TEXAS IS THE LATEST STATE TO ALLOW OPEN CARRY OF GUNS

COME JAN 1, 2016 THERE WILL BE 45

Only five states, California, New York, Florida, Illinois and South Carolina are still exercising a bit of sanity.  Of course, if you add D.C., my home “territory” with our 680,000 residents (more than Wyoming and Vermont) it would be five states and one district.  But, hey, I’m not bitter. 

The relaxed rules passed the GOP-controlled state Legislature only after police groups defeated a provision backed by an unlikely coalition of tea party conservatives and Democrats that sought to bar law enforcement from asking Texas residents whether they had a proper license to carry guns that are visible.

But, as the new law looms, some officers are backing off, saying they won't demand to see a license if they have no other reason to stop a gun carrier. Not doing so could avoid harassment lawsuits — even if would-be criminals could carry guns without fear of getting caught.

"We're going to assume they're a license holder, probably," Austin Police Department training commander Andy Michael said of asking after licenses.

Right.  


Most states have had open carry laws for shotguns and rifles, but its only been over the past two decades or so with the reign of the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the Supreme Court’s striking down of two gun laws here in D.C., that the open carry of pistols has caught on like a summer wildfire in bone dry California.  And, of course, this plethora of new gun rights is based on our Constitutionally Guaranteed Freedom To Commit Unfettered Violence On Each Other as codified in the Second Amendment, that “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State…..” not withstanding, and through the NRA’s redefinition of the absolute necessity of buying, storing, packing, wearing and discharging guns from one of “self defense” (i.e. protecting ourselves from street thugs, home invaders and uncle John who just went nuts) to one of “freedom” (as in freedom to settle bar arguments, parking space alternations, road rage disputes and spousal disagreements by shooting your offender dead). 

Of course there is the contingent of rabid gun nuts who are arming themselves to be able to protect themselves, their families and loved ones from the soon-to-arrive takeover of America by Blue Helmeted United Nations troops under the command of Barack Secret Muslim Obama, Dictator of the United Sates of America. 

Right.  I mean it just makes so much sense doesn’t it?

But, since we passed that Patriotic Freedom Goal of owning more guns than we have people (that’s 320 million in case you’ve forgotten) here are a few statistics that might indicate something else afoot with all this gun frenzy:
 
GUN DEATHS IN THE U.S.A.

Gun deaths -- 33, 636 -- pale in comparison to the nation's leading killer, heart disease, which claimed 611,105 lives in 2013, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But, as the graph shows, guns took more lives than other top causes of death, such as hypertension (30,770) and Parkinson's disease (25,196).

Guns are America's weapon of choice.  Nearly 70% of homicides were committed with firearms from 2007 to 2011, according to the U.S. Justice Department. Firearms were used in roughly 26% of robberies and 31% of aggravated assaults, according to the Small Arms Survey.

U.S. leads world in guns per capita

Civilians in the United States own about 270 million guns, according to a 2007 report by the Switzerland-based Small Arms Survey. That's almost the population of Indonesia, the world's fourth most-populated country. America ranks number one in firearms per capita.

National rates of gun homicide and other violent gun crimes are strikingly lower now than during their peak in the mid-1990s, paralleling a general decline in violent crime, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of government data. Beneath the long-term trend, though, are big differences by decade: Violence plunged through the 1990s, but has declined less dramatically since 2000.


And herein lies the basic problem (other than Obama confiscating peoples’ guns or sending out the troops to enslave all Americans)”

MOST PEOPLE HAVE NOT A CLUE ABOUT THEIR CHANCES OF BEING GUNNED DOWN OR ROBBED OR HAVING THEIR HOMES BROKEN INTO.

Crime – both deadly and non-deadly peaked in 1993.  Most people will say that this was a result of “get tough” crime laws, “three strikes and you’re out laws,” and other such conservative anti-crime measures and the crack cocaine epidemic.  But the reality is actually quite different.  Crime rates historically are highly correlated with age.  It is the age cohort 16 to 24 that consistently exhibit the highest crime rates.  Now we Baby Boomers are erroneously blamed for a whole host of America’s ills, but this is one we can take credit for.  It was basically our children as they moved through this age group that caused the spike in crime.  (BTW: I learned this datm from a graduate course taught by Alice Rivlin, then with the New York City Rand Institute, later Federal Reserve Governor and District of Columbia Financial Oversight Committee when the city declared bankruptcy in 1998.  This is where I also learned that, contrary to “common knowledge,” except for the aged and the disabled, folks don’t spend a lifetime on welfare, they cycle in and out according to their circumstances.) 

But here we are.  Since 1993 households owning guns has increased by 56% while the gun homicide rate has declined by 49% mirroring the decline in overall crime rates.  What could possibly account for this anomaly between the fact that while homicides have declined gun ownership has risen?

Call it fear-mongering, call it the ignorance of the ill-informed, call it believing fiction over fact, call it right wing, conservative, Republican propaganda – call it whatever you like.  But one thing is clear, based on statistical data, there is no reason why gun sales should be climbing as they are.


One could also say, as did the late, great H. L. Mencken:



Couldn’t have said it better myself!  And don’t think that our manipulative politicians are unaware of the fundamental truth of Mencken’s statement. 




Have a Safe, Gun Free Day!


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