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A friend of mine posted her status on FaceBook recently after having the pleasure of visiting the great city war zone that is Oakland, California. “Man! The Streets of Oakland are Mean!” Her statement is hardly unique to the east bay. Many urban areas of this country are becoming rife with gang violence, drugs and crime. On Friday, four men were killed within a span of six hours on the bright side of the bay. In a shocking development, police are reporting that the deaths were linked to feuding groups of gangs. The media dutifully report the shootings and robberies. After all, if it bleeds, it leads. But they rarely focus on the core issues behind the criminality: organized crime, drugs, and prostitution . . .

The tendency to downplay the causes — or how innocent Oaklanders can protect themselves — doesn’t help combat the “gun deaths” much less anything else. Not to be outdone, across the bay, San Francisco police arrested 26-year-old Jovan Jones. He’s being charged with a laundry list of items: burglary, robbery, making threats, rape, false imprisonment and aggravated assault. You could argue that this should have been a DGU, but San Francisco, like Oakland, is as hard a place to get a concealed carry permit as Chicago.

There are many reasons why we carry or choose to have a gun in our home. I’m obviously preaching to the choir here. The overwhelming majority of people who are gun owners are, almost by definition, helpful, peaceful, and law abiding individuals.

Anti-gun politicians love to wave the bloody shirt particularly after the most tragic deaths and the media help to fan the flames of citizen disarmament. Unfortunately no one wants to take a serious look at really eliminating violent crime in this country, never mind taking steps to allow peaceful, law-abiding citizens to protect themselves. Instead, it’s easier to spend tremendous amounts of resources on making something illegal that’s easier to demonize to an uneducated public.

What happened in Connecticut was unquestionably a tragedy. But there’s not nearly the same outcry over the hundreds more who died in Chicago last year. And no one’s producing YouTube videos demanding a solution to stop the 115 men, woman and children from dying on our nations roads each day.

If we’re so upset when a head-case kills fifteen or twenty people in a theater or a school, why aren’t we even more unnerved when that many are slaughtered in one midwestern city every week? Or when almost five times that many are killed on the highways each day?

Saying we don’t need cars with 500-horse power engines that travel significantly faster than 65 miles an hour isn’t a popular issue. Guns, though, are much easier to vilify. Many people have ceased to see them as the tools they are. But along with cars and knives, all of these things can be used in a productive manner with a net positive value to society. And just like cars and knives, firearms can be used by bad people to do bad things, too. All I’m asking is, where’s the balance?

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  1. Balance and going to the core of problems to find real solutions is irrelevant. Political leaders are a largely emotionally dysfunctional group. Their priorities are achieving their political agendas, more control/power/glory, and ego-satisfaction. Initially the White House, anti-gun Congressional members and others were outraged and horrified at the NRA suggestion to put cops in schools. Now they are starting to like the idea. I think the reason is because they see it as a way to expand the police state and get kids who will become adults used to seeing the police and security personal everywhere and to accept them as a necessity. Once again, we see big government moving to take advantage of a crisis and in this case to dance on children’s graves to advance their agenda of the police-state.

    • I took a close look at the map. Interestingly, ‘rape’ is not even identified with a crime-mark on the map. Rape is its own category and not usually just just labeled an assault unless it is Aggravated Assault.

  2. The leading killer of Americans was heart disease, according to a CDC report I found a few days ago Googling “American causes of death”. Heart disease, cancer, and traffic accidents are the leading killers from what I remember.

    The biggest thing I remember from getting my driver’s license in CA around 2001 was a factoid in the driver’s manual that stated any given driver in CA had a 1 in 3 chance of getting seriously injured in an auto accident sometime in their life. 1 in 3. I was appalled and still am.

    Want to save the children? Make an actual driving test part of renewing a license once in awhile and do more driver’s education.

  3. But they rarely focus on the core issues behind the criminality: organized crime, drugs, and prostitution

    And they never ask why the latter two things should be illegal and how those things/activities being outlawed benefits organized crime.

    The black market is the real free market and there’s no ability to sue or call the cops when someone steps over the line or tries to steal because of the illegal status of the things being sold. Thus, violence is the only way to solve disputes.

    Organized crime profits as protectors and peddlers of the illegal goods. Has everyone forgotten the lessons of the Volstead Act?

    In response, the government restricts the liberty of everyone at the behest of control freaks who just can’t leave well enough alone.

    There may come a time within the next decade when gun owners are forced into this world. I’m sure you’ve all heard the old saying: “When guns are outlawed, I’ll become an outlaw.”

    See you there.

    “Must be a yearning deep in human heart to stop other people from doing as they please. Rules, laws – always for other fellow. A murky part of us, something we had before we came down out of trees, and failed to shuck when we stood up. Because not one of those people said: ‘Please pass this so that I won’t be able to so something I know I should stop.’ Nyet, tovarishchee, was always something they hated to see neighbors doing. Stop them for their own good.” – The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress

  4. Get rid of every gun control law tomorrow and my chances of being murdered with a gun go from about 0% to……about 0% Why? Because I’m middle class and don’t do drugs that the government has deemed “illegal” and am not involved in any other type of illegal activity.

  5. The main counter argument of the general anti-gunner populace is that, guns are designed to kill and cars are not, and guns make it easier. I know how to counter those arguments but it gets old and they just repeat that guns are designed to kill. Sigh.

  6. Another term for balance is justice. There is no justice because too many people are soft on other crimes. Make the punishment fit the crime as prescribed by the law.

  7. Coincidentally, I’ve never felt the desire for CCW in California more strongly than during my twice-weekly visits to my martial arts dojo in Oakland. Consider that was true even though, when moving between vehicle and dojo, I carried a bag containing multiple long pointy objects I am skilled in using to severely harm my opponents.

  8. 1. Because it’s not about the guns. It’s about control.

    2. People love to take away other peoples’ possessions and rights…until they too are affected. Since everyone uses cars and knives, no one’ll go after them. Those who call for such things as gun control are hypocrites to the core and will give up their phony crusade once it affects them.

    3. Psychologically, many people can’t handle guns because of either the responsibility, or the symbolism of self-determination, or the fact that owning one for defense means acknowledging the existence of unpredictable evil ready to strike. Cars, knives, etc don’t entail that. We’ve all seen what emotional and psychological children antis are.

  9. And now for a directly responsive comment:

    The harsh reality is that not every human life has the same value, in either objective or subjective terms. When violent felons kill other violent felons, many people are relieved that those dead guys are no longer a threat to the community, ignoring the fact that they’re part of a much larger cycle of violence which continues largely unfettered.

    Until there is a greater deterrent than police response, until the wolves have to worry that there are wolfhounds among the lambs, it sure seems to me like it’s going to self-perpetuate indefinitely.

    The other way to starve the fire of oxygen, of course, would be to undermine the economics of the illegal-drug industry by straight-up legalizing some drugs and decriminalizing others. But that’s happening slowly, at the state level, until someday when it will tip over into happening astonishingly quickly.

    • I was going to actually say something a little more harsh than that but you get the point. Sandy Hook was a well to do, mostly white area. Nuff said..

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