Thursday, July 30, 2015

When idiots and guns mix

America is a wonderful place but unfortunately it is full of many idiots and even more readily available guns.  Of course there are idiots in every country, but most countries make it more difficult for those idiots to have access to guns.   It also makes me glad that I live in Europe where the chance of dying by gunshot are basically 0.  I think every American knows someone who has been shot.  Just a few days ago there was a shooting at a home less than a kilometer from where I grew up in Idaho.  Some crazy dudes came to steal a car and gunned two people down with a machine gun.  Almost too crazy to believe, except that it is believable.  Obama said it best when he said "at some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this kind of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries". 

Despite the number of high profile shootings,  there is not much hope for significant change.  The gun control debate is not a  yes or no question.  The idea is not to take away guns, but to make it more difficult for idiots to get their hands on them.   I don't have faith that anything will change in America given the political climate, but the case of Australia gives hope that change is at least possible.  Of course America would not have to undertake such drastic policy to have an impact.  Mandatory background checks, better gun ID laws, and psych tests are only common sense.  Maybe smart guns can cut down on accidents in the future. Until Americans come to terms with that they will continue to shoot themselves in the foot with bad gun laws.

List of some of some gun incidents that I have noticed, not including the mass shootings that get most of the attention:

  • Idaho woman shot by 2 year old son in Walmart.  Story here.
  • Three year old toddler shoots self.  Story here 
  •  Five year old shoots baby brother in head. Story here
  • 9 dead, 18 wounded in Biker brawl.  Story here.
  • Two shot outside Mormon church.  Story here.


  1. I don't know. Ryan would argue that criminals will always find ways to get guns, no matter what laws are in place. but that Australia article was interesting.

    1. There are 300 million guns in the US, so in the short term he is probably right. In the long term you hope that it is at least more difficult for criminals and mentally unstable people to get their hands on guns which would lead to a reduction. Even a small reduction could prevent suicides, gun accidents, and gun violence.