Every day

Of course the big mass murders get lots of attention.  And I would not argue they shouldn’t (though, we really should report as little as possible about the actually killer and his supposed motivations).  That said, the real problem with guns is how many people they kill every damn day.  Today’s NYT:

Columbine, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, and now, a community college in Roseburg, Ore. One after another, mass shootings have horrified the nation, stoking debate about the availability of legal guns and anguish over the inability of society to keep weapons out of the hands of seething killers.

But such rampage killings are not the typical face of gun violence in America. Each day, some 30 people are victims of gun homicides, slain by rival gang members or drug dealers, trigger-happy robbers, drunken men after bar fights, frenzied family members or abusive partners. An additional 60 people a day kill themselves with guns.

That’s horrible.  The fact that so many Americans just see this is a necessary trade-off for their “2nd amendment rights” is deplorable.  Just read the following local story in the paper today:

Police say a Raleigh man shot his ex-girlfriend to death and wounded her brother before taking his own life late Tuesday at a home on Oakland Avenue in Durham.

Police say David Dietrich Holder shot Raluca Iosif at her home in the 1000 block of Oakland Avenue shortly before 9:30 p.m. Tuesday. They say Holder also shot Razvaiya A. Iosif, 38, and that he remains hospitalized with injuries that do not appear to be life-threatening.

Holder and Raluca Iosif were both 40.

Razvaiya Iosif, 38, is from Romania, where his sister lived before she came to North Carolina several years ago. Raluca Iosif worked as a senior program development manager for IntraHealth International, a public health agency in Chapel Hill.

And there are probably stories like this all over the country today.  And there will be tomorrow.  Sure some people will be stabbed, poisoned, bludgeoned, etc., but the evidence is pretty much incontrovertible that more guns means more dead people.  Personally, I’m getting awfully tired of the body count at the expense of a fairly dubious “right.”

And, I should mention that the NYT story details how few of the guns in crimes were legally purchased by the criminals.  But to beat a dead horse of a point– all those illegal guns started out as legal guns and it is way to easy for legal guns to get into the wrong hands.  The fact that the NRA is entirely uninterested in changing that is among the most dispiriting of facts in this debate.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

3 Responses to Every day

  1. sheilae88 says:

    Raluca was my internship supervisor at International House in Charlotte, NC, back in 2008. She was a wonderful role model and mentor for me and she will be greatly missed. I hate that I didn’t keep in touch with her after she moved to Durham later that year. Her tragic death is senseless and I hope people can learn from it instead of it being just another story in the paper. I talked to many people who knew her today and everyone is heartbroken over this.

  2. MrApple says:

    “And, I should mention that the NYT story details how few of the guns in crimes were legally purchased by the criminals.”
    So criminals DON’T follow gun control laws?

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