I don’t dwell much on images that appear in the rear view mirror, but occasionally it is necessary so that we might keep things in perspective. With Joey Biden signing executive orders as if they were Christmas cards, those of us that constitute the so-called “gun culture” would do well to consider gun violence in 2020. It was a mixed bag, but it usually is. Joey and his boys and girls do not like guns and screaming from the lawn at his minions who come after yours is not going to be effective. Facts, however, always are. As I write, you cannot find ammunition in any of the popular calibers and there are waiting lists for the latest firearms. In the present political climate, I do not see that changing.
The year 2020 saw the fewest number of “mass” KILLINGS in the last ten years. A mass killing is loosely defined as four or more killings in a single incident or 24 hour time frame. Cutting to the chase here, there were 19 such incidents in 2020 as opposed to 32 in 2019. Half of these incidents involved family members and the others were generally involving the drug trade and gang wars. Two of these shootings were what drives fear and scares the hell out of folks, such as concerts, churches, a restaurant or other public venue. People who commit these public massacres are sociopathic, deranged or otherwise bat shit crazy as they say down in the hills. Often they are trying to settle a score with society over some perceived injustice. They walk among us and there is little we can do about them until they act on their deadly impulses.
Interestingly, there has been a rather sharp increase in mass SHOOTINGS, the criterion being 4 or more folks shot but not killed. In America, according to the Gun Violence Archive, there were about 50 of the non fatal incidents a month last year. Why, you ask. Sociologists might suggest that being laid off, idle time, schools being closed and the unbelievable numbers of guns being procured by a population fearful of having a constitutional right stripped from them by an administration that believes themselves to be omnipotent, might have something to do with it. Others might conclude the shooters were not very proficient. After all, we now have a President who offered to beat up folks on several occasions while campaigning, thus suggesting violence as a perfectly reasonable response to a situation that he cannot handle otherwise. I seriously question his ability to cope, but that is another story.
Here is the point. There is an estimated 434 million guns in the hands of private US citizens, of which an estimated 21 million were sold in 2020. About 37% of American households own one or more guns.While any unlawful shooting is genuinely regrettable, there is not much happening here that is newsworthy. The media sees little value in the story of a homeowner killing an intruder, as happened in a community near here this week, by all accounts a perfectly legal response to a situation that had resulted in injury to the homeowner before he ended a burglars career. To provide a reference for gun mortality, in 2016, more than 30,000 adults died in falls in the US. Statistically, Alabama experienced about 25 fatal falls per 100,000 folks while Wisconsin experienced 143 deaths per 100,000. About 800 adults a year are killed while riding bicycles in vehicular traffic. Remember reading about these statistics? No, these folks were just as dead as if shot on a corner, however; the death did not involve a gun or politician. (I would suggest that a correlation can be made between walking on ice as opposed to walking in the red dirt of Alabama as far as falling is concerned.)
Americans are frightened and very angry. Coronavirus, an economy that has been crushed, and an administration that has gone wild with executive fiat is in office. We are a sharply divided people with little relief in sight as the polarization is being stoked by a President who talks unity but does the opposite. Guns are an easy target. They do not vote, are capable of great destruction and are never viewed through a favorable prism. They are also deadly in the hands of a statistically small segment of our society that has zero in terms of the ability to cope.
The year over year trend in unnecessary gun violence is somewhat favorable, however attacking guns isn’t the answer. We need to get a handle on the terrorist culture, not the gun culture. When ANTIFA, BLM, and street gangs are given wide latitude to pursue their anti-social agenda, bad things are going to happen. Housewives aren’t buying handguns in unprecedented numbers because they suddenly want to burn powder at the range. They are doing it for personal protection from thugs who enjoy their personal protection in the form of an inert government with their heads in the sand. You can bet on it.
Have a great weekend!