“Get shot or go home!” The democratic tagline of 2013.

Ms. Feinstein says that 350 people have been killed by assault rifles in the last 9 years. That’s roughly 39 a year or 3 a month. Her legislation is expected to prevent 6.7% of deaths caused by these “military looking weapons of war.” That’s 2 or 3 folks a year that will be saved from the fate of dying at the end of a rifle. This is the immediate life saving action that needs to happen?

She boldly includes twenty dead children as supporters of her bill, but statistically, only one would have been saved. She also sites a study from 1998-2001 of Police deaths and found that 1 out of 5 died at the end of a “military style or high capacity weapon”… during the ban… and it doesn’t differentiate types) I’ve checked and there’s not been a single piece of legislation related to Sandyhook or otherwise to increase spending for mental health, to improve facilities, buy more beds, train more professionals, or cut red tape for parents with needy children. There’s a vague one about forcing states to follow an existing federal law (that already applies to them) requiring they submit names of mental defectives and anyone deemed unfit to own a gun and felons. States do submit as much as they can however it is illegal to post a person’s medical information.

She falsely claims that by 2004, “assault rifle” deaths were down by 70%… technically, yeah ish… by then, they weren’t recording specific weapons used (Thanks NRA), just handgun or long gun. Additionally, handgun deaths skyrocketed during this period, and overall death by any gun was at an all time high.

She says the single factor in common with all mass shootings is the presence of a gun. Captain Obvious fails to point out that there are three leading contributors to (any) gun violence. 1)Gangs 2)Mental Instability 3)Domestic Abuse. They also happen to be leading contributors to ALL fatal violence.

When “they” throw around numbers they fail to differentiate a few things. The latest available information from the CDC (slow counters) provides that 11,078 people were murdered with firearms in 2010 and 19,392 committed suicide with guns. That’s one gun murder every 47 minutes. That’s one gun suicide every 27 minutes.

But what about everyone else? There is a murder every 32 minutes and suicide every 13 minutes. Do we forsake the fates of 24,153 people because they didn’t have the decency to die in more relevant way? If you were too slow to outrun the knife, hammer, or baseball bat, you deserved it. If you were so distraught that you didn’t even leave a mess, thanks, we’ll ignore you.

But this legislation is projected to curb 6.7% of deaths to a very specific type of weapon that is responsible (by their numbers) for one death every nine days. What other measures are being taken? None. What other steps are being considered? More confabs about television, video games, and music. Studies to follow gun deaths. National databases for mental/medical health records that can be accessed by law enforcement… you know since it’s already gonna be there, why not give passwords to cops?

I’d like to see the testimony from experts in violent crime. Experts on suicide. Experts on human behavior. Experts on gang violence. Experts on gun trafficking. Experts on domestic violence. Experts on criminal behavior. Experts of something relevant… Because really, I’m not seeing how trotting bereaved parents, handicapped survivors, or paid representatives of companies constitutes hearing the facts or compiling data. Death is not an objective thing. It strikes hard and fast and seemingly indiscriminately. However, we must be objective if we truly wish to curb the preventable deaths that are happening at a rate of one every two minutes.

Imagine if they tackled mental health, gangs, and domestic abuse and were able to prevent 6.7% of suicides and murders. That would be 3660 people saved a year. Imagine if it were as successful as state and municipal anti-violence/suicide programs that have seen 10, 20 and even greater percent decreases in suicide and murder. That’s not even the best part. We wouldn’t just be shoring up the flood gates of bad behavior, we’d be offering a different outcome for thousands upon thousands of would be criminals, inmates, cons, felons, and ultimately, victims of a system designed to fail them. How could creating a voting population of success stories and survivors be anything other than our government’s top priority?


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