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November 2012 saw a 38.5% increase in background checks to purchase guns over November 2011 background check totals.....and that was a 61.9% increase over November 2010. Immediately following each mass shooting, whether in Colorado, Wisconsin, Arizona or Connecticut, background checks and gun purchases have spiked across the 50 states. It's almost as if gun massacres in the U.S. are the gun industry's best form of advertisement. As sick as that may sound.
Two AB Journal letters to the editor today.....one by a Reverend that's not me....point out what I also saw in Sunday's Beacon on page A-9. In the same A-section of the paper which featured the Newtown tragedy, publishers saw fit to print a half-page ad from Buckeye Firearms which featured two pictures of the very semi-automatic assault rifle Adam Lanza used to slaughter 6-7 year old first graders last Friday. Shameless.....and sick.
Profits over principles.....it's the American way.
I realize that facts do not matter to many people.....but....here are the facts anyway....
A gun in the house minimally doubles the risk that a household member will kill himself or herself. An American is 50% more likely to be shot dead by his or her own hand than to be shot dead by a criminal assailant. More than 30,000 Americans injure themselves with guns every year.
But guns don't kill people....do they?....
It is often said: “gun’s don’t kill people, people kill people.” When people do kill people, however, they are much more likely to use a gun than any other weapon. Analysis of crime records found that people who had been shot with a gun were 4.5 times more likely than average to be carrying a gun themselves at the time. Thus, guns did not protect those who possessed them from being shot.
But, but....what about the terrible increase in violent crimes?
The overall violent crime index has tumbled by one-third since the early 1990s. The worst crimes -- murder and rape -- have declined even more. American citizens are safer today from crime than at almost any time since record-keeping began, very likely safer than at any time in the history of the country.
In spite of the decline in violent crime over the past twenty years, here's what Americans believed in 2005.....
In the mid-2000s, when crime rates were declining fast, almost 70% of Americans wrongly said that crime rates had risen over the past year.
Why the disconnect?
TV news -- and especially local TV news -- is dominated by news of violent crime, the more spectacular and murderous the better. TV news creates a false picture of a country under attack by rampaging criminals, and especially nonwhite criminals. The people who watch the most TV news, Americans older than 50, also happen to be the group most likely to own a gun.....
Republicans are twice as likely to own a gun as Democrats. Maybe not so coincidentally, Republicans are more likely to watch the scariest news channel of them all: Fox. Whites are twice as likely to own a gun as nonwhites -- and it may also not be a coincidence that gun purchases have suddenly spiked since November 2008. (And again after Obama's re-election.)
Which brings me back to Ms. Nancy Lanza and her son Adam. From a WHDH interview...
“Last time we visited with her in person we talked about prepping and you know, are you ready for what can happen down the line when the economy collapses,” said the gunman’s aunt, Marsha Lanza.
The reporter asked, “Survivalist kind of thing?”
“Yea,” said Marsha Lanza.
Nancy’s guns were supposed to be for self defense.
Where would Nancy Lanza get the idea that the economy was going to collapse? Alex Jones? Fox News? How about the zillion ads to buy gold, food insurance,....or guns....that pour out of Fox teevee and radio ads 24/7? Or, how about the legion of conservative politicians and pundits who daily spread the lie that the U.S. is "bankrupt....broke?"
A vulnerable Connecticut woman in her 50's was encouraged to be very frightened by entirely phony, manufactured lies offered up in litany form by opportunistic media pricks whose only intent was personal enrichment......while the real threat Ms. Lanza faced was right inside her own home: semi-automatic weapons and a socially dysfunctional 20 year old son.
Part of the responsibility for the Newtown massacre rests at the feet of conservative media outlets who purposely and repeatedly attempt to scare their audiences into believing doomsday is upon them. Be afraid, be very afraid of a new black Democratic president who just might take your guns away. Be afraid, very afraid of an apocalyptic economic collapse....it's imminent....because, you know, America is bankrupt....broke. Be afraid, very afraid of national health care advancements....because of government death panels and government's desire to pull the plug on grandma.
And all of that recent fearmongering has been piled on top of ten years of unbroken fearmongering over 9-11. Be afraid of all Muslims. Be afraid of mosques. Be afraid if Gitmo is closed. Be afraid of Maximum Security Prisons.
Be afraid......all of the time. Why? Fear works. Fear drives profits. And profits are all America cares about.
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