Scouts-L Mail Archive for April of 1999: Weapons
Tue, 27 Apr 1999 10:56:20 -0400
Sue Klukan ( Klukan <renegade@BMT.NET>) Pack Committee Chair, Pack 65,
Dillon MT, Troop Committee Member, Troop 698, Dillon MT, Vigilante
District, MT Council
responded to my posting under the subject�The High Cost of Firearms�
Michelle Singletary's column "The Color of Money", in this Sunday's
Washington Post's Business Section.
Sue wrote, in part:
�.guns don't kill people, people kill people...suppose those students
had been running up and down the halls of Columbine High School with
knives, randomly stabbing other students...they would have been just as
dead...but yet you never see anything anti-knife and there are plenty
enough crimes committed with them�
It should be noted that stabbing is up close and personal, not as likely
to be fatal, and subject to close-in physical control and overpowering.
Had the peretrators weapons been empty they might have �pistol-whipped�
others greviously, but instead they could shoot cowering people from a
She also goes on to misuse statistics and facts, but I�ll let others
make that assesment. See some references below. She also fails to
reference the various interrelated causations that lead to those
statements she quotes.
She wrote (as an example): �here's more: "In 1976, Washington, D.C.,
enacted a virtual ban on handguns. By 1991, D.C.'s homicide rate had
tripled, while the U.S. rate rose 12%. � and, �Some have claimed D.C.'s
homicide rate declined due to Virginia's 1993 law limiting handgun
purchases to one per month. That belief is based on the illogical notion
that D.C. murderers would obey a Virginia state law while violating a
multitude of much harsher federal and D.C. gun laws."
Well, I�d be concerned about a 12% rise. I suspect most persons would
be. Perhaps Montana is different.
Yes, DC has a �virtual ban� but gunsales are virtually unlimited just
across its borders. Only recently have gun purchases (from licenced and
controlled dealers) been limited to one gun per month in Maryland. Nor,
does she deal with interstate, strawbuyer, and reseller sales.
Sue wrote: �the first badge earned by my older son who (hopefully!)
become an Eagle was Rifle Shooting ...not because we LIKE guns but
HAVE guns and I wanted him to know the SAFE way to handle them even
grown up around them...you can never learn too much safety�
Well, if she doesn�t LIKE guns, why does she HAVE guns? Is it for the
profit? Fact is that our Troop regularly goes shotgun shooting, and BSA
supports single shot rimfire (but not handgun)shooting - both under
controlled circumstances. Are those the weapons Sue trades in with her
�I'm not saying we need to take sides, I'm just trying to point out how
easily the average American public can be and is hoodwinked by media
manipulation regarding guns� hoodwinking goes both ways, you don�t
shoot deer with armor piercing bullets, or TEC-9s.
As a starting point for research on the impact of firearms in our
society you can check out:
Among the articles included therein are:
CDC National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (Violence)
The section of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which
tracks firearm injuries and fatalities.
Who Dies? A Look at Firearms Death and Injury in America�Revised Edition
The reality of firearms violence is that it stems not from "guns in the
wrong hands," but from the virtually unregulated
distribution of an inherently dangerous consumer product of which
specific categories-such as handguns and assault
weapons-have very limited utility and inflict high costs on society in
the form of premature death and debilitating
injury. A report published twice yearly by the Violence Policy Center.
Kids and Guns: From Playgrounds to Battlegrounds
An article by Stuart Greenbawn appearing in Juvenile Justice, Vol. III,
No. 2, September 1997, pp.3-10. The lethal mixture
of kids and guns has reached a crisis in the United States. Attorney
General Janet Reno has observed that, "No corner of
America is safe from increasing levels of criminal violence, including
violence committed by and against juveniles."
Guns, Violence, and Children
Policy.com Issue of the Week, May 25-31, 1998.
Firearms and Crimes of Violence
Features a press release summarizing selected findings on trends in
firearm use in serious violent crime, based on FBI
data on homicide, BJS data on victimization and inmate firearm use, and
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
data on firearm ownership by high school students. NCJ146844.