Once again, I kid you not, there is a serious debate in The State paper about gun violence. The burning question on today’s headline, Will More Guns In More Places Make SC Safer?
It says in the story that there is a bill advancing in the state house that would prevent mentally ill people from buying guns. Hmmm. Does that mean that right now, if you ARE deemed mentally ill by the courts that you CAN buy a firearm? Answer – Yes. You wouldn’t want to punish those people by depriving them of their constitutional right to own weapons. Right? Fact is, right now in SC you don’t need a permit to buy a gun, so no one knows how many guns there are in SC. No one will ever know. We do know that there are at least 89 guns for every person in the US. Some say it is much higher than that.
While the U.S. Senate opens debate this week on gun restrictions, S.C. lawmakers are set to move in the opposite direction, voting on legislation that would allow more people to carry guns in more places, including restaurants, bars and schools – from elementary schools to colleges, including USC.
When we first moved to SC, I saw a bumper sticker that read something like...
We don’t give a DAMN how y’all do it up North.
So, there you go. Much of the rest of the country is trying to catch on to some semblance of sanity about guns, and in SC you’ll have to pry our cold dead fingers from our assault rifles. Because we are just not sure yet if more guns make us safer.
But most bills in the Legislature are aimed at expanding gun rights. One, sponsored by state Sen. Lee Bright, R-Spartanburg, would allow people to carry weapons without permits, concealed or not.
Not to confuse anyone with a bunch of esoteric "facts", but those places with fewer guns have less gun violence. Pretty much a direct correlation. But lets look at the statistics in today’s paper…
South Carolina ranked:
• Second with 5,272 aggravated assaults involving a firearm in 2011
• Fourth with 444 homicides of women between 2001 and 2010
• Fifth with 16 law-enforcement officers killed with a firearm during a felony between 2002 and 2011
• Sixth with 1,504 guns sold in the state and used in crimes elsewhere in 2009
• Seventh with 229 firearm homicides in 2010.
6th – Overall gun violence ranking
2nd – Aggravated assaults involving a firearm, 2011
4th – Firearm homicides among women, 2001-10
5th – Law-enforcement officers killed by a firearm, 2002-11
6th – Rate of guns purchased in South Carolina and used in crimes elsewhere, 2009
7th – Firearm homicides, 2010
13th – Overall firearm deaths, 2001-2010
18th – Firearm deaths among children up to 17 years old, 2001-10
20th – Firearm suicides, 2010
Maybe things would be better if we just had more guns. Because, according to Lee Bright, one of our most vocal proponents of gun rights, “There’s no way to punish the wrongdoer without punishing someone who is exerting their (constitutional) rights.” And, you know, it would be a pretty horrible punishment to have someone submit to a background check before purchasing a killing device. Because if we had more killing devices, you know, we would, more than likely, be much safer. Make sense to you?
On a related note, how about all of these religious leaders aligning themselves with the NRA? Because nothing reinforces fealty to Jesus like opposing background checks on gun purchases – Rachael Maddow.