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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : opinions : letters December 17, 2014

6/10/2014 2:05:00 PM
Letter: Sick of mass shootings in America


There are too many mass shootings in America. Too many murders, drive-bys, accidents, suicides, stand-your-groundings, political assassinations and random acts of violence involving firearms of one sort of another. Too many. They affect each of us. In the old parlor game, Six Degrees of Separation, it is easy to connect any two people in very few steps. Now, I'll bet it is just as easy to be connected to a victim of gun violence. Some 30,000 Americans are killed by firearms each year.

My son-in-law is a cop in Las Vegas, my nephew works at the Navy Yard in Virginia and a close friend of mine teaches at Seattle Pacific University. That's three very direct and personal connections for me. I'm just one guy in Rimrock, Arizona. How many connections can you make to any of the now ubiquitous mass shootings? I'm sick of it and frankly I don't like the odds.

The old saying that guns don't kill people, people kill people, is only partially true. People with guns, people who should not have but are given access to guns and people who are given tacit approval to carry and use guns, kill people. The Second Amendment was never intended to produce such consequences.

The paranoid fantasies of being persecuted for owning a gun are not true but if y'all keep behaving like treasonous, bigoted, unstable people, you just might get your wish. Wouldn't that be ironic?

The vast majority of Americans with brains in their heads will see to it that the NRA and other organizations with similar goals are simply discounted and become irrelevant. At some point, owning, showing off and advocating for guns will no longer be culturally acceptable. That's the day I fantasize about.

No one needs to take away your right to own a gun, but, like smoking in public places or driving while intoxicated, it will become a social liability. Maybe then the violence will abate and sanity will once again win out.

Bill Bassett


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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, June 26, 2014
Article comment by: Bill Bassett

To put it another way, please copy and paste this link into your browser to read an opinion piece from Bangor ME.


Posted: Saturday, June 21, 2014
Article comment by: Billinda Bantam

Bill, everyone already knows where you're coming from.

Big Insurance makes the most profit when everyone is afraid of everything, and everything is regulated up the kazoo.

No need to get in a snitty fit when everyone just doesn't agree with you.

Some folks, like Miss Mary Jane here, see what you and Big Insurance don't want to see. Black markets are violent, lawless places. Bad laws create them. More bad laws just expand their bad effects on law-abiding people. Poof, there go your ill-gotten gains.

Posted: Saturday, June 21, 2014
Article comment by: Mary Jane

It dawned on me recently that we are looking at the gun control issue all wrong. Why did our founding fathers make gun ownership so important as to make it number 2 on the list? It was so we could protect ourselves from an over-reaching tyrannical government that might come about in the future, right?

I put it to you that the 2nd amendment is doing exactly what it was designed to do! Our government has decided to set aside the Constitution in order to wage war on the citizenry with their 'War on Drugs', and what has the response been? To fight back tooth and nail with horrific violence.

It happened when alcohol prohibition was tried and it's happening now with drug prohibition. If you want to return to a calmer, less violent America, END PROHIBITION! It didn't work with alcohol and it won't work with drugs. You want to fund a bunch of wanna - be Al Capones and Elliot Nesses shooting up our communities destroying the fabric of society, maintain the status quo.

Let's face it, the vast majority of violence can be traced back to the illegal drug trade. Waging war against our citizenry this way is unconstitutional, not to mention stupid!

Drugs are a national health crisis, not a criminal justice crisis. We don't treat alcoholics this way!

Do you want to put an end to the craziness of gun violence and the crime associated with drugs? YOU KNOW WHAT YOU MUST DO!!!!!!

It won't be easy for the Law 'n' Order crowd to admit that 50 yrs of doing it wrong has to stop, but we can force that issue!!!

That Constitution written by our forefathers has a depth of wisdom that should never be underestimated!

Posted: Saturday, June 21, 2014
Article comment by: Bill Bassett

Ok, big pharma is a culprit. The single biggest contributing factor to domestic gun homicides, accidental shooting and suicides besides the gun itself is undoubtedly alcohol. Guns and booze don't mix just like driving and booze don't mix just like roof repair and booze don't mix, you get the idea?

Civilian owned Guns don't mix with anything except hunting, target shooting and for the well trained, level headed and sober individual, self protection.

Posted: Friday, June 20, 2014
Article comment by: miss informed

What one usually hears after a mass shooting is that the person was under psychiatric care, as if person or persons is just another nut with a gun. What is not mentioned is that the care included some very nasty pharmaceutical drugs with side effects that included violent tendencies, suicidal thoughts and other symptoms that are directly from the side effects page of the info on whatever nasty drug that the people are taking. It is possible to do a search online and see what, precisely, these pharmaceutically impaired persons were on. What's truly shocking is that none on the big pharma companies have been singled out and questioned about the devastating results of taking these bad drugs.

Posted: Friday, June 20, 2014
Article comment by: Bill Bassett

Hello David or Jaco or of Cottonwood or whatever your name is. FBI and CDC tell a very different story. The Bureau collects reports and compiles consolidated statistics by state and for the whole country. The CDC incident reports come in from every law enforcement agency and coroner. These data consolidate directly by category with the CDC medical data.

I found these stats, sorry the FBI is for 2012, not 2010 like the others. I didn't find 2010.

Gun murders for 2012: 8,855 from FBI
Gun suicides for 2010: 19,392 from CDC
Gun accidental deaths for 2010: 606 from CDC

Civilian justifiable homicides with gun for 2012: 258 from FBI
Civilian justifiable homicides at residences for 2012: 84 from FBI

That works out to: "Bad" deaths: 28,853. "Good" defensive deaths: 258. In the detail at incident report level, the number of justifiable homicides at homes: 84.
28,853 deaths divided by 84 deaths defines the highest-stakes cost-to-benefit ratio related to acquiring a firearm as a "home defense" tool:
If you were doing a cost/benefit analysis it comes out to:
343:1 Negative

343 to 1.

Sources, copy and paste.



Posted: Friday, June 20, 2014
Article comment by: Here's a wild idea!

What say we START REALLY TAKING CARE OF OUR PEOPLE??? Especially the ones with mental and emotional challenges??? Like REALLY taking care of them, getting them the therapy they need instead of drugging them senseless -- what they call "behavior modification"? LOL

Obviously mental illness like bipolar, schizophrenia and others are hardcore biochemical, and medication's often the only option. But many times it's kids/people just finally losing it, GOING OFF because their rage issues have been stuffed too long and then explode. And NO, this is NOT the same as making an excuse for them!

There's a ridiculous, perverse stigma in our society about "needing help" for dealing with emotions that parents too often buy into, at a horrible price for themselves, their children and the victims of the violence that eventually surfaces.

Wish I could say I see that changing any time soon. Pride and maintaining that "everything's okay in OUR family" image is more important. So insane.

Posted: Friday, June 20, 2014
Article comment by: Progressive logic

Think again:

Prohibiting Democrats from owning illegal guns does not make it OK for Republicans to own illegal guns. That's just plain silly!

The point is that redundant laws are not good laws, and it's my observation that it's Democrats who demand more laws as a solution for every social ill.

Posted: Tuesday, June 17, 2014
Article comment by: David in Cottonwood

Please tell us Bill, how does increased gun control make you, me, or anyone else safer?

Until you can logically answer that question you can take all your angst and your "paranoid fantasies of being persecuted" by law abiding gun owners and go fly a kite.

Laws restricting the freedoms of law abiding citizens do nothing.

Once again, the starry eyed idealists ignore a simple fact, bad/sick people do bad/sick things. You're still more likely to be killed with a bat, blunt object, or a knife in this country than you are with a 'scary black rifle'.

And with an estimated 300 million or more firearms now in homes in the US, I hardly think gun owners are going to become irrelevant anytime in our future. Believe what you want.

Posted: Friday, June 13, 2014
Article comment by: Think Again

@ Progressive logic

Guess you just like putting words into peoples mouths, don't you? I did not say that Democrats (or anyone for that matter) should own illegal guns. (And what exactly is illegal about a gun? That it is not registered? or that the serial numbers have been erased? Anyone can obtain a gun that has not been registered and it is still a legal gun.)

Most of your gangs are of a Mexican or Black race background. (Notice that I said MOST) That is why most of the murders are Black or Mexican race. (Also the point of this story is that there are too many shootings in our schools and in the Military departments, I don't think they were all done by Black's who voted Democrat.) Whether or not they are Democrat or Republican is beside the point and so is how they vote. The gangs are going to obtain a gun anyway they can get it. Be it legal or not.

I might have gone about making my point the wrong way (as I am human) but the point that I was trying to make is that you shouldn't say that Democrats are the only ones who are purchasing illegal guns. But, thinking again, you must be a Republican (by the fact that you have attacked the Democratic party), thereby making it OK for Republican's to own illegal guns. Which could mean you own an illegal gun, right? (By the way I am not a Democrat).

Posted: Thursday, June 12, 2014
Article comment by: Progressive logic

@ Think Again:

So you think Democrats should be allowed to own illegal guns? And you think vote counts are not given by precincts? Ohhh Kay.

Obama got 51% of the 2012 popular vote nationwide. He got nearly 70% of the vote in cities. He got about 92% of the votes by blacks. In Philadelphia, where the overall murder rate is 21.5 per 100K, Obama got 100% of the vote in the 59 almost-exclusively black precincts where murders are most prevalent.

Some say the black vote demonstrates racism, but Gallup poll results indicate more than 90% of blacks identify as Democrats.

Using data from the CDC and FBI for 2011, the murder rate among blacks nationwide was 19.5% per 100k. Had the rate for blacks been the same as for whites, then the rate for the U.S. would've been 2.9 per 100k, not 5.1.

If you think either gun control or peer pressure from Bill Bassett think-alikes is the answer to that problem, think again.

Posted: Thursday, June 12, 2014
Article comment by: Think Again

@ Progressive logic.....
I would like to know how you know that the urban areas vote overwhelmingly for Democratic parties? I honestly thought that my voting was not public knowledge. Besides the Democrats are what keeps this country going. Look at how the economy was while Clinton was in office. Grant it that Obama hasn't really boosted the economy much but look at what he had to clean up from the Bush administration.

What this country really needs now is for Hilary Clinton in the President's seat. She was there with her husband. (and probably ran the White House in the back ground.) That gives her experience and the economy would get the boost that it needs and businesses would be booming like they were before.

This country can not afford another Republican in office. The Republicans have put us into war many times in recent years. Daddy Bush started one and Baby Bush had to finish what Daddy started. Lord help us if brother Bush gets in. If that happens I am sure there will be several American people who will denounce their citizenship rather than live under another Bush administration.

Just think again about this country. There are our vets who are being treated worse than an abused dog, there are bad people getting away with murder whose family and friends wonder why because they didn't see the signs. Face facts that bad people will get guns and it doesn't have anything to do with how people vote. Keep our Second Amendment rights for honest, law abiding citizens whether they are Democrats or Republicans.

Posted: Thursday, June 12, 2014
Article comment by: With All That

has happened in this 21 century. Things like 9/11 then a war based on nothing but lies. Then all these so called mass shootings.I can't believe that the Sheep believe this is all by chance Its all about destroying the Constitution and the form of Government we have then setting up the NWO. Make no mistake that is the true goal of the ones who run America.BOTH PARTIES are puppets for the Bankers and the Military Complex. Soon you will see why Government agencies have bought over 2 billion rounds of ammo. That is way more then even the military uses

Posted: Thursday, June 12, 2014
Article comment by: Brian Carlson

People are being murdered by guns.Bill's letter confirms that the bad guys do have guns.This is all the more reason for the good guys to have guns.

Posted: Thursday, June 12, 2014
Article comment by: Progressive logic

The fact that most murders are committed with illegal guns in urban areas that vote overwhelmingly for Democratic party candidates leads us to conclude that prohibiting Democrats from owning illegal guns would substantially reduce the murder rate.

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