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Tallying gun deaths: one Minnesotan killed every day by firearms

REUTERS/Ralph Freso
On average, one Minnesotan dies every day by firearms while another suffers injuries.

More than 300 young people — including small children — have died from gunshots in Minnesota since the year 2000.

Add the adults killed by gunfire, and the numbers reveal a bloody routine: On average, one Minnesotan dies every day by firearms while another suffers injuries.

Even in relatively peaceful Minnesota, more than 3,600 people died from gun-related homicides, suicides and accidents between 2000 and 2010, according to estimates by the Minnesota Department of Health. Firearms are the state’s second leading cause of traumatic brain injury deaths, officials said in a comprehensive health report.

Source: Minnesota Department of Health

Because the deaths of the Minnesota teens and children primarily came one by one rather than in connection with a mass shooting, their individual tragedies did not stir the same level of widespread shock, anger and sorrow that followed the slaughter of 20 children in Newtown, Conn., in December.

Even so, these Minnesota kids – who died in small-town schools, inner city bedrooms and many places in between – are mourned by families, classmates and neighbors.

Their memories stand as a backdrop for debates taking shape in the Minnesota Legislature as lawmakers in this state and across the nation consider whether more gun control is needed – and, if so, what form it should take.

The suicide factor

One reason the numbers may surprise many Minnesotans is that most of the deaths were not covered by news media or otherwise publicly reported because they were suicides. Indeed, suicides outnumbered all other causes of gun-related deaths. Between 2000 and 2010, guns were used to commit an average 256 suicides each year in Minnesota compared with 70 homicides per year.

Source: Minnesota Department of Health

Nationwide, guns are the fifth most common means of suicide for children between 10 and 14 years old, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a number that climbed to fourth nationwide for those between 15 and 24 years old. In Minnesota, 24 children aged between 10 and 14 claimed their own lives with a gun over 11 years. Among those between 15 and 19, that number jumped to 178 deaths.

Many lives lost to suicide likely would have been saved if people had gotten rid of their firearms, kept them locked away or stored them outside the home, said David Hemenway, director of Harvard’s Injury Control Research Center.

“Studies show that most attempters act on impulse, in moments of panic or despair,” Hemenway said in connection with the online release of a nationwide study entitled “Guns and Suicide: A Fatal Link.”

“Once the acute feelings ease, 90 percent do not go on to die by suicide,” he said.

The 2007 Harvard study is part of a large body of research showing that suicide is more prevalent in areas where guns are readily and plentifully available. (For more discussion of this research, see Susan Perry’s MinnPost report on the health risk of keeping a gun in your home.)

The correlation between suicide and the availability of guns has been shown to be strong, but inexact. The outcomes also depend on a myriad of other factors, including poverty. Further, many who die at their own hands choose other means. Death by hanging, for example, is all too common among suicidal teens.

Murder and accident

Beyond suicide, guns were used to murder 772 Minnesotans during the 11 years covered in the Health Department’s report. Accidental shooting deaths totaled 51, about 4.6 a year.

In roughly half of unintentional shootings, someone other than the victim pulled the trigger, according to a July 2010, 16-state study by the Harvard School of Public Health.  In virtually every case, the shooter and the victim knew one another, and nearly half were related. These fatal accidents mostly happened among those who were hunting or playing with firearms, said a report released last year by the CDC. Typically, the shooter believed the weapon wasn’t loaded or simply pulled the trigger accidentally.

In the 300 deaths of Minnesota children and teens, the ages ranged between less than a year to 19 years old. Nearly 40 were between 10 and 14 years olds, while most others were older teenagers.

The statistics show that more than 120 teenagers between 15 and 19 were murdered with guns over the 11 years. About 20 of the victims were aged between a year and 14 years old.

Those statistics do not include the young Minnesota lives lost in 2012, including:

  • Nizzel George, 5, shot on June 26 while sleeping on a couch in his grandmother’s home in North Minneapolis.
  • Neegnco Xiong, 2, shot on Dec. 5twith a loaded handgun he and his 4-year-old brother found in a bedroom of their south Minneapolis home.
  • Nicholas Brady, 17, and his cousin, Haile Kifer, 18, shot repeatedly on Thanksgiving Day, allegedly while breaking into a home near Little Falls.

Still, Minnesota is nowhere near leading the nation in gun violence. The state ranked 31st in an FBI tally of the sheer numbers of firearm-related murders during 2011. Among 70 homicides in Minnesota that year, handguns were the most common weapon, used 36 times. By contrast, knives were used in only 12 of the murders.

Meanwhile, both sides of the gun control debate in Minnesota are gearing up for action in this year’s legislative session.

On the national level, the White House is weighing gun control measures in response to the Connecticut massacre and public outcry. Vice President Joe Biden is leading a task force to propose new federal gun laws, which could include stronger mental health checks for gun purchases and national firearms databases. Details are slated for release next week.

Comments (33)

  1. Submitted by Beth-Ann Bloom on 01/08/2013 - 11:07 am.

    Sobering information

    This is important data to add to the current discussion. Is there similar information on the number of Minnesotans wounded by guns who survive but whose injuries lead not only to personal costs but to significant medical and rehabilitation expenses borne by all of us collectively?

  2. Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 01/08/2013 - 11:39 am.

    Low hanging fruit

    The author is an intern, so I’ll give him kudos for publishing an article. However, this topic has been beaten to death. That being said, while having the numbers in one place is nice, it does very little to move the topic forward. For example, simply giving us a number on suicides by firearm and then saying that the correlation between firearms and suicide is inexact says, well, nothing. In countries with strict gun control measures, suicide rates often match or exceed the US’s. That would suggest that a point made about suicide being an impulse issue is a separate issue from gun-related deaths. It would then seem that the link between firearms and suicide is actually weak, but that the issue is the prevention or easement of the impulse rather than access to a weapon.

    As for “relatively peaceful Minnesota,” I looked up some violent crime statistics recently. It would seem that Phoenix, which has a reputation for becoming the crime capitol of the US has a better (i.e., lower) violent crime rate than Minneapolis and St. Paul. Outstate Minnesota is likely to be similar to other rural locations in the US–high unreported domestic violence. Hardly “peaceful.”

    In other words, thanks for putting a bunch of numbers in one spot. But please work on trying not to tie things that have weak relationships and editorializing.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 01/08/2013 - 01:05 pm.

      Beating the fruit

      You are asking for something that the article doesn’t purport to provide. “[S]imply giving us a number on suicides by firearm and then saying that the correlation between firearms and suicide is inexact” does not say nothing, it says that the link is inexact. Oft-repeated data about the number of suicides in countries without ready citizen access to bang-bang sticks is beside the point. The article was just presenting the number of deaths caused by firearms. Conclusions from those numbers that you want to draw, or have drawn on your behalf, are another matter.

      Incidentally, according to the FBI, in 2010 Phoenix had more homicides (117) than were reported in the entire state of Minnesota (96).

      • Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 01/09/2013 - 09:18 am.


        The rates per capita tell a different story re violent crimes.

        And why mention the correlation at all if it’s simply providing the number of deaths caused by firearms? So, yeah, it IS beside the point. That was kind of MY point.

    • Submitted by Adam Butts on 01/08/2013 - 01:23 pm.


  3. Submitted by Adam Butts on 01/08/2013 - 12:33 pm.

    One sided

    Yes. He is an intern, but that should not get him off the hook for poor, or criminal, journalism. So 360 people die by guns each year. Are these 360 law abiding citizens or criminals. What if the police shoot a gang member, or drug dealer, or rapist each day? Is that bad? He forgot to mention the 496 people killed by hammers every year. Or 651 killed by knives. Or 12,000 by drunk drivers. Or 195,000 each year by medical malpractice.

    Next time Jeff, do more research and think about your topic. Don’t just spill random stats onto paper.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 01/08/2013 - 03:01 pm.

      Speaking of hammer analogies . . .

      “Are these 360 law abiding citizens or criminals” What does that matter? If police “shoot a gang member . . .each day” yes, that is bad. It is evidence that our society has become far too violent, espcially if we’re condoning snap executions of people based on their associations. The people shot by police are not shot because they are rapists or drug dealers (or “criminal” journalists, whatever that might mean). Stop the Dirty Harry moralizing.

      “He forgot to mention” a lot of things. So what? The article was nto about “causes of death, generally.” The article was about the number of deaths caused by firearms. These were not “random statistics,” but were addressing a specific question. Putting in the number of hammer deaths would be about as relevant as putting in the number of NRA members who believe Elvis is still alive (probably a lot more than died by hammers).

    • Submitted by Scott Stocking on 01/08/2013 - 03:47 pm.

      I had no idea

      that 496 Minnesotans were killed by hammers, 651 Minnesotans were killed by knives, 12,000 Minnesotans were by drunk drivers and 195,000 Minnesotans were killed by medical malpractice. MinnPost, please set your intern to investigate this. Or maybe next time Mr. Butts could get his ready-made NRA statistics broken down by state.

      • Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 01/09/2013 - 09:37 am.

        The numbers

        I’ve looked up these numbers. They’re inaccurate. But they’re not so inaccurate that they fail to make a point. Did you know that (according to the CDC statistics that I looked up myself) more than 3X as many people die of second hand smoke than are murdered by firearm? And if we compare the suicides to the number of people who die of first hand smoke, the story is even more grim. Where’s the outrage?

        That being said, I don’t think the reporting was criminal. Just very, very green. My problem is the inferences and editorializing. And the fact that, well, if you wanted some good practice in journalism, pick a challenging topic that requires a bit more investigation than this one. For pity’s sake, if I was getting paid to look up numbers on the CDC, I’d have very little to do because the CDC does that already and puts them online for ready access.

        • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 01/09/2013 - 12:50 pm.

          The inferences and the editorializing

          Please give specific examples of “the editorializing.”

          The “inferences” are the problem of the reader who makes them.

        • Submitted by Jonathan Ecklund on 01/09/2013 - 02:45 pm.

          Where is the outrage?

          Regarding your comparison to smoking, there was outrage that was acted on. That outrage was, in part, fueled by generations of scientific studies that proved the dangers of second-hand smoke, even third-hand smoke exposure. That’s why, in the great state of Minnesota, there is a widespread ban on smoking in public places, restrictions on tobacco based on age, and increased health-care premiusm costs for smokers. At the federal level, they require notices about the dangers to smoking and smoke to your health, and prohibit tobacco companies from selling to minors. And those efforts continue to this day. I would also like to point out the vociferous and spirited opposition to those measures, making declarations about the potential loss of sales dollars and lack of impact on public health (some from me, at the time), were basically all wrong.

          Now, if the pro-gun lobby would quit derailing any and all attempts at actually studying statistics on gun-ownership and/or gun violence, and any potential causal or correlative relationship, wouldn’t that be nice. Then maybe we could make public health decisions regarding guns on a national level with the best available data, like was done with smoking.

          But seriously, if anybody wants to make other (IMO, sophistry) comparisons between guns and automobile ownership, medical malpractice, smoking, alcohol, or (Hammers? Really? ) hardware sales, then we can have a discussion about how those are all heavily regulated compared to guns, which are not.

  4. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 01/08/2013 - 02:12 pm.

    Not Sure Why People Become SO Defensive Regarding Guns

    But it seems to be a very instant, knee-jerk sore point for many otherwise reasonable folks.

    Personally I’d like to see us use twitter and other means to track and post online and outside each gun (where possible) retailer the number of people who were killed by guns sold at that location.

    This would take considerable, effort, of course, since, although law enforcement seeks to track down the origination of every gun used in a crime, the NRA, through it’s massive lobbying efforts and threats against politicians has ensured that it is a crime to make that information available to the general public.

    Of course it’s legal for retailers to sell guns, but perhaps it would be a useful reminder in many communities and neighborhoods (and to the sellers themselves) that the product they sell can have very damaging and deadly effects for their friends and neighbors.

  5. Submitted by Hal Davis on 01/08/2013 - 02:16 pm.


    If a story tells you things you didn’t know before, that’s a public service.

    From the story:

    One reason the numbers may surprise many Minnesotans is that most of the deaths were not covered by news media or otherwise publicly reported because they were suicides. Indeed, suicides outnumbered all other causes of gun-related death.

    Many lives lost to suicide likely would have been saved if people had gotten rid of their firearms, kept them locked away or stored them outside the home, said David Hemenway, director of Harvard’s Injury Control Research Center.

    “Studies show that most attempters act on impulse, in moments of panic or despair,” Hemenway said in connection with the online release of a nationwide study entitled “Guns and Suicide: A Fatal Link.”

    “Once the acute feelings ease, 90 percent do not go on to die by suicide,” he said.
    It would seem that prevention or easement of the impulse along with restricting access to a weapon woud be a useful approach.

    • Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 01/09/2013 - 10:47 am.

      Restricting access

      While restricting access to firearms is an approach, it’s not a complete approach. There are reports (I’ve seen no direct ones, but we’ll go with the presumption that they’re true) that Israel’s military stopped allowing soldiers to bring their guns home on the weekends. There was a significant drop in suicides on weekends. That would suggest that access to a gun increased the availability to act on suicidal thoughts. Of course, that presumes that we have all the facts. My guess is that we don’t (are we talking only about soldier death rates? Do soldiers only go home on weekends? Were the weekday and weekend suicide rates similar before the change? After? All we know is that weekday suicides stayed the same while weekend suicides dropped.) However, as I’ve said before, many countries that have stricter gun control do not show a reduced suicide rate. Some even have a higher suicide rate. This would suggest that guns are not even close to the whole story. Take Sweden, for example. They have a household gun ownership rate of about 15% (for comparison, the US has a rate of about 47%), yet they have a suicide rate higher than in the US.

      If we must put Harvard on a pedestal, let’s not forget that another group at Harvard found just the opposite of the one cited in the article. ( In essence, this study found that there is little to no correlation between gun ownership and suicide or homicide rates. I find this article more fully supported than the other.

      There are far too many factors at play to make any claim linking guns and suicide. Certainly, there is a correlation, but that is not causation. The claims made do not control for anything other than being in the US. The “Guns and Suicide: a Fatal Link” article simply observes that states with high gun ownership have higher suicide rates while states with low gun ownership have lower suicide rates and concludes that they must be linked. However, claiming that Wyoming and New York are equal on all fronts except for gun ownership is preposterous. The article even attempts to make the claim that because suicides attempted with guns are more often successful, there must be a link between guns and suicides. Just because you fail at suicide does not mean that we should ignore the failures using other means. It is not uncommon to find that the reason a person has become wheelchair bound is because of a suicide attempt. In fact, “Guns and Suicide” admits that only 1 in 45 attempts is successful. Even if a suicide attempted with a gun was successful only 25% of the time (I’m making things up, but hey, the article claimed a high success rate with guns, so I’m probably lowballing it–I’ve read that it’s only a 10% failure rate), we have an issue with 90% of all other attempts (75% of all suicide attempts are with drugs). That would indicate that the bigger issue is what LEADS to the attempt, not the availability of a weapon, because, if suicide attempts were equally distributed and gun ownership was equally distributed, if there was an actual correlation, you’d find that about 47% of attempts were with guns. But that’s simply not the case.

  6. Submitted by Virginia Martin on 01/08/2013 - 02:20 pm.


    We have enough numbers to draw some conclusions. To be inexact is not to say that strong conclusions cannot be drawn. Young people who shoot on impulse, themselves or someone else, would probably not have pulled the trigger if they had stopped to think. It’s all too easy to pull a trigger with a gun. Everything else takes more time. And several accounts I have read recently describe a scene in which the shooter was immediately remorseful–could hardly understand why they did it.
    We know enough to know that the more guns around, the more deaths we have. That’s just a basix 2 + 2 = 4.

  7. Submitted by Virginia Martin on 01/08/2013 - 02:28 pm.

    weak relationships and editorializing

    The relationships aren’t weak and where is the editorializing? If you look at these figures, you can easily draw your own conclusions. He isn’t telling you or anyone else what to believe–unless I missed it and you can show this to me.
    Here’s another comment:
    Scientific studies have consistently found that places with more guns have more violent deaths, both homicides and suicides. Women and children are more likely to die if there’s a gun in the house. The more guns in an area, the higher the local suicide rates. “Generally, if you live in a civilized society, more guns mean more death,” said David Hemenway, director of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center. “There is no evidence that having more guns reduces crime. None at all.”
    So what is the question again?

  8. Submitted by Richard O'Neil on 01/08/2013 - 03:07 pm.

    Gun control

    “Thank you” to the author for this eye-opening analysis.

  9. Submitted by jody rooney on 01/08/2013 - 09:02 pm.

    So that’s where the data came from

    I have been having a discussion on of all things a horse forum about possible alternatives to reduce instances of school shootings like the ones in Connecticut.

    Mr. Butts is quoting some of the same arguments made by one of the folks on the other forum so it is good to know the source and to understand that the person posting really doesn’t know what she is talking about either.

    I pulled a lot of the same data that the author did and more showing that fire arms are the third leading cause of unintended death (including homicides and suicides) in 2011 CDC report, right after MV accidents and falls.

    It is pretty clear that the poster on that web site is about two standard deviations away from risk neutral and finds the world a scary place.

  10. Submitted by Kenneth Adams on 01/08/2013 - 10:04 pm.


    Ms. Kahler and Martin, I found the article to be informative and coherent; in contrast I couldn’t understand the point of your critiques. Mr. Hargarten shows in the text and table that the majority of gun deaths in MN are due to suicide, not homicide as most people incorrectly believe. He cites evidence that most people who suicide, if not for the temporary impulse (made easy to act on by easy availability of a gun- which are also highly lethal), would not follow through. He also points out that a large numbers of gunfire deaths are children and adolescents. This is tragic and disheartening. It follows that without easy availability of guns there would be many fewer suicides and deaths in young people. He laid it out pretty clearly.

    Mr. Butts, I love your pompous proclamations along with your total misread of the article.The article points out statistics, based on death records, showing that about 360 Minnesotans die of gunfire every year. You ask whether these people are criminals (actually, you imply that they are). No, as the article and table show, about 70% were people who killed themselves, 20% were murder victims, and another 5% were killed unintentionally (i.e., by carelessness).

    • Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 01/09/2013 - 11:30 am.

      Interesting number

      75% of all suicide attempts are with drugs, not guns. Assuming that there are no other means of suicide (ridiculous), the suicide attempts with guns should be 25%. If you can actually correlate suicide with guns, you should expect to the suicide attempts with guns to be around 47% (the percent of households claiming gun ownership). But it’s not. So, claiming a correlation is shaky, at best. It actually points directly to someone looking for statistics to support a conclusion. The author of this article simply grabbed the claimed correlation (because it was a “Harvard study”, which it was really wasn’t, just a claim based on cherry picked numbers). Thus, the critique regarding forcing correlations.

      My second critique on editorializing is based on the author making the claim that Minnesota is “peaceful.” Based on what? We don’t have a reputation for being violent, I suppose. The numbers say otherwise. The 2010 crime report showed an aggravated assault (just one type of violent crime) for the 2 agencies reporting that had populations over 250,000 (presumably Minneapolis and St. Paul) at a rate of 489 per 100,000 population (see page 35 of this report: Now, it’s hard to directly compare, but New York in 2007 had just 332 aggravated assaults per 100,000 population. Murder: MSP- 7.8; NY- 6. Rape: MSP- 93.5; NY- 11. Overall violent crime rate: MSP- 931.4 (including robbery, which is included in violent crime statistics for other cities). There are only a handful of cities that have a higher violent crime statistic. So, I suppose if you look at the overall state, we only rank 30th out of the 51 states and DC, but considering how much of the state is pretty rural, that’s not all that “peaceful.” It’s not like people used the term “Murderapolis” in vain.

      • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 01/09/2013 - 03:07 pm.

        I can’t understand how you could have misread the article so clearly. One more time: The numbers are numbers of people whose deaths were caused by firearms. Why, oh why, are you talking about suicide “attempts” when the number given in the article was the number of “successful” suicides? Suicide attempts with firearms are, it seems to me, more likely to result in death than a suicide attempt with drugs (a person who swallows a handful of aspirin may say he is trying to kill himself, but the result is more likely to be nausea). Throwing out suppositions about suicide attempts is just muddying the waters.

        “Now, it’s hard to directly compare . . .” It’s hard to make any kind of legitimate comparison. The FBI warns against using crime statistics to make comparisons between metropolitan areas. The American Society of Criminology calls ranking of cities by crime rates invalid, damaging, and irresponsible. They fail to account for the many conditions affecting crime rates, the mismeasurement of crime, large community differences in crime within cities, and the factors affecting individuals’ crime risk.”

        What does rural Minnesota have to do with the state’s relative “peacefulness?” To say that it does is just pulling a Keillor–rural Minnesota has violent crime and unsafe places, too.

        • Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 01/09/2013 - 06:46 pm.

          Why oh why

          is it ok for you to ignore the claims the article makes all the while accusing me of the same. The article is not neutral. You don’t just leap to a conclusion that the author wants you to believe that gun ownership and suicides have a cause and effect relationship. It’s very clearly the intent of the author. The problem is…they’re NOT so related. Simply because one method is more successful than others does not mean that one causes the other. For example, motorcycle riders are more likely to die when they’re in a collision than car drivers when they get into a collision. That does not mean that owning a motorcycle causes vehicular death. It’s the ACCIDENT that causes death, with the motorcycle merely contributing to the likelihood upon collision. It’s not a difficult concept to grasp. Unless you don’t want to. Which you clearly don’t, as you happily point out that other statistics (more direct ones, at that) can’t account for outside factors. But you’re fine with believing a conclusive article (published by Harvard and having no data on its own) that says that guns are linked to suicide when no such evidence exists. Other than saying that states with high rates of gun ownership (like Wyoming) have a higher rate of suicide than states with lower gun ownership. Yet, I can think of lots of other reasons that a person might have a higher risk of suicide if they lived in Wyoming (no, that’s not a jab on Wyoming).

          • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 01/10/2013 - 09:22 am.


            1. I am not “ignoring the claims” in the article. The article presents numbers; the “claims” are the readers’ inferences. Or, perhaprs you have specific examples that you would care to quote?

            2. A more successful method does not cause suicide, it facilitates it.

            3. I have not read the Harvard article, so no one can say I “believe” it (Why keep bringing up that it’s a “Harvard” article, anyway? Envy?).

            4. “[A] conclusive article (published by Harvard and having no data on its own) that says that guns are linked to suicide when no such evidence exists. Other than saying that states with high rates of gun ownership (like Wyoming) have a higher rate of suicide than states with lower gun ownership.” Correlation is not causation, but it is a link.

  11. Submitted by Ted Jenson on 01/09/2013 - 06:10 am.

    Not Enough Detail

    Statistics are always fun to read, but usually not real accurate. It all depends on where your dog is, in the fight. This article is a good example of that.

    More detail is needed for this article to be complete. How many of these killings were done by gang bangers, druggies and or other criminals? Yes, it does matter, because it is pretty clear to me that the intent of the article is to support banning all types of firearms. If it isn’t, then it’s intent is to support those who do.

    Now, last time I checked, murder has been illegal for many many years. However that has never stopped a perp from killing, be it with a knife, hammer, baseball bat, bomb, gun, whatever.
    What really needs to be the issue is the fact that people are so ready to kill.

    • Submitted by Beth-Ann Bloom on 01/09/2013 - 09:17 am.

      More data would be helpful, but remember most of the deaths were by suicide so gang involvement is unlikely. Although other weapons can inflict harm , one rarely hears of a drive by knifing or an innocent child killed when a baseball bat goes through a wall.

      You may recall that on the same day that 20 children were gunned down in Connecticut a man with a knife attacked schoolchildren in China. It was a horrible assault but all of the children survived.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 01/09/2013 - 01:26 pm.

      No, it doesn’t matter

      “How many of these killings were done by gang bangers, druggies and or other criminals?” It really doesn’t matter, does it? The victims are dead, and they shouldn’t have been. A gang banger killed by a member of another gang is still a murder victim, just as if they were respectable people deserving of your pity. Trying to decide who is worthy of gun ownership is pointless: what was the pre-shooting criminal record of the Colorado theater shooter, or the shooter in Connecticut?

      “People are so ready to kill.” Social scientists refer to “barriers” to criminal activity. For example, an unlocked bicycle is more likely to be stolen than one with even a minimal, ineffective lock because the barrier to the criminal activity is down. Similarly, while people are “ready” to kill, they are more likely to do so with a weapon at hand. Yes, a knife, hammer etc. may be used to kill people, but a gun is only a weapon and its only use is to kill or injure. Leaving an object that is only a weapon around takes away a barrier to killing.

      • Submitted by Ted Jenson on 01/10/2013 - 08:30 am.

        It Really DOES Matter

        Maybe you skipped that part of the earlier post where it stated that killing is ILLEGAL. That’s a pretty good barrier if you ask me! Do you get it now? It is ILLEGAL! Has been forever, even before guns were invented, but people still killed, didn’t they?

        None of my firearms has ever been pointed at any one. Why? I am a law abiding citizen is why. That’s the key. Law Abiding. To take the firearm out of a law abiding citizen just does not make sense in any way.

        That would be like you getting punished because I drove drunk!

        “Social scientists” are not credible to me. The problem is, they think everyone’s brain works the same as theirs. They think that every one uses the same critical thinking they use, which just is not true. In a perfect society, their ideas might work, but this is the real world.

        The real problem, as stated previously, is the culture these killers are raised in. THIS is what needs fixing, not the gun laws. It is always a knee-jerk reaction to make more laws when these things happen. But they conveniently never admit that the killing was already illegal, what good will another law do to prevent some from killing when the laws in place already were not being obeyed?

        • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 01/10/2013 - 10:03 am.

          I know killing is illegal

          Yes, killing is illegal, but people do it. If no one ever committed a murder, there would be no need for a law against it. There are reasons killing doesn’t happen more often, and one of them is the availability of the tools.

          An otherwise law-abiding citizen might get involved in, say, a road rage incident. Tempers falre, and a person with a gun might be tempted to brandish it, point it, and ultlimately pull the trigger. It wasn’t what they had planned to do that day, and, absent a gun, nothing may have happened other than a vigorous excahnge of Anglo-Saxon vocabulary, but the presence of a gun made all the difference.

          You are a law-abiding citizen, but the line between a law-abiding citizen and a criminal is a thin one. All it takes is one act. I don’t have a gun to point, so that’s a line I am unlikely to cross. I believe it is also a line that you are unlikely to cross, but, between the two of us, who is more likely to do so? I’m guessing it’s the one with the ability.

          “The problem is, they think everyone’s brain works the same as theirs.” Not exactly: They look for patterns. There is no such thing as unanility in any human endeavor.

          ‘The real problem, as stated previously, is the culture these killers are raised in.” No argument there. I, however, see the ready availability of military-style weapons (as opposed to hunting or sport weapons) as a symptom of that culture. It is, I admit, a chicken-and-egg proposition.

  12. Submitted by Jeff Kline on 01/09/2013 - 02:26 pm.

    I tend to agree with some posts here.

    This is an old rehashed argument by someone so afraid of guns that they want them out of society as a whole. Just like the Jews in Nazi Germany; the topic may once again be revisited because some folks never learn from history.

    The story is the same. Too many deaths from guns…

    How?? I suspect better than 98% of the stats is crime related. Usually a felon in possession of a firearm in yet another commission of a crime; or a felon being taken down by a law abiding citizen while in the commission of yet another crime.

    I’m beginning to suspect that democrats not only can’t do math, but they can’t research either. And yeah; I call out the democrats because they are right now the ONLY ones calling out for all this gun control.


    • Submitted by Jonathan Ecklund on 01/09/2013 - 03:11 pm.

      I’m sorry, but maybe I am misreading your first paragraph – are you saying that people who want to remove all guns (which, BTW, most people are NOT advocating) from current American society, are analogous to the Nazi’s desire to remove all Jews from German society?

      Also, your suspicions on statistics are irrelevant. Only the statistics are relevant.

      Also, those calling for gun control are not exclusively Democrats. To say so is incorrect.

      • Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 01/09/2013 - 06:49 pm.

        You are misreading

        It wasn’t very plainly stated, but the Nazis disarmed the general population before the social “cleansing” began. It wasn’t an analogy.

  13. Submitted by David Mensing on 01/13/2013 - 07:29 am.

    Gun violence

    No stat tells the whole story and no solution solves the entire problem. Sometimes, people are bound and determined to kill and they will kill. Sometimes, though, a firearm provides the means for someone with an instant of rage or an instant of despair to take a life. The more firearms around, the more likely someone can act on a momentary mood.

    A large number of people have firearms and don’t misuse them–conceal and carry has proved this to me–but this country has seen too many people die because people who shouldn’t have firearms get them and use them. Common sense should rule the day and it has been in short supply when debating firearms.

  14. Submitted by Kenneth Kjer on 01/15/2013 - 12:34 am.

    Treatment for Mentally Ill

    Why doesn’t the President tell us how much money he has cut from the budget in the last 4 years for the treatment of mentally ill. Close to a billion dollars and it has affected every service provider in the US. Most of the people who committed suicide were cut off from treatment because of budget cuts,

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