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Sep-29-2012 01:47printcomments

Life and Death of the Gun

Guns kill the equivalent of about ten 9/11s every year. Where are their monuments and Freedom Towers?

There's one of America's 200 million or so guns accounted for.

(Man is reading a book. That's even more unusual.)

(CALGARY, Alberta) - Every morning, 312 million Americans get up and begin what they expect to be a normal day. Every day an average of 80 of those end up on a slab in a morgue from gunshots--your friends, neighbors, relatives and fellow Americans.

If you figure the numbers, that’s more than 29,000/year or the equivalent of about ten 911s every year—almost one a month. What’s amazing about this is that the American people apparently don’t see a problem and just collectively shrug their shoulders.

Here are a few cases from recent days, obviously a drop in the bucket. During the same period, another 2,500 or other Americans—young and old, men and women lost their lives. Does the NRA care? Do ordinary Americans care? In the first case, no; in the second case, apparently not.

  • September 28, 2012, Fox “accidentally” aired live the ending of a stolen car chase where the thief ran into the desert and shot himself in the head.
  • September 27, 2012: Andrew Engeldinger was fired from his job in Minneapolis. He pulled out a 9mm Glock semi-automatic pistol and killed four, then himself.
  • September 27, 2012: a man in New Fairfield, Connecticut shot someone he thought was an intruder only to discover after that it was his son.
  • August 24, 2012: Empire State Building shooting. Two dead, including the shooter. Nine bystanders were wounded by police bullets and shrapnel.

In the Empire State Building shooting, what would the death/wounded toll be if some of the people on the street had been carrying? In that case you had police officers, trained to use guns. Ordinary civilians who had all the gun range practice and training would have just made things worse.

Consider the Aurora shooting, or the situation where Gabriel Giffords and others were shot. There is no case to be made, despite all the NRA fantasies, for ordinary people to be walking around with guns, concealed or otherwise. No other advanced nation allows that and gun violence and deaths above are only a tiny fraction of what occurs every day in the United States.

Here in Canada we celebrate Thanksgiving in mid-October, about a month before the U.S. What I give thanks for every year is that I am not an American, free to be unexpectedly shot to death, intentionally or accidentally. If I end up on a morgue slab it will be because of something as mundane as a heart attack or a car accident.

Gabrielle Giffords--Lucky to be alive--as about 80 of her fellow Americans were not that day

Born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, Daniel Johnson as a teenager aspired to be a writer. Always a voracious reader, he reads more books in a month than many people read in a lifetime. He also reads 100+ online articles per week. He knew early that in order to be a writer, you have to be a reader.

He has always been concerned about fairness in the world and the plight of the underprivileged/underdog.

As a professional writer he sold his first paid article in 1974 and, while employed at other jobs, started selling a few pieces in assorted places.

Over the next 15 years, Daniel eked out a living as a writer doing, among other things, national writing and both radio and TV broadcasting for the CBC, Maclean’s (the national newsmagazine) and a wide variety of smaller publications. Interweaved throughout this period was soul-killing corporate and public relations writing.

It was through the 1960s and 1970s that he got his university experience. In his first year at the University of Calgary, he majored in psychology/mathematics; in his second year he switched to physics/mathematics. He then learned of an independent study program at the University of Lethbridge where he attended the next two years, studying philosophy and economics. In the end he attended university over nine years (four full time) but never qualified for a degree because he didn't have the right number of courses in any particular field.

In 1990 he published his first (and so far, only) book: Practical History: A guide to Will and Ariel Durant’s “The Story of Civilization” (Polymath Press, Calgary)

Newly appointed as the Deputy Executive Editor in August 2011, he has been writing exclusively for Salem-News.com since March 2009 and, as of summer 2012, has published more than 210 stories.

View articles written by Daniel Johnson

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Allan October 3, 2012 4:29 pm (Pacific time)

"One thing Americans don't understand is that in no other developed nation are guns seen to be needed. Why in America?"

I got sick of reading so here is my answer to that retarded question, Switzerland and they have one of the lowest crime rates cause everyone knows everyone has guns..

You obviously don't understand Switzerland.  Read my article "Guns in Switzerland": http://www.salem-news.com/articles/august192012/switzerland_dj.php then write back.

In Switzerland, members of the militia and private citizens alike are tightly regulated in regards to gun ownership. Despite NRA claims like, “young adults in Zurich are subject to minimal gun control,” the truth is that Switzerland has very strict gun laws that American gun rights groups would consider “tyrannical.” 

jarhead October 2, 2012 9:46 am (Pacific time)

We have the right to guns as women have the right kill thier babies(abortion) by the millions, so what are we talking about here, a drop in the bucket.

Anonymous October 2, 2012 8:38 am (Pacific time)

Just bought 2,000 rounds of 223, and so what!

Douglas Benson October 2, 2012 7:23 am (Pacific time)

Im suggesting that they have no real way to defend those liberties by force if need be.

What I suggest is that they don't live in fear, like so many Americans. That's the best kind of freedom. 

So many Americans live in fear of their fellow citizens or the government itself which they elect, or in fear of other nations who pose no threat whatsoever, e.g., Iraq in 2003. 

robins111 October 1, 2012 5:04 am (Pacific time)

Another liberal who believes, spoons are what makes people fat. A Canadian firearms owner.

Another conservative who believes that simple-minded analogies illuminate reality. 

Anonymous October 1, 2012 7:28 am (Pacific time)

DJ I shall pass on your "thoughts" to members of Congress from my state for their immediate review. Thanks for the input, because I simply do not see how we as a country could continue surviving without your input. Thank you so much. cc:NRA/GOA and all other fools who think the 2nd Amendment, or anything else in the Bill of Rights or our Constitution allows us to be exceptional. Change all the history books and recall all scientific accomplishments and label them "unexceptional."

You're not even "exceptional" at sarcasm. 

Ian September 30, 2012 11:21 pm (Pacific time)

DJ, you're an embarassment to me as a Canadian. You really need to get out more. Firearms are pretty much banned in the UK, and the violent crime rate is much higher than any developed country - same as Jamaica, South Africa, etc. I realize that gazing at your navel isn't likely to create a broad world view, but most navel gazers don't publish their ignorance online. You're typical of your ilk, washed up hippies trying to bring back the glory days by any means, to include; Stifling free speech, lying, using revisionist history, and deliberately mis-stating statistics. You're a pathetic washed up hippy.

First: I don't believe you're a Canadian

Second: The homicide rate (which is what I am talking about) is: UK--1.2/100,000; Canada 1.6; France 1.1: Germany 0.8; US 4.2

Third: Demonstrate where I'm  " Stifling free speech, lying, using revisionist history, and deliberately mis-stating statistics"

Anonymous September 30, 2012 1:37 pm (Pacific time)

Daniel we appreciate other countries, their cultures and mores, but we have our own, and outside opinions like yours have no significance. You constantly write articles like this, and a few take the bait, but then, that is your scheme, correct? Canada has a long tradition of firearm ownership as do most countries on the planet, so continue your effort in this matter, we are in effect an "exceptional people," and our form of government is superior to any other form of government so far. As America goes, so, eventually does the rest of the world. Everyone immitates us, we are the trendsetters, the civilizing force. Most want to be like us, they cannot, so they immigrate here. Our primary appeal, Capitalism, and plenty of guns/ammo. Maybe you should help your fellow Canadians in dealing with some pretty serious problems of your own, but then, who up there will print/publish your screed?

Before you get too full of yourself and explode, here’s a little historical perspective.

Rome was once an “exceptional” society. It had, at the time, the most superior government. As Rome went, so went the rest of the world. Everyone imitated Rome who were the civilizing force at the time. Most wanted to be like Romans and people emigrated there whenever they could. Their primary appeal was power and arrogance.

The U.S. is in global decline and just as Rome didn’t actually disappear, the U.S. will still be there geographically with its people. This is well known to many people. It’s just the American people haven’t read the memo.

The American governmental system which you think so highly of is self-evidently dysfunctional. The founders intentionally set it up that way so no part of the government could dominate. Most interesting is that the country would be better called “The Untied States” because there is almost no governmental consistency across the 50 states. Think of all the different voting systems and the problems they cause. Florida in 2000 is a prime example.

Here in Canada national voting is managed by a non-partisan body and when an election is called, the hours and voting procedures and standards are identical in every province. If the U.S. had such a uniform national system, you could perhaps claim excellence but in terms of governance you’re clearly way behind the parliamentary systems of all the developed nations.

Sorry to rain on your parade. 

Anonymous September 30, 2012 1:06 pm (Pacific time)

In response to bill annett...http://www.thestar.com/news/world/article/1263938--burman-canada-s-windows-on-the-world-are-quietly-closing

and, if you take the stats noted in DJ's article, remove the inner cities where the obama admin/holder have given high power weapons to, then take out all the people killed by swat teams going to the wrong house, and police shooting innocent victims, the stats drop dramatically...Most firearm deaths come from inner cities with highly restricted gun laws...and comparing canada to the U.S. is comparing apples to oranges, not sure why the author keeps doing it.
As far as giving up firearms, my estimates after the soon coming economic collapse, which will also bring down Canada, since they are part of the U.S..is approx 70% will give up their guns for food. 10% not sure, and 20% will fight to keep them. Since the west is losing in baghdad alone, and afghanistan, and syria, the 20% (10 million, most of which can hit the heart of a deer at 500 yards).are not too worried.
Altho, I also do not rule out a false flag biological attack. The queen/vatican/rothchilds have a religion called eugenics and it is their goal that we all die. THis is highly transparent in Canada and the UK and the U.S. if you look. GMO food, oxycotin, supressed cures, vaccines, chemtrails etc.
And in closing, here is an article about the UN voting on agenda 21. I have spoke of Agenda 21 for about 15 years now, (all the while being called tin foil hat), and it is in full force. You might want to look into it. Its NOT the roses they say it is. It is making the people serfs, while the few live in luxury and total demonic control..THeir plan is to reduce the population by 90%, and to take all natural resources, and all pristine land. You will never see any beautiful land but the parks they build in your neighborhood.


Douglas Benson September 30, 2012 11:54 am (Pacific time)

My point is without those firearms they wouldnt be able to hold the line. They would just be victims of assault and abuse of thier rights by government forces. I would say to you that without that threat of escalation and its PR implications they would just do whatever they felt like. Another good example would be the armed tea party protesters vs the occupy protesters . Didnt see the cops assaulting them now did you? I would double dog dare the police to start that one .Can you say mass civil unrest? My point is firearms have been and always will be the true teeth of liberty when the civilian population is armed. That is the entire point of the sec amm. Peace

Are you suggesting that the people of Canada, the UK, Germany, Sweden, etc., don't have liberty? 

Douglas Benson September 30, 2012 11:20 am (Pacific time)

Lets see, poverty ,the drug war,lack of social mobility ,lack of education ,individualism without any thought to the collective ,corrupt government.The list goes on. The worst actors throughout history have always been government ,and that is why we have the sec amm in the first place. Peace

Douglas Benson September 30, 2012 11:01 am (Pacific time)

Okhttp://youtu.be/Huo3lEarY38 here it is at about 3min in

I watched the whole video but don't get your point. Are you blaming Canada? 

Douglas Benson September 30, 2012 10:39 am (Pacific time)

I said everyone not just citizens .Taking firearms from citizens leaves them at the mercy of bad actors who without fear of significant retaliation would be free to do as they please. By the way I bet Greece would love our access to firearms right now. Peace

My point about other nations is still valid. The question then becomes: Why does America have/produce  so many "bad actors"? 

Douglas Benson September 30, 2012 10:21 am (Pacific time)

Aren't the natives in Canada using firearms to block the roads to stop the pipelines?

Thanks for your comments, Doug. 

I think some have rifles, but those are part of their rural culture. I have never heard of an incident in such a situation. 

Douglas Benson September 30, 2012 10:13 am (Pacific time)

When you figure out how to remove weapons from everyone let me know. Peace

People would have to give them up voluntarily. One thing Americans don't understand is that in no other developed nation are guns seen to be needed. Why in America? I think the mythological belief in American Exceptionalism is the main factor--Americans believing that they are somehow special when, in fact, they are not. They're people just like everyone else.  It takes an outsider to notice and say things like this.

Anonymous September 29, 2012 10:33 am (Pacific time)

DJ when you break down the per capita murder rate here in this country you no doubt envy and are jealous of, American caucasians have a lower murder rate than Canada and every country in Europe, including Switzerland. Look it up. For those on the left, they like our 1st Amendment until they find that facts actually cause their agenda the exposure that shows it's nonsensical foundation and irrelevant tangental directions. For example, they pined for the OWS movement, well once this rudderless movement started causing property damge, it was over. Likewise, those who seem so intent on taking away firearms from armed Americans, will in time be dead from their own ignorance. We have some very violent groups in America, and they cannot be controlled by laws, obviously, so the private citizen will have to deal with them. These whackos who cause those multiple murders would kill no matter what method was available. Hell in England, a crazy with a single bolt action 22 rifle killed 12. Did not hear much about that. Well we have foreign cartels (as does Canada) and various racial groups that will in time be wiped out, then peace will return to us. I am looking forward to the ultimate time when we clean up America and Canada from the deadly elements that harm us. I have paid military experience dealing with deadly situations you could not even imagine. There are tens of thousands like me around, tens of thousands. So, just keep stirring the pot out there you criminals...

Things were going smoothly and I thought we might finish this story with no trolls, then you came along. You're just blowing smoke.  Don't bother writing back to try and prove how everyone is out of step but you.

Christian Petersen September 29, 2012 9:30 am (Pacific time)

In case people didn't know this yet- The shooter only shot one person at Empire State, the police were the ones who shot all those people. The security camera footage confirms that the police weren't even aiming at the shooter. You can go watch it for yourself. I know it's hard to deferentiate, but some of these mass shootings are actually false flag events, and not organic. They shouldn't be counted as examples of average citizens' actions. That is a whole other issue in and of itself though. Thanks for bringing this issue up to the forefront for debate Daniel.

Bill Annett September 29, 2012 8:44 am (Pacific time)

Every morning 30 million Canadians get up thanking their lucky stars that they are superior to the bloody Americans and telling themselves that they are fortunate to live in the True North Strong and Free. In reality, they don't realize that they still live in a ridiculous colonial society, under an invisible Crown, a British colonial justice system, a British parliamentary system with - for example - a medieval Act that maintains 1.5 million indigenous people in a vicious apartheid more brutal than any part of black Alabama and more oppressive than South Africa before Nelson Mandela. O Canada, pays de nos aieux!

Thanks, Bill. You're absolutely right. 

Anonymous September 29, 2012 9:23 am (Pacific time)

Hey Daniel..silly article, how about a song? Hope ya like it, it is an old song but now one of my favorites...enjoy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5sSEkZ86ts

Christian Petersen September 29, 2012 9:11 am (Pacific time)

I'm sorry for flooding this story with comments but I have another point to bring up. What about Mexico? Guns are illegal there for citizens to own, but look at the violence we see down there. Banning guns has been proven to be innefective in their case. I just want to put that out there. This seems to be more of a problem with the way people behave and treat each other, so I believe that is where we will find our solution in this problem. If we can change people's behavior, many more problems will be solved along with the violence thing. Ending the unjustified wars would probably help a lot. Citizens are just following our government's example with their gun violence. I believe there may be a correlation between our killing around the globe and our domestic killings.

Mexico is an anomaly and their violence seems to be tied almost entirely to the drug trade.  Thanks for your comments.

Christian Petersen September 29, 2012 9:02 am (Pacific time)

What is causing this gun violence? Is it the guns themselves or the culture of violence? If it's the people, wouldn't that want you to have a gun even more to protect you from all these violent murderous people around you? That's the whole thing about the gun control argument that I don't get. So there are lots of crazy people in the US running around shooting people. I'm not one of those people. I would feel a lot safer having the means to protect myself from all these nuts out here shooting people.

Christian Petersen September 29, 2012 8:56 am (Pacific time)

For the record, I am against murder. But if you want to look at it from a numbers perspective, which is what this article is doing, "one 911 a month" Gun violence isn't even on the top 10 causes of death in America. Cigarettes are far more dangerous than guns, hands down. Go look at the most common causes of death. You will see things like Trachea, bronchus, lung cancers, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in numbers far exceeding anything caused by guns. It's not even comparable, we're talking hundreds of thousands vs. tens of thousands. This article does bring up a very good question though. One that can't seem to be definitively answered for some reason. I've been wondering about this mystery ever since I saw the figures brought up on Bowling for Columbine. From my personal perspective as an American, overall we aren't living in fear of gun violence because it's not that big of a risk. Of all the young people I knew that have passed away, 6 of them was from car accidents and 1 was from a gunshot wound. My buddy who got murdered had his body cut up into pieces afterwords so logic would say they would have killed him with a knife if they didn't have a gun available.

Some Guy September 29, 2012 8:10 am (Pacific time)

Wow. With this logic cars should be outlawed in the US as well since more people die daily in car accidents than guns.

Cars used to be a lot more lethal until Ralph Nader got to work on the issue in the 1960s. It started with his book Unsafe at Any Speed 

Christian Petersen September 29, 2012 7:00 am (Pacific time)

And if people really want to commit mass murder, they logically should use bombs like the military does. And they will if they don't have access to guns. Way more effective then guns. We are told that somehow James Holmes supposedly bought enought bomb making supplies on the internet to level 5 city blocks. I've never seen any gun that can do that kind of damage.

What Americans don't realize or acknowledge is that they have the only society in the developed world where such mayhem is usual and accepted.. 

Christian Petersen September 29, 2012 6:51 am (Pacific time)

On the bright side, homicide rates have gone down considerably throughout the history of the United States and the world. In 1700, before guns, the homicide rate was around 35 per 100k, according to this chart http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2011/06/long-term-trend-in-homicide-rates.html Another point is this...didn't Iraq used to have very liberal gun rights, similar to the US? Their homicide rate was only 2 per 100k I believe. You should look into the possibilty of some of the murders in the US being by our government (CIA?) and military.

There is  no bright side to American gun violence. 

Christian Petersen September 29, 2012 6:35 am (Pacific time)

I've pondered this problem before. My theory on why we have so many murders in the US, is that many of them could be assassinations. Hits by elements within the government, black projects, and mafia cabals. They just make em look like random murders. Wouldn't that be a trip if that theory was accurate?

Anonymous September 29, 2012 5:30 am (Pacific time)

Guns don't kill people, people kill people. But why don't you list the killings from all the illegals here in the US. They sure have the majjority of the murders. And for the accidents if you are too dumn to use a weapon, then leave it alone.

You're right about people killing people. The next logical question is why do Americans want to kill each other on such a scale? Other developed societies (Canada, Germany, UK, Sweden, Japan, etc.) do not have such access to firearms. If they had similar urges to kill their fellow citizens, they would just find other methods, which they have not.  

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