Letter: Stop blaming the tools
Recently compiled FBI crime statistics (2014) conclude that there were almost 12,000 deaths related to firearms that year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in 2013 that there were 21,000 firearm suicides and 11,000 firearm homicides. The CDC also reported in 2013 that unintentional falls killed 30,000 and motor vehicles killed 33,000. In May of this year The BMJ published a peer-reviewed paper (http://www.bmj.com/content/353/bmj.i2139) that showed medical errors are the third-leading cause of death in the United States, following heart disease and cancer. According to the study, every year medical errors kill more than 251,000 people in the U.S.
Are those who would like to see greater gun control really interested in protecting the population from danger? If so, where is the outcry to ban “assault doctors?” Why are the people not demanding that all pedestrians be registered and licensed to prevent unintentional falls?
The Constitution does not explicitly define one’s right (not to be confused with a privilege) to operate a motor vehicle. However, millions do operate motor vehicles after training, becoming licensed and registering their assault vehicles, um, transportation devices. Despite the training, licensing and registration, motor vehicles are more deadly than firearms.
Who honestly believes that criminals will not be able to get their hands on certain weapons if those weapons are “banned” or if there are more stringent background checks and gun registries? Obviously somebody willing to kill another person has serious problems and can use any tool to do it. Let’s stop blaming the tool.
Those arguing that the Second Amendment was explicitly accepted for “a well regulated militia” should reference The Militia Act of 1792: “…That every citizen, so enrolled and notified, shall… provide himself with a good musket or firelock … or with a good rifle …” The individual had to arm himself with the best firearm technology available at the time (not government issued). The AR-15s of today would be technologically comparable with the muskets and rifles of that time.
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I understand that there are many who do not believe in individual gun ownership, but it is a right (not a privilege) guaranteed by the Constitution. We stand on a very slippery slope. Will emotions and fear lead us to violate the Constitution and the rights of millions of law-abiding people for the perceived protection from something that is no more dangerous than unintentionally falling?
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