It’s frustrating; In shooting after shooting after shooting, everyone rages and cries and mourns and marches and protests and screams for change.
Everyone blames guns, Trump, the Republicans and the NRA. Anti-gun rallies lead the news, fights break out and nothing ever really seems to change.
In yet another predictable, albeit stereotypical, knee-jerk reaction to the latest tragic high-school shooting, liberals and their elected politicians from around the country have once again renewed their call for everything from outright gun bans for all guns, to all-out bans on so-called (and incorrectly-called) “assault weapons”, “bump stocks”, high capacity magazines, right down to renewed calls for a national gun registry and national gun confiscation. Not that any of that would have prevented this latest shooting in Florida or would actually help solve the problem in general, but none of that seems to matter to all the protesters.
School kids nationwide are protesting, staging walk-outs and mobilizing. Some students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida – the scene of the latest mass shooting – even made the trip to Washington DC to go and plead with their elected officials and lobby them for gun control.
The result? Predictably; nothing changed.
Why is it that there are only 2 sides to this discussion and no one is willing to look at, or present, other options or other ideas?
According to ‘the other side’, either you’re a Trump-loving, NRA-loving, gun-toting Republican right-wing nutjob where everyone is armed and everyone gets along primarily thru the concept of ‘peace thru superior firepower’, or you’re a triggering, tantrum-throwing liberal snowflake nutjob screaming for a utopian world where the strong no longer victimize the weak, people are no longer mean to each other and guns no longer exist because humanity has magically evolved into a higher plane of being that is completely void of violence, criminals, hostility and ill-will toward one’s fellow man.
I’m pretty sure that argument will go on, literally, forever. But why?
First and foremost; it’s comfortable. People, at their core, don’t like to change. Changing behavior is one thing, but changing opinions? That’s something else.
It’s comfortable for people to regurgitate the same tired things every time there is another shooting.
But more than that, it’s easier to argue and it’s really uncomfortable for most people to actually think. To think new thoughts, new ideas, new paradigms and new actions into being.
Maybe it’s time to start a new discussion that actually introduces some new thinking, new ideas and new, realistic, workable solutions to this seemingly ubiquitous problem.
I thought about it for a while, did a little research and came up with some interesting numbers to help illustrate in a new way to all the anti-gunners out there why they are getting so much pushback from the pro-gun crowd and why calling for gun bans will never gain any real traction.
In fact, practically zero gun owners support a gun ban; ZERO.
I’ll use the best, most recent statistics I could find to help illustrate and where there are no statistics that I could find, I’ll just use “best guess”.
So here we go.
I found this cool chart that someone tweeted out which shows gun violence statistics for the last 4 years. Conveniently, it even includes a category for “mass shooting” which, ironically, only accounts for six one-thousandths of one percent of the total number of gun-related injuries and deaths.
Since the “Total Number of Incidents Logged” does not match the number if you add up all the categories, one must surmise that there are thousands of “Incidents logged” that did not result in a death or injury. So for accuracy, I’ll add up all the categories and use that total for my “total number of gun-related injures and deaths”. And since 2017 seems to have the highest number, we’ll use that for my comparison.
Here’s a comparison of End Of Year totals of gun violence in the United States from the past four years.
For 2017, the total number of gun-related injuries and deaths was 55,665. For simplicity, let’s round up and call it 56,000.
Gun ownership is a lot tougher thing to calculate accurately. The closest figure I could find stated that approximately 42% of households in the US had at least one gun. Not sure what constitutes a ‘household’, but if we calculate 42% against the population of the United States in 2016 which was just about 325 million people, we can assume that there are about 136.5 million gun owners in America. And of course, the vast majority of gun owners own more than a single gun.
If we divide the number of injured and dead in 2017 (56,000) by the number of gun owners (136.5 million) we get .00041, or about four ten-thousandths of one percent. And that’s just calculated against gun owners. Taken against the entire population of the United States, that number drops to .0002, or about two ten-thousandths of one percent.
So the anti-gun crowd’s entire justification for calling for an all-out gun ban and confiscation of all guns in America rests on the fact that two ten-thousandths of one percent of the population is impacted by gun violence.
Two ten-thousandths of one percent of the population; remember that number because I’ll come back to it in a minute.
The REAL Inconvenient Truth
It’s easy for some people to hate guns because to them, they are scary. But what about an even bigger threat? One that affects far more people, disrupts and destroys far more lives and costs exponentially more in financial damage.
What is it you ask? Drugs? Alcohol? DUI?
No. I’m talking about cell phones; texting while driving to be precise.
The National Safety Council reports that cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes each year. And in 2013, nearly 424,000 injuries and deaths occurred from accidents caused by texting while driving. And get this: the NSC says that 1 out of every 4 car accidents in the United States is caused by texting and driving.
Of course, texting while driving only applies to drivers; presumably licensed drivers.
So check this out.
The number of people in the US with a driver’s license in 2016 was approximately 222 million.
Here is a great excerpt (I have bolded the really stunning parts) with some important statistics taken from this website:
…at any given time throughout the day, approximately 660,000 drivers are attempting to use their phones while behind the wheel of an automobile.
General Cell Phone Statistics
- The National Safety Council reports that cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes each year.
- Nearly 424,000 injuries occurred in 2013 accidents caused by texting while driving.
- 1 out of every 4 car accidents in the United States is caused by texting and driving.
- Texting while driving is 6x more likely to cause an accident than driving drunk.
- 94% of drivers support a ban on texting while driving.
- 74% of drivers support a ban on hand-held cell phone use.
Teen Driver Cell Phone Statistics
- 11 teens die every day as a result of texting while driving.
- 21% of teen drivers involved in fatal accidents were distracted by their cell phones.
2013 U.S. Cell Phone and Driving Statistics
- About 424,000 people were injured in crashes involving a distracted driver.
2012 National Survey on Distracted Driving Attitudes and Behaviors
- Nearly half (48%) of drivers admit to answering their cell phones while driving.
- Of those who answered their phones while driving, 58% of drivers continued to drive while talking on the phone.
So what does all this mean?
If we divide the number of injured and dead caused by texting while driving in 2013 (424,000) by the number of licensed drivers (222 million) we get .002, or two one-thousandths of one percent.
.0002 vs .002.
In real numbers that is 56,000 injured and dead per year vs. 424,000. And while ZERO gun owners support a gun ban, a whopping 94% of all licensed drivers support a texting while driving ban and an overwhelming majority of 74% support an outright ban on hand-held cell phone use altogether.
With such overwhelming support for a cell phone ban by such an overwhelming majority of drivers, why hasn’t the liberal politicians gotten behind a cell phone ban?
Could it be because liberal politicians don’t really care about people and are more concerned about leveraging human suffering to further their agenda? After all, wasn’t it Obama’s old Attorney General Rahm Emanuel who famously said “You never let a serious crisis go to waste”?
So why aren’t cell phones banned? The anti-gun mob is calling for an all-out ban on guns based on 56,000 injuries and deaths per year but 424,000 injuries and deaths are completely acceptable when it comes to texting and driving?
Where are the protests? Where are the marches? Where are the anti-cell phone lobbyists?
Why hasn’t Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Elizabeth Warren, Oprah Winfrey or any of the other liberal talking heads championed this cause and called for an all-out ban and confiscation of all cell phones and mobile devices when they are clearly killing and maiming nearly EIGHT TIMES AS MANY PEOPLE?
The answer is simple. Because gun control isn’t about guns. It’s about control.
A Solution No One Is Talking About?
Why are schools such juicy targets? Gun-free zones. Bad guys like to go where they are the least likely to be met with armed resistance.
And while the anti-gun mob will never acknowledge it out loud, everyone knows that the only real, viable deterrent to bad guys with guns are good guys with guns.
Depending on the source you check, there are about 98,000 public schools in the United States and about 500,000 unemployed veterans scattered across the country.
Every single Vet has had, at a minimum, rudimentary weapons training. And a large majority of unemployed vets held combat-related positions in the military that did not translate into comparable civilian jobs, a large majority of unemployed vets have advanced weapons training, not to mention extensive combat experience.
500,000 vets divided by 98,000 schools = 5 vets per school on average.
As part of President Trump’s $1 trillion 2018 infrastructure bill, why not terminate the notion of “Gun Free Zones” at public schools and carve out a budget that allocates about $375,000 per school for initial security setup which would include $50,000 annual pay x 5 unemployed vets (i.e. the new armed security guards) plus $125,000 for tactical training and weapons certification for the guards and concealed carry training and certification for any teacher that passes a federal background check and wishes to become concealed-carry certified and be part of a “minuteman militia” that could augment the armed security guards in case of emergencies.
The end result? No more school shootings because would-be shooters would never even consider approaching a stronghold of armed combat vets. Plus an improved economy by taking a half million unemployed vets and giving them good-paying, gainful employment and an improved national conscience that we are finally taking care of our unemployed vets in a meaningful way and at the same time, converting every one of our public schools into an armed deterrent for would-be bad guys so they never have to fall victim again.