Tag Archives: Gun control

Instead of Gun Control, Let’s Strive for Murder Control

ImageRather than gun control, are we all not really ultimately striving for violence control, and more specifically to this conversation, murder control? The seeds to the answer for many seem to be spiritual ones. Let us assume for the moment that religions over thousands of years have collectively distilled man’s attempt at understanding of the spirit realm. The Christian religion teaches that no matter how hard man strives, he will always sin. Yet through the practice of his faith he will sin less. 

If this is true, then a community steeped in faith gains the benefit of less crime but does not eliminate it. Yet, our nation has rejected this centuries old notion to search for progress through freedom from religion, exchanging its benefits to loosen the binds of bigots that have used religion to cloak their own version of sin. 

A belief that following one’s faith in all manners, such as in integrating it in a strong family foundation, leads to activism that prioritizes front end solutions as the best form of murder control. Murder activism would place front-end solutions such as a stronger emphasis on better schools and revitalizing inner city employment over back end solutions like gun control. 

A tenet of most faiths is also that while following one’s faith improves the probability that men wil lean toward their better nature, it does not always stop them from heeding their lesser ones. We will always have murder no matter how moral the society. 

This understanding is why capitalism wins out over communism. Communism requires an adherence to man’s better nature when man is incapable of fully adhering. Capitalism pits each man striving in his own best interest against each another, and yet also in cooperation as seems fit, to best the interests of all that participate. 

Similarly, gun control’s success requires that all adhere to man’s better nature. Yet centuries of religious teaching suggests it is doomed to fail for that very reason. Instead, following the age-old wisdom found in religion about man’s true nature is the better path. We should prioritize enabling man’s better nature on the front end and protect from his lesser nature on the back end. 

How then do we protect ourselves from the violent acts that injure one American every 15 seconds and that kill one every 20 minutes. If man’s nature is the same the world over, then taking guns away from citizens is not the answer for other nation’s examples show that taking protective guns away from citizens correlates to increasing violence against them. Also giving legal guns only to policemen is not the answer, for if it were then we would not have the crime we have today for the vast majority of gun violence is not conducted by legally obtained and held guns and police have not curbed their violence.

Based on humanity’s inability to meet perfection even in the most strict of religious societies throughout history, the best solution is a distributive civil defense, guns readily available to defend against the illegal use of guns for violent ends.


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Revitalize Our Inner Cities to Reduce Gun Violence


Why is it that we do not talk about root causes? We instead dabble in cliches and whitewashed sanctimony about gun control and move on hoping not to upset the politically correct balance we have made with all the factions of those that represent the political quadrant of our beliefs. How is it then that we expect to reach any conclusions regarding anything resembling viable solutions that have any reasonable chance of not only passing our Congress but of actually helping to reduce homicide rates?

Let’s instead go bold with multifaceted solutions that go at the root of reducing gun violence like the following:

1. Decriminalize and corporatize drugs, eradicating illegal transportation, distribution and sales and reducing the incentive for gang violence defending their markets.

2. Create a work visa program for illegal immigrants to work in the U.S. legally while going through a legal, normal, citizenship process same as others, while paying taxes and raising their families transparently and stably in safe neighborhoods. The transient nature of youth violence in these communities will diminish.

3. Create viable, inner city enterprise zones that subsidize employers up to the full cost of worker salaries and raise minimum wage to $12 per hour in those zones, creating real opportunities for corporations to bring factories back home, creating real opportunities for inner city jobs that can raise families and stabilize communities, and creating real opportunities that give school kids hope for a better life.

4. Subsidize the full cost of worker training in enterprise zones again subsidizing corporations and equalizing the international cost of American workers while building capable workforces in the inner cities. With higher paying jobs in enterprise zones and with corporations reintroducing factories into these zones, opportunities to earn a decent wage with normal working hours will expand and parents will be more accessible to their children. In addition, with promise of opportunity burgeoning in these communities, the desire to do well in school will increase as students see a future after school.

5. Make high school mandatory for all students through 12th grade or age 18, strengthening the workforce that must entice corporations to invest in them, while dismantling truancy.

6. Eliminate ability of teacher unions to protect teachers from firing. Immediately increase teacher pay and begin to eliminate the bottom 3% of teachers each and every year from the school system. Free up schools to invest in innovative teaching and teachers to give students who must now spend their first 18 years in school the best opportunity at future success.

7. Fully subsidize up to 100% of state college costs based on ability to pay, and all tuition for state colleges. Fully subsidize those degrees most needed for a national workforce strategy intended to maximize the capabilities of every citizen to meet our growing GDP goals. For those students that have the aptitude, free college for inner city school kids represents a real light at the end of the tunnel for both them and their parents, who did not have that opportunity and could not afford it for their kids otherwise. This is a real incentive to a better life than gangs for some.

A bold strategy will not only incredibly decrease gun violence but will also create a new economy in our inner cities that will compare with the opportunity presented by China in 1978.

Similarly to affirmative action, my plan will take years to fully effectuate root changes in society. However, some of the actions will have immediate effect and all will pay for themselves in decreased violence and increased societal productive output. In the end, our cities will be revitalized, our citizens will enjoy full employment, and our nation will be internationally secure.

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Only Attacking Root Causes of Gun Violence Will Solve America’s Gun Violence Epidemic

In America, we have a 1 in 45 chance of being shot with a firearm in our lifetime, a fairly dangerous society. Of course, if you live in the city, those odds go way up, perhaps to 1 in 25. Then, if you are a male that comes from a socioeconomically poorer condition your odds are 1 in 15. Of course, a high number of these wounds will be accidental or self inflicted. Most gun deaths from fire arms in America are from suicide.

Now the 80/20 principle applies in spades in America. 82 percent of murders occur in the largest 100 cities in America where only 18 percent of the population live. 75 percent of those murders occur in the most violent neighborhoods in those cities where 25 percent of the cities’ population live. 73% of the perpetrators are under age, and 85% of those are male.

Now we don’t like to admit the root causes of America’s problems, preferring instead to point elsewhere, anywhere else rather than back at ourselves. But let’s look at just one cause in isolation and then we can see why all our hand wringing over gun control is just a non-viable salve for our collective conscious. Let’s peek at our nation’s insatiable appetite for drugs as perhaps one root cause of our gun problem.

America, does have the economic engine to consume drugs and similarly to our GDP of 25% of the world compared to our population of 5%, we also are estimated to consume 25% of the world’s illegal drugs (not considering for the moment that we also consume most of the world’s legal drugs illegally. For instance, we consume 85% of the world’s pain pills). This habit is “enjoyed” in varying amounts depending on the drug. For instance 42 percent of Americans have used marijuana and 16% cocaine. Again, the numbers are disproportionately higher in the areas where murders are disproportionately higher. Digging deeper along the root cause vein, drug use correlates to broken homes, physical and sexual abuse, parental involvement and academic failure, all therefore root causes of gun violence because of its tie to drugs..

Not only are the dollars involved in the drugs trade a powerful motivator for gun use, $60 billion in the U.S., but in 67% of crimes committed with guns and 50% of homicides, the perpetrator tested positive for illegal drugs. Now, we have lost this war on drugs in America and we have likewise lost the war on illegal use of weapons in connection with this war. Since there is such a high correlation between drugs and guns in America, why do we think if our laws that require zero illegal drugs in our country don’t work, that if we pass laws requiring zero guns, that they will be any more successful?

We know that the vast majority of gun crimes are committed in socioeconomically disadvantaged areas by young people who are legally not allowed to own guns. Where do these violent youth from bad neighborhoods get their guns to wreak havoc on America and cause liberals to want to take away 300 million guns from the vast middle of America who commit no crimes? Well, contrary to popular belief, only 10% are stolen. The majority are either purchased for them by associated adults, are sold to them by corrupt but legal dealers, or are sold to them by illegal dealers.

Of the 124,000 licensed dealers, about 8% sell the vast majority of guns used in crimes. America has a gun trafficking group similar to our drug trafficking or prostitution trafficking groups. With such a strong desire for drugs, prostitution, and guns, no laws will keep guns off our streets. They will only keep guns away from law abiding citizens who want some measure of protection from the lawlessness that exists in America.


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Gun Control Costs are Unsustainable


Someone in this world of 7 billion people has walked through the system costs of gun control in a much more detailed way than I am about to share using the back of the envelope. However, we all should view gun control from a cost benefit perspective. How much is the life of an individual worth? How much should society spend to save that life?

First of all, laws would need to be passed. My vote is to pass them at the state level, not federal because some states have much fewer homicides than others or are much more tied to hunting than others. No matter but lets say after deciding how to conduct this inquisition and conducting hearings, debates and votes at the state and federal levels, the cost of law passage is $500 million. Then of course regulations have to be passed which must included testing each individual for mental illness under some standard method.

Typical standardized testing takes about 12 hours so testing the population would cost about $1,000 x 200 million people or about $200 billion dollars. Plus of course there would be lost wages or $15 x 12 hours x 150 million people or about $27 billion. Plus there would be about ten times that cost in productivity lost during testing or about $300 billion. Then we would have to have some sort of gun collection cost to buy, collect and destroy guns. So let’s say we buy, collect, and destroy 50 million guns from those suspected of being unstable at a cost of $500 a piece for a total of $25 billion. So far the cost then is $552,500,000,000.

Now it gets interesting. Every firearms dealer will be put in charge of administering this new law. There are 50,000 retail gun dealers in the U.S. each having to foot new admin costs of $10,000 each year for a cost of $500 million. Plus each state and the Feds would have admin costs of $10 million each for another $500 million.

Then it gets heated because we have now defined across 50 states what constitutes enough instability that one should not be allowed to buy or possess firearms. So for every illness or disorder we have drawn a fuzzy or bright line against which each individual must be tested. And we know that every disorder will have a spectrum of evaluation from very mild cases to very pronounced. It will be those that approach the bright line or that just cross it that will be the most difficult for they will challenge our new laws and regulations and will bring them to court. So lets say we have to incur about 10,000 trials per year at a cost of $400,000 per trial, we now have added $4 billion a year in adjudication costs. Some will win their cases and will be paid lets say a million for a small sum of $1 billion per year. And of course some will break our new laws and will have to be incarcerated for gun possession. Perhaps we hold 10,000 new prisoners at $40,000 each per year for another $400 million.

Have I got the basics? Let’s add it up so far, $558,900,000,000. But statistically, will we then have more murders not less? We have after all limited gun access to those statistically more likely to commit murders and to those that happen to fall within the mental disorders we deemed in the same camp whether controlled by medication and therapy or not. But we have also removed guns from homes that could have been used to protect individuals from would be assailants. We have potentially limited murders that occur from those that might have been affected by momentary acts of unstable aggression. But we have made it easier for the thousands of sane, rational predators to do their work.

My bet is that murders go, up not down, by about 1,000 per year and that injuries from assaults go up about 10,000 per year. Yet, there are system costs that go well beyond the simple cost of collecting guns as I have shown in this simple example. Interestingly, when Australia outlawed gun possession and collected millions of guns their gun murder rate went up by 21%. Actions have unintended consequences. Home invasion rates went up because assailants knew the risk of being shot went way down. Murders are not caused by guns but by the root cause of societal disorder. Guns are the instruments of choice to carry out that disorder.

So now we have funeral costs. The cost of a funeral plus the lost wages, cost of attendance, room and board for a funeral times 1,000 funerals per year is $20,000,000. Then we have 10,000 hospital issues at $10,000 each or $100 million. And now the police must investigate 10,000 more assault cases at $10,000 each for another $100 million. Add to that the cost of prosecuting these cases at $40,000 each and incarcerating 2,000 assailants at $40,000 each and we have another $1.2 billion.

Total: $565,120,000,000.00

While a touchy subject, this financial look at the cost of gun control approaches the subject of the financial value of a human life. If we save 500 lives a year, it costs a billion per life. If we were to eliminate every murder in the U.S. by this one initiative, (of course completely impossible) it still costs $30 million per life. This value far exceeds the value placed on lives by our courts today. It begins to add to our social savior schematics another unsustainable cost of engineering morality.

Of course this blog is about GDP and jobs so to add that to the mix….Most likely a few gun dealers might prove insane and we would lose a few jobs there…but on the whole, the jobs to administrate and implement the ban, collection of guns, burying of additional victims etc. would be a boon in traditional GDP calculations. Therefore, this ban by restriction of mental incompetence could conceivably be Congress doing the number one job it was elected in 2012 to do and that was to create jobs.

Unfortunately, this back of the envelope calculation points to the law of entropy that states we simply cannot engineer ways to eradicate all evil from the planet. The cost of doing so could not be sustained by the economic output of humans. This is why we have not accomplished the task thus far. We are, as an example, attempting such a fate with American healthcare, spending twice that of other nations. We have not begun to spend what it would cost to eliminate death. We have, however, extended life by approximately three months at a cost that is bankrupting the country.

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First They Came for the Assault Rifles

First they came for the assault rifles,
but I didn’t speak up,
because I wasn’t a second amendment zealot.

Then they established gun free zones
in all areas where population exceeded 100 per square mile,
but I didn’t speak up,
Because I lived in the country.

Then they established laws against hunting
and banned all guns,
But I didn’t care,
Because I was a vegan.

Then they came for the religious crazies,
Who defended their churches and synagogues with sticks and knifes,
But I didn’t speak up,
For I wasn’t bound by organized religion.

Then they came for the home owners,
Who demanded to live in privacy,
But I didn’t speak up,
For my work dormitory was filled beyond government quotas.

Then they came for those congregating in town squares,
Who demanded government representation,
But I didn’t speak up,
For I was a party loyalist.

Then they came for local militia and police,
Who were the only local gun registrants left,
But I didn’t mind,
For I supported international peace keepers.

Then they came for the barterers,
Who left the grid to find economic security amidst the community,
But I didn’t speak up,
For I lived sufficiently on my government rations.

Then they came for my federal government,
That was taken without firing a single round from its national armament,
But I didn’t speak up,
For I could adopt to shifting geographical borders and foreign governors.

Then they came for the woodsman, the farmer, the fisherman, and the foragers,
And interned them in re-education camps.
But I didn’t speak up,
For my security rested in complying with new world order.

Then they came for me, little old subservient me,
Who had bent like a reed to every new rule if it meant survival,
But by that time there was no one
Left to speak up for me.


Filed under American Governance, American Politics, social trajectory

Gun Control is an Easy Solution to Problems that Require Difficult Solutions

Slide1Why do we blame others for our own shortcomings? When great tragedy strikes, we cover up our contribution to the tragedy yet the collective responsibility for society’s ills rests with each of us. Our nation is in turmoil. National stress and social disorders are epidemic. Our nation is heaving in the ulcers of psychological trauma.

Statistics point to an alarming trend:
•1998: 13 and 11 year olds kill 5, injure 10, Jonesboro, Arkansas Middle
•1999: 18 year old kills 13, injures 24, Columbine, Colorado High
•2001: 15 year old kills 2, injures 13, Santee, California High
•2005: 16 year old kills 9, injures 7, Red Lake Indian Res.
•2006: 32 year old kills 5, injures 5, Nickel Mines, Penn Amish High
•2007: 18 year old kills 5, injures 4, Salt Lake City, Utah Shopping Mall
•2007: 23 year old kills 32, injures 17, Virginia University
•2007: 19 year old kills 8, injures 14, Omaha Nebraska shopping mall
•2008: 27 year old kills 5, injures 16, Dekalb, Illinois University
•2011: 22 year old kills 6, injures 11, Tucson, Arizona shopping center
•2012: 24 year old kills 12, injures 58, Aurora, Colorado movie theater
•2012: 40 year old kills 6, injures 3, Oak Creek, Wisconsin Sikh Temple
•2012: 22 year old kills 2, Clackamas, Oregon shopping mall
•2012: 20 year old kills 28, Newtown, Connecticut elementary school

This is a slice of violence not tied to terrorism, not tied to political power, but to individuals reacting to their own inner emptiness and in the midst of socioeconomic shifts and cultural upheaval. We have always had evil acts. We have always had violent actions by disturbed individuals. Yet violent acts of disturbed young people intending to victimize multiple school aged innocents as a way to control socioeconomic and cultural shifts’ upheaving their own lives seems to be an escalating cultural phenomenon.

Could it be this data suggests that we are a nation inflamed? Could we have denied our national culpability for so long that it now makes perfect sense to blame guns, or terrorists, or the Church, or extremists, or anyone but ourselves for such a national trend? Screeching out for gun control is a narcotic for the pain of such senselessness but it will not cure the ills we have allowed to fester.

Yet, rather than face our sickness, we take the innocence of our children and lock them behind our home’s fortress. Rather than deal with what causes us to anesthetize our nation with illegally obtained drugs, we wage war on our border and allow our inner cities to buy gang violence. Rather than allow those that want to commune together to find their God in town squares, we battle to silence omnipotence from the public domain. And when one of our nation’s children becomes polluted enough by our environment to syncopate his chemical imbalance or psychotic stress into an orgy of horrific violence, we point to guns as the reason for such destruction.

Just one day before our tragedy, a man in Shanghai walked into a similar aged school and slashed 22 children with a knife, not the first of such knife slashings in China. The incident adds fuel to the confusion surrounding gun control. In China for instance, the intent to harm in such a horrific way is erupting in a country without such gun access. Access to guns was not the issue in the implementation of such violent reactions. Yet, in the US shooting, most of the children were inflicted with multiple gunshots and died while most in China did not.

The outcome differences between China’s grade school attack and ours tends to suggest that automatic weapons should be confiscated or at least more tightly controlled. Yet the similarities between the two countries’ incidents suggest rather than discussing unwarranted solutions, we both should focus on our lack of abilities to holistically correct underlying root causes. These attacks crossed cultural boundaries of the fading and ascending hegemonies of the U.S. and China. Our two country’s similarities rather than our differences were violent catalysts in these mass casualty events occurring simultaneously across the oceans. The problem of mass youth murders emanates from a broader system flaw than we are currently defining.

We know that disturbed individuals will act out with or without guns. Yet we have 300 million guns in America, a bigger removal fantasy than illegal immigration. Therefore, limiting access to automatic weapons would most likely not curb the actions of would be mass murderers. That result will only necessarily be reduced by dealing with root causes not symptoms. Gun control discussions, however, really miss the target as a solution to our violent children ills in America. We are trying to cure this disease by sucking our national sickness symptoms out of the body America with gun leaches.

We know a few symptomatic statistics. Our population and greatest access to weaponry and amongst the greatest wealth to pay for them. America has the most guns, over 300 million. But why do we stop there as if it is the panacea of symptoms?

We have the largest sustained military budget. 40 percent of the homeless in America report that they were in our military at one time. Our returning vets have amongst the highest rate of PTSD in the world estimated as high as 35%.

We have by far the largest percentage of incarcerated citizens in the world, 7 times the rate of Canada to our north. We have more incarcerated individuals than all of Europe. 67% are incarcerated for serious crimes and half will return to prison for serious crimes.

Our divorce rate is the fifth highest in the world, only behind countries from the old Soviet Union. As a result, 27% of our children live in single parent households. 76 percent of those are fatherless homes and 40% are in poverty.

Our population is the greatest medicated in the world for mental disorders with 1 in 5 on some sort of mental health drugs. One study suggested 40% of foster children were on some mental health prescription and 25% had no mental status diagnosis. Our suicide rate is not as bad as one might think. 33 countries have higher rates than America. Yet our obesity rate is double the world average and by far the worst in the world at over 30%.

We have a glorified death culture. The U.S. has the highest murder rate in the world yet only 15% of our murders are from people that do not have some relationship with us. We have the highest rate of death from child abuse and of child abuse in general in the world, a statistic that trends as a cause of later violent crimes. Our gang violence and gang murder rates are only second to those Central American and Caribbean countries associated with our supply of illegal narcotics.

These are but a few of the statistics that point to an inflamed America. We ignore these symptoms at our peril yet we rise up to deflect our dazed population from the truth every time a horrific outlier points us back at our symptoms. So how do these disparate data point to cause and effect? How do they suggest that the greatest solution that should confront our legislative body regarding America’s health is gun control? Cursorily it seems that pointing to gun control as a solution to mass murders is like pointing to sunscreen creams as a solution for third degree burns.

So we need to dig toward root causes. Some might say there is an inverse correlation between personal freedoms in a society and tragic moral consequences. Is historical legislation intending to corral morality an outcropping of multiple milleniums of trial and error in which optimum balance of curbing social inflammation necessarily restricted social freedoms? Is mankind incapable of peaceful anarchy unfettered by insanity?

Some point to the break down of the family as one of the root causes. Most of us support the age old transference of values within the household and extended family from one generation to the next as the glue that holds a society together yet statistics show our societies are not holding to that prescription. For instance, 50 years ago, only 9% of children lived in single family households as compared to 40% today. And while we can control the level of outside influence our children receive while in our homes, we cannot alter the flow of such information elsewhere.

We count on others in our community to hold to a cultural edict of preparing the next generation yet America’s preparation has faltered along an alarming trend line. Similarly to the financial riptide that pulled most of middle America out to sea, we have a social riptide that is pulling not only those that are not upholding age old traditions of family values but also those that are into the sea of social chaos. It is not good enough to suggest we are doing our part while ignoring root causes of the entire system.

It is this earnest digging toward root causes that will ultimately drive us to successful solutions. Human nature could easily allow most to choose to succumb to the social riptide and to engage in opportunist predation or exploitation. We could alternatively focus only on our own personal responsibilities to ensure that our direct contributions to the community are covered. We can superficially support causes that seem to be somehow tied to the symptoms of our societal disorders, or we can find root causes and erect community responses to this torrent of social disarray that is attacking the fiber of our country.

We will need to commit to root cause analysis and system corrections and we will require our national tools of root cause analysis and solution to be healed in order to conduct this critical work. Similarly to the hard work of taking back our House of Representatives as a prerequisite to effecting positive economic changes, America does need a large enough, effectively compromising body to effect societal changes as well. This should be our national forum to take prescriptive action. Yet if we allow it to be a broken body, we may well see our representatives prescribing medication such as gun control that does not even begin to address our nation’s root cause of social ills.

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