Wednesday, April 27, 2005
"Support the Right to Arm Bears" (Bumper sticker seen in Palo Alto, California)
Well, one cannot argue with the fact that someone has to pull the trigger. It is also indisputable that people can be stabbed to death, beaten to death, strangled to death,poisoned to death, pushed to death, drowned to death and so on.
One cannot also argue with the fact that guns make killing very easy. The following is from data base of the Center for Disease Control (CDC): "The rate of firearm deaths among children under age 15 is almost 12 times higher in the United States than in 25 other industrialized countries combined. American children are 16 times more likely to be murdered with a gun, 11 times more likely to commit suicide with a gun, and nine times more likely to die in a firearm accident than children in these other countries."
My respect for the Constitution is high and I have contempt for those who urge amendments for political expediency or for the sake of their own narrow beliefs.
The Second Amendment
"A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. "
There are legal arguments about the "absoluteness" of Second Amendment. No authority on the Constitution, I, but the words "a well regulated militia" jump out at me. Currently, availability of lethal firearms is not limited to such bodies; any adult without a criminal record can procure them.
High powered semi-automatic weapons and ammunition for them were non-existent when the framers of the Constitution added Second Amendment. It was a different world then.
Here are some numbers about the tolls they take. Source: Injury Facts of the National Safety Council's report, 2002 edition.
- In 1999, 3,385 kids ages 0-19 years were killed with a gun. This includes homicides, suicides, and unintentional injuries.
- This is equivalent to about 9 deaths per day, a figure commonly used by journalists.
- The 3,385 firearms-related deaths for age group 0-19 years breaks down to:
- 214 unintentional
- 1,078 suicides
- 1,990 homicides
- 83 for which the intent could not be determined
- 20 due to legal intervention
- Of the total firearms-related deaths:
- 73 were of children under five years old
- 416 were children 5-14 years old
- 2,896 were 15-19 years old
In addition to firearm deaths, we need to look at how many children and young people are hurt by guns. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that in 1997, 2,514 children aged 0-14 were non-fatally injured by guns. In the same year, 30,225 young people aged 15-24 sustained nonfatal firearm injuries. These statistics include suicide attempts and both intentional and accidental shootings.
General Federation of Women's Clubs
Int'l Ladies' Garment Workers' Union
League of Women Voters of the United States
Nat'l Council of Jewish Women
Nat'l Council of Negro Women
Nat'l Organization for Women
Women's Nat'l Democratic Club
Women Strike for Peace
Women's Action for New Directions (WAND)
Women's Int'l League for Peace and Freedom
YWCA of the U.S.
North of the border, in Canada the number of gun owners is high yet firearm related deaths and injuries are comparatively much lower. Canada's restritctive requirements for purchase of guns are under attack from the conservatives.
Your Child-National Safety Council
Jeffrey A. Roth-Firearms and Violence