Reality Round-Up: Cap Popping Edition

It’s no secret that guns have been all over the news lately.

After the movie theater massacre in Colorado last summer and the more recent elementary school shooting in Connecticut, America is up in arms (pun intended) over gun control, and rightfully so. Our nation has one of the highest rates of firearm-related deaths per capita, so it stands to reason.

Americans just love their guns and seem to like “popping caps” of all shapes and sizes. It’s protected in the Constitution, for goodness sake.

In honor of all the gun control conversations, arguments and battles taking place across our great and well-armed nation, I offer a smattering of news stories that clearly show we have our work cut out for us.

NEWINGTON, CONNECTICUT

Police were called in to control traffic, and prevent customers from filling up the parking lots of other businesses, during a sale at Hoffman's Gun Center in Newington. Gun sales have increased since the Sandy Hook shooting. Photo by WTIC's Matt Dwyer

Visit Hoffman’s for all your assault weapon needs! (courtesy of CBS Connecticut)

When Adam Lanza marched into Sandy Hook Elementary School and killed innocent children in cold blood, it set off a national controversy over semi-automatic weapons, powerful ammunition and extended magazines (clips). So what did Hoffman’s Gun Center & Indoor Shooting Range do?

They ran a special called the Smith & Wesson M&P15 Sport value pack that included all three of the soon-to-be-banned items. And people came out in droves.

Before 9 a.m. on Friday morning, the Berlin Turnpike was all jammed up as gun supporters came from miles around to purchase the $840 value pack. Included were a Smith & Wesson M&P15 Sport semi-automatic rifle, two boxes of .223 ammunition and a 30-shot magazine.

Basically all you would need to wreak some havoc of your own. Sandy Hook Killer Adam Lanza used a weapon similar to the M&P15 during his attack, so we are all aware of the damage it can do.

Maybe it’s just me, but taking the rifle that killed all those children and then arming even more people with it seems like a bad idea. And in the very same state, too!

Carnage from Grand Theft Auto III (courtesy of Rockstar Games)

WASHINGTON, D.C.

Anytime young people bear arms, murder innocent people or take their own lives, it shocks our nation and we all start looking for answers. Inevitably, someone starts blaming video games, which have grown increasingly graphic and violent over the years. Experts will tell you that kids who play these sorts of games are more likely to become violent themselves.

According to Fareed Zakaria of CNN, however, nothing could be further from the truth. And he has plenty of data to back up this claim, too.

In December of last year, The Washington Post focused on ten different countries and compared gun-related murders to video game spending, just to see if some correlation could be found. Presumably, spending would be higher in countries plagued by gun violence, most notably the United States.

What they found was much, much different.

The Post’s study revealed that the Netherlands and South Korea spend more than twice as much on video games per capita as the US. Yet neither of these nations have high gun murder rates. In reality, they are both significantly lower. Even in Japan, where video games and cartoons are among the most graphic in the world, violent crime is virtually non-existent, at least when compared with America.

It’s true. America does have the worst gun violence in the world and we as a nation need to act quickly to stave it off. But blaming video games for our problems with violence? Give me a break.

LOGANVILLE, GEORGIA

Mrs. Herman pumped Paul Ali Slater full of lead (courtesy of Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office)

Magazines that hold large quantities of bullets, sometimes 30 or more, have been at the forefront of the recent gun control debate. But a recent incident in Georgia has many gun supporters claiming these “extended clips” are needed and that innocent people could be at risk if the magazines are banned.

Melinda Herman was home alone with her two 9-year-old children one night when an unknown intruder used a crowbar to break into her house. She immediately grabbed her phone and her .38 revolver and took her kids to hide in the attic, where she called her husband.

As he spoke to her, Donnie Herman used another phone to call 911 and held both phones to his ears. Melinda could hear the intruder rummaging through the house and worried he may try to enter the attic soon. So Donnie offered her some advice.

“Stay in the attic,” he instructed her. “If he opens the door, you shoot him!”

At that moment, the intruder approached the attic door and Melinda took her husband’s advice. She fired all six shots through the door, striking the home invader in the chest and face with five of them. Yet somehow, he still managed to flee.

And there’s the rub.

Staunch gun supporters and gun rights groups are having a heyday with this incident because Melinda fired every round she had and her would-be assailant still lived. What if several criminals had broken into her home last night? How protected would she be after running out of ammunition? Clearly, an extended magazine was needed.

And the conversation continues.

Odds are that we will never see an end to the gun control debate since America will never get rid of all its firearms. The best we can hope is that people will finally put all of their preferences, differences and biases aside and do whatever will save the most lives.

Isn’t that what’s really important anyway?

Posted on January 13, 2013, in Perspectives and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 38 Comments.

  1. I’m always chagrined to see this kind of stuff when people promote items that may or are about to be banned. I think that the ban is going be bitter sweet for everyone involved it’s a band aid that is at best only going to have a temporary relief in violence. People will just move on to something else, bows and arrows for example then do we move to ban carving knives/steak knives, which are also weapons. Household items like drain cleaners/uncloggers, vaseline, hydrogen peroxide, propane, gasoline, all of which can use as either weapons or in the creation of other weapons and explosives. should we ban cars, trucks, buses and trains? Planes can be very effective weapons of mass destruction, then there’s dish and other liquid soaps that can be components in other weapons. what people do not seem to understand is that without addressing the underlying reasons these attacks happen they won’t stop regardless of what gets banned. I’m planning a post on my own blog to fully explain my position on gun control and why I believe what I believe. It’s shame though that profiteers like the above gun shop feel the need to fuel the fires of this subject as a way of making a few dollars more.

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