How Do We Reduce Gun Violence?

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines violence as a deliberate attempt by someone to injure themselves or someone else. In 2019, there were 1.5 million times when someone in the United States tried to kick the sh*t out of someone else, of which in roughly 100,000 of those assaults, the sh*t-kicker used a gun.

So, in less than 7% of the really serious assaults a gun is involved, but it’s these assaults which result in the worst injuries and the greatest number of deaths.

There’s just no other way that you can do to the human body with a club, a first or even a knife what you can do to the human body when you use a gun. Around 20% of all serious assaults result in the victim getting killed, of which more than half involved a gun.

So, the question is: how we reduce the number of times that someone dies because he or she was attacked by someone else who pulled out a gun, pointed it at the victim and — bang! If the shooter at Oxford High School had walked around the school punching out other kids, he probably would have been stopped either by other kids or by a teacher or by a resource officer (fancy name for a cop patrolling the school), and that would have been the end of that. No big deal.

What we are told, on the other hand, is that we need to identify the people whose background, family situation, current family environment and a few other socio-economic factors which usually show up in the profile of guys who use a gun to hurt someone else. Then we need to watch these individuals closely and keep them from getting their hands on a gun.

This approach happens to be the strategy for reducing gun violence adopted and promoted by every medical, public health and gun-control advocacy group. Aligned with this strategy is the idea that anyone who owns a gun most store it and use it ‘responsibly’ to prevent the gun from ending up in the hands of the 7 percent whose profiles make them ‘high risk’ when it comes to how they will behave with guns.

That’s the reason we have background checks before someone can buy a gun and that’s the reason the entire gun-control community wants background checks to be made universal and applied to every transfer of a gun, whether the transfer is from a dealer to a buyer, or between two individuals who want to buy, sell, or otherwise transfer a privately-owned gun.

There’s only one little problem with this approach to reducing gun violence which, as far as I’m concerned, renders this strategy not only useless, but not worth the additional costs of creating a nationwide background check system that would allegedly keep guns out of the ‘wrong’ hands.

The guy who shot and killed 59 people at a Las Vegas rock concert in 2017 was legally entitled to own every gun that he took up to his rented room at the Mandalay Bay hotel. The kid who shot and killed 25 adults and children at the Sandy Hook Elementary school in 2012 had the legal right to borrow his mother’s AR-15. The young man who slaughtered 49 club-goers at The Pulse in 2016 was using a legally-purchased gun.

The point is that when you have 60 million or 70 million bottom-loading, semi-automatic handguns and rifles chambered for military-grade ammunition floating around, the idea that we will somehow figure out who should and shouldn’t be able to get their hands on one of those guns is absurd, particularly when it turns out that many of the individuals who commit the worst acts of gun violence use legally-acquired or legally-borrowed guns.

And by the way. If you’re going to attempt to engage in what Grandpa would call this facockta (read: stupid) ‘safe hands’ strategy, the very least you have to do is remember to make inquiries into the state of mind of individuals who might be thinking about shooting up a movie theater of a school before the incident takes place. The parents of the Oxford High School shooter met with guidance counselors and teachers on the same day that their son would later commit his unspeakable act of mass violence. Did anyone think to ask his parents whether they owned guns? Nope.

You can’t commit an act of gun violence without a gun. But you don’t just pick up a gun and use it the way you pick up a baseball bat or a kitchen knife. You have to make seven independent decisions in order to commit gun violence, and the decision-chain looks like this:

1. Get interested in a gun.

2. Get your hands on a gun.

3. Get your hands on ammunition for the gun.

4. Load the gun.

5. Put the gun in your pocket or your backpack.

6. Pull the gun out.

7. Point and shoot the gun.

These decisions can me made over a brief period of time or they can be made over weeks, months, or years. If there is an intervention at any point during this process and the decision chain is broken, gun violence will not occur. Period.

When does this decision-chain first appear? When boys are between the ages of 12 and 14. Guess what? Until at least to age 14, just about every boy in the United States is in school and every one of these kids is still receiving vaccinations which are required in order to attend school.

Want to reduce gun violence? Stop screwing around with such nonsense as determining who is and is not ‘at risk’ for using a gun.

Get rid of the guns which have no purpose other than to be used to inflict injuries on human beings. Then it doesn’t matter whether anyone or everyone can get their hands on guns.

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