhaps a starting point would be to expose the NRA’s cynical fraud on the American public regarding the issues of gun violence. We will be trapped in the dilatory schemes of the NRA as long we accept the validity of its cynical rationalizations for inaction as the death rates climb to new heights.

We can consult research currently being conducted by such institutions as the Centers for Disease Control and the Rand Corporation on such topics as the effectiveness of restrictions on ownership, assault weapons buy-backs, excise and other taxes (or bans) on high-capacity magazines and fire-enhancing devices (e.g., bump-stocks, storage requirements for assault rifles).

I’ll leave the last word on the meaning of the Second Amendment to the Supreme Court’s 2008 ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller. Associate Justice Antonin Scalia wrote the majority opinion for the court, that included this definitive passage: “We recognize an important limitation on the right to keep and carry arms … It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner for whatever purpose. The Court’s opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on long-standing prohibitions on the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.”

Randy Ihara

South Riding

(27) comments

amerigirl

Things are not getting better.

There were more mass shootings across the U.S. in 2019, 417 mass shootings includes several high-profile, mass casualty attacks, some of which happened within 24 hours of each other: 2019 had the highest number of mass shootings in any year according to Gun Violence Archive (GVA) since 2014, when they started recording them. Thirty-one of those shootings were mass murders. GVA defines a mass shooting as any incident in which at least four people are shot, excluding the shooter. The group also tracks mass murders as defined by the FBI — incidents in which at least four people are killed. The FBI does NOT have a formal definition of a mass shooting

There was a total of 15,381 gun deaths — including homicides, suicides and accidents — and 29,568 injuries in 2019. That is just 1 year!

.

ace10

These statistics are produced by one of the most biased organizations in existence. Their numbers include LAWFUL USES OF FIREARMS, which is completely absurd. For example, in November of 2019, a pregnant woman in Florida used her AR15 to shoot and kill one of the armed home invaders who was holding her family at gun point. The GVA would tally this incident as "gun violence." In the same month, two East Cleveland Ohio police officers shoot and kill an armed man who is raping a woman in front of her son. Yup, the GVA would count his death in their "gun violence" statistic. Tangentially, it took more than one dozen shots from the two police officers' pistols to stop the man. This is reality. And the gun grabbers who don't want law-abiding citizens to have the right to carry more than X bullets in their firearms are dead wrong. It's all about their anti-Constitutional agenda.

amerigirl

Nobody is trying to grab your guns, I know that is a real talking point for gun nuts, but it not true. Typical talking points 'gun grabbers' 'law-abiding citizens', 'constitutional right'.

But please tell me who is trying to grab your guns? How would a law-abiding citizen lose any rights? How would any of the laws violate the 2nd amendment?

amerigirl

*Ace, you think a data collection group is bias? They say right in their site that it includes all incidents. It also includes high profile mass shootings. They name the type of incident, so how are they bias? As they say they are Evidence Based Research - since 2013. Not everyone has an agenda, stop being so paranoid.

Pete

Gun Control is not the answer, breaking the cycle in poor areas thru comprehensive wholistic efforts to provide good educations, jobs and economic opportunities is. Most importantly, however, is changing the Democratic social engineered polices, practices and laws that got us here in the first place, and DE-INCENTIVIZE poor single motherhood in order to put the family unit back together with a father role model present. This they do instead of analyzing the facts and concentrating efforts to break the cycle of violence in urban area poor communities (mostly run by Democrats) and working to eliminate and change the underlying systemic issues (democratic social engineering polices, practices and laws) that contribute to the inordinate amount of murder committed by young black males against other young black males. National trends clearly show who is killing who, who is killing where. Young Black males in poor communities. Yet politicians want more gun control of law-abiding citizens, when neither guns, or even crime is the leading cause of death by a long shot compared to other causes. Except if you are a young black male in a poor community. Almost all their efforts focus on law abiding citizens, who have yet to commit a crime, instead of focusing on criminal use of firearms, who, of their very name. DO NOT obey any laws. LBJ’s Great Society Act incentivized young poor single motherhood, promising govt aid if she was not married to the father of the children. This led to the decline and breakdown of the family and the absence of fathers and other responsible adult male role models, which had , and still is having, a devastating effect on the youth of the poor communities ( in addition to substandard education and lack of jobs or economic opportunity). Many black conservative figures consider this to be the number one problem affecting black America today. This leads to the street, with its crime and drugs, taking the place of a Father, offering not even the conception that there is another way of life, because they are doing what everyone else around them is doing with no one to tell them otherwise. There is quote by one young man who said, when asked, why he did what he did “I had no idea that there was anything else I could do, there was no one around to tell me different”.

Pete

Democrats are pathologically obsessed with gun control. Guns are NOT a public health crisis. Public perception of crime and gun murders is at odds with official Govt data, either due to ignorance, intentional Media/Politician fear mongering, misinformation or delusional thinking. Politicians and Media continue to focus on the symptomatic manifestation of murder (the method used) instead of the underlying causation.

Crime is a political fear mongering enterprise in America perpetuated by media and politicians (to garner votes), while never tell the whole truth. There are 700,000 sworn officers in US, with 2.2 million incarcerated in prisons and jails according to DOJ BJS. That’s with 330,000,000 people and 425,000,000 guns.

Nationally, in 2019 BATFE estimated there are 425,000,000 guns in the US. CDC Data for 2018 shows that for 330,000,000 people, there were 2,813,503 Deaths in US. 19,510 were murdered, 14,542 were murdered by guns.

For a State perspective, 2018 Virginia data shows that for 8,500,000 people, there were 68,000 deaths, 391 murders, 284 were murdered by guns. 2018 New York State data shows that for 19,000,000 people, there were 168,000 deaths, with 569 murders (all causes).

For a City perspective, 2018 NYC data show that for 8,300,000 people, 48,000 deaths with 295 Murders (all causes). NYC Murder Suspects/Victims: Black 62.6%/61.9%, Hispanic 31%/24.9% White 5.4%/9.6%

2018 Chicago data show that for 2,705,000 People, there were 19,660 deaths with 565 Murders (total), 475 with guns. Chicago Murder victims: Black (79.89%), Hispanic (13.70%), White (5.69%). 80% of victims had prior records, 92% of offenders had prior records

amerigirl

It is not true that Dems are obsessed, it is more like repubs are not willing to step up and do anything to protect the public. You only look at the Govt. data that suits your agenda. If you know the underlying causation of mass shooting please share that info with the FBI. There already monitor groups like white nationalist, suspected terrorist, etc. You give a bunch of specifically picked out facts and figures but what does that have to do with mass murders? There have already been 2 in Virginia, Virginia Beach and Virginia Tech. They should not just sit around and wait ofr another.

BobOhneiserEsq

If the definition of the problem is that there is an under-addressed public health crisis then that should be the focal point of the discussion and the primary emphasis of the solution. Mental illness generally, lack of ethics, lack of character, abusive behavior, criminal behavior, drug addictions etc sure seem to start with the head not the hand! How about increasing funding for charitable organizations like the Good Shepherd Alliance that helps the homeless get off the streets and back into society in a productive way? How about properly assessing commercial property like Janelia farm and use those extra millions now uncollected to provide food and shelter and medical services to both the poor and mentally sick including free psychologist support and stop expelling students from school which further isolates them from society. If you don't honestly identify problems there is little hope of solving the root cause of the problem. :-)

amerigirl

All those under-addressed public health issues make a good reason to have red flag laws, and keeping guns from the hands of the mentally ill and abusers.

ace10

I don't particularly care for the National Rifle Association. Never been a member. But when I read a letter like this one that is so singularly focused on vilifying the organization and the millions of Americans who comprise its members, it makes me wonder who is really behind the words. It reads like something that Bloomberg would dream up. Is this a quid pro quo? Is money flowing into the Loudoun (D) organization for penning this?

ace10

I'd like to see a specific, credible reference to support the claim that there were 208,000 deaths resulting from mass shootings during the eleven year period mentioned at the beginning of this letter.

amerigirl

Ace consider that on average, one mass shooting (defined as an event in which four or more people are killed or injured with a firearm) happens every day in the United States and that 6 of the deadliest mass shooting happened in that time period is it really that hard to believe? Also, the source, the Congressional Research Service, was supplied. Try looking it up.

ace10

LTM won't publish the link to the FBI data I attempted to post earlier, so I will simply summarize: During the 11 year period, there were 177000 homicides in the United States. That includes everything. Stabbings, blunt force, strangulation, shootings, etc. And since "mass shootings" comprise a very (VERY) small fraction of total murders, it's obvious that the letter writer is woefully mistaken on the matter. His claim of 208000 mass shooting deaths is simply wrong. And attributing it to ANY sort of verifiable source is totally irresponsible. The Left is allergic to facts. And that's a fact.

bluedog20175

And the writer said "mass firearms deaths." Completely inaccurate

amerigirl

That I believe. It wouldn't be such a stretch if she said shot meaning dead or injured and the dates were later.

amerigirl

She said she got her info from Congressional Research Service. You could look it up

ace10

I don't need to look it up. I posted facts. The Letter writer posted lies. Which you've defended, which makes you a liar.

amerigirl

Ace, what is wrong with you that you have to be so hateful? Because I said you could look something up doesn’t mean I defended it or that you had to look it up, I said that it was there and you could Try looking it up. and “She said she got her info from Congressional Research Service. You could look it up” But you decide that you have to be the NASTY and call people names. Does that make you feel better or superior or what? Just a hint, if you want to add a site into your post sometimes you can do it by highlighting it, change it to black from blue.

RoundHillGuy

What a load of crap this letter is.

amerigirl

Really? you have other sources? or you just don't want to hear about it? That makes life so much easier.

ace10

Why not get on your soap box about drunk and/or distracted driving being a "public health crisis?" The residents of Loudoun face a far, FAR bigger risk of death and serious injury from those, than virtually anything else. Instead you choose to parrot (mostly) bogus stats and twisted talking points straight from the Bloomberg playbook. Most of your "opinion" is exactly that, an "opinion" formed by a very poor understanding of current laws.

jke

There were 6000 people inside the fence in Richmond today. 44 thousand outside the fence nary a problem except for the woman who was told to take the bandana masking her face off, the only arrest. Mostly white yes and so is Virginia to the tune of 70% but all were made welcome not one racial incident heavens to Murgatroyd. 50,000 bad boys and girls behaving and cleaning after themselves seems like we know now who the real model citizens are. Randy's numbers have been debunked so often it is a wonder the LTM allows him to spew his digested baloney.

DavisB

the reason there was no trouble is that the groups supporting limits to shootings were scared off from attending - so, the 2A rights of some demolished the 1A rights of others

Chris McHale

Davis - I feel obligated to point out that the government did not deny the counterprotesters their 1A rights.

DavisB

Chris- I fee obligated to point out that I did not (nor anyone else) write that the government denied anyone their 1A rigths. JKE wrote about how peaceful the event was and I was pointing out that only one side was present because their other side chose to stay away because of the threats they received from the other side.

amerigirl

Very glad there was nary a problem, maybe because they had a heads-up from seeing the arrests made before the rally. Virginia is 68% white but how many of those people were from out of state? Lots! There weren’t even close to having a 30% minority at the rally. Just because they cleaned up after themselves, probably for the first time, doesn’t automatically make them model citizen. So, when have Randy’s numbers been debunked? You made that statement can you back it up?

tolerantleft

So many falsehoods.... Thank you Mr Ihara, Vice Chairman of the Loudoun County Democratic Committee.

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