Be Careful Where You Point Your Statistics…You Might Hurt Someone

When ipledgeafallegiance speaks, there is little more I can add, and he does it again with his continuing commentary on gun violence in the US: Be Careful Where You Point Your Statistics…You Might Hurt Someone.

Statistics are often (usually) misleading. It is easy to take a small statistic and twist it to infer it is evidence of two opposite things.

delano-locomotive-1943What I will add is to his comments about how the majority of gun-related deaths in the US are not from violence committed by one person on another. Which means that our leaders – in their neverending wisdom – are focusing their debate (squabbling) on the wrong problem.

I admit that I have little experience with guns, but that is for good reason.

When I was in grade school – perhaps 5th or 6th grade – I was at afterschool care with my sister.

Down the street, there were 3 brothers – 1 a grade below me, 1 a grade or two above which put him in Junior High, and the 3rd in High School.

They were playing…

…with their father’s automatic pistol.

The oldest removed the clip and pointed it at the middle brother.

Down the block, I heard the report as the bullet which had been in the chamber fired, penetrated the boy’s head at point-blank, and mutilated his brain. He was dead before the ambulance arrived.

That is why I don’t own guns. That is why I don’t play with guns. And that is also why I respect the true damage they can do.

Guns are not toys, but our society treats them as if they are.

We try to require licenses and background checks, but where is the aptitude test of the buyer to be certain he/she is capable of the responsibility of owning a deadly weapon?  Where are the mandatory classes to teach a person both how to operate the gun safely but also to glean some understanding of it? Where is the requirement – like owning a car – of liability insurance? At least when people pay for something, they earn a tad more caution when dealing with it.

I don’t want to get rid of guns. Not only is it not possible, but it’s a stupid idea. Society should not be regulated to every facet of our lives.

But I do want people to be made more responsible and held accountable.

I think those are ideals we can all get behind.

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