Here is an excerpt from a rather emotionally written portion of New York’s own Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. In it he speaks at some length about how awfully guns effect our society. However, after reviewing the bill, I did research using government collected statistics. These are reports that one would hope Cuomo has access to since I was able to find them in a matter of minutes. Enjoy.
“In the wrong hands, guns are weapons of untold destruction and heartbreak: family and community members are taken from us in an instant; mass shootings shatter our sense of safety in public spaces; street crimes plague our neighborhoods. Nationwide, gun violence claims over 30,000 lives annually.”
He conveniently leaves out the fact that of those 30,000 lives;
19,392 are from suicide, as is indicated by the CDC death statistics chart.
412 people died by police killing bad guys as well as civilians lawfully killing someone in self defense (also CDC).
9 were from military training accidents (CDC).
11,078 were homicides (CDC).
That’s still a lot. However, it’s estimated that 75% or more of all homicide victims had prior records, drug sales, warrants for their arrest, possession and so forth. Approximately 11% of murderers were awaiting a trial for a crime they already commited. In NYC, for instance, 75% of all people who were murdered had prior arrests. Criminals tend to target other criminals.
Sadly, the other 25% involve mostly domestic disputes and situations where the two parties have an argument and it escalates to violence. The only thing I can say in response to that is if you take away guns, the murders will simply become more gruesome when baseball bats, knives and other implements are used.
Also, tragically around 600 people die from accidentally discharged firearms. However, I ask you to curb the emotional response to this fact just long enough to compare it with other accident statistics.
3,696 People accidentally drown
2,737 People accidentally die from smoke, fire or flame related incidents
30,781 People accidentally poison themselves
25,903 People accidentally fall to their deaths
16,664 People accidentally kill themselves from a mixed bag of undetermined things.
It’s probably safe to say people are more of a threat to themselves than anyone else. Also, considering accidental discharges number at 600 the threat of guns going off unintentionally and killing someone is dwarfed in the presence of water.
Other interesting thoughts;
A massive quantity of illegal firearms were put on the street by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in a failed attempt to track guns to mexican cartels. The majority of the guns have never been recovered and are currently in the hands of criminals.
Not long ago, several fully automatic M-16s with mounted grenade launchers were stolen from a military facility in New York State.
A Harvard study in Volume 30, Number 2 of the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy (pp. 649-694), set out to answer the question in its title: “Would Banning Firearms Reduce Murder and Suicide? A Review of International and Some Domestic Evidence.” Their answer was “no”.
More food for thought; the Institute of Medicine estimates that 98,000 people die every year from medical mal practice and preventable medical errors. There are much bigger problems in the world being completely ignore, like a failed mental health system in New York State as discussed by Greg Ball http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=2rRSUEaLKvA
Still hungry? Do a search on Youtube and see how many news reports you can find of people lawfully defending themselves with firearms. Here’s a cute one to get you started when an 11 year old girl defended her home against 3 men http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tiiQQP4-Ijw
I’ve been a little light hearted with this, but also consider others in your life. If a 200 pound man wants to rape you, your wife, sister, best friend or whoever… stop him.
Over 2800 registered sex offenders live in a five mile radius of NYU, a college in New York City where it is next to impossible to obtain a pistol permit and where NYS Issued pistol permits are not accepted.
Over 100 Registered sex offenders live within a five mile radius of Marist College in Poughkeepsie NY which resides in Dutchess county and is considered a “pro gun” area that issues pistol permits to its residents.
Ignoring the fact that any registered sex offender is allowed to be in such a close proximity to a location full of out-of-town, young, defenseless women that are difficult to track and monitor; any animal tends to go where it feels safer.
We can go on and on. All I know is I’ve already spent quite a bit of money to own my firearms and all that’s changed now is I have to spend more money to keep them thanks to this bill. That, and I have to reload more often when I go to the range. However, quite a bit has changed for criminals and business is looking a little better for them. Basically, all this has done is increase the flow of taxes and other money into a government that is caught spending it on hookers far too often.
So, back to Cuomo and his dramatic and forceful push to skip the appropriate processes for passing a bill? Why the big show of things? Why the fire and brimstone? Why the make believe tears from our president (This was pointed out to me by a photography hobbyist who said she didn’t think he was really crying because when you wipe a tear away it leaves a trail which reflects light and sticks out like a soar thumb on camera) and why the threat of executive order? I can’t say, however my opinion is if anyone was given enough time to think about it, they would have voted no. If you remember, democrats also allowed the previous nationwide weapons ban to expire.
Any other theories? Well, it’s kind of like banning trans-fat to eliminate obesity. It’s something a politician can do that makes it look like he did something, without him actually having having to do all that much work. Banning the purchase or sale of something is easy because there’s a specific point of sale for such things along with pre-positioned systems that track it, there’s already a system in place. However a failed mental health system requires a new system. Not allowing sex offenders to live so close to colleges seems easy to achieve, but apparently not since it never seems to happen.
In fairness, it’s a lot of work to change a system, a daunting task that already has too many cooks spoiling the pot. Chances are any attempt to do so would take longer than an individual has in office and would not be viewed as a victory, only an attempt.
So, let’s say for argument’s sake, you don’t agree with circumventing the appropriate process and pushing laws onto the people, what can you do?
Well, I don’t know, but my opinion is that the key to action from a voter’s standpoint is to be that squeaky wheel that demands more than smoke and mirrors from their elected officials.
Sure, it seems like your one measly vote means nothing, or that your one letter will just be looked at as the ramblings of a crazy person. Provided that you can speak intelligently, the letters you write really do get read. It’s important to think highly of your own value in America.
If you’re not convinced, consider this; radio marketing experts view a single person who is willing to voice their opinion to be equal to 1000 people not willing to voice their opinion. Such data is used to decide what DJs are going to say on the radio (No, that unscripted, unedited wacky wild radio show you thought you heard was in fact completely planned.)
So, realize that as far as polling is concerned, what you have to say counts for more in the eyes of politicians than you realize.
Republican, democrat. Does it really matter when a law was passed in such a rushed “thief in the night” manner as to raise everyone’s eyebrow? Sometimes it’s better to measure people by the depth of their character and their actions than simply what team they play for. That’s not exactly a Martin Luther King quote, but it does show that we haven’t really learned our lesson in however many decades. Quite a few people exuded pride in signing the bill, and yet it was discovered that most of the people who voted yes never actually got a chance to read the bill.
Regardless of your feelings on guns, consider signing the petition to repeal this law based on the fact that it was unjustifiably passed. If you give the inch, where do you think the mile is going to go? This is one of those times where action is easy.
It takes only a few key strokes and few moments of your life, but the will to act will stay with you long after the browser is closed and your life has moved on. Regardless of the outcome, you did something. That’s more than most will ever be able to say. The opportunity is now and it couldn’t be easier to grasp.
Thanks for reading, but more importantly; thanks for thinking.
Sign this petition!