Guns are not the only Problem, People are….

What possessed Stephen Paddock to open fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel is still a mystery. Almost sixty (60) people were killed and over four hundred (400) were wounded in the largest shooting spree in US history. Make no mistake the unthinkable occurred last Sunday night in Las Vegas.

Unfortunately, real life terror has become the norm ladies and gentlemen.   Just yesterday there was another report of a car crashing into a crowd of people at a London museum, injuring almost a dozen or so people.   Whether terror related or not, one thing has become increasingly true and that is the world is now a much different place.   We used to worry about bombs, explosives and other forms of sabotage. In today’s world they are no longer needed.   The average minivan will suffice as a weapon. Which makes the job of law enforcement and those agencies that are tasked with protecting us much more difficult.

Think of all of the occurrences over the past several years. Shootings in nightclubs.   Cars and trucks being turned into weapons.   Now a 64-year-old man shoots at a group of people at a country music concert. For what reason? No one is actually aware of a reason that the Las Vegas shooter decided to take the lives of so many and then turn the gun on himself. Which brings about the reasoning behind why change is needed. We no longer live in a world where the bad guys wear black hats and ride a deranged horse.   It is almost impossible to tell them from the rest of the population.   Most especially in major cities where come from all walks of life and different countries.

You see it isn’t the actual firearms that kill people.   It is the people using them. Guns do not just get up and start shooting people themselves.   They are instruments utilized by people to achieve their goal whether that for protection or destruction. While the popular media would like to fuel the gun control debate here are certain statistics taken from recent studies on gun related violence:

– First, when it comes to gun ownership, several studies have been done about violent crimes and the use of       guns. In the City of Chicago most offenders obtained the firearm they used in a crime from their social network.  Not one of them was a registered gun owner. Another study this one done in Pittsburgh stated that    approximately 75% of more of those people carrying an illegal firm were rejected from owning a gun in the first place.   Approximately 25% or more of these guns were stolen from someone else.

– Second, the theory that guns are not a deterrent is more fake propaganda. In the United States guns deter      approximately 2 million or more crimes a year. Or say just shy 6,000 a day.   In those deterrent scenarios the          firearm is typically never fired.

– Third, in recent surveys criminals; over fifty percent (50%) actually, admitted that they would avoid     burglarizing a house where someone is home for fear of there being a firearm. Over sixty (60%) state    that if they know there is a firearm in the house they will think twice about burglarizing that premises. These    same criminals who were surveyed, stated that they avoid homes that seem occupied at all costs. Why ? For        fear of being shot by the homeowner.

– In England a country that has much more stringent gun control laws has a much higher percentage of house robberies when home owners are home than here in the United States.   59% for Great Britain as opposed to       approximately 12.5 % here in the United States.  What does that tell us? (as per usual the popular news).

  • By way of more comparison Washington DC has virtually banned gun ownership and has one of the highest crime rates involving firearms in the country. The city has a gun related violence number of just shy sixty (60%) as compared to say the State of Virginia where the gun laws are not as strict but where there are only three to five precent (3-5%) of crimes utilizing a gun.
  • Another startling statistic is that out of all violent crimes in the United States annually, more than eighty percent of violent crimes do not involve a gun.   As well as over eight percent (80%) of the crimes committed where there is a gun, the gun was only used for intimidation it was not ever utilized.
  • Fewer than 1% of the guns legally obtained will wind up being used in a violent crime.

So out of all of these numbers what do we find out? Well for starters most of the time people like the Las Vegas shooter who legally obtained firearms, do not use them, let alone for mass murder. It is definitively the individual who decided to take action and utilized this arsenal of guns.   That of course doesn’t mean anything because he obtained the licenses legally.

While we may not like what the Las Vegas shooter has gone and done, we cannot blame those who legally own firearms, or the firearm industry.   If you look at the statistics even towns, states or countries where firearms are all but illegal, people get guns anyway.   So guns are not the only problem. Most criminals have access to illegal firearms at their fingertips.

What the problem really is, is us. That’s right, you may not like the statement, but the truth is there needs to be a psychological component to gun licensing. Background checks are only the tip of the iceberg. Obviously they play an important part of the gun ownership preparation, but there needs to be a psychological piece to it.   Maybe then people with personal or emotional issues would be weeded out and red flagged for not being able to purchase guns.

But the other issue we are all missing is staring us right in the face. What is it you may ask? Well let’s be honest about it. Any criminal or deranged person that wants a gun is going to find a way to get one. Whether it be by legal means or not.   Maybe, just maybe we should make gun ownership a necessity in our homes and give classes on how to use them. Do think there would be less crime if that occurred? Maybe, and maybe not. But one town in Virginia tried that very thing and it reduced the burglary rate by over 80%.

In an age where the nearest vehicle can become a weapon we need to be vigilant and allow our law enforcement to do their job.   We also have to come up with additional licensing criteria.   More importantly we have to come up with better educational programs to educate people on the use of guns and what the danger is. Mandatory psychological testing should be mandated. But as you can see, major crimes are not even solely related to the use of guns. Are you going to ban minivans now too?

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