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Just Sayin' …Why is America so in love with guns?

13 October 2017

■ The NRA now opposes limitations on types of ammunition on the market, limitations of the sale of assault-type rifles like the AR-15, limitations on the sale of magazines with more than 10 rounds, expanded background checks for firearm purchases, more controls on sales of guns at gun shows, gun licensing, gun registration, an electronically searchable database to track the origins of firearms used in crimes, or a ban on bump stocks like those used in Las Vegas. Shootings are now the third highest leading cause of death for USA children. These conservatives frequently cite the phrase "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms" at the end of the Second Amendment. The National Rifle Association began in 1871 to "promote and encourage rifle shooting on a scientific basis" after two Union veterans, Col. William C. Church and Gen. George Wingate formed the organization, disappointed at the level of marksmanship in their troops. The NRA and like groups have a huge number of supporters - not to mention a whole bunch of money.

Many of my friends have quit the NRA a long time ago when it became obvious they were pure shills for any kind of weapon, munitions, silencers, armor-piercing bullets. In 2011, over half of all female gun homicide victims were killed by a domestic partner; people with domestic violence history are five times more likely to murder a partner when a gun is in the home. According to Center for Disease Control Statistics, California had a gun mortality rate of 7.7 per 100,000 in 2015, compared to over three times as many deaths in Alaska and Louisiana. All guns purchased online are required to be shipped to someone who holds a Federal Firearms License. If it does not initiate a civil war, accounting for all the registered firearms would prove a gargantuan undertaking. Gallup polling showed that the country was evenly split on the question of whether the private possession of handguns should be banned.

The mainstream media is pointing at reports that few Americans own the majority of guns in the nation. We don't want to see Americans endure any more suffering that we could prevent.

■ Mesa County's suicide rate is almost double the US average.

■ In the US, there are 3.85 gun deaths per year per 100,000 persons: 31st worst in the world. It just made sense to me that good people needed guns for relatively important tasks like acquiring sustenance and protecting themselves and their loved ones from various dangers. Gun laws differ from state to state, but nowhere in America even gets close to the restrictions that a would-be assassin would face in Britain.

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While firearms and military grade weapons exist in the world, it is crucial that countries with tight gun control are still able to protect themselves from foreign attack. In this case, a 64-year-old professional gambler knocked the windows out of his 32 floor room at the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas and shot at a crowd attending a country music festival.

We're lucky here that so few people have those deadly tools.

■ Americans make up 4.43 percent of the world's population but own 42 percent of the world's privately-held firearms.

There are times when we must be equipped to save ourselves.

Just Sayin' …Why is America so in love with guns?