Walmart and the NRA

Cover of "Wal-Mart Effect"

Cover of Wal-Mart Effect

The Wal-Mart Effect, How the World’s Most Powerful Company Really Works–and How It’s Transforming the American Economy by Charles Fishman. I read this book several years ago, and now as I re-read it, something just jumped out at me as we try to eneact gun safety measures. Walmart does not want us to know how Walmart affects the country–employment, wages, healthcare, and quality of goods and services. And the NRA does not want the government collecting statistics on gun violence. That tells me that both Walmart and the NRA have something to hide, something that they fear the American voter might use  to decide to support restrictions on how both operate.

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Never again

Yesterday evening in Newtown, Connecticut, President Obama spoke to a grieving community and to the nation about the Sandy Hook school shooting. When he spoke the names of the twenty children slain by multiple bullet wounds, as many as eleven, I thought that words of comfort from the President, church leaders, other politicians and ordinary folks from nearby towns might comfort and sustain parents and siblings of the deceased in the days and weeks ahead. But those words of comfort and makeshift memorials of flowers and toys will do nothing to prevent similar tragedies from occurring again and again in the future. It is up to us to ensure that similar tragedies do not occur again. We cannot prevent all gun violence in the future, but we can and must reduce their frequency. That is the lesson to be drawn from Newtown. We must heed it or someday we may suffer the same consequences.

Guns don’t kill people, people with guns kill people.

Gun control revisited

Constitution

Constitution (Photo credit: ~ Phil Moore)

Gun Control

In the May, 2012 issue of Reason magazine , there is a prominent article by Greg Beato entitled, “The Gun Explosion, Why the Firearms Boom is Good News for the American Economy.” Gun sales are way up and he lists several reasons. It is easier for small manufacturers to produce guns using computerized milling machines. More manufacturers are making more and different models. Women and men in combat are returning to civilian life with knowledge of guns and a desire to own one or more. Fear that some models may be banned. Beato’s closing words, the best way to reduce the sale of guns may be to defeat Barack Obama in November.

Gun control part 2

I favor strict gun controls. In fact, I believe that gun ownership by individuals should be made illegal. The second amendment to the Constitution supports the right to bear arms by a militia or national guard. That requirement can be met by keeping the necessary weapons under lock and key in an armoury for use during legally authorized emergencies. Members of the militia/national guard do not need to have access to weapons in their homes.

For sportsmen and women, I would provide target ranges where guns could be rented while in use at the range only. For hunters, I would provide rifles and shotguns for rent only during the various hunting seasons. Once the rental period expired or the season ended, the guns must be returned from where they had been rented.

There are too many guns on the streets in the wrong hands. Privileges that are abused are lost. Too many people in America are losing their lives daily to senseless gun violence. It will not stop as long as we permit some to profit from their sale nor will it stop as long as the NRA is involved in politics.

Gun control part 3

I have never suffered a gun related crime as a victim nor have I ever prevented a crime by use of a gun to protect myself or someone else. I have been told by others how a gun saved them from death or a fate worse than death as rape was described in an earlier day. The number of gun related crimes can be ascertained approximately from crime statistics, but the number of crimes prevented by guns can only be estimated. The question in my mind is what is the cost-benefit ratio? How many crimes prevented to the number of gun related crimes? Then each of us must make a moral judgment. Are the crimes prevented of greater worth to society than the cost of gun related crimes and deaths?

Every crime prevented is worth celebrating, particularly to the potential victim and his/her family and friends. However, as much as a crime prevention is worth celebrating for an individual, is the cost worthwhile for all of us together as a society? Are we to arm everyone to prevent crime? A gun kept safely under lock and key may not be accessible in time to prevent a crime. The best marksman/woman in the world may be slower on the draw than the intruder/criminal. As much as guns may prevent some crimes for some individuals, I believe that the mayhem that results from too many guns in the wrong hands is too high a price to pay.

I would suggest replacing guns in our society with non-lethal means of defense such as mace, pepper spray and tasers. However, I think that we must look beyond that to what I believe is the ultimate solution, loving our neighbors. If each of us truly loved our neighbors as ourselves and let our neighbors know of our love with positive acts that were of benefit to the neighbor/potential criminal, I believe that potential criminals would be hesitant to hurt someone who loved them. You may think that I am crazy and/or naive, but I believe that the fellowship of man is the ultimate solution to the gun problem that we have here in the US. We cannot continue to witness gun-related mass slayings and label each and every one of them the work of the mentally disturbed when we have no way of knowing who is  prone to gun violence before the tragedies occur.

Gun control part 4

As I see it, there are two main reasons for the support of the second amendment: self-defense, discussed in a prior post, and distrust of the US government, the subject of this post.

Guns in the hands of the civilian population is believed by some to guarantee our freedom. This belief was born in our successful revolt against Great Britain in the period of 1776 to 1783. The US was aided financially by France and individuals from various European nations volunteered their services. Is that likely to happen again in the future? I think not.

Armed rebellion by residents of the South was attempted in the Civil War from 1861 to 1865 and was defeated. Even with aid from Great Britain, the South could not withstand the might of the Federal government. Do the militias and individuals expressing second amendment rights today honestly believe that they have any chance of success? I doubt that they could withstand the organized might of the Federal government nor could they expect assistance from governments or many individuals from outside the US. Rather than intervene on the rebels’ behalf, the UN or NATO are more likely to assist the US government.

Rather than suggesting armed rebellion against the government to protect their definition of freedom, the proponents of resistance to government policies should work within the system to effect change. If they cannot win the support of the majority of their fellow citizens, they should rethink their positions. The rest of the free world is free despite the lack of an armed citizenry. My advice to the second amendment supporters is to relax and enjoy life. And let the rest of us enjoy our lives without all the emphasis on 2nd and 10th amendment rights.

Gun control part 5

Briefly from An Invitation to Health, Brief Second Edition, by Dianne Hales. An additional reason supporting strict gun control:

“States with stricter gun-control laws have much lower rates of suicides than states with more lenient laws.”

Protect yourself and those you love from self-destruction caused by temporary periods of depression.

Gun control part 2

3 Muzzles

3 Muzzles (Photo credit: ZORIN DENU)

I favor strict gun controls. In fact, I believe that gun ownership by individuals should be made illegal. The second amendment to the Constitution supports the right to bear arms by a militia or national guard. That requirement can be met by keeping the necessary weapons under lock and key in an armoury for use during legally authorized emergencies. Members of the militia/national guard do not need to have access to weapons in their homes.

For sportsmen and women, I would provide target ranges where guns could be rented while in use at the range only. For hunters, I would provide rifles and shotguns for rent only during the various hunting seasons. Once the rental period expired or the season ended, the guns must be returned from where they had been rented.

There are too many guns on the streets in the wrong hands. Privileges that are abused are lost. Too many people in America are losing their lives daily to senseless gun violence. It will not stop as long as we permit some to profit from their sale nor will it stop as long as the NRA is involved in politics.

Please see Gun control | Guns and cigarettes | Firewater | Gun deaths in America

Guns and cigarettes

Picture of Daniel Webster

Picture of Daniel Webster (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Both are killers.

Just imagine how difficult it would be to control smoking if the right to cigarettes were protected by an amendment to the Constitution. Many still die each year because making and selling cigarettes is still profitable. However, the number who die is declining due to education and increased taxes. “The power to tax is the power to destroy,” according to Daniel Webster and John Marshall. Today in addition, many laws regulate where smoking is permitted.

If only it were as easy to regulate guns as it is to regulate cigarettes. However, the second amendment and the NRA make common sense regulation of guns more difficult and about 100 Americans die every day because of gun violence. Trayvon Martin was only one of the approximately 100 who died that day. Little notice taken of the other 99. If only education and taxation could reduce the number of guns in circulation and the number of gun deaths. Perhaps then we could enact sensible laws about the number and types of guns that people are allowed to own.

It is estimated that 90% of the guns in the hands of Mexican drug cartels are made and sold in the US. We are arming all sides in the drug wars and profiting from the deaths on our doorstep. The Fast and Furious operation was an attempt to trace the various routes US guns travel to Mexico. Many small purchases are made of assault weapons and others by individuals who buy to resell to the drug cartels.