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Where we live: Waiting for change

Published August 17. 2019 06:43AM

When I heard about the shooting in El Paso, Texas, my heart began to race.

I am not from Texas, which is my excuse for having absolutely zero knowledge when it comes to the state’s geography. But I have family down there, and my youngest brother was in the middle of visiting them when the news broke.

After reading the first headline, I mapped the distance between where he was and where the shooting took place. He was hours away from the violence.

My brother was not in that Walmart on Aug. 3. But others’ loved ones were.

I wonder what they did after hearing the news for the first time. They did not have to use Google Maps to find out where the shooting happened. The store was a mere car ride away.

They tried to call. They sat through the same, harrowing rings that I had. But this time, no one picked up. No one answered to assure them that they were OK.

This time violence had come to their home.

This kind of bloodshed — the kind that starts with a boy who thinks he is a man, or at least, that a trigger and some ammo might make him one — has become commonplace. It is normal now.

Like, more than 250 shootings this year alone normal.

Like, that was not the first time I called my brother to check that he was still alive, normal. In December 2017 — only months before the massacres at Marjory Stoneman Douglas and Santa Fe high schools — my phone began to ring. On the other end, my friend told me a shooting had occurred near my brothers’ school.

I hung up. I tried calling both boys. Neither answered.

This was it, I thought.

Violence had come to my home.

I was finally able to get in touch with my mother. It was an isolated incident, she said. A few boys had been arguing, and one had brought a gun with him. He shot two others, both of whom survived.

I feel selfish.

More than 30 people were killed between the shooting in El Paso and one that occurred in Dayton, Ohio, the next day. And yet, here I am, writing about how worried I was that the name of someone I knew might have been on the victims’ lists.

But I fear that one day, one might.

I know I am not the only person scared that if I go to work — or to a church, or a store, or a school or a concert — I might be met by a boy who think he is a man, lying in wait to prove it.

And people are calling for change. They are demanding action.

I guess they are still waiting for someone to pick up.

When will the politicians address the shooter, what motivated him, the decline in our culture that produces these trigger pullers and focus on the root causes of the problem. It is not the tool the shooter misused, it never has been. Knives are misused, so are pressure cookers, trucks, motor fuel and farm fertilizer. Tragically, too many politicians seize on these situations to undermine our Rights and Freedoms to advance their agenda of total control.
Politicians have no intention of addressing the shooter, because their goal is banning guns. Only a handful have been honest about it, but their actions speak volumes. We should only require one gun law; the second amendment. What is needed is a weapons law. It won't stop crazy or evil people from doing a thing, but it should set a punishment at the federal level that no state can change or lessen. Mandatory death penalty at the nearest federal prison. If there are witnesses, video, or a confession there should be no appeal allowed. That sentence should be carried about immediately after their fair trial. Take them from the court room to whatever execution chamber is in the building and be done with it. The concept that taking guns away and/or limiting what guns may be owned solves nothing. Guns aren't the problem. A lack of mental health care, the flawed and sketchy enforcement of laws already on the books, and a justice system that makes more money keeping people out of prison are all parts of the problem. It is time to get back to placing blame on the person responsible instead of an inanimate object, and it is time to stop punishing all the wrong people.
If it’s a mental health issue, what do you propose to do to solve?

Keep in mind trump has said it’s a mental health issue but has done absolutely nothing to address it.
When a pressure cooker is used as a bomb, that’s an example of misuse of a product. When fertilizer is turned into a bomb, that’s an example of a product being used for a purpose that wasn’t intended.

When an AR with a 100 round clip is used to blow the heads off of people, that’s an example of a product performing exactly as intended.

We are the only country these shooting happen regularly and the only country to believe guns should be easy to get. Every country has bad actors but we are the only one eager to arm them
“We are...the only country to believe guns should be easy to get.”
“...we are the only one eager to arm them.”
Simply false, Joe. You are a know-it-all that doesn’t grasp the subject, yet, you are always ready to confiscate guns. Where do you dream up this stuff?
The obvious way to dispute my statement is to offer up a country with similar gun attitudes and laws. Of course that’s no where in your post. Thanks for playing.
Criminals don't follow the law plain and simple. It's always take the guns away, limit the guns people can have and we need more gun laws. This isn't a gun problem its a people problem. People have lost respect for one another somewhere along the way. I can't pinpoint one fix because there isn't one. There could be a multitude of reasons why people commit these horrible crimes, however one thing is for sure the gun doesn't pull its own trigger. Take away the guns and people who want to harm others will find another means. They will plow down a group of people on the sidewalk with a vehicle, make a bomb to kill a handful of people at one time, get a kitchen knife and use it to kill and injure a group of people, etc.... A gun is a tool. Yes I support the 2nd amendment and a persons right to carry a gun ( I carry a pistol everyday I leave my home and whether you believe it or not if you are in the same location as me you are safer because I am there) but I also believe that when that gun is on my person everyday it won't harm anyone because I believe in the rule of law, the value of life, respect for my fellow man and most importantly that gun on my person won't fire on its own.
Again, what is the only difference between the US and other western nations? The number of guns and the culture of valuing guns more than lives (as you showed well). Mass shooters have by and large bought their weapons legally and gun companies and retailers are flooding the market with ARs.

This disgusting do nothing attitude you have is the problem
I'm not sure how you came to the conclusion that I showed that I value guns more than lives, I specifically said "the value of life, respect for my fellow man and most importantly that gun on my person won't fire on its own". Here are some facts for you in regards to the US and Western Nations.
Washington, D.C.'s gun ban worsened the city's homicide rate. As The Daily Wire has previously explained: In 1976, D.C. implemented a law that banned citizens from owning guns, as only police officers were allowed to carry firearms. Those who already owned guns were allowed to keep them only if they were disassembled or trigger-locked. Trigger locks could only be removed if the owner received permission from the D.C. police, which was rare. According to prosecutor Jeffrey Shapiro, the results were not good. Annual homicides rose from 188 in 1976 to 364 in 1988, and then increased even further to 454 in 1993. The gun ban was struck down by the Supreme Court in District of Columbia v. Heller, and homicides have steadily declined since then to 88 yearly murders in 2012. While Shapiro admits that there were other factors involved with the decline in homicides, lifting the gun ban clearly did not result in a rise in murders. D.C. still has some of the strictest gun laws in the country and consequently is one of the most dangerous places in the country to live, but the facts clearly show that homicides in D.C. rose after the ban was implemented and then subsequently declined after the Supreme Court ruled the law unconstitutional.
The gun bans in Australia and Britain also didn't work. Australia and Britain are both hailed by the Left as evidence that gun control works. However, the facts tell a different story.
Two studies – a 2007 British Journal of Criminology study and a 2008 University of Melbourne study – concluded that Australia's temporary gun ban had no effect on the gun homicide rate. Crime Research Prevention Center president John Lott had similar findings. "Prior to 1996, there was already a clear downward [trend] in firearm homicides, and this pattern continued after the buyback," wrote Lott. "It is hence difficult to link the decline to the buyback." "Again, as with suicides, both non-firearm and firearm homicides fell by similar amounts," Lott continued. "In fact, the trend in non-firearms homicides shows a much larger decline between the pre- and post-buyback periods. This suggests that crime has been falling for other reasons. Note that the change in homicides doesn’t follow the change in gun ownership – there is no increase in homicides as gun ownership gradually increased." In Britain's case, the Crime Research Prevention Center found that after the gun ban was implemented, there was initially a severe increase in the homicide rate, followed by a gradual decline once Britain beefed up their police force. However, there has only been one year where the homicide rate was lower than it was pre-ban: Additionally, there was an 89 percent spike in gun crime from 1998/1999 to 2008/2009, all of which occurred after the gun ban.
A closer look at the actual facts show that the Left's favorite examples of Britain and Australia are actually examples of how gun control doesn't work. The vast majority of mass shootings occur in gun-free zones. The Crime Research Prevention Center determined that since 1950, nearly 99 percent of mass public shootings have occurred in gun-free zones. As the number of guns per person has increased, gun violence has declined. This is according to the Centers for Disease Control, which found that gun ownership increased by 56 percent, and yet gun violence declined by almost 50 percent between 1993 and 2003. If the premise of gun control zealots were correct, then wouldn't gun violence have increased during that period of time? This is not a do nothing attitude, much has been done and at the end of the day criminals don't follow the law.

Jesus, The Daily Wire.

Don’t rely on biased “news” sources, look at the numbers.

Fact: Australia’s rate of firearm homicide and suicide has been dropping since 1996. It is correct that these rates were dropping prior to 1996 but what that article leaves out is that most of the state’s in Australia has initiated gun registration and bans on semi-automatic in mid 80’s.

Fact: over the same period, the US has seen exactly the opposite trend with both gun homicides and suicides increasing. This period of time has seen a loosening of gun laws and increases in AR style weapons. Washington DC has a record year with a 40% increase in murders in 2018 and 2019 is on pace too so forget that BS.

The reality is stark, Australia has less weapons and more restrictive laws and their rates are decreasing. The US has more guns and loose laws and the rates are increasing.

No, almost the entirety of your post is a cut paste from the Daily Wire. Good work.

Last I checked Chicago is part of the United States so it should not be a surprise that they have gun crimes.
You wanted examples and I gave you examples its what you asked for. I found the statistics/facts and yes copied them with sources and gave them to you. You talked about gun control and needing solutions and I said Chicago because Chicago has done a complete ban of guns in the city and where did that get them? I am more than willing to talk about real solutions but when we have laws on the books that aren't followed by both the people that should enforce them and the people who should follow them what would you like to do? You can go the route of Chicago (which is the extreme) and that has proven to make things worse. I have been around all types of guns my entire life from pistols to revolvers to AR's to shotguns and any other type of rifle and not one of them has ever caused harm to anything other than a target at the range or an animal being legally hunted. With that you tell me why I should be punished with more laws that only myself and other law abiding citizens will abide by? I'm not sure what your background is in regards to guns but all you refer to is "AR's". Did you know that you can carry a pistol that carries more rounds in the magazine than an AR 15? That same pistol is a semi-automatic pistol that is the same as many other semi-automatic pistols that carries 10 or fewer rounds in the magazine which are all part of the "semi-automatic" type that gun grabbers want to take away. I wish there were less shootings in the world but I also wish there were less drunk drivers, meth labs, drug dealers, rapes and other crimes however there are and you have to hold the person committing the crime accountable. Good and evil will always be out there but at the end of the day it comes down to the person on which they choose to be.
Joe I want to keep going back and forth with you but its pointless. You don't like facts whether I give you actual stats or my own personal experiences. I get it facts suck cause you can't change them you can only try to distort them but at the end of the day they are still the facts. You have a good one!
Bull! In Chicago there are just 2 conditions on firearm possession: you have to be 21 and possess a firearms owner identification card. You can get a conceal carry through the state police. Open carry is illegal and there is an assault rifle ban (new only, existing grandfathered with modifications)

At one time there was a ban on newly registered guns (existing grandfathered) but that ban went away long ago.

It’s important to have facts!
Come on Joe. Do you think all of the Chicago shootings are by NRA members with firearms ownership ID’s? This is crazy, Joe. Criminals use stolen guns, duh. Do you think a criminal goes to a gun show and buys a musket to use for robbery? The problem is criminals & crazies not guns. The secondary problem is ignorant people, like you, Joe, that have no understanding of the situation refusing facts. You will have difficulty understanding anything as long as you remain obstinate.
If we are to have an intelligent discussion on gun violence we need to at least have a starting point of accurate information. It is a complete lie to say Chicago has a full gun ban. Just because trump tweets it doesn’t make it true.
Right on IC. You are fully correct. Thanks for your informative posts. You prove that gun owners are intelligent, respectful, law abiding model citizens. America is better with citizens like you. You can be my neighbor anytime.
Hey Rambo I'm sorry Joe was right on there not being a complete ban on guns in Chicago. Ha here you go right from Wikipedia. To legally possess firearms or ammunition, Illinois residents must have a Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card, which is issued by the Illinois State Police to any qualified applicant. Non-residents who may legally possess firearms in their home state are exempt from this requirement. The state police issue licenses for the concealed carry of handguns to qualified applicants age 21 or older who pass a 16-hour training course. However, any law enforcement agency can object to an individual being granted a license "based upon a reasonable suspicion that the applicant is a danger to himself or herself or others, or a threat to public safety". Objections are considered by a Concealed Carry Licensing Review Board, which decides whether or not the license will be issued, based on "a preponderance of the evidence". Licenses issued by other states are not recognized, except for carry in a vehicle. Open carry is prohibited in most areas. When a firearm is being transported by a person without a concealed carry license, it must be unloaded and enclosed in a case, or broken down in a non-functioning state, or not immediately accessible. In order to apply for a license the applicant must have in their possession the certificate from the required training, a valid drivers license or state ID card, a valid FOID card, a head and shoulder electronic photograph taken in the last 30 days, ten years of documented residency, fingerprints (optional, but submitting an application without prints increases the potential processing time from 90 to 120 days), and the application fee. Permits cost $150 for residents or $300 for non-residents, and are valid for five years. An Illinois resident is defined as someone who qualifies for an Illinois driver's license or state identification card due to establishment of a primary domicile in Illinois. A non-resident is someone who has not resided in Illinois for more than 30 days and resides in another state or territory. THIS IS MY FAVORITE PART......................Concealed carry is prohibited on public transportation, at a bar or restaurant that gets more than half its revenue from the sale of alcohol, at a public gathering or special event that requires a permit (e.g. a street fair or festival), at a place where alcohol is sold for special events, and on private property where the owner has chosen not to allow it (and, unless the property is a private residence, has posted an appropriate sign). Concealed carry is also not allowed at any school, college or university, preschool or daycare facility, government building, courthouse, prison, jail, detention facility, hospital, playground, park, Cook County Forest Preserve area, stadium or arena for college or professional sports, amusement park, riverboat casino, off-track betting facility, library, zoo, museum, airport, nuclear facility, or place where firearms are prohibited under federal law. However, concealed carry license holders who are in the parking lot of a prohibited location (except a nuclear facility) are allowed to carry a concealed firearm when they are in their vehicle, and to store their gun locked in their vehicle and out of plain view.[16][22] On February 1, 2018, the Illinois Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the state's ban on possession of a firearm within 1,000 feet of a public park was unconstitutional.[31] On June 14, 2018, the Illinois Appellate Court ruled the law banning carrying firearms within 1,000 feet of a school to be unconstitutional.

But wait its not a gun free zone????? You have to do almost everything besides give up a kidney to be able to protect yourself. Damn with all those plans in place to make sure you have strict gun control laws you would think they would have no gun violence what so ever. Wait Wait what is that you say criminals don't follow the law.
PA has nothing on ammo, no FOID cards required, no training course, no head to shoulder picture taken in the last 30 days, no ten year residency docs required, no finger prints, only cost $20 every five years, pa only doesn't allow CC in schools federal buildings courthouses and jails. Point is Illinois has very strict gun laws and has an extreme rate of gun violence.

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