How Many People Have To Die For The Second Amendment?

Any Day We Shoot Over 380

Ed Raymond

   There are no licensed federal gun dealers in our capital of Washington D.C., but 29-year-old resident Bobby Perkins Jr. recently went to prison for selling guns and drugs on the streets of D.C. A district court found him guilty of selling 224 guns bought in surrounding states on the street in just five months in 2015, with 94 of them being traced to homicides and crime scenes from Virginia to New York. But Bobby had spent much of his life trafficking guns and drugs, assuredly selling thousands of the 400 million firearms presently flooding every street, town, and city in Tombstone, USA. He always had a firearm in his pocket, ready to protect his merchandise.

   A woman in Nevis, Minnesota, where a mass shooter (four victims or more) recently killed three and wounded a deputy sheriff, said: “I never dreamed it would happen in my little town.” Well, neighbor, every farm and ranch, every city and town, every private and public building is the possible site of “shots being fired” on the police scanner. With every site a possible Tombstone, with having two firearms available for every adult in the country, people should stop kidding themselves. We average nine mass shootings for every 10 days. The number of deaths and the type of wounds are getting worse because of semi-automatic weapons.

   Over 500,000 bump-stocks that turn semi-automatic rifles to machineguns have been sold in our neighborhoods. Four of the biggest mass shootings in 50 years occurred in 2018. It might be worthwhile to review a few mass shootings involving more than ten deaths: University of Texas (14), McDonald’s (21), Luby’s Cafeteria (23), Columbine High School (13), Virginia Tech University (32), Sandy Hook Elementary School (26), Aurora Theater (12), Pulse Night Club (49), Texas Church (25), Las Vegas Music Festival (58),Borderline Bar and Grill (12), Tree of Life Synagogue (11), Santa Fe High School (10), Marjorie Stoneman Douglas (Parkland) High School (17) Thousand Oaks Bar (11) Edmund, Oklahoma Post Office (14), San Bernardino Health Department (14), Fort Hood (13), Naval Sea Systems Command (12), and Charleston Methodist Church (9 killed, 1 wounded). The death sites are interesting—and completely unpredictable.  

A Few Facts For The Woman In Nevis To Contemplate  

   Quit dreaming you are safe. You aren’t. A survey by Everytown for Gun Safety reveals 58% of American adults have experienced gun violence in their lifetime. More U.S. citizens are killed in the first month of the year than are killed in all of the other high-income countries in their entire calendar year.

   Each year in the U.S.100,000 people are wounded by firearms, including 15,600 children. That’s 280 a day. We kill over 100 a day through accidents, suicides, and homicides. The average funeral in this country runs $6,000. The average medical costs for treating handgun wounds is $19,175, for assault rifle wounds $32,237. (Vegas doctor: “Wounds from a military high-velocity weapon are different from a handgun. Military-style ammunition has more potential to destroy tissue. Military bullets don’t leave a clean entrance wound.

   They shatter skulls and leave gaping holes.”) Let’s use an average cost of $26,000 for each injury, so each day we spend about $7,280,000 putting skulls, limbs, organs, and guts back together. Add funerals and we reach $8,000,000 per day for having 400 million firearms in circulation. But we have more to add to that total. Studies estimate that the value of wages and household work lost due to short or long-term disabilities due to firearms averages out to $28,478 for each survivor. So add another $8,000,000 to the daily total cost. So 380 shootings cost us an average of $16 million a day. About 250,000 people in the world are killed by firearms each year. We have the biggest share at 40,000.  

Ten Minutes Of Vegas Bullets Cost Us A Minimum of $52 Million  

   Let’s use the Las Vegas music festival mass shooting to put a monetary cost on mass shootings. On October 1, 2017 Stephen Paddock fired 1,100 rounds at 22,000 people using 14 AR-10s and AR-15s worth about $9,800 fitted with 14 bump-stocks at $2,800 and $550 worth of ammo fired in ten minutes. He killed 58 so their funerals cost $348,000 at $6,000 each.

   He wounded 851 people with assault rifles that incur $32,237 in medical costs per wounding for a total of $27,433,687. The 851 lost an average of $28,478 each for a total of $24,234,778. In ten minutes of shooting he cost the American people $52,016,465—and that is a very conservative total. Many people with debilitating wounds suffered in Vegas will require many millions of dollars of care for the rest of their lives. (Vegas doctor: “There was blood all over the floors and gurneys, and there were patients that were holding pressure on their own wounds telling me to take care of the sicker patients. It was like a scene from Hell.”) And remember, there were 42 other shootings that same day.

   Absolute insanity stalks Tombstone, USA. An estate court judge determined that Paddock had owned 50 rifles, shotguns, and handguns and 40 firearm accessories and components such as scopes, special sights, bi-pods, and cases. He valued that arsenal at $62,340. Paddock had also stashed clips, magazines, and thousands of rounds of ammunition worth several thousand dollars for his weapons on shelves in several garages. Law enforcement cannot determine a motive for Paddock shooting at 22,000 people from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino. Maybe it was genetic. His father was psycho.  

Rivers of NRA Blood Run Through All Sections Of The Country   

   We had 25 school shootings in 2018 with 33 fatalities and 61 wounded. Since 1999 over 220,000 K-12 students have been exposed to gun violence in their schools. In 2017 over 4.1 million kids have been forced into 6,200 lockdowns because shooters were close by. Last year we averaged 16 lockdowns per school day. Practically every school in the country runs lockdown drills. Both real and practice lockdowns can cause psychological trauma, depression, panic anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

   At least 26 state legislatures appropriated $1 billion for school safety plans in 2018. Some school districts are installing bulletproof glass, steel doors, new locks on doors, security cameras, marking off “safe” hard corners in classrooms, purchasing radios, intercoms, and other communication equipment, and school “resource” officers (in some cases armed guards).

   The NRA gun culture has introduced so much carnage in everyday life, Americans have had to alter their lives to acknowledge the risk of constant shootings that at any moment can blast us out of our normality. What are the targets? Any place. Who are the targets? Anybody. The records show it’s anywhere we pray, work, sleep, educate ourselves, read, recover from illnesses and wounds, and seek recreation.

   We are forced to look for escape routes and hiding places wherever we are. The American Psychiatric Association says at least 6% of the population is bonkers at any time. When the Aurora, Illinois mass shooter made it six killed and six police wounded in a warehouse when he was fired, the Chicago Tribune editorialized: “This killer takes the demented logic of his plot with him to the grave. We profoundly wish he had not taken innocents with him.”  

The NRA Has Turned Millions Of Gallons Of Blood Into U.S. Rivers  

   In Greek mythology there is the “fire-flaming” river Phlegethon which is described as one of the five rivers in Hell. Dante in his “Inferno” about Hell described it as a river of blood that boils souls. NRA guns have turned it into a river of blood that kills souls. Dante puts murderers and tyrants in his Seventh Circle of Hell. Because they have loosed hot blood to flow through their violent deeds in life, they are now sunk up to their eyeballs in the flowing, boiling blood of the river.

   As an example, Attila the Hun is up to his eyebrows. NRA chief Wayne LaPierre will also be there, up to his eyebrows from the blood he has spilled creating the gun culture. In the modern novel “Inferno” the river of blood is guarded by military officers who shoot anyone who tries to escape the hot blood. Outside the world’s largest gun show in Tulsa, Oklahoma the flag always flies at half mast but the disaster is not identified. I wonder what killing is the subject.

   I have borrowed most of the material in the this section from reporter Stephen Marche who wrote about Wanenmacher’s Tulsa Arms Show which filled the 11 acres of the Expo Center at the Tulsa fairgrounds. It takes five and one-half minutes to walk from one end to the other because 4,200 tables covered with firearms and associate equipment occupy the floor. It takes eight hours just to walk through all the exhibits. Every kind of firearm is for sale along with ammunition, targets, silencers, laser sights, body armor, hearing plugs, bump-stocks and other trigger devices that turn semi-automatic rifles into machineguns. Even left-handed rifles are available (I’m a lefty).You can buy a .50 caliber spotting rifle with armor-piercing rounds that will destroy an engine block at a mile.  

Gun Show Sign: “No Sales To Obama or Clinton Supporters. Get Lost. You Are Too Dumb And Irresponsible To Own A Gun.”  

   Marche writes: “There are two gun cultures in America now, not just one. The first is a celebration of weapons and of the freedom weapons promise, a culture of resistance to government, of revolutionary individualism, a culture as old as the country itself—and the other, much newer, a perpetual caravan for mourning for senseless death. The cultures coexist but do not coincide.” (I think of the two-year-boy who kills his five-year-old sister because a parent left a loaded handgun under a pillow. I think of the 49 LBGTQ members killed dancing in Orlando’s Pulse Night Club.

   I think of the five-year-old girl riding in a car seat finding a loaded pistol in her mother’s purse near her and shooting her mother driving to the grocery store. I think of hunters killed when their dogs stepped on triggers on pickup seats. What a waste from neglect and stupidity.) Marche continues: “Only in America is the gun a totem, a sacred political object beyond the realm of argument. The gun laws of every other country provide a balance between public safety and the rights of people to own weapons.

   In some places, like Canada, gun ownership is relatively easy, while in Japan only 210,928 citizens are licensed out of 127 million.” They usually have about ten firearm deaths a year while we have 40,000 out of 320 million. Some Americans believe that owning guns is worth the price of daily mass shootings such as the murder of 20 first graders at Sandy Hook. Rational human beings around the world think that’s insane. It is. The second leading cause of pediatric deaths in the U.S. is death by firearms. Is the 2nd Amendment worth it? By the way, I’m not dumb. I own guns. I hunted with rifles and a double-barreled 10-gauge shotgun as a farm boy. As a Marine officer I spent eight years on active and reserve duty. I commanded a heavy machinegun platoon and later a reinforced rifle company. I was lousy with a .45 Browning Model 1911 automatic pistol but earned an Expert Rifleman’s Badge firing the Garand M1 while in Marine boot camp at Parris Island.