Category Archives: Guns

Guns don’t kill people, smoking does.

With all the talk about further gun control, a simple look at the frequency of firearm deaths compared to another killer is in order.

There are approximately 75 million gun owners in this country. At the same time, there are about 45 million smokers.

Self-inflicted gun deaths (i.e., suicides using guns) total approximately 19,000 suicides per year. Meanwhile, self-inflicted smoking deaths total 443,000. Let’s see how this looks as a proportion of gun owners/smokers.

Self-inflicted firearm/gun deaths vs. smoking deaths

Self-inflicted firearm/gun deaths vs. smoking deaths

But who really cares that smoking is 38 times more likely to kill the smoker than a gun is to kill its owner (through suicide)? If smokers want to kill themselves, so what? The real issue is how many other people are killed by these items. A madman with a gun killing 30 people is clearly more dangerous than a cigarette. Or so we are told…

In the United States, approximately 11,000 people are killed each year in firearm-related homicides. Meanwhile, less than 1,000 are accidentally killed by guns each year. In contrast, over 49,000 people are killed by second-hand smoke each year.

Again, a simple chart of deaths per million of gun owners and smokers is quite revealing.

Second-hand gun/firearm deaths vs. second-hand smoking deaths

Second-hand gun/firearm deaths vs. second-hand smoking deaths

As the above results show, the smoker not only is 38 times more likely to kill himself than a gun owner, he is also 7 times more likely to kill someone else.

I propose universal smoker registration. I further propose limits on how many cigarettes and cigars one can buy, limits on the nicotine content of cigarettes and cigars, hefty fines and lengthy prison sentences for anyone who smokes in or near smoke-free zones, and expansion of smoke free zones to include any area in which non-smokers may be. We have to protect our children from these dangerous, homicidal killers known as smokers.

If you are afraid of guns, you better stay off the roads.

Some gun facts:

“Of the 30,470 firearm-related deaths in the United States in 2010, 19,392 (63.6%) were suicide deaths, and 11,078 (36.4%) homicide deaths.”

“In Philadelphia, the percentage of those killed in gun homicides that had prior criminal records increased from 73% in 1985 to 93% in 1996.”

Subtracting out suicides and those killed who had a criminal record, in other words, looking at the average law-abiding citizen, about 2,000 Americans are murdered by guns each year.

Now, another interesting fact:

About 32,000 people are killed in automobile accidents each year.

That’s more than total firearm-related deaths, three times more than the numbers of murders using guns, and sixteen times the number of people without criminal records who are killed by guns.

My advice to all those innocent people with no plans to commit suicide who are worried about guns: stay off the roads—they are much deadlier than guns.

The pen is mightier than the sword, and the liberals own all the dictionaries.

Alan Korwin, gun expert and author of After You Shoot: Your gun’s hot. The perp’s not. Now what?, argues that ‘Birther’ is the new ‘N’ word:

“Birther,” used by the media with impunity, is a derogatory slur, the equivalent of the “N” word used for another group to cast them as sub-human.

You apply this new “N” word to a huge group of politically-active Americans who’ve raised legitimate questions on a legitimate topic.

 These Americans remember Sen. McCain was grilled by a Senate committee over the same issue — eligibility. The man currently in the White House, for reasons that remain unclear to this day, avoided such reasonable scrutiny. These people ask, “Why?”

These citizens noticed that when Obama refused — flat-out refused — to release relevant documents you let him slide. These people noticed that when papers finally emerged, after unconscionable delays, irregularities were so great even amateur sleuths could spot them. The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office found remarkable inconsistencies that point to deliberate fraud.

To demean and ridicule such socially-conscious, politically-active Americans with their own “N” word violates journalism’s codes of ethics (AP, NY Times, SPJ) that require you not only to be unbiased, but to avoid even an appearance of bias. Inflammatory use of this offensive denigrating smear and “birther bashing” announces your prejudice loudly.

Of course, Mr. Korwin is already being attacked for stating his opinion.

 

Alan: You are so naive. Don’t you know that the liberals own the English language? Tea partiers can be called terrorists and teabaggers, but you can’t say that Birther is like the N-word. Heck, liberals are even changing the 5,000-year old definition of marriage.

Calling George Orwell. The Ministry of Truth is standing by.

As the old saying goes, the pen is mightier than the sword. You may have some guns, but they own the pen, the paper, and the dictionaries.

 

I’m not birther, by the way. But I do I think Congress should require proof of eligibility before the presidential election. For that, I am often called a birther.

More important, it is a shame how skepticism has become so vilified. (Also see global warming.) Remember the halcyon days when one presidential candidate (John Kerry) said that dissent was the highest form of patriotism and misattributed it to Thomas Jefferson. Oops!

But we need to remember that dissent is only patriotic if you are a Democrat opposing a Republican administration. Off to the Ministry of Truth for me.

In a foxhole with an attractive girl

On Monday, Barack Obama had this to say about Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz:

“If you’re in the foxhole, you want Debbie alongside you, because not only is she charming and has that dazzling smile, but she’s tough as nails. And that’s what’s needed during challenging times.”

Really? If I was in a foxhole, I wouldn’t care much about the attractiveness or charm of my fellow. I’d much rather have somebody who knows how to shoot a big gun. You know, somebody like Sarah Palin or Pamela Gorman!

Mayor Bloomberg an accessory to a federal felony

For those who haven’t heard:

New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg wanted to illustrate that buying a gun like the one used in the recent Arizona shootings is as easy as buying “a hamburger and fries at a McDonald’s.” So he sent out undercover investigators to help him prove it.

In a performance straight out of Hollywood, an investigator is seen handling a semiautomatic pistol that he is thinking about buying from a dealer at a Jan. 23 Crossroads of the West gun show in Phoenix. Sounding sinister, he says, “I like the concealability, it’s the best part,” and admits he couldn’t pass the background check required to buy a gun from a licensed dealer — but not from a private dealer like the one at the gun show. He then hands over a wad of cash and walks away with the pistol.

“That sale was blatantly illegal,” said Bloomberg, explaining that private sellers are not supposed to forgo checks if they have a reason to believe buyers are felons, mentally ill or couldn’t pass federal scrutiny. “But it happens all the time.”

My good friend Alan Korwin, who literally wrote the book on gun laws, explains in a just published article:

On an unrelated note, I’ve just been informed that Mayor Bloomberg of New York City has sent a team of people to Arizona to attempt to illegally purchase firearms at a gun show. He has apparently just held a news conference to promote this fact. If true, this makes Mr. Bloomberg an accessory to a federal felony, and the people he sent would have committed several federal felonies in attempting or making the purchases. No word of indictments of the Mayor have yet surfaced. We’ll be watching these developments closely. Elected officials are not free to break laws in an effort to promote any agendas they may have. Such activity is reprehensible and deserves punishment.

Thank you Alan for defending our rights and shedding light on the hypocrisies of our “leaders.”

Did World War II lift us out of the Great Depression?

We are constantly told that the economy was lifted out of its Great Depression because of World War II. While it is certainly true that the economic production recovered thanks to war production, I do not believe that the economy actually “recovered” during the war. Of course, it all depends on how you define an economic recovery. The statistical method of doing so is to look at Gross Domestic Product (GDP) or industrial production. However, looking at those figures, even adjusting for inflation, ignores things such as changes in population and demographics.

When World War II began, millions joined or were drafted into the armed forces. Their production was lost as they fought overseas. To make up for that loss, women entered the workforce and men worked longer hours. Yes, economic production rose, but the number of hours worked rose even more so. Americans were forced to work instead of spending their time in leisure or raising their families. This was of course good for the many who had previously been unemployed, but bad for those who had already had jobs, housewives who were caring for their children, the elderly who held off on retirement, and the young who skipped college to enter the army.

While hours worked were up, most of the increase in production went to war manufacturing. The United States churned out planes, ships, tanks, guns, and bullets. Japan and Germany had a ten-year head start in military production, but the United States quickly caught up once its economic wheels moved forward. Furthermore, much of the food, clothing, and other staples required for day-to-day living were shipped to troops overseas instead of staying within the country’s borders. The domestic economy of the United States was dominated by rations and shortages. This was not your typical economic recovery with new products available to consumers and increasing wealth. Instead, it was economic production designed to destroy (though for a good cause) instead of create. The billions of dollars spent on bombs, downed planes, sunk ships, shattered tanks, and bullets was capital forever lost to mankind.

With longer work hours, families separated for years, hundreds of thousands of killed soldiers, and production devoted to the military instead of consumers, the standard of living of the average American was no better during World War II than it was during the Great Depression and worse than it was in the 1920s.

But what about unemployment which went from 25% down to 1%? Gene Smiley writes, “The number of unemployed workers declined by 7,050,000 between 1940 and 1943, but the number in military service rose by 8,590,000. The reduction in unemployment can be explained by the draft, not by the economic recovery.” He continues, “Most estimates show declines in real consumption spending, which means that consumers were worse off during the war. Business investment fell during the war. Government spending on the war effort exceeded the expansion in real GNP.” Smiley does admit that economic measurement during this time was exceedingly difficult, asking “How can we establish a consistent price index when government mandates eliminated the production of most consumer durable goods?” Smiley concludes, “For consumers, the recovery came with the war’s end, when they could again buy products that were unavailable during the war and unaffordable during the 1930s.”

* All this says nothing about the need to enter the war against the Japanese and Germans. However, the idea that a war could lift an economy out of depression is tenuous. The economic recovery following World War II was the result of the newfound economic freedom in the United States but even more so overseas where countries such as Germany, Italy, and Japan experienced true freedom for the first time in many years.

UPDATED: Germany and Italy also “boosted” their economies with military production and conscription. Few would argue that their “economic recoveries” were sustainable or good.