Knives and hammers are irrelevant when the topic is death by gunfire

Denver Post columnist Jon Caldara left out some important numbers in his attempt to trivialize the role of rifles in U.S. mass murders and to mock the growing outrage that millions of Americans feel over our monstrous epidemic of death by gunfire.

boy-958478_1920bHe accuses people of focusing on and misunderstanding assault rifles, as if those details were all-important, while entirely missing the much larger picture of this nation’s gun fetish himself. He points out that rifles were used in only a tiny fraction of last year’s 11,004 homicides by firearm (So what?) and he completely ignores some 20,000 or so other gunfire deaths.

It’s true that there is no media sizzle in the deaths of one or two people at a time. To our eternal shame, most of the 93 individual deaths per day by gun are not newsworthy on a national scale because we are so used to them and there are just too damn many of them.

Caldara can rest assured that a single mass murder by knife, blunt instrument or hammer would make the national news. There would be sizzle, but those murders would still be irrelevant to guns.

The dead had unalienable rights

Every victim
of deadly gun violence
had the unalienable
right to life, liberty
and the pursuit of happiness.

You can look it up.

Share this self-evident truth with others.


On accidents and executions

Accident warning
Accident warning (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When is an accident a criminal act? When is an execution really brutal murder?

Two shootings that Meredith Carroll mentions in the Denver Post on Sunday were, indeed, accidental by some definitions.

A police officer accidentally shot his teen daughter in their garage; a woman in Florida accidentally shot her 7-year-old grandson. They were unfortunate events, to put it mildly, that resulted from carelessness. They were also by far the most common type of accident: the ones that can be prevented.

That the shootings were in some sense accidental doesn’t mean those who pulled the triggers are blameless. They pulled the triggers quite intentionally with horrific, unintentional results. There is, or should be, a legal price to pay. We should also find a better word than “accident” to describe such things.

Similarly, the media have almost universally described the beheading of journalist James Foley as an execution.

More precisely, it was murder.

Writer fired for column on gun regulation

Will Cruz, Jindal, Palin and other “Duck Dynasty” fans who stood up for Phil Robertson when they thought his right to free speech had been violated now stand up for Dick Metcalf?

It says here that he was fired from Guns and Ammo for angering some people.

Guess who he angered.

For the record, if there is one, nobody’s First Amendment rights were violated in either case. Ignorance of that shouldn’t stop Peterson’s defenders from opining now, though, should it?

Let’s see them vent their outrage again.

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Stark contrast in Colorado gun-violence responses

Rich Tosches’ column in the Denver Post and the misguided effort to recall two elected Colorado officials illustrate the stark contrast between political responses to deadly violence.

Some people, notably Democrats, have not been afraid to address the issue by taking some action. Others, notably Republicans, not only have failed their constituents and other citizens by refusing to recognize the problem, they try to undo the positive steps others have taken.

Tuesday will be a sad day if John Morse and Angela Giron are recalled.