Jovan Belcher, Kasandra Perkins, and the senseless Aurora, Colorado shootings prove NRA is wrong

The “Gun Nuts” Must be Ignored

By James Turnage

The December 1st tragedy in Kansas City was a sad and senseless action. What is somewhat overlooked is that another loved one was killed by a handgun.

I know the “gun crazies” out there will once again spout their invalid slogans about why handguns and assault rifles should not become illegal to own, and once again they are wrong and ignore the sad truth. That is, “people with guns kill innocent people.” As a Kansas City reporter wrote today, “if Jovan Belcher had not possessed a handgun, he and Kasandra Perkins would be alive today.”

I won’t discuss the senseless killings in Aurora, Colorado, or the sad loss of life at an IHOP in Carson City. This is entirely about family members and loved ones suffering loss of life at the hands of another.

Over thirty years ago I had a client tell me a sad and horrifying story. Her sister was going through an angry divorce. She was afraid of her soon-to-be ex-husband. She asked her to come over to her house. My client arrived just in time to see her brother-in-law chase her sister through the house, catching her on the front lawn. He pushed her down on her knees, pulled her head back, and pulled the trigger on the handgun he was carrying.

A 2000 study by Harvard School of Public Health researchers analyzed gun use at home and concluded that “hostile gun displays against family members may be more common than gun use in self-defense, and that hostile gun displays are often acts of domestic violence directed against women.”

Having a handgun in the home offers an opportunity for domestic violence to end in tragedy. A psychiatrist I talked to once told me that the reason it’s so easy for one person to fire a gun at someone is because it’s ‘impersonal’. If a gun was not involved, and physical contact was the only way to act out rage and violence, it would be unlikely for that violence to end in loss of life.

The following is a study by the Violence Policy Center in 2000:

“In 2000, there were 1,805 females murdered by males in single victim/single offender incidents that were submitted to the FBI for its Supplementary Homicide Report. These highlights from the report, expanded upon in the following sections, dispel many of the myths propounded by the gun lobby regarding the nature of lethal violence against women:

Nearly 11 times as many females were murdered by a male they knew (1,551 victims) than were killed by male strangers (142 victims).

Sixty two percent (963) of female homicide victims were wives or intimate acquaintances of their killers.

There were 331 women shot and killed by either their husband or intimate acquaintance during the course of an argument, nearly one woman a day.

More female homicides were committed with firearms (52 percent) than with all other weapons combined. Of the homicides committed with firearms, 76 percent were committed with handguns.

In 88 percent of all incidents where the circumstances could be determined, homicides were not related to the commission of any other felony, such as rape or robbery.”

The major obstacle to sensible gun control is the NRA. Their guns are more important than their families or yours.

I am not suggesting change to the second amendment. Its primary purpose, in theory, was to prevent a military dictatorship. Having a weapon in your home to protect yourself is a personal option. But keep a weapon that will be effective. Unless someone is well-trained in handgun use, the average person would fail to hit a target from six feet away. A shotgun couldn’t miss from six feet away.

I never got into the discussion of accidents in the home involving adults and children. I really don’t need to, you read about them all the time. Just for kicks look up the statistics of how many people are killed by handguns in England or Australia. You won’t, but let me just say that their laws make sense and save innocent lives.