Good interview in The Atlantic today– (I know, I know: The Atlantic is a tiny bit anti-gun according to everything I have read until this one- look at the banner image above to remind you where you are and trust me) covering Dan Baum’s new book, Gun Guys: A Roadtrip. Like too many other Americans to count Dan is a firearms enthusiast who is not the stereotype the Antis would have you think all those ‘dangerous and reckless gun owners’ are. The interviewer asks some predictably ignorant questions but the responses are great and its a breath of fresh air to see some press like this. Here is a sample of the fare for your consideration:
(Interviewer) We do have one of the highest homicide rates of all developed countries.
(Dan Baum)That’s not really true. Our homicide rate is a quarter of Russia’s. We’re high compared to Western Europe. We’re high compared to Japan. But as I’m always trying to tell people — we’re not all Japanese in this country. We’re not all British. We’re an incredibly complicated, polyglot country with an incredible amount of personal freedom. It’s a miracle we get along as well as we do. There were 11,000 gun murders last year. In a country of 330 million people, as complicated as we are and as free as we are, that may not be an alarming number.
That 11,000 gun murders figure represents .003% of the US Population to help put it in perspective. To add further perspective the lowest number of US traffic deaths in the past 60 years was 32,367 — .009% of the US population — and occurred in 2011. Automobiles kill at least 3 times more Americans than guns every single year.
Since Dan got the ball rolling here are a couple more Facts, Not Feelings about Firearms:
- Half of all murders are committed by people on “conditional release” (i.e., parole or probation). (Probation and Parole Violators in State Prison, 1991: Survey of State Prison Inmates, Robyn Cohen, U.S. Dept. of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1995)
- 81% of all homicide defendants had an arrest record; 67% had a felony arrest record; 70% had a conviction record; and 54% had a felony conviction. (Felony Defendants in Large Urban Counties, 1998, Brian Reaves, U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, November 2001)
So if we could convince our elected officials to spend their time making some laws that keep criminals in jail it would have a substantial impact on all violent crime, including gun murders? I better stop writing before I eschew more Factual common-sense legislative ideas….
Keep talking to people- especially the uninformed. Remind people that gun owners don’t fit the stereotypes that the media would have them believe. And make your voice heard in your state capitol…April will be the time to contact our Senators in D.C. Watch the Call to Action section here for one-click access to write Congress and phone numbers to call if you don’t have time for an email. Stay sharp & keep your front sight up amigos.