The news of two shooting incidents, one involving a teenage gunman in a Utah shopping mall and the other that erupted during a business meeting in Philadelphia, spurred me to pay a visit to the National Center for Health Statistics. We’ve all read the shocking statistics on gun-related deaths, but they bear repeating.
All of the following U.S. stats are for a single year, 2004:
- Total homicide deaths with a firearm = 11,250
- Total homicide deaths involving a firearm for the age group 15-34 = 7,630
- Total homicide deaths involving a firearm for the age group 35-44 = 1,895
- Homicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-24 year olds
Roughly 31 people in this country die every day as a result of a firearm-related homicide, the majority of them young males.
Ironic, isn’t it? The Bush administration’s ‘War on Terror’ has shipped thousands of young men and women to places like Afghanistan and Iraq in the name of securing our safety and security at home. The ‘War on Terror’ has been used by Bush to justify illegal tapping of our phones and monitoring of our email. ‘Terror’ threats have been used to harass air travelers into surrendering their cosmetics, nail clippers and even our shoes for inspection. Suspected terrorists are incarcerated without due process.
Our rights as individuals are being eroded daily by the cloak that international terrorism provides, with hardly a whimper. Meanwhile, we live with a very real and palpable terror every day, a proliferation of firearms that explode with deadly results in our homes, our public spaces, our workplaces – every nook and cranny of our lives.
Gun rights activists take note. While you work yourself into a froth over any attempt to restrict, register, monitor or in any other way impose regulations on U.S. citizens and their ability to purchase, carry and use firearms because (as stated by the National Rifle Association)
The Founding Fathers trusted an armed citizenry as the best safeguard against the possibility of a tyrannical government.
– your battle is already lost.
The gun solution you favor as protection against tyranny, is itself tyranny. And the Bush administration’s steady erosion of our individual rights has occurred without guns, directly under your, and our collective noses.