Monday, December 17, 2012

Having been shot ...

As a survivor of gun violence the subject is very painful. I am in treatment for PTSD that went undiagnosed for a number of years. Over the last few days I have literally smelled cordite. But this post isn't about me and I don't have an editor. This could be a bit rambling.

  • Mass shootings, and those that are well publicized, tend to obscure a much larger problem. In 2013, 12,000 people are likely to be killed by guns and another 100,000 injured. In the US our chances of being killed by a gun are more than 15 times those of someone living in the UK.
  • There is no single profile of a felonious shooter. I was shot by a paid assassin. Other shooters are psychopaths. Many are criminals in gangs or in the drug trade. Some shooters are in domestic disputes while others are angered by having been fired or loud music or any of a number of things that don't warrant taking a life or seriously injuring someone. The only common denominator is the gun.
  • The notion that arming ourselves is the solution is absurd and would only lead to more carnage. Under stress, trained police officers miss 75% of the time. Less trained people are as likely to kill innocents as they are to thwart an assailant.
  • Similarly, a gun in the home is significantly more likely to kill a family member than a criminal. In Newton, guns in the home made them too available to someone to use for evil purposes. We have too many guns in too many homes in this country.
  • The VA Tech. shooter was a prohibited purchaser. Over the last couple of weeks I have been working with Florida media to illuminate the fact that, throughout the country our reporting of prohibited purchasers for reasons of mental health is woefully behind. I'll post a link when that is published.
  • Were the prohibited database up to date it would be rendered irrelevant by the fact that 40% of weapons sales are legally transacted without background checks. We have made it profoundly easy for criminals and the insane to frustrate the system. It is a certainty that people on parole for violent crime have weapons.
  • We need a system of accountability for every weapon sold or transferred in the nation. Doing so is not an insult to the Second Amendment.  I was shot with an illegally owned .45. The reason that Chicago gang gangsters have weapons is because they are able to obtain them in states that lack common sense gun control. At least every handgun in the country should be registered. The notion that we want weapons registered to ultimately confiscate them makes about as much sense as FEMA concentration camps.
  • Culturally, we need to adopt a "no exceptions" mindset. Christians take note; Dr. George Tiller is no less a victim of gun violence than any one of the teachers killed in Connecticut. Murder is murder. When anti-choice zealots give the murder of Dr. Tiller a pass, they give society license to do more violence.
  • Violence creates multiple victims. I realize now that my partner also had PTSD. Our last few years together were very unpleasant.
Ultimately, we need to employ some common sense. Today, 32 people will die from gun violence. What on earth are we waiting for?
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