Almost once a day last year, on average, a shooting in the United States left at least four people dead or wounded. In May, we wrote about this drumbeat of gunplay. Today we turn to some of the 100-plus innocent bystanders among the 1,792 casualties.
“KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Sha’Quille Kornegay, 2 years old, was buried in a pink coffin, her favorite doll by her side and a tiara strategically placed to hide the self-inflicted gunshot wound to her forehead.She had been napping in bed with her father, Courtenay Block, late last month when she discovered the 9-millimeter handgun he often kept under his pillow in his Kansas City, Mo., home. It was equipped with a laser sight that lit up like the red lights on her cousins’ sneakers. Mr. Block told the police he woke to see Sha’Quille by his bed, bleeding and crying, the gun at her feet. A bullet had pierced her skull.”
This story breaks my heart. To be allowed to buy a gun, a citizen should have to go through a background check, buy a license, take a course, and pass a difficult exam. Hand guns should only be owned by law enforcement, professional security personnel, and military. Hand gun violence is reported to be much lower in countries with strict gun controls.
I am not sure that the adults who made these mistakes should be prosecuted as felons. They have been punished by their loss. We need less incarceration, and more support for the poor, the careless and even the stupid. Instead of destroying them and their families further, take away permanently, their right to own guns.
“The question of whether the lawsuit will be allowed to proceed is at issue because Congress, prodded by the gun lobby, in 2005 foolishly granted the gun industry nearly complete immunity from legal claims and damages from the criminal use of guns.The Sandy Hook parents argue that their suit should continue because that law, the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, allows claims against companies — gun shop dealers, for example — if they knew or should have known that the weapons they sold were likely to risk injury to others. The parents contend that the maker of the Bushmaster is no less culpable because it knowingly marketed a risky war weapon to civilians.”
“The three rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination showed enough sense of responsibility in their debate on Saturday to freely discuss the nation’s epidemic of gun violence. Unfortunately, this was only half the debate voters deserve. The Republican candidates are callously ducking the issue. Among the recent casualties of such silence was a bill in Congress that would have lifted a ban on basic federal research into gun violence and its toll on public health.For nearly two decades, Congress has banned needed research on gun violence by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Last week, Congress, doing the bidding of the gun industry, quietly killed a provision in the omnibus spending bill that would have reversed that ban.”
“The National Basketball Association, alarmed by the death toll from shootings across the country, is stepping directly into the polarizing debate over guns, regulation and the Second Amendment with an unusual advertising campaign in partnership with one of the nation’s most aggressive advocates of stricter limits on firearm sales.From Our AdvertisersIn a move with little precedent in professional sports, the N.B.A. is putting the weight of its multibillion-dollar brand and the prestige of its star athletes behind a series of television commercials calling for an end to gun violence.The first ads, timed to reach millions of basketball fans during a series of marquee games on Christmas Day, focus on shooting victims and contain no policy recommendations. The words “gun control” are never mentioned.Continue reading the main storyRelated Coverage LeBron James, above, had expressed his support for the shirt worn by Derrick Rose on Saturday. LeBron James, Jay-Z and More Made ‘I Can’t Breathe’ T-Shirts Happen in the N.B.A.DEC. 9, 2014But the organization that paid for them, Everytown for Gun Safety, has a robust and controversial agenda: It was founded by former New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg specifically as a counterweight to the National Rifle Association, and the group also battles at the local, state and federal level to expand background checks for gun buyers, strengthen penalties for gun trafficking and ban gun sales to people convicted of domestic abuse.”
Bravo NBA and its players. Now, you are acting like action heroes.
Saint Nicholas, “It’s too soon to know exactly what happened in San Bernardino, but just in the last four years, more people have died in the United States from guns (including suicides and accidents) than Americans have died in the wars in Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq combined. When one person dies in America every 16 minutes from a gun, we urgently need to talk about remedies.”
“It passed with little notice when an 11-year-old boy shot and killed an 8-year-old girl a few days ago in Tennessee — shot her because she wouldn’t show him her puppy. The boy used his family’s 12-gauge shotgun to kill the second-grader.It passed, as these things do in a country that accepts more than 33,000 deaths by gunfire every year, because we now live by an Onion headline that’s long ceased to be satirical: “‘No Way to Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens.” ”
“Columbine, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, and now, a community college in Roseburg, Ore. One after another, mass shootings have horrified the nation, stoking debate about the availability of legal guns and anguish over the inability of society to keep weapons out of the hands of seething killers.But such rampage killings are not the typical face of gun violence in America. Each day, some 30 people are victims of gun homicides, slain by rival gang members or drug dealers, trigger-happy robbers, drunken men after bar fights, frenzied family members or abusive partners. An additional 60 people a day kill themselves with guns.”
Nicholas Kristof: “What we need is an evidence-based public health approach — the same model we use to reduce deaths from other potentially dangerous things around us, from swimming pools to cigarettes. We’re not going to eliminate guns in America, so we need to figure out how to coexist with them.
First, we need to comprehend the scale of the problem: It’s not just occasional mass shootings like the one at an Oregon college on Thursday, but a continuous deluge of gun deaths, an average of 92 every day in America. Since 1970, more Americans have died from guns than died in all U.S. wars going back to the American Revolution.”
…. “Daniel Webster, a public health expert at Johns Hopkins University, notes that in 1999, the government listed the gun stores that had sold the most weapons later linked to crimes. The gun store at the top of the list was so embarrassed that it voluntarily took measures to reduce its use by criminals — and the rate at which new guns from the store were diverted to crime dropped 77 percent.
But in 2003, Congress barred the government from publishing such information.
Why is Congress enabling pipelines of guns to criminals?”
“States and countries that have gun limits have far fewer gun deaths than those that do not, he said. “So we know there are ways to prevent it,” he said.
He pointed out that the government responds to mine disasters by insisting on safer mines, to weather disasters by improving community safety, and to highway deaths by fixing roads and insisting that drivers wear seatbelts.”