Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Republican pols pander to People of the Gun

From Laura Washingtons Sun-Times column on Monday...
Speaking of tin cups, the gun lovers have plenty of poster children who stand ready to kick their can down the road. Take former Chicago Bears defensive lineman Tank Johnson. He has the answer to today's overworked and anxious individuals. "If you're stressed-out, rent a gun at the range and shoot two clips out," Tank was quoted as saying in ESPN the Magazine. "You'll be feeling pretty good." You might recall that last year his house was raided by police, who reportedly found six guns and 500 rounds of ammunition -- with two young children present.

Everybody needs a little "protection" at home, right?

There is no study that will prove that claim, writes David Hemenway in his 2004 book, Private Guns, Public Health.

"Instead, states and counties with more guns have more burglaries when someone is at home," reports Hemenway, a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health.

A gun in the home is 22 times more likely to be used in an unintentional shooting than to injure or kill in self-defense, according to a 1998 study published in the Journal of Trauma, a medical journal. I'm more worried about children getting hold of guns in the home than encounters with lead paint on Thomas the Tank Engine toys. Let's get real and get our priorities straight.

Last month the U.S. Supreme Court took on a firecracker of a case: It agreed to consider whether a handgun ban in Washington, D.C., is a violation of the Second Amendment, the Holy Grail of gun lovers everywhere.

The court will hear arguments next spring and may issue an opinion in the summer, smack dab in the heat of the 2008 presidential contest.

It's probably naive to think that Republican-Roberts-dominated Supremes will rule in favor of gun control. But then I still believe in Santa Claus.
Now I have a question, where does this Harvard University professor who was cited in the column get his stats from. What are these stats based from. While they seek to use stats to prove guns are dangerous in the home there are those who might use the argument that people might be safer with guns and there may very well be stats that can prove that.

There is a story out there where a homeowner caught someone in their home and this burglar got shot for his troubles. In which case someone can argue well knowing that someone has a gun at home will give a burglar pause should he choose to enter a person's home and the person that's there has a gun. Or perhaps another argue could be about a person walking down a street it could be at night or in broad daylight and this individual could be mugged but he's lucky enough to have a gun. This person can use their street smarts and turn around point their gun at them. These potential strong arm robbers might turn around and find another easy target. The bottom line is that a law-abiding citizen with a weapon might give a criminal some pause when they choose to committ a crime.

Another point I can say here is that stats can prove whatever you want them to prove. You want them to prove that they make society there's data to support that. If you want to prove that they're not, then there's surely data to support that.

All that should matter is that you make a choice. It's yours to make and I hope that if you do make that choice that you take responsibility. Let's face facts guns are not toys and there are a few "cowboys" of sorts out there who let their temper get the best of them. The ones who carry and they just let rage get the best of them.

I know that isn't the point of this column. What I do know is that I would rather someone not take a gun out of a responsible person's hands because some fool decide to use a gun. That is use a gun because they're mad at the world or something that has nothing to do with the world. Or that such person chooses to use a gun in the commission of the crime.

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