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Diatribe: Eighty-Five Gun-Related Deaths Each Day.
Christmas Day sounded more like the Fourth of July in my neighborhood this year. The sound of gunfire in the air indicated that Santa Claus had delivered an extraordinary number of firearms to nearby households the night before and that the gun owners were anxious to put their new weapons to the test.
Statistics from the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence made available last month (before the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings) teach us that in 2010, guns took the lives of 31,076 Americans in homicides, suicides and unintentional shootings … the equivalent of more than 85 deaths each day and more than three deaths each hour.
Eighty-five gun-related deaths each day.
While the senseless killing of groups of school children is certainly a tragedy, so too is the senseless shooting of children and adults in smaller and random numbers.
Eighty-five gun-related deaths each day. Where is the daily outrage? Why is a debate about gun control laws, the Second Amendment and military-defense weaponry not a conversation at the forefront of conversations from law offices to breakfast tables? Are we not appalled when the innocent are killed only one-at-a-time?
I couldn’t help but wonder on Christmas Day, as I brought my horse in from the pasture to the safety of his stall, if any of the new gun owners in the neighborhood had received training on the use of their firearms. Surely, if they were Christmas gifts there hadn’t been time to take a class and any practice ranges in the region were closed for the holidays. It would be just my luck to get hit by a stray ricochet.
Do I feel safer knowing that my neighbors are armed? Absolutely not. My home is in a rural country setting so, perhaps, I should find contentment in knowing that someone nearby can protect me from danger. But, try as I might to think otherwise, I see the presence of excessive firearms in the vicinity as the very danger from which I need protection.
Just the day before, on Christmas Eve, Brownells Inc, the world’s largest supplier of firearms accessories and supplies released a statement apologizing for the delay in fulfilling orders due to a demand surge during which the company sold 3.5 years’ worth of gun magazines in a span of seventy-two hours.
Let’s keep talking about guns. Let’s continue to have civil discussions about the types and models of weaponry that may or may not be appropriate for civilians to own and operate. And let’s never forget that our neighbors may be heavily armed.
Something must be done to eliminate eighty-five gun-related deaths each day.
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