Kansas City Tragedy

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I suppose most of you have heard about the Kansas City Chief linebacker, Jovan Belcher, who shot his girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins, then drove to the stadium and shot himself after thanking the coaches. If not and you want to, then click here.

It was an awful thing. But, it didn’t have much to do with sports. He happened to be a American football player, but that is all it has to do with sport. It does have a lot to with what “we” as a society, have decided what are our constitutional rights and what people perceive that makes them feel safer.

This whole thing could have been avoided most likely, if Jovan didn’t have the misfortune of possessing a handgun at the time of the incident. I assume it was a conscience decision by him, but I really wish he didn’t have the choice to make it.

We all deal with this on some basis pretty regularly. I hesitate to express any outrage at someone I feel is not driving correct, concerning my safety, just because of this. I don’t feel safer because citizens of our country can legally carry a handgun. I feel much less safe.

And in reality, everyone is much less safe. I saw a study once that said if you owed a handgun, you had a much higher chance of dying from homicide. I found this study that shows when you have a handgun in your home, your chances of dying from homicide is 5X as high as if there wasn’t a handgun in your home. That is significant. And outside of your home is significantly higher also.

One day, my brother came riding home pretty shaken up. He had been riding down 29th street in Topeka and a guy in a pickup passed him super close and then turned the corner and drove into his driveway. Kris turned the corner and stopped in front of his house. The guy came running out of his garage, enraged and pulled out a small handgun. Kris, immediately turned around and started riding down the street as the guy ran behind him with gun pressed into Kris’ back. Kris said that it was about as scared as he has ever been of dying. The guy could have very easily tripped and accidentally pulled the trigger. It was nuts.

Anyway, I saw Bob Costas on Sunday Night Football, say his piece on this issue. He quoted an article by Jason Whitlock, an ex-writer of the Kansas City Star and currently at Fox News. I looked up the article. Here is a little-

I would argue that your rationalizations speak to how numb we are in this society to gun violence and murder. We’ve come to accept our insanity. We’d prefer to avoid seriously reflecting upon the absurdity of the prevailing notion that the second amendment somehow enhances our liberty rather than threatens it.

How many young people have to die senselessly? How many lives have to be ruined before we realize the right to bear arms doesn’t protect us from a government equipped with stealth bombers, predator drones, tanks and nuclear weapons?

Our current gun culture simply ensures that more and more domestic disputes will end in the ultimate tragedy, and that more convenience-store confrontations over loud music coming from a car will leave more teenage boys bloodied and dead.

I couldn’t agree more. If people that own handguns have a much higher chance of dying by homicide, and obviously, people that don’t own guns, who get killed by handguns, are not safer, then no one is safer. We’re all much less safe. The perceived safety of owning a handgun, is a false perception and actually completely wrong. I feel really bad for all the people that are so scared deep down, that they think that they need to carry a handgun with them at all times to feel safe. I’d think it would be very stressful.

I’m nearly sick to my stomach every time I hear of a story, such as above, that could have been easily avoided, if there wasn’t a handgun in play. I believe that each and everyone of us has the ability to be so enraged, that we could make a rash mistake, such as Jovan did, if in very specific circumstances. When a handgun is in the mix, these “normal” behaviors can turn into tragedies.

I have no idea why, we as a nation, allow this to continue. It is so wrong on so many levels. Disputes should be decided with words, not deaths.

The baby in the photo is an orphan as of Saturday.

69 thoughts on “Kansas City Tragedy

  1. Bill K

    I’m sure that the gun lovers will say something crazy, like that if his girlfriend had a gun, she could have protected herself.
    Until laws are changed, we will have to just accept tragedies like this.

     
  2. Doug

    I have personally protected my own life with a handgun, when I was assaulted by 3 ‘Men” in a truck on a lonely stretch of road. They had lethal weapons, non of which required a license to posses. As they approached to “Fuck-me-up” I gave them the choice to go away now or die where they stood. Luckily for everyone involved, they decided to take my advice and go away. The firearm did its job and I never fired a shot. Taking a life is something that I do not want to do, but if I have to do so to protect myself or my Family, I will.

    If you don’t want to protect yourself, then don’t. Feel free to put your trust in the government. They’ll probably be there to help you, sooner or later. I for one, will keep my destiny in my own hands.

     
  3. Bernd Faust

    I agree with you one hundred percent and I share the same views as you Steve on this matter. it is insane that gunsales are promoted by the slogan: You have to have one or better 3 to protect yourself. Protect yourself from your neighbor? what kind of society are we living in? People have to come together and learn how to live peacefully next to each other as brothers and sisters period..lots of work to do..step1 ..get rid of the f_ _ _ing guns! step 2 lear how to drive a car (pick up truck etc). LEARN HOW TO RESPECT A PEDESTRIAN CYCLIST..ETC….AND I COULD GO ON AND ON…..

     
  4. sb

    Steve that 5x number has been proven to be bogus. That’s the problem with this debate (an modern politics in general) is that each side is fudging their numbers, making up statistics etc, so that the truth is hard to get at.

    So, yes, too many people are shot. That statistic is easy to find and track.
    But, how many people, exactly, protect their life with a gun each year? Try to find that stat… you can’t because most of the time it never gets reported by either party.

    So to say, conclusively, that personal protection is an invalid reason to have a gun, that statement does not have evidence to support it.

    Yes, sure, if no guns existed anywhere in the world then there would be no gunshot deaths. But that is never going to happen so we have to live in the world that we’ve made. The simple fact is, bad guys have guns and I’m not going to disarm myself.

     
  5. Mike

    Guns are not the problem. People’s behavior is.

    deadly bow and arrow and knife attack

    Take the guns away and people will hack each other to death like they do in Africa. Call it a God given right or a natural one self defense is unalienable. I chose to do all in my power to not be a victim and I wouldn’t hesitate to use firearms to protect myself and family.

    As someone noted the mainstream media does not report incidences where a firearm stops a crime and in many cases without a shot even being fired. With states now starting to come around and see the common sense in concealed carry permits I actually feel much safer as an American. The guy or lady next to me in the line at the checkout could have tucked away the tool to end a violent confrontation before it turns into a mass murder scene.

    Gun prohibition is a narrow sighted and unrealistic reality.

    You brought it up Steve and I just can’t let this one go without saying something. I still think you’re pretty cool. -Mike

     
  6. tilford97 Post author

    Mike-I don’t doubt that people will kill each other sometimes, even if there are not handguns available. But when a guy is walking down the street with a bow and arrow, machete or rifle, at least you have a heads up that something is amiss.

    And, such as the case here with with Chiefs player, handguns are very convenient and accessible. I very much doubt he would have been carrying a bow with him when he went into his “insanity”.

     
  7. Brent

    Steve-I have followed you for sometime and enjoy your blog and all of the time that goes into it. Gun control isnt what needs to be discussed coming out of this tradgedy. Its mental health and domestic abuse. I suspect there are more assaults, and dealy assaults at that, with fists and hands in that type of situation. Someone so far gone to kill another and then take his own life would do it with whatever tools are there. Guns, rope, knives.
    Look at Mexico-they have some of the strongest gun control laws . I dont think anyone could argue how good they work.
    I am a moderate-do we need assault rifles? I dont think so. Handguns, shotguns and deer rifles are fine by me.

     
  8. Ron

    “Gun control isn’t what needs to be discussed.” I hear this about every 2 weeks, right after another tragedy.
    Seems fair to ask that you just let us know when it IS the time to talk about it then.

     
  9. Ken

    Steve,
    You are completely wrong about this not being about football. There is a strong link between multiple concussions or traumatic brain injuries and violence. Especially domestic violence. Jovan had a history of still playing on the field while being concussed. This is not uncommon with linemen, and I think many concussions are never even treated/reported.

    And do you forget so easily Plaxico Burress shooting himself in the leg with a handgun? That gun was illegal. Even if handguns were illegal, this guy could still have easily obtained one and still murdered his girlfriend. This is a great example of how important it is to work on people’s mental health instead of worrying about criminalizing handguns.

     
  10. Wildcat

    I love to shoot guns. Always sporting clays or targets. Never kill anything. Some of my best memories in life are out in the field with my son. On the same level as a great bike ride. I am an Eagle Scout and just use common sense. I have never taken a safety class or anything. It’s a fun hobby that teaches many great lessons – the greatest being responsibility.

     
  11. James

    I found this study that shows when you have a handgun in your home, your chances of dying from homicide is 5X as high as if there wasn’t a handgun in your home.

    That’s like saying, cyclist with rollers in their home are 5x more likely to fall off their bike. Outlaw rollers, or learn how to use them??

     
  12. Blerg

    Some of my best memories in life are out in the field with my son.

    ___

    One of my favorite recent memories is the ex-Seal dude on Doomsday Preppers who shot his finger off, while showing off with his son’s .22 in the desert.

    Stats suck, but if having guns around is like driving without seatbelts while texting (and it is), I’ll take my chances without, thanks.

    ___

    Ron says it best:

    “Gun control isn’t what needs to be discussed.” I hear this about every 2 weeks, right after another tragedy.
    Seems fair to ask that you just let us know when it IS the time to talk about it then.

     
  13. wielsucker

    Legally owned firearms are not typically the problem and people that have illegal firearms apparently don’t much care what laws we pass. Everyone wants to explain away crazy, evil or wrong behavior and assign blame to some social or policy issue. Are we too afraid to admit some people are crazy, evil or wrong?

     
  14. Mark

    I own bicycles, handguns, rifles, knives, power tools, and a car. All of these are dangerous. I ride a bike and I drive a car and we all know what’s going on with how users of these machines have conflicts. Owning firearms, or kitchen knives for that matter is all about using them in a proper manner with the right mindset. To suggest that one shouldn’t respect others enough to allow them to make their own decision on whether it is better to drive a car or ride a bike, or both. Or, that they should or shouldn’t have guns and yet not consider that many people get into cars and cause much, even more, death with their thoughtlessness, anger, inattention, distraction, intoxication is perplexing to me. It tells me that some allow fear to run their lives. Do I allow fear to keep me from riding a bike on our public roads? Should I read about one NFL player’s life tragedy and change my ideas out of fear, or anger, or indignation? One needs to respect all living things and be grateful for all that has brought us to this moment. A handgun is not your problem, unless you make it so, I thing fear is holding you back from really expressing a more positive attitude towards all life can offer. I know owning both firearms and bicycles and an automobile requires clear thoughtfullness and respect for others if I am to survive while engaged in activity.

     
  15. Mike

    Yeah it is a sad situation all around. I can’t fathom why people snap or let themselves cross that line and cause harm to another. I’ve got a friend who is a devout Christian and often in our conversations he points out how we humans are “broken” ever since Adam took the apple from that one chick. I’m not religous at all but it is hard to argue with that assessment. It seems a simple choice to me: respect others and as you say solve our differences with words not blows and that’s what most of us do. I don’t like when my friend says we’re all broken. I have my problems but I don’t feel broken.

    I think maybe the violence and urge to lash out is just human nature and most of us can control it and unfortunately some can’t. The key is how do we recognize, and possibly help or prevent these people inclined towards violence from acting out? I wish I knew. Original sin or human nature however you want to call it we’re still along way off from an ideal utopian world where we all get along. Is it even possible? I like to think so. Quite the enigma thats for sure.

    Another thing that is interesting is how our media our ability to receive news is as widespread and instantaneous as it has ever been in our history. The media seems to thrive on the bad news for some reason. Like that one song Dirty Laundry- “she can tell you bout the plane crash with a gleam in her eye” In the past evil was done all the time just like today and the events made the local paper and usually never made it much past that. The FBI statistics show that violent crimes have been on a steady decrease over the last 40 years or so. Are they accurate? Sure doesn’t seem so if you spend anytime at all watching the tube or the homepage news.

    Anyways, thought provoking topic to be sure.

     
  16. Mark

    An informed moderate might say that the cartridge fired by the deer rifle and the “assault rifle” are about the same with the power and lethality edge belonging to the deer rifle.

     
  17. rab

    I grew up around guns. Used to hunt every year during the seasons and spent a lot of time around other gun owners/users. Never had a bad experience, close call, accident or had to use a gun as a deterrent. Never heard of anyone else I knew (or people they knew) having an accident or using a gun in any negative way. Statistically I would think I should have been in a very high risk group… anti-gunners would probably say I am just lucky, gun advocates would probably say I was responsible and hung out with responsible owners as well.
    I don’t claim to know what is right or wrong or have the answers but think it all comes down to individual responsibility. Rage is a scarey thing and makes people do bad things. I once saw a guy badly beat another guy with a mountain bike seatpost at a party after being goaded into a fury.

    It would be nice if laws could solve the problems but I don’t think that can happen in this case. It would be nice if the country wasn’t smothered in cocaine and methamphetamines (which as we all know are highly illegal) but our laws have continued to fail to stop these blights it seems.
    Maybe fatalistic but it seems some people will find a way to hurt themselves and/or others one way or another…
    One thing I found a little disturbing is that it seems that Jovan has almost been held as a victim himself, lots of “memorializing” around the football stadium etc. Not to say he wasn’t a victim of something else (mental health issues or???) but it just seems a little off base to me.

     
  18. KU

    I agree with Mike on this one. Unfortunately the cliche “Gun’s don’t kill people, people kill people” I find to be particularly accurate. A gun is a tool, a tool that makes it easier to kill, but when someone is determined, they will make it happen. Mental health seems to be the issue here, not the tool used for violence. He could have used a hammer, which would have been far more unpleasant. Do we require permits for hammers?

    Making something illegal doesn’t make it go away, it simply goes underground.

     
  19. regsf

    Firearms are purely about power and inflicting injury or death by humans on other humans or animals. All of it destruction. Amazing how there seems to be so much reverence and nostalgia for a device that has no other need or use. Humans are sad creatures.

     
  20. Steve

    Steve, I have read your blog posts for several months now… being a former professional road racer and avid cycling fan, I have enjoyed reading about your bike related experiences (especially the 80’s). However, your latest post is somewhat oversimplified to me, like how a 7th grader might view the world. The dust hasn’t even settled on this tragedy, and already you and many others have used it to stand high and mighty on your soapbox and preach about inadequate gun laws etc. et al. I currently live in Austin, TX, and according to the website “Democratic Underground”, the total homicides in Austin (2011) were 27. Only 7 of those deaths were from handguns, 10 from knives and the remainder from hands and/or “blunt” object. By contrast, there were 21 bike related deaths during the same time. By your logic, shall we petition our local government agencies to levy more stringent laws for bikers, under the guise that it will reduce the amount of senseless deaths? Perhaps a curfew so riders cannot ride at dusk and/or dawn when visibility is poor (bye bye training rides). Perhaps a law to prevent cyclists from riding on the busiest streets during rush hour(s). Perhaps a helmet law. Perhaps mandatory crash gear to prevent road rash. Perhaps a mandatory written and skills demonstration “driving” test to show ones competence on the bike and with the law. See where I am going with this? You can throw more laws on the books, but it will not have a dramatic effect (if any at all) on the amount of vehicular/cyclist deaths. Although I agree that any unnatural death is a tragedy, it escapes me why people do not have the same passion when discussing the hundreds of thousands of unnecessary deaths that happen as a result of cigarette smoking or drunk driving etc (BTW- I have had a family member killed as a result of a DD). Apparently, those deaths are somehow not as important as the death of someone taken from a handgun. It is also very interesting to me that many of the same people who scream loudest about gun control are the same ones (or have a similar ideology) to those who produce extremely violent movies and or TV shows where in every one of them multiple people get shot/maimed/killed. I think you might have better luck curtailing violence if you “banned” hollywood from making these movies as you would throwing more anti-gun laws on the books. In any case, I will continue to browse your blogs for the good cycling stories (and memories) and just ignore your juvenile sociopolitical musings.

     
  21. Paul

    If you had absolutely no way to escape then the firearm did its job. You were out in the sticks however and that is really where guns belong. You can euthanize a deer or chase off a bear with a gun as well. That said, I think a permit to have a gun should be more legitimized by actual efforts to keep them out of the hands of people that just shouldn’t have them and you know who they are. I have many friends that I am thankful don’t have guns and I have many (Steve is one) that have the temperament and responsible nature to have one if they wanted one. There actually are ways to administer licenses that are pretty effective and our gun laws aren’t an example of that.

     
  22. jza

    Thank you Steve! I have never understood the “I-need-to-be-able-to-kill-someone” attitude that seems to be ingrained in the American psyche.

     
  23. Jim Rocheleau

    Couldn’t agree with you more. While out on a ride I once had a driver go berserk and threaten to kill me for no apparent reason. I was scared for my life and expected to hear gunfire. Too many crazies with access to easily concealed lethal weapons is not a good combination. I have no doubt that the founding fathers would be astounded by the tragic consequences of our interpretation of the 2nd amendment.

     
  24. Bernd Faust

    I have no problems with rifle ownership by responsible “Hunters” , who may use them for targetpractice and seasonal for f.e. for deerhunting..etc…
    A human is still weak by nature and I am sure some responsible hunter snapped and killed another human….
    It is much harder to do so with a knife or anything which does not fly fast and a wicked soul can shoot from a distance..a face to face confrontation has often a chance of a less tragic ending if no gun is involved. Some policeofficers have their guns laying around and their own kids kill themself or a sibling with it..happens quite often..
    I was a captain in the german armed forces, did some special training..could shoot you between the eyes from 300m distance with a G3 rifle with a bullet that kills an elk…
    But in my private life, having a gun, never…I have 4 kids and a grandchild.. sometimes I am worried they may enter a place where a gun accidently is fired or just may drop to the ground and unloads itself..happened here recently at a churchmeeting , where a guys gun dropped , bullet fired hit a 19 year old in the leg before the parishcouncil meeting started….both guys were parishmembers….an accident so…
    It is sad and ridiciulous at the same time….

     
  25. Euro

    Stev-stick to topics you know something about. Outlawing guns wil not reduce crime. It will only take away the ability for us to legally defend ourselves. The criminals will still obtain weapons.

     
  26. double d

    There are some problems with this anti-gun viewpoint. First, property rights. That is really the justification for your right to defend your property (including your own self). Because property is a natural and inalienable right, no one may infringe upon this right. Therefore, any regulation on one’s defense is infringing upon a natural right.

    Second, the government doesn’t give up their firearms when we do – or, more specifically, when we’re forcibly disarmed. Isn’t this hypocritical? After all, government, in a general sense, has committed many more murderers, assaults, and robberies than any combination of criminals ever have (or could). Do we really trust government? I don’t.

    Finally, this point about your brother. If what I infer from this story (i.e. your brother was not on the man’s property) is that a gun was pulled on him for no reason. Now, you seem to infer that this kind of behaviour comes from owning guns and that it is condoned by gun owners. What happened here was no short of one man threatening another – something obviously wrong. Honestly, this anecdote – though important and useful to you – has very little significance to this discussion.

     
  27. John Fairbanks

    While no owning a handgun might have prevented him from using it to kill his girlfriend we will never know if he would have used some other method to kill him and himself. Fact is that guns are not the leading cause of homicide in our country.

     
  28. Jprumm

    Steve, I respect your opinion but do not agree. What happens to citizens when the government takes away their firearms? Ask Hitler! It is in fact so important that our founding fathers made it our second amendment rights.

     
  29. Ron

    Do we really trust government?
    The people in the government you fear (military, police, etc) are all Americans, by the way? They ARE we.
    Secondly, God forbid someone steals our property, otherwise know as “shit” without them being shot to death.
    All that said, I still think everybody should have the right to carry a gun, but people should stop making it seem SO necessary. It isn’t.

     
  30. H Luce

    If you see three skinheads with baseball bats coming for you, if they see a gun in your hands, they’re likely to have second thoughts about what to do that evening. Criminals are the same way, they choose their victims pretty carefully, they don’t want to get shot or killed, so they take pains to find out if their prey has a gun… You should hear them talk, it’s really an eye-opener. They figure if you don’t have the means to stop them, you deserve what you get. Jail is just a cost of doing business, it’s all just a negotiation anyhow. They treat violent assaults as fun – I had one client who was out driving with his buddies, stoned to the gills on weed and whiskey, and they saw this crippled kid walking – slowly, painfully – on the side of the road and they offered him a ride. He got in the car, they took him to an abandoned house, and beat him to death with his own steel braces. They were having a great time, laughing every time they smacked the kid. Blood splattered the walls. The appeals court ruling was graphic in its description. My guy ratted out the others and got a plea and a reduced sentence – but that was a couple of years before I got him as a client. Believe me, corporate CEOs aren’t the only sociopaths out there, and it sometimes takes the cops a *long* time to show up.

     
  31. Bill K

    Steve, who woulda thunk it…..I expected the great majority to agree with you.
    Oh well, this is America, land of the gun.
    .
    .
    .

     
  32. Bernd Faust

    The incident with Steve’s brother displays my point of view that only a coward carries a gun with bullets in it…Lots of cowards=lots of guns from little boy to old granny…..
    People are not happy that’s why they have guns…people become obese because they are unhappy..etc…
    people dope in sports because they are unhappy….
    If the problem of people’s unhappiness is solved, guns will slowly but surely, certainly dissapear….obesity as well, doping as well….etc…
    Life’s purpose is all about peace, happiness and love..comforting one another during times of personal suffering…..that’s all..the rest is BS.

     
  33. Bernd Faust

    I think your smooth talk is on 4th grade level, while Steve addresses an issue which has come up so many times and these gun issues have a far deeper meaning..it’s about the human soul…car and bicycle accidents are tragedies..etc..drugs/alc involved or not…..if you want to own a gun and you are not a collector thinking you can protect yourself..you are a wicked soul and or a coward…i have been threatened in St. charles County/MO before to be shot with a shotgun while peacefully riding my bicycle…I have also been threatened to be run over with a car..I am certain that guy had a gun in his car too..he had a hot chick in the car as well, wanted to impress her..it was only him and me on the rural road..I told him f___k off..he did ..I was lucky I guess…..

     
  34. Jeff Johnson

    How about we ask OJ, he completed his objective without a gun and killed 2 people. The bottom line if someone wants to kill another human they will even if guns are outlawed. Anyone who wants guns outlawed just needs to ask themselves this question. You are walking with your child and wife, next thing you know two guys with knives say they are going to kill you and your family and there is no way out of this, do you want a gun or not? Anyone who answers no better be either a smooth talker or trained in self defense.

     
  35. John Maloney

    Funny, saw the same story your referenced and thought the exact opposite. If the deranged person with the bow and arrow had say an AR15, he would have taken out the entire class instead of just his father. Yes people will always kill others but guns just make it too easy and idiots (95% of the world) shouldn’t have them. Nuclear weapons don’t kill people, people kill people. Therefore nukes should be available to everyone.

    As far as licenses go, that’s a joke. No weekend drivers ed style gun course is gonna make you use a gun responsibly. I was in the military and saw more people killed or injured by accidental discharge and suicide than by hostile fire. No amount of training or background checks can cure stupidity.

    Having a gun just gives people the courage to escalate a situation. 99% percent of the time you can just say ok and walk away, let your tv get stolen or just run like hell. And no your inflated sense of pride is not worth anyone’s life.

     
  36. chuck martel

    Oddly, the context of the second amendment is seldom considered today. Specifying that the “right to keep and bear arms should not be infringed” certainly isn’t limited to FIREARMS. In the latter years of the 18th century many people did not have firearms, which were very expensive, and even military units were trained in the use of the sword, pike, cudgel, etc. In modern times, states have been able to pass laws regulating the length of knives, knife technology, etc., all in defiance of the constitution. The men that accepted the constitution and bill of rights were very much aware of the possibility that arms could be ill used. They must have felt that the ability to protect one’s person and property were more important than the obvious negatives. Many people agree even today.

     
  37. Justin

    Great post, Steve. Gun control is a no-win topic on a blog, but I’m glad you brought it up. Gun advocates have to understand that gun control doesn’t mean no guns. In fact, gun control in general is simply responsible limited ownership – but not everyone can handle that responsibility. And not everyone should!

    My family was affected by gun violence this year when my 17 year old niece was shot and killed by a man who mistook the car she was riding in for a rival gang member’s car. He used an AK-47. There is no way anyone else in the area having a handgun or a rifle would’ve stopped this from happening. But responsible gun control laws could maybe keep someone else’s niece from being murdered by gang members with assault rifles.

     
  38. Ken doss

    So, following your logic steve, automobiles should be banned too. How many people die evey day in wrecks? Liberals want guns outlawed so there will be no resistance when they decide the US should no longer be a democracy. And we are well on our way to giving up personal freedoms and becoming dependents of a socialistic govt.

     
  39. tilford97 Post author

    Guys- This is obviously a pretty divisive subject. I have to say as someone who doesn’t owe a handgun, that I don’t feel safer because people have the “right” to carry them. I have to assume that no one that doesn’t carry or have an handgun at home would feel safer knowing there are people that do carry them. How could they?

    I know there are lots and lots of statics about handguns and homicides. People tend to believe what they already believe and statistics usually won’t sway their views.

    I’m pretty sure that most homicides are committed by handguns. Here’s a link to a website that has the results of statistics. http://www.reuters.com/article/2010/05/13/us-deaths-usa-idUSTRE64C53R20100513

    * Firearms were used in 66 percent of homicides and 80 percent of murder-suicides.

    Whatever your views on this subject, we all have to admit that this issue is serious issue for society. I think we all need to strive to try to make our society a place where it is irrelevant whether someone owes a handgun or not, because it won’t ever come into play during normal everyday encounters. That is a problem today.

    Right now, many times, handguns are brought into situations where they shouldn’t be. Normal everyday disagreements that escalate to the point of someone getting killed. Of course, handguns don’t kill people, people do, but personally, I would much rather be dealing with those very people without them having a handgun.

     
  40. Rod Lake

    In America we could shoot you in the eye from 2000 meters or more. I thought Germans were supposed to be precise?

     
  41. Formerly Jim

    I don’t have a gun. Our crime rate is through the roof, police force a fraction of what it was. Many evenings I hear gunshots, pop pop pop pop pop. Usually 5 to 8. All those guys already have them; it’s way too late to regulate. A car was parked next door riddled with bullets. That stuff used to bother me but not so much now.

    Costas’ words are nice for an armchair “intellectual” wearing a smoking jacket by the fireplace. I really can’t stand the man.

     
  42. Formerly Jim

    Oh yeah, I was talking to a cop a few months ago after someone tried to incapacitate me with their car. He is a cyclist and we commiserated. I suggested he wear his uniform or carry a gun while riding, kind of joking. He said that would be even worse.

    I completely understood where he was coming from.

     
  43. joe

    more people are dying from illegal drug use,let ban illegal drug use!! Oh we did how did that work,do you think guns would be any different?We have been killing each other since the beginning of time,only the methods have changed. Its a people problem end of story

     
  44. Jan

    Thanks for your comments, Steve.
    It seems like the media has ignored this as an act of male violence against a woman and of domestic violence. Ignoring or not paying attention to domestic violence is all too common, but shouldn’t be.
    Thanks, Jan

     
  45. Peter

    Speaking of “context,” did you happen to notice the prelude to the Second Amendment, i.e., “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state”?

     
  46. burt hoovis

    There have been 2 major issues that I’ve changed my opinion on in my adult life, and both were based on a review of the available data:

    1. The Death Penalty: I used to be pro death penalty. I am no longer. This is because the data show that numerous people who were innocent have been convicted of crimes and sentenced to death. In short, you can’t trust the government and the court system to get it right.

    2. Gun Control: I used to be pro-gun control. I am no longer. This is because the data show that, on balance, the benefits of having liberalized gun laws prevent crime and death. In short, while having guns in circulation means that accidents and killings will occur, the overall benefits outweigh the negatives. (Note that new data come out confirming this position all the time)

    I completely understand when people want to react to tragedy with an emotional appeal (e.g., Costas using his media position to stump for more gun laws after the Belcher murder/suicide). The sad truth is that allowing emotions to drive you to ignore data when making decisions provides for very poor policy.

    Thanks,
    Burt Hoovis

     
  47. Paul Skilbeck

    Why do we allow it to continue? I dunno Tilly, it can be really difficult to stop the madness especially when most won’t even agree or admit it is madness.

     
  48. double d

    Ron,
    No, we are not the government. If you want a good example of destroying this idea, then read Rothbard’s Anatomy of the States (available as a free PDF from the Mises Institute). In it he discusses a logical problem with this “we are the state” attitude. Also, the US is a republic, not a democracy. One more thing. If “we” really were the government, are you prepared to face the consequences of this? Democracy makes it perfectly acceptable to kill civilians during wartime. After all, if the people are the government and the governments are at war with each other, there is nothing wrong with that.

    I don’t understand your second point. Are you okay with pillage and theft? This is somewhat of an irony since government, which you put so much trust in, has been the greatest pillager of all time. Attila the Hun and Ghengis Khan could never have achieved the same levels of pillage as government.

     
  49. The Cyclist

    This being a blog on cycling I’m not sure if it’s the right forum for bringing up cycling related aspects of people firing their guns resulting in death and injury for innocent people. Does anyone recall how a shooting accident almost ended life and carrier of one of the greatest cyclists of US?

    http://bestoflemond.blogspot.se/2007/04/hunting-accident-1987.html

    Sylvain Mollier shot dead while riding his mountainbike. How would you feel if some idiot would shoot you while you were out riding your bike in a forest?

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/9545251/Gun-in-Annecy-killing-may-be-connected-to-the-region.html

    This said, there are times I wish I had a gun so I could shout all idiots who disrespect cyclists on the roads and all the unleashed dogs which attack me when I’m riding off road. Fortunately, or unfortunately I live in Europe where the laws on hand guns are a bit different cmp to US. Violence caused by criminals using firearms is however escalating here. Not sure who to blaim for this but I have the feeling that Hollywood, HBO and this hip-hop gansta culture is not helping. Increasing use of drugs and steroids ain’t helping either.

     
  50. The Cyclist

    This being a blog on cycling I’m not sure if it’s the right forum for bringing up cycling related aspects of people firing their guns resulting in death and injury for innocent people. Does anyone recall how a shooting accident almost ended life and carrier of one of the greatest cyclists of US?

    http://bestoflemond.blogspot.se/2007/04/hunting-accident-1987.html

    Sylvain Mollier shot dead while riding his mountainbike. How would you feel if some idiot would shoot you while you were out riding your bike in a forest?

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/9545251/Gun-in-Annecy-killing-may-be-connected-to-the-region.html

    This said, there are times I wish I had a gun so I could shoot all idiots who disrespect cyclists on the roads and all the unleashed dogs which attack me when I’m riding off road. Fortunately, or unfortunately I live in Europe where the laws on hand guns are a bit different cmp to US. Violence caused by criminals using firearms is however escalating here. Not sure who to blaim for this but I have the feeling that Hollywood, HBO and this hip-hop gansta culture is not helping. Increasing use of drugs and steroids ain’t helping either.

     
  51. Max

    First off let me say that what happened in KC is nothing short of horrible. As a husband and father myself, I look at that family photo above and find the whole situation pretty heartbreaking. Talk about having it made. Young, multi-millionaire, professional athlete. So much potential there for a better outcome. However, if that guy was “that” angry I dont doubt he would have used some other method killing his girlfriend and himself. The gun was NOT the culprit! It was just the tool.

    I don’t own a gun but I LOVE when I hear of some thug getting shot “and preferably KILLED” by a homeowner or business owner who defended themselves from some low life piece of shit who sought them out as easy prey! As others have said, that 5X’s more likely to die from homicide is simply rediculous. Now I will admit that you are probably more likely to have an armed assailant fire upon you if you to brandish or fire a gun as well BUT I would rather die trying to kill that fucker than just sitting back and letting that piece of shit terrorize me and/or my family!

    I could literally go on and on but taking everyone’s guns is not the answer. I know sooooo many people who LIVE for hunting in the same way that we live for bike riding. It would truly be a shame to take that from them.

    I bet you are a million times more likely to get killed on a bicycle if you own a bicycle! Lol

     
  52. Haha

    As a foreigner who comes from a country with no gun culture. The US insistence on guns is incompatible with civil society. Your homicide rate is the worst in the western world. Your cops are killers because they are scared of being shot. Guns protect no one, least of all the person who carries one. Make love not war and ride your bikes. Peace out.

     
  53. Bernd Faust

    2 thumbs up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

     
  54. Rod Lake

    For the past 30 years I’ve owned bikes and have owned guns for more than 20 years. Each year it seems we lose a couple of our cycling brothers or sisters in cycling accidents. I won’t even get into serious injuries. Most of my friends own gun and none of them have even been remotely injured from guns. Just my personal experience, but riding a bike has always posed a more serious threat to my life than the numerous guns I own. Bottom line, keep your hands off my guns and I won’t campaign to take away your bike. Signed the “souless coward.”

     
  55. FM01

    One thing that is not mentioned anywhere is that “right to bear arms” was created in a tempestuous period and the era of revolution and conflict, and for militia purposes. It did not mean that civilians, especially now a days, could carry guns for “non-fighting” purposes. At that time civilians were expected to fight and this is clearly NOT the case today. It was not until 2008 and 2010 that the Supreme Court issued two Second Amendment decisions that protects an individual’s right to possess a firearm, unconnected to service in a militia such as self-defense within the home. That was not what our founding fathers had in mind!

     
  56. H Luce

    as to original intent:

    ” James Madison, the father of the Second Amendment, congratulated his countrymen:

    Americans [have] the right and advantage of being armed – unlike citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.

    Indeed, it was President George Washington who urged the first Congress to pass an act enrolling the entire adult male citizenry in a general militia. The father of our country further urged that “A free people ought not only to be armed, but disciplined.”

    Washington’s sentiments about the militia, and who should be included in the militia in the infant United States, were echoed by George Mason in the debate on the ratification of the Constitution before the Virginia Assembly: “I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people, except for a few public officials.”

    (from http://www.madisonbrigade.com/library_bor.htm)

     
  57. Ron

    Jefferson wanted to let people rewrite the constitution every 19 years.
    The earth belongs to the living.

     
  58. Jprumm

    Seems we are living in a similar period. One more big crash in the market the system could come crumbling down. I use firearms for hunting and shooting clays but would have no problem using for defense especially protecting my family. Cops are a long way off where I live. My wife evens has a CCP.

     
  59. burt hoovis

    haha, as a gun owner and person who makes decisions based on data, there are few things I find more objectionable than the pompous ‘we’re-so-much-more-evolved-than-those-dumb-Americans’ attitude reflected in your post.

    If you care to educate yourself, you should get yourself a copy of ‘the black book of communism’ (which was written by those gun nuts over at LeMonde). Although not their intent, they did an excellent job showing that a predecessor for every ethnic cleansing, ‘cultural revolution,’ pogrom program, etc, associated with a Communist takeover was the disarmament of the opposition party, to the tune of ~50,000,000 to 100,000,000 deaths in the 20th century. Yeah, gun are dangerous…but ‘killing fields’ don’t occur in countries where guns are easily available. Yes, war and killings can occur in places where there are arms, but not systematic massacres of innocents. Statistically speaking, the occasional tragedy like the Belcher murder/suicide are a small price to pay for the assurance that the Government can’t kill indiscriminately.

    Since you seem to be so enamored or the European model, why don’t you ask yourself why Switzerland hasn’t been invaded in the modern history of man…

    Thanks,
    Burt

     

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