June 25th, 2016

planet

gun people

I unfriended a guy on facebook last week after he posted about wanting to make sure he could get an AR-15 before they were banned. His friends were commenting in support. Hell of a priority to have the day after 50 people are killed in an Orlando nightclub, right?

I am no longer a good freedom-loving libertarian on the issue of gun rights. I don't trust gun people anymore. Sorry. I am convinced that their priorities are totally out of whack, that they care passionately about their guns and their "rights" but do not give two shits about safety. If gun people cared about safety, why would there be 12,000 non-suicide gun deaths in the US every year?

Where I work in the factory, we have this philosophy about safety: that for every actual injury, there were near-miss incidents that should have clued us in and made us change something. So we obsess about every near-miss or close injury or minor injury. Even if you get a bad paper cut and go to health services for a band-aid it's a "recordable injury" and taken very seriously. If an actual death were to occur? We would not shrug it off as an accident, we'd start going back through the records of all those minor things that could have POSSIBLY told us we were going down the wrong path. It's the famous OSHA safety pyramid.



So pretend for a moment that a toddler finds a gun and shoots herself. The gun was kept loaded, and not locked up. This fatality is the top of the pyramid. Then we'd ask ourselves if there were other gun injuries in the news lately... yup. Then we'd look at property damage and accidental shootings that don't injure a person.

According to the pyramid, you multiply your near-misses by some factor, 20 or 50 or 100 depending on the data, and you get the number for "at risk unsafe behavior". In other words for every one toddler who accidentally shoots herself there are hundreds of loaded guns in this country now that were, luckily, left alone today. But maybe not tomorrow.

Where is the evidence that gun owners are being safe?

Why should I trust them?

Why do you need a semi-automatic weapon that can kill 50 people at one event?

Sometime if you want to feel terrible, click around the Everytown map of gun deaths in the US. They happen almost every day. I almost reposted one but didn't want to ruin anyone's morning because they are horrible.

Instead I just unfriended the guy. I don't want my kids playing at his house ever again, even though all our daughters are friends. I told my husband we needed to "distance ourselves" and he agreed. It is obvious to me, from the statistics, we have too many guns in the population of America. So even if these accidental deaths are not all mass shootings, I think we should TRY reducing the number of guns as an ATTEMPT to limit the mass shootings, right?

Guns are doing more harm than good and I don't trust anyone who fools themselves into thinking otherwise.