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Is it really the gun’s fault?

Posted: April 24, 2013 - 1:22pm

When tragedy strikes, the government's first act is to blame the incident on someone or something. After the horrific tragedy in Connecticut, the government quickly began blaming guns for the damage that was done and lives that were lost. Soon after that, our entire nation went into an uproar protesting that guns are the reason why people are dying; guns are the true killer. Hardly anyone thought to blame the sick man behind the killings, but went straight to blaming the only thing they could blame … guns.

If the argument today is that guns kill people, then it's my job as a writer to investigate. During the weekend, I put my family's shot gun on the front porch, and knowing it has no legs, I set it on a chair so that it may have an open view of what was happening around it. Over the course of a day, UPS dropped off a package, my neighbors walked their dog past our home, and my family and I went in and out of the house taking our dogs and garbage out. At the end of the day I had checked on our shot gun and noticed that it hadn't been fired, and no one was hurt. It became apparent to me that guns in fact do not kill people. That leaves us with only one thesis: people kill people.

The government is currently working on a scheme to take guns away from the law abiding citizens of the U.S. Although they may be taking guns away from the good citizens of America, who's taking guns away from the criminals with guile intentions? Even though the ultimate goal may be to eliminate the mass shootings in the U.S., taking guns from the citizens of America will not accomplish this goal. The government would not eliminate guns from society this way, but they would eliminate our ability to protect our lives, liberty and pursuit of happiness.

The media regularly twists gun numbers to make gun-related deaths appear predominant over every other type of death in this country. However, a rational examination of how small the percentage of gun-related deaths are when compared to the overall number of deaths in any given year helps one to see through the hype. For example, in 2011 the percent of deaths caused by guns in the U.S. was only about .34 percent. Taking away guns from the law abiding citizens of America will not end the deaths of U.S. citizens, or prevent criminals from getting their hands on them, it will only take away their ability to protect thier homes and families from dangerous situations such as break-ins, or animal attacks.

Crime has always been an issue for Americans. Guns, however, have benefited our country for decades. From defending our country from the British, to enabling us to provide food for our families, guns have been and always will be greatly appreciated by Americans. Shooting is not only a way of providing for families, but also a worldwide sport. Skeet shooting, for instance, is an Olympic sport and is very popular all over our nation. Most U.S. citizens have accomplished safety with guns; we don't need the government taking them from us.

Alyssa VanLiere is a freshman at Homer High School.


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Stranger in a strange land
Stranger in a strange land 04/25/13 - 12:54 pm
Gun Culture

I grew up in the 50’s and early 60’s. The hot social issue of that time was racial discrimination. It occurred to me as a young person that race discrimination could be eliminated in just a few short years if it were not passed along from one generation to the next. Today, gun violence is a hot issue. It occurs to me now that perhaps gun violence could be greatly reduced if we don’t pass along our “gun culture” obsession from one generation to the next. It appears from Alyssa VanLiere’s article in the Homer News, however, that she is becoming well indoctrinated into the “gun culture” of Alaska and sadly much of the U.S.

Alyssa states that as an experiment to see if guns kill people she placed her families shotgun on her porch for a day. People came and went, but no one was killed. Thank God! I pray the gun was not loaded! Wow! How unsafe is that – a loaded shotgun sitting on the front porch for a day? Suppose it had been loaded; say accidently left on the porch after a hunting trip. Suppose the vibration on the porch from the UPS delivery person had knocked the gun off of the chair and it accidently discharged and injured or killed the delivery person? These types of accidents happen all of the time – but guns don’t kill people! Several statistics and studies show that having an unsecured gun in the home increases the risk of homicide, suicide and accidental death by orders of magnitude!

In the next paragraph Alyssa states that, “The government is currently working on a scheme to take guns away from law abiding citizens…” Really! Wow, again! And exactly what scheme is that? Alyssa must have some inside special knowledge because I am not aware of any such “scheme” being plotted at any level of our government, nor am I aware of any legislation that has been proposed by even the most radical of gun control advocates to take all guns away from law abiding citizens. There have been proposals to restrict certain types of weapons and ammunition, such as, semi-automatic rifles, armor piercing bullets and large magazines that don’t appear to be appropriate for non-military use. But the myth that, “the government wants to take your gun away” is essentially a scare tactic used by certain Washington DC based lobby groups for the firearms industry seeking to increase their profits.

Next Alyssa states that, “The media regularly twists gun numbers to make gun related deaths appear predominant…” So what are the actual statistics, not from any media, but from recently available published data:

2011 U.S. Total Gun Deaths = 32,163

This figure is eight times the 2011 gun deaths that occurred in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom combined! But gun violence statistics are hard to come by since groups like the NRA have worked hard over the years to defund any research on gun related violence and have supported laws being passed that actually make it illegal for law enforcement and regulatory agencies to gather and maintain gun statistics.

Finally, as Alyssa points out, guns in the U.S. have been and are used for hunting, sport shooting and (in rare cases) self defense, but the statistics show we are a violent society with a gun obsession. By far, gun ownership in the U.S. is the highest in the world. Studies have also shown that more gun availability equates to more gun deaths.

Sorry, Alyssa, but guns really do kill people – on average over 30,000 per year in the U.S. over the last ten years alone. That’s why they were invented, as a weapon of war. Guns were invented for the sole purpose of killing another human being – they were only later adapted for hunting and shooting sports.

I applaud Alyssa’s efforts and courage to publically state her opinion, but I have to question if all that she has said is really her thoughts. If our gun obsession is continually passed from generation to generation, gun violence will continue.

kearbear 04/26/13 - 03:54 am
The right to bear arms shall

The right to bear arms shall not be infringed. The Second Amendment has not been revoked. Enforce current laws against people who use guns to commit crimes or behave with reckless disregard. Leave every one else alone.

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