• Tue, Aug 9 2011

Where Do You Stand On Gun Control?

We recently partnered with Kenneth Cole’s “Where Do You Stand” project to talk a little bit about gun control. Basically, I think if you want to own a gun, that’s fine, but I think we’d all really prefer you not be stupid with them. Because, you know, they’re killing machines. We understand that it’s a controversial topic though, and one people have a wide array of feelings about. You can see other people opinions on the webpage (and also hear where people stand on issues like gay-marriage, abortion and anti-war protest). And, of course, we’d love to hear your opinion.

 

 

 

 

 

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  • Sasha Spector

    Sixty five children are killed EACH DAY by firearms? Can you provide a list of these children who are killed each day by firearms?

    • Jon

      The 65 children a day statistic includes up to age 24 and also includes gang violence.

  • Cassieleigh

    I have my concealed handgun license. I can keep a gun concealed on my body in any state that allows concealed handguns. While that’s true, I don’t own one. I just really don’t think I need one, but I will always need the right to own and use one. Give that up and that’s one more thing some one says you can’t do.

  • Proud American Gun Owner

    I feel stupider having watched your little spiel. 65 kids per day huh? Right, about that….

  • Will

    Please cite your facts, I do believe that the real “stat” is 65 “children” shot with guns each day. But only if your definition of children is from 0 – 24 (FBI Uniform Crime Statistics, 1997). In 2006 only 339 children under 14 died from firearms (CDC National Vital Statistics System. Report R00.1-Y89.9, 2006), while a lot, less than one per day, and pales in comparison to child abuse at 4 per day, and automobile accidents at 14 per day. Don’t forget that 1917 children die each day to malaria (Fact Sheet No 178, U.N. World Health Organization, 1998).

    If you want to do the most good, write articles supporting the prevention of malaria, not worrying about a relatively small danger such as children and guns (accidental gun deaths have dropped massively over the past 30 years)

    Also, you reference a terribly bad study that has been disproven. Guns are used around 2.5 million times a year in defense, and are often a deterrent when no rounds are even fired. (Targeting Guns, Gary Kleck, Aldine Transaction, 1997)

  • Will A

    Two different Wills here! I was very confused for a while. My source from 2008 only states accidental gun deaths for that year in 16 states. The point is that the 65 per day figure is incorrect.

    • Jennifer Wright

      That information was passed onto me by Kenneth Cole’s people and they wanted to make sure we addresed that fact. I couldn’t find a source for it, but it seems very odd that they’d pass on information they just made up. Maybe best to check the Where You Stand website.

  • S.L.

    Who said we wanted to hunt quail with an AK-47 or an UZI? Why do you suppose that the only legitimate use for a weapon its how it can be used to hunt some sort of game? Did you completely forget why our forefathers intended for the common citizen to be armed? Mayhaps we are wanting protection from something more dangerous than “armed Burglars” and “wild Boar”…

  • Will B

    I went to his site, but I’m not going to sit through a totally biased loaded question survey built in Flash (a thankfully dying trend) on a slowly loading site.

    His facts are wrong and I showed by reference where they were wrong (I was the first Will post) Here’s an actual researched website that cites the (mostly government, but some private) statistics, I would love for you or Kenneth Cole to go into as much depth as they did with hard facts. If you can find facts that back up your side, then power to you, I wish for that to happen, as I might be wrong. But using a few stats that are incredibly wrong and a couple of ear-catching sayings does not make an argument.

  • Arnie

    Maybe it’s because I live in a country where the only people with guns are people who actually need them for their occupations or hunting trips, but one of the things that scares me most about America is the guns.

    Having a gun doesn’t make me feel safe (not that I do, because even being near one makes me feel sick), knowing that none of my neighbours have guns makes me feel safe.

    • Hanna

      Exactly. I really don’t get the gun-mania. I just don’t get it at all. What’s so great about being able to buy a killing-machine at walmart?

  • Will A

    What happened to my first comment?

  • N

    I own a gun (Mossberg 500, it’s a great one for a 5’1″ girl), even though the laws in Cali are pretty strict. I live in a pretty safe neighborhood, but I want the protection, and even though I can’t carry my gun outside, I have a good knife for that.

    Here’s a question, why the fuck don’t companies have some sort of gun test before you can own/use one, like with car license tests?

    I’m not for government-issued licenses, but I’d be in favor of companies making sure you know the basics of guns before giving you one. Too many people are just idiots with guns and don’t know shit about the parts and safety rules.

    I’ve never driven a car myself, so whenever I’m in one I find myself constantly wondering what would happen if you moved the steering wheel an inch…in lots of cases that would kill a sidewalk person. Or seriously injure them, but then again people do survive gun wounds everywhere as well.

    “Gun control” should be more about making sure people actually know how to handle guns, not banning them outright. When I got my gun I went through a few months of paperwork-related bullshit, but absolutely nothing about ensuring I knew how to handle it (which I do, since I’m not an idiot).

    • M

      You summed up pretty much everything I would’ve wanted to say. California also, 5’3″ girl with a .22 rifle [which only ever comes out for target shooting at the range; it's fun, plus since I own a damn gun I should know how to use it]. The first time I ever went shooting was with a friend who is extremely knowledgeable about guns, and he taught me all about how everything works before I even touched a gun. I technically already live in a neighborhood that is somewhat shady, but I don’t think my roommate is too comfortable with guns and there’s a lot of neighbors who know and like me. However, if I did live somewhere more remote or where I felt safety was a legitimate concern, I would most definitely want a shotgun for home defense too. Aiming precisely is less of an issue, with proper ammo there’s minimal wall penetration, if someone tries to wrestle it away it’s much harder for someone to get shot by their own weapon than with a handgun, and if you freeze and can’t pull the trigger you can club them over the head with it from a relatively safe distance. Plus just the sound of a pump-action is enough to make most people run away.

      Also related to your comment: I do drive, and I also work on cars so I know a lot about the various possible catastrophic failures. It scares me how little people know about a) how to drive properly [even things like holding a consistent speed on the freeway, let alone things like what to do if you lose traction and go into a skid], and b) all the things their car is doing that it should not be doing because even if you know how to drive, a broken car can definitely still kill people. I’m not sure exactly how I feel about further regulation [government with their hands in everything is complicated], but I think helping to prevent the need for regulation through education, whether it’s about using a car or using a gun, is not such a bad thing. Plenty of people say ‘Why should I have to learn about it; I’ll never use the knowledge’ but let’s face it: you don’t need to know about a lot of things right up until the exact moment when suddenly you do.

    • M

      Also, for starting a comment with ‘You summed up pretty much everything I would’ve wanted to say,’ I still went on to type a whole lot. Oops.

    • N

      Same here. Friend took me out shooting with four of his guns and a fifth rented one, before I bought mine. I rent a room and my landlord and his family don’t even know I have a gun. I don’t like having to hide it but I have no idea how they would be if they knew, although he’s in the army. I’ve never taken my gun out anywhere other than to the range, once – definitely fun.

      Yeah. I’m always wondering about how you could instantly kill someone when in a car, and there’s indeed a lot that can go wrong with a car. I’m not for government at all, but I do think companies and such should make you pass some kind of test before you can own certain things.

  • directly affected

    It kind of came off like you were talking down to gun owners. From the accusation that kids are stupid, to just people in general being stupid, coupled with your quail hunting comment it all kind of sounds uppity to me. All bourgeois accusations aside, here is why I own and carry a gun. Fist let me state that I used to organize and participate in anti gun rallies and was in favor of banning guns outright. This all changed when 32 of my classmates were murdered by a kid carrying two hand guns. Let me tell you, it took all of 10 minutes to change my stance completely on gun ownership. The fact is, crazy people have access to guns. Although the chances that you will be killed in some kind of mass shooting or home invasion are low, it falls on the individual to decide whether or not their life is worth defending if the shit hits the fan. Usually a handgun is all one needs to properly defend themselves. Now, on the issue of AK’s and other high powered firearms.

    • Craig Hollandsworth

      I’m curious as to what you think a “high powered firearm” is as your specific example- an AK- fires a caliber known as 7.62×39. It’s a medium-powered round similar in energy to the .30-30 hunting cartridge first created in the late 18th century for lever-action rifles. In comparison to common deer hunting calibers like .30-06 what an AK fires has less than half the kinetic energy at the muzzle.

  • Craig Hollandsworth

    First of all I’d like to ask about the source of your claim that 65 children per day are killed by firearms, as the CDC’s WISQARS injury and mortality database shows much much lower figures. In 2007, the most current reporting year, the breakdown for gunshot wound fatalities (all causes- homicide, accident, suicide, undetermined) is as follows:

    Ages <1 to 12- 1.6 fatalities/day
    Ages 13 to 17- 3.5 fatalities/day

    As for accidental firearms deaths in the <1 to 17 age bracket there were only 112 out of a total demographic population of 74,340,127- in comparison 901 deaths that year were caused by drowning. Accidental gunshot deaths are statistically rare in all age brackets but you seem to be under the impression they happen constantly because "people are stupid."

    Automatic weapons (ie the "bullet-vomiting death-machines" as you so coyly put it) have been strictly regulated since 1934 when the National Firearms Act was passed. Not only are they highly regulated on the federal level and are sometimes completely banned at the state level, but since the registry causes an artificial rarity on top of being hard to find legally transferable automatics often cost as much as a decent new car. On top of that no state, even the ones that allow heavily regulated ownership of automatic weapons, allow them to be used for hunting.

    Since real AK-47s are Uzis are incredibly rare I can only assume you're confusing the semi-automatic clones commonly sold in the US with actual automatic weapons. I own several of the former and they do have legitimate sporting uses in both competition and hunting. Without the ability to fire at automatic cyclic rates there's literally no functional difference between an AR-15 and a Mini-14 hunting rifle, or a semiautomatic AK-47 clone and a Saiga sporter. Comparing kinetic energy per round both semiautomatic Uzi and AKs clones are actually far less powerful than your average deer rifle and since they can't fire any faster than any common self-loading hunting arm the only thing that causes them to be singled out is cosmetic appearance. Again your fears are misplaced as statistically rifles- even the scary-looking ones like AKs and Uzis- aren't commonly used in violent crime. According to the 2009 FBI Uniform Crime Report rifles were used only in 2.55% of murders. ATF studies of gun trace data have shown that the majority of guns used in crime are small-caliber, low-capacity handguns that are cheap and common- something that a criminal could easily buy and destroy or throw away without financial regret.

    Misconceptions (and a touch of elitism) aside yours is a very reasonable viewpoint- many people on both sides of the political spectrum can't acknowledge any freedoms they don't personally have a stake in, be it gay marriage from the right or the individualist interpretation of the 2nd amendment from much of the left.

  • Scott

    Actually Sasha, you are incorrect…. by a lot. According to CDC’s mortality rates for ages 0-14, the total deaths in 2009 (latest data I could find) was 384. That’s 1.05 deaths per day. Your data is flawed.

    Total deaths of all ages by intentional firearm use (i.e. homicide or self-defense) was 11,406. That would be 31 deaths per day, which is STILL far below your quoted number of children alone.

    And just to put it into perspective. Cars killed 39,047 people in the same year. And they say guns are bad? Yea, don’t think so.

    Oh, and I can back up my numbers from the CDC website. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr59/nvsr59_04.pdf

    Don’t fall for the lies and hype people. You always have a right to defend yourself. Be an adult, grow up and live your own life. Don’t expect someone to do it for you. That includes defending yourself.

  • Patrick Ryan

    The 2nd Amendment has nothing to do with hunting or self defense. It has to do with tyranny. Look in your history books. What was the first thing Hitler did when he came to power? He disarmed the citizenry. You may have more faith in your elected officials than I do. BUT, if you are wrong and I am right, we have ourselves a real jackpot on our hands. If the “elected” elite decide that they can pass whatever laws they like, and the only ones with guns are the police and military, guess what, We don’t live in a Republic any longer. We live in a communist state.

    That is what the 2nd is for.

  • Jon

    Seriously, what is wrong with you? Your “facts” have no basis, and your arguments are ridiculous. Plus your inflection creeps me out.

  • Bill

    Lets get rid of cars too, when used improperly, they kill far more then guns