Guns and Fourth Branch of Government

It was the fourth branch of government that defeated the bill proposing universal background checks for anyone purchasing a gun. They accomplished this even though 90% of citizens were in favor of such legislation.

This fourth branch is in the shadows and it is not controlled by the voters. Instead, it is controlled by money coming from special interest groups such as the National Rifle Association, the President’s “Organize For Action”, the Koch brothers, Sheldon Adelson, Citizens United, all labor union PACS and approximately 4,600 other political action committees.

In the case of PAC’s, they in theory represent a group of voters who are supporting the PAC. This creates a problem that: 1). Not every voter belongs to a PAC and 2) Not all PAC’s are created equal. The more money the PAC has, the more influence they have. Further, the more one contributes to a PAC, the more influence that person has over the PAC.

Making things worse, these organizations have control over the other three branches of our, tongue in cheek, government. Most of these PAC’S are controlled by a small group of individuals making the decisions. In addition to these Political Action Committees, our elected officials spend much of their time soliciting money from very wealthy individuals in the following industries: Wall Street, Banking, Entertainment, Energy, Home Building, Technology and others.

Politics is the only industry I am aware of that allows its employees to take a paid leave of absence from performing their duties to look for another job; their reelection. I am very pessimistic. If we do not end this corruption the country will continue in its slow decline.
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Assault Vs. Hunting Rifle

What is the difference between an assault rifle and a hunting rifle? Up until now I was opposed to banning semi-automatic “assault rifles” because other than looks it was my belief that there was nothing different about them compared to other semi-automatics. After further investigation, I have changed my mind.

AR-15 Assault Rifle

Our citizenry has no reason for owning and using a semi-automatic “assault rifle”..

Hunting Rifle .30-06

It is not just the caliber or the automatic fire capability that makes a weapon an assault rifle. An assault rifle is designed to kill people who are enemies of this country and to give our soldiers a competitive advantage.

Often times when our soldiers are in a shoot out in Iraq or Afghanistan they are in a town fighting from building to building and in close quarters going room to room. The assault weapon is specifically designed for this type of fie fight.

The pistol grip and the collapsible stock make the gun more adaptable to close quarters like a home in Pakistan where a hunted man is pursued or a classroom in an elementary school or on a college campus. Above is a comparison of the two guns. I do not profess that the comparison is complete; however, it demonstrates that the AR-15 rifle is made for close quarter assault on other human beings who may also be armed. My conclusion is that for a gun like the AR-15 to be sold to the general public, the following modifications must be made.

Minimum Barrel Length: 20 inches
Minimum Total Gun Length: 40 inches
Pistol Grip: Not Allowed.
Collapsible Stock: Not Allowed
Maximum Clip: 6 Rounds
Top Handle: Not Allowed.

In its present form, the sole purpose is to kill other human beings.

Murder And NRA

Let us memorialize the deaths of 20 innocent children in Connecticut by finally addressing the issue of gun control in this country. When will we no longer allow the National Rifle Association to be the only decision maker to decide how we control guns? Something needs to be done.

Below is an excerpt from an article appearing in the Guardian on July 22, 2012, Gun Homicides And Gun Ownership by Country, comparing murder rates by country.

“The Small Arms Survey is also useful – although it is from 2007, it collates civilian gun ownership rates for 178 countries around the world, and has ‘normalised’ the data to include a rate per 100,000 population. So, given those caveats, we can see which countries have the highest ownership rates for firearms – and which have the highest gun murder rates.

The key facts are:

• The US has the highest gun ownership rate in the world – an average of 88 per 100 people. That puts it first in the world for gun ownership – and even the number two country, Yemen, has significantly fewer – 54.8 per 100 people.

• But the US does not have the worst firearm murder rate – that prize belongs to Honduras, El Salvador and Jamaica. In fact, the US is number 28, with a rate of 2.97 per 100,000 people

• Puerto Rico tops the world’s table for firearms murders as a percentage of all homicides – 94.8%. It’s followed by Sierra Leone in Africa and Saint Kitts and Nevis in the Caribbean”

I extracted the data below from the above article and tried to include those countries that were most relevant when comparing them to the United States. My conclusion is the United States has a serious problem.

Click Chart To Enlarge
Here is what caught my attention.
  • The countries having worse homicide rates by firearm per 100,000 in population than the United States include Columbia, Puerto Rico, Brazil, South Africa, Mexico and Nicaragua.
  • The United States had a homicide rate by firearm per 100,000 in population of 2.97. The next closest country below us is Turkey with .77 per 100,000 in population.
  • Canada, England, Germany, France and Spain have the following respective homicide rates by firearm per 100,000 in population: .51, .07, .19, .06 and .2.
  • The United States had 88.8 firearms per 100 people. The next closest country was Switzerland with 45.7 per 100 people. Switzerland’s homicide by firearm per 100,000 in population was .77 while ours is 2.97.
This problem needs to be addressed. In this article I am not advocating gun control. I am advocating that serious thought be given to what we are going to do about it. Gun control is only one solution and the NRA should not be allowed to be the sole decision maker on this important issue.

Look at the countries above that have higher homicide rates by firearm than the United States. Except maybe for Brazil, the remainder of the these countries we would expect to have higher murders per capita than the U.S..

Murders and Firearms

“The Small Arms Survey is also useful – although it is from 2007, it collates civilian gun ownership rates for 178 countries around the world, and has ‘normalised’ the data to include a rate per 100,000 population. So, given those caveats, we can see which countries have the highest ownership rates for firearms – and which have the highest gun murder rates.

The key facts are:

• The US has the highest gun ownership rate in the world – an average of 88 per 100 people. That puts it first in the world for gun ownership – and even the number two country, Yemen, has significantly fewer – 54.8 per 100 people.

• But the US does not have the worst firearm murder rate – that prize belongs to Honduras, El Salvador and Jamaica. In fact, the US is number 28, with a rate of 2.97 per 100,000 people

• Puerto Rico tops the world’s table for firearms murders as a percentage of all homicides – 94.8%. It’s followed by Sierra Leone in Africa and Saint Kitts and Nevis in the Caribbean”  Gun Homicides And Gun Ownership by Country, The Guardian, July 22, 2012

Below is a chart, based on 2007 data, that I extracted from the above article and tried to include those countries that were most relevant when comparing them to the United States. My conclusion is the United States has a serious problem.

Click Chart To Enlarge
Here is what caught my attention.
  • The countries having worse homicide rates by firearm per 100,000 in population than the United States include Columbia, Puerto Rico, Brazil, South Africa, Mexico and Nicaragua.
  • The United States had a homicide rate by firearm per 100,000 in population of 2.97. The next closest country below us is Turkey with .77 per 100,000 in population.
  • Canada, England, Germany, France and Spain have the following respective homicide rates by firearm per 100,000 in population: .51, .07, .19, .06 and .2.
  • The United States had 88.8 firearms per 100 people. The next closest country was Switzerland with 45.7 per 100 people. Switzerland’s homicide by firearm per 100,000 in population was .77.
This problem needs to be addressed. In this article I am not advocating gun control. I am advocating that serious thought be given to what we are going to do about it. Gun control is only one solution.