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The Massive Human and Moral Cost of Gun Violence

Posted by on Jan. 17, 2013 at 2:41 PM
  • 8 Replies

 

The Massive Human and Moral Cost of Gun Violence

The US has spent $1.5 trillion on Iraq and Afghanistan wars so far, while ignoring the reality that the greatest threats to child safety come from enemies within.
January 13, 2013 |
The heartrending massacre of 20 6- and 7-year-old children and six educators in Newtown, Conn., has galvanized public attention once again after a mass shooting. But the killing of children by gun violence is not new. It has been a relentlessly unreported and under-reported plague that has snuffed out the lives of 119,079 children and teenagers since 1979. That's an average of 3,721 child and teen deaths every year for 32 years. That's 4,763 classrooms of 25 children each. The number of children and teens killed by guns since 1979 is two and a half times greater than the number of U.S. military personnel killed in action in the Vietnam (47,434) or Korean (33,739) Wars, and over 22 times greater than American military personnel killed in the wars in Afghanistan (1,712) and in Iraq (3,518).

The United States of America has spent a $1.5 trillion on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars so far, purportedly to protect our children and citizens from enemies without, while ignoring the reality that the greatest threats to child safety and wellbeing come from enemies within.

Gun violence saturates our children's lives and relentlessly threatens them every day. It has romped through their playgrounds; invaded their birthday parties; terrorized their Head Start classrooms, child care centers, and schools; frolicked down the streets they walk to and from school; danced through their school buses; waited at the red light and bus stop; lurked behind trees; run them down on the corner; shot them through their bedroom windows, on their front porches, and in their neighborhoods. Gun violence has taught, entertained, and tantalized them incessantly across television, movie, and video game screens and the Internet. It has snatched away their parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, brothers, sisters, friends, and teachers; sapped their energy and will to learn; and made them forget about tomorrow. It has nagged and picked at their child and youthful minds and spirits and darkened their dreams, day in and day out, snuffing out the promise and joy of childhood and inflicting them with post traumatic stress disorders - often chronic. It has caused them recurring nightmares and made them afraid to go outdoors or to the movies. It has made them want to or feel they have to get a gun or join a gang to protect themselves because adults can't or won't protect them. It has made them plan their own funerals because they don't think they'll live to adulthood. It has killed them with guns every three hours and 15 minutes and injured them every 34 minutes. It terrifies them and makes them cry inside and wonder if and when enough adults are ever going to stand up and make it stop and make children safe.

President Obama, in his moving remarks at the Sandy Hook interfaith prayer vigil at Newtown High School Dec. 16, 2012, got it right when he said: "Caring for our children. It's our first job. If we don't get that right, we don't get anything right. That's how, as a society, we will be judged." And we will not pass the test of the God of the prophets or New Testament or all great faiths if we do not protect all of our sacred children against repeated and preventable gun deaths and injuries. Every child has a right to live and to dream and to strive for a future that is not destroyed in a second because we cowered before a special interest lobby and refused to protect them.

What can we do? Learn the truth about and debunk the myths that guns make us safe. Did you know that one-third of all households with children younger than 18 have a gun and 40 percent of gun-owning households with children store their guns unlocked? Contrary to what many people believe, having a gun in your home doesn't make you safer but instead endangers you and your loved ones. A gun in the home makes the likelihood of homicide three times higher, suicide three to five times higher, and accidental death four times higher. For every time a gun in the home injures or kills in self-defense, there are 11 completed and attempted gun suicides, seven criminal assaults and homicides with a gun, and four unintentional shooting deaths or injuries.

Read the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF)’s new " Protect Children Not Guns: The Truth About Guns," which debunks myths that guns make you safe. Convene congregational and parent and community study groups and let the enormity of lost child and human life sweep over you and pierce your hearts and make you determined to wake up, stand up and do something! Check CDF’s website regularly for steps you can take and that others are taking. Small acts by enough of us can set off big ripples across our nation and shake up our political leaders. The important thing is to care and to act and to keep acting for as long as it takes until the NRA’s lock on gun policy is broken. Stop shopping at stores that sell firearms over the counter -- making their purchase and use as routine and normal as a flashlight or toaster. Assault weapons should not be normalized and treated as a household product or glorified as American as apple pie. Turn off the violent TV shows. Stop buying the violent toys and video games and call for nonviolent conflict resolution and restorative justice training of our educators, faith leaders, children, and all of us. Let’s make violence unacceptable rather than acceptable in our nation which leads the world’s industrialized nations in military expenditures, in number of guns sold and in circulation (an estimated 300 million), and in child, youth, and adult civilian gun deaths.

At the height of the Vietnam War, anti-war demonstrators filled the Mall and confronted the president, Congress, and Pentagon calling for an end to that war. What is it going to take for the American people -- for you and for me -- to push the president and members of Congress and governors and state legislators to stand up to the NRA, gun manufacturers, and sellers? What is it going to take for them to place protection of children and youths and adults ahead of the protection of guns and profits and their election to office? How much is a child’s life worth in today’s political economy in America?

In 2013, as we prepare to celebrate Martin Luther King’s birthday and the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and the dream of our gun-slain prophet of nonviolence, let us truly hear and follow rather than just celebrate him. Now is the time to free ourselves from the plague of gun violence which has taken over 1.3 million American lives since Dr. King and Robert Kennedy’s assassinations in 1968. This is twice the loss of life than all American battle casualties in all the major wars we have fought since our nation began: the Revolutionary War (4,435); the War of 1812 (2,260); the Mexican War (1,733); the Civil War (214,938); the Spanish American War (385); World War I (53,402); World War II (291,557); the Korean War (33,739); the Vietnam War (47,434); the Persian Gulf War (148); the Iraq War (3,518), and the war in Afghanistan (1,712). Isn’t it way past time for some hard soul searching about what we believe as Americans? Do we believe in the sanctity of life in America or don’t we? We decide.

by on Jan. 17, 2013 at 2:41 PM
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Replies (1-8):
Rust.n.Gears
by on Jan. 17, 2013 at 2:47 PM
Hey Hitler fed this same info to the German people.
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momto2boys973
by Platinum Member on Jan. 17, 2013 at 3:00 PM

Love it!

momto2boys973
by Platinum Member on Jan. 17, 2013 at 3:00 PM



Quoting Rust.n.Gears:

Hey Hitler fed this same info to the German people.

Yeah, together with Aryan supremacy and the Jews are to blame for all your problems...

Your point again?

Paperfishies
by Platinum Member on Jan. 17, 2013 at 3:06 PM

This isn't a gun issue, this is a PEOPLE and MENTAL HEALTH issue.

Rust.n.Gears
by on Jan. 17, 2013 at 3:29 PM
He did not promote that in the beginning though. He took steps. Remove the power of the people first. We must learn from the mistakes of the past.

Quoting momto2boys973:




Quoting Rust.n.Gears:

Hey Hitler fed this same info to the German people.

Yeah, together with Aryan supremacy and the Jews are to blame for all your problems...

Your point again?


Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
momto2boys973
by Platinum Member on Jan. 17, 2013 at 3:42 PM



Quoting Rust.n.Gears:

He did not promote that in the beginning though. He took steps. Remove the power of the people first. We must learn from the mistakes of the past.

Quoting momto2boys973:




Quoting Rust.n.Gears:

Hey Hitler fed this same info to the German people.

Yeah, together with Aryan supremacy and the Jews are to blame for all your problems...

Your point again?


You're quite mistaken. You should read your history before making such comments. Anti-Semitism was one of the first ideologies promoted by Hitler when he rose to power within the Nazi party. Gun control? he didn't even ban weapons- except for Jews and other persecuted groups, of course.

The Hitler Gun Control Lie

"University of Chicago law professor Bernard Harcourt explored this myth in depth in a 2004 article published in the Fordham Law Review. As it turns out, the Weimar Republic, the German government that immediately preceded Hitler’s, actually had tougher gun laws than the Nazi regime. After its defeat in World War I, and agreeing to the harsh surrender terms laid out in the Treaty of Versailles, the German legislature in 1919 passed a law that effectively banned all private firearm possession, leading the government to confiscate guns already in circulation. In 1928, the Reichstag relaxed the regulation a bit, but put in place a strict registration regime that required citizens to acquire separate permits to own guns, sell them or carry them.

The 1938 law signed by Hitler that LaPierre mentions in his book basically does the opposite of what he says it did. “The 1938 revisions completely deregulated the acquisition and transfer of rifles and shotguns, as well as ammunition,” Harcourt wrote. Meanwhile, many more categories of people, including Nazi party members, were exempted from gun ownership regulations altogether, while the legal age of purchase was lowered from 20 to 18, and permit lengths were extended from one year to three years.

The law did prohibit Jews and other persecuted classes from owning guns, but this should not be an indictment of gun control in general. Does the fact that Nazis forced Jews into horrendous ghettos indict urban planning? Should we eliminate all police officers because the Nazis used police officers to oppress and kill the Jews? What about public works — Hitler loved public works projects? Of course not. These are merely implements that can be used for good or ill, much as gun advocates like to argue about guns themselves. If guns don’t kill people, then neither does gun control cause genocide (genocidal regimes cause genocide)
."

IhartU
by on Jan. 17, 2013 at 3:56 PM

 

Quoting Paperfishies:

This isn't a gun issue, this is a PEOPLE and MENTAL HEALTH issue.

 If that was the case then killing with other items would be right up there with the number of gun fatalities. I'm not talking about car accidents either- I'm talking about killing on purpose. If it was just a people and mental health issue, there would be just as many people killed with knives, bricks to the head and poison but there isn't and it's because there are too many guns, access to them is too easy and there aren't enough laws and restrictions in place. I find it sad that cold medication has more restrictions on it than guns do.

 

Paperfishies
by Platinum Member on Jan. 17, 2013 at 4:34 PM

 It is very much a mental health issue.  People who murder have mental health issues.  Murder is not something a mentally healthy and stable person does.
Baseball bats and knives are used in crimes every day, it just takes more effort to assault someone with a bat than with a gun.  Guns will ALWAYS be easy to obtain, at the end of the day gun control doesn't matter.  Just like the "war on drugs", drugs are illegal but give me an hour and I can have a pocketful of heroin.

Chicago has insanley strict gun laws, yet their gun crime is through the roof.  The gunlaws in place now are more than enough.  Someone who wants to committ an evil act with a gun will obtain a gun just as easily as that heroin addict obtains their illegal drug, EVERY.SINGLE.DAY.

Since the shooting in CT and all of this ridiculous talk about banning this and banning that, gun sales have more than quadrupled.  Most gun suppliers are reporting sales goals that they weren't projected to meet until 2015.   Knee-jerk reactions cause knee-jerk reactions.

You want more and more guns off the street encourage cities to have gun buy back programs.  Anyone can bring any firearm to a gun buyback site and in exchange for the firearm the individual will be given cash, then all guns bought are destroyed.  In New Albany, Indiana one of these was held a few weeks ago, the small city had a budget of $50,000 to buyback guns from people who turned them in, no questions asked.  Within 2 hours the budget was spent and nearly 300 guns were bought, as well as TWO ROCKET LAUNCHERS!  There was still a line of over 100 people willing to sell their firearms, when they had to close the doors because the had went through their $50K budget.

More laws aren't the answer.  I don't need more government involvment in my life.

Quoting IhartU:

 

Quoting Paperfishies:

This isn't a gun issue, this is a PEOPLE and MENTAL HEALTH issue.

 If that was the case then killing with other items would be right up there with the number of gun fatalities. I'm not talking about car accidents either- I'm talking about killing on purpose. If it was just a people and mental health issue, there would be just as many people killed with knives, bricks to the head and poison but there isn't and it's because there are too many guns, access to them is too easy and there aren't enough laws and restrictions in place. I find it sad that cold medication has more restrictions on it than guns do.

 


 

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