“Pretty much every book, movie, or TV show that has imagined the existence of time machines has come to the conclusion that they’re a bad idea: tools for the very highly trained at best, catastrophic mistakes at worst,” gizmodo.com‘s Joe Brown [above] writes. “Time machines are a technology that the greater public is simply not mature enough to use properly. Tell me why guns are any different.” Because they’re safe? In fact, I just pulled this dusty little ditty off the NRA-ILA website using something called the Internet (now available to the average Joe) Google searching the term “firearm safety statistics” . . .
The firearm accident death rate is at an all-time annual low, 0.2 per 100,000 population, down 94% since the all-time high in 1904. Since 1930, the annual number of such deaths has decreased 80%, to an all-time low, while the U.S. population has more than doubled and the number of firearms has quintupled. Among children, such deaths have decreased 90% since 1975. Today, the odds are more than a million to one, against a child in the U.S. dying in a firearm accident.
Firearms are involved in 0.5% of accidental deaths nationally, compared to motor vehicles (37%), poisoning (22%), falls (17%), suffocation (5%), drowning (2.9%), fires (2.5%), medical mistakes (1.7%), environmental factors (1.3%), and pedal cycles (0.7%). Among children: motor vehicles (41%), suffocation (21%), drowning (15%), fires (8%), pedal cycles (2%), poisoning (2%), falls (1.9%), environmental factors (1.5%), firearms (1.1%) and medical mistakes (1%).
The net offers plenty of raw and crunchy data establishing firearms’ absolute and relative safety. But never mind facts. Joe reckons . . .
Too many people are dying. Colorado. 34th Street. What’s next? How many people have to literally bleed to death in our streets before we realize that easy access to a tool that any unskilled person can use to snatch a life out of existence is too much responsibility for humans?
Would you sell a death ray at Walmart, requiring only a driver’s license and a cursory background check that only checks to see if someone’s gotten caught doing something terrible? No, that’d be crazy. Would you give a 16 year-old a time machine? Of course not. Fortunately, we don’t have to deal with these decisions (yet?), because those technologies are science fiction. Unfortunately, guns are real. And for some reason, we’re not willing to admit that, even though they’ve been around a while, they are too advanced for humans to use safely.
In the comments below the Mother of All Condescending Anti-Liberty Anti-Gun Rants Joe Brown reveals that he has touched an actual gun. Owned one too.
Yes, I have owned a firearm. I owned a Bersa Thunder .45 and it was totally awesome to shoot at the range. I got rid of it when I moved to NYC because they are illegal as all getout here. I shot rifles growing up. I go trap shooting on my birthday sometimes. Here’s the thing: I *like* guns. They’re fun and seductive. But they’re just too dangerous for some people, and that puts the rest of us in a really bad position.
By the same token, as a Holocaust survivor’s son and a strict Constitutionalist (just ask my kids), I think writing that guns are bad poses a danger to society. And that puts me in a really bad position. Oh wait. No it doesn’t. Never mind.