Guns make you safer

I would call this a “Can’t happen to me” story.

People own guns for several reasons. Some people are collectors. Some are hunters. Some are target shooters.

But one big reason is personal safety. Many people are convinced that their easy access to, and liberal carry of, guns makes them safer.

They feel that if they have a gun in their home or can carry it in the street, they will be able to protect themselves.

In this, they are correct. A gun is a potent, self-protection device.

However, they don’t seem to understand, or they do understand but deny two things:

1. If they have easy access to guns, then everyone else has easy access to guns, and having everyone else own and carry guns is a danger their own gun ownership doesn’t solve.

In a way, it’s like driving. We post speed limits, and we arrest people for exceeding those limits.

There are many roads posted for 60 mph that I would love to drive at 85 mph. I feel I’m a good enough driver to do it safely.

But I don’t because I don’t want to get stopped by a cop. And I don’t object to the posting because I don’t want every damn fool driver to zoom past me going 85 mph on that road.

Yes, there are plenty of damn fool drivers who break the law. Sometimes I do it myself. Still don’t object to the speed limit because I am convinced that, despite all the law-breakers, speed limits save lives.

2. And this is the second thing gun owners deny, the “It can’t happen to me” part:

Family Gun Culture May Play a Role in Teens’ Risk of Firearm Suicide

Clinicians need to start conversations about gun access, researcher urges
by Kristen Monaco, Senior Staff Writer, MedPage Today, May 22, 2023

Dystopian reality: U.S. sacrifices its children to keep its guns - CGTN
I have good kids. I teach them gun safety, so they won’t have accidents or commit suicide. Right?

SAN FRANCISCO — Many teens who died by firearm suicide grew up in gun-owning families, according to a small psychological autopsy study.

Interviews with family members of nine teens who died by firearm suicide showed that 89% of decedents had prior family engagement with firearms or the family considered itself to be engaged in firearm culture, said Paul Nestadt, MD, co-director of the Johns Hopkins Anxiety Disorders Clinic in Baltimore.

Keep in mind this was an exceedingly small study, so statistics related to this study have little meaning.

“Interventions must acknowledge culturally embedded routes of identity formation while re-scripting firearms from expressions of family cohesion to instruments that may undermine that cohesion — and might cost the life of their child,” Nestadt said during a press conference at the American Psychiatric Association annual meeting.

Suicide death rates have been steadily climbing since 2000, Nestadt explained, and now account for the second most common cause of death among youth.

“It’s a big problem,” Nestadt said. “And when we’re talking about suicide, it’s hard not to talk about firearm suicide.”

“One of the reasons so many suicides are by firearm … is that firearm attempts are much more lethal,” he added.

According to CDC data, firearms are the most common method used in suicide; they were used in 55% of suicides in 2021.

Of suicide attempts that involved a firearm, 90% resulted in a fatality.

For reference, Nestadt said only about 8% of all suicide attempts result in death. “That’s why having a firearm is such an important risk factor for completed suicide,” he said. In addition, most firearm deaths in the U.S. are suicides.

Three distinct themes emerged from the qualitative interviews. The first was firearm culture’s prevalence among families of youth who died by firearm suicide.

“[He] used to love shooting with his dad. That was something that they did together. It was a big connection point for them,” one person said during the interview.

Firearm culture tended to play an integral role in how these families identified themselves and were part of family traditions, Nestadt explained.

The second theme that emerged — and the most clinically relevant, according to Nestadt — was the perspective on firearm risk. Many family members tended to be unaware of the potential danger that access to firearms posed for youth at risk for suicide, and few locked up household guns.

Most families said they would have removed guns from the house if it had been suggested.

“If [the hospital] had recommended it, we would’ve agreed and removed the gun from the house. But I wasn’t worried, though — it wasn’t even a thought,” said one family member.

“I know these are politically valent topics of the time, but as healthcare providers, we ask about their sex life, rashes, all kinds of sensitive things, religion,” he said. “It’s important that we’re able to really do that.”

“I will point out for any healthcare provider that it’s never illegal to ask about gun access. It’s medically relevant to saving your patient’s life,” Nestadt added.

“Pediatricians: remember, this is the second leading cause of death,” he said. “It’s important to screen for all these things that can hurt your kid, but the most likely thing that will result in your child patient dying will be suicide. The number one is accidental death.”

This theme was closely entangled with the third theme that emerged from interviews, which involved risk mitigation strategies.

Calling this “truly a courageous study,” session moderator Howard Liu, MD, MBA, of the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, praised the research for bringing up such an “important, timely public health discussion.”

“Of course, we’re all facing this challenge of how do we reduce suicide in all ages … and I think this is a really vital discussion and such an important clue about access, and just trying to reduce access in the moment of impulsivity and a moment of grief.

Those last few words are important. Young people tend to be impulsive. Children look for a way to end their pain when things go badly or even seem to go badly.

Fear, embarrassment, rejection, and failure, all are magnified in the young mind, and if there is a gun in the house, death might seem like a preference or a solution rather than a danger.

If you gun owners learn that your child has been driving too fast and has received tickets, you might take his car keys away. But kids generally don’t try to commit suicide by driving, and if they do make an attempt, they likely will survive it.

Bullets are much less survivable.

The bottom line is, easy access to guns might make you feel safer, but that safety is an illusion. And yes, laws cannot 100% prevent criminals from accessing guns, just as laws cannot 100% prevent speeding, dealing drugs, or committing burglaries.

But we have laws for a reason. Laws help prevent bad acts and bad outcomes.

When we had laws restricting gun ownership, we had fewer gun deaths. Laws work. We should try them again.

Of course, a gun accident or suicide can’t happen in your house, can it?

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty

Twitter: @rodgermitchell Search #monetarysovereignty
Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell


The Sole Purpose of Government Is to Improve and Protect the Lives of the People.


–Do guns really kill people?

Twitter: @rodgermitchell; Search #monetarysovereignty
Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

Mitchell’s laws:
•Those, who do not understand the differences between Monetary Sovereignty and monetary non-sovereignty, do not understand economics.
•Any monetarily NON-sovereign government — be it city, county, state or nation — that runs an ongoing trade deficit, eventually will run out of money.
•The more federal budgets are cut and taxes increased, the weaker an economy becomes. .
Liberals think the purpose of government is to protect the poor and powerless from the rich and powerful. Conservatives think the purpose of government is to protect the rich and powerful from the poor and powerless.
•The single most important problem in economics is
the gap between rich and poor.
•Austerity is the government’s method for widening
the gap between rich and poor.
•Until the 99% understand the need for federal deficits, the upper 1% will rule.
•Everything in economics devolves to motive, and the motive is the Gap between the rich and the rest..


A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Justices Rule for Individual Gun Rights
Published: June 27, 2008

According to Justice Scalia, the “militia” reference in the first part of the amendment simply “announces the purpose for which the right was codified: to prevent elimination of the militia.”

Note to Justice Scalia: If that was the purpose of the “militia” reference, it has failed miserably, as the well-egulated militia has been eliminated.

But (Scalia) added that this “prefatory statement of purpose” should not be interpreted to limit the meaning of what is called the operative clause — “the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

Instead, Justice Scalia said, the operative clause “codified a pre-existing right” of individual gun ownership for private use.

Note to Scalia: It that was the purpose, the 2nd Amendment simply could have read: “The right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Apparently Scalia, believing the framers, not being as clever as him, decided to toss in thirteen unnecessary, essentially meaningless, words.

Contesting that analysis, Justice Stevens said the Second Amendment’s structure was notable for its “omission of any statement of purpose related to the right to use firearms for hunting or personal self-defense.”

Using Scalia’s own “originalist” method of interpretation, the people would not be allowed to use guns for hunting and self-defense, but only within the context of a well-regulated militia.

Scalia however, is originalist only when it suits his biases.

The right wing interpretation of the 2nd Amendment is a recent revision of the two hundred years understanding, and at this late date, that recent revision somehow has become “originalist.”

That said, the real question is: Does this interpretation help or hurt America?

States With Most Gun Deaths Have High Gun Ownership And Weak Gun Laws, Report Shows
The Huffington Post by Amanda Gutterman, Posted: 01/29/2015

The weaker the gun laws and the higher the rate of gun ownership in a given state, the more deaths from gun violence that state will see.

That’s the conclusion of a report released Thursday by the Violence Policy Center, a nonprofit organization that researches the public health impact of gun violence.

Alaska has the highest rate of gun fatalities in the country, according to data from 2013. The state saw 19.59 deaths per 100,000 people, which is significantly above the national average of 10.64 deaths per 100,000.

VPC’s report indicates that Alaska also has the country’s third-highest rate of gun ownership, with firearms in 60.6% percent of households.

The study found a similar correlation between gun ownership and gun deaths in the rest of the country. Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Wyoming, the states that followed Alaska in terms of highest gun death rates, had some of the nation’s largest percentages of households owning guns.

VPC also noted that states with weaker gun laws tend to see higher gun death rates. All five states named above have gun restrictions that the report’s authors describe as “lax.”

States with the lowest gun death rates — the top three were Hawaii, Massachusetts and New York — were found to have strong gun laws as well as low rates of gun ownership.

States with Weak Gun Laws and Higher Gun Ownership Lead Nation in Gun Deaths, New Data for 2013 Confirms

States with the Five Highest Gun Death Rates

States with the Five Lowest Gun Death Rates



Household Gun Ownership Gun Death Rate per 100,000 Rank State Household Gun Ownership Gun Death Rate per 100,000
1 Alaska 60.6 percent 19.59 50 Hawaii 9.7 percent 2.71
2 Louisiana 45.6 percent 19.15 49 Massachusetts 12.8 percent 3.18
3 Alabama 57.2 percent 17.79 48 New York 18.1 percent 4.39
4 Mississippi 54.3 percent 17.55 47 Connecticut 16.2 percent 4.48
5 Wyoming 62.8 percent 17.51 46 Rhode Island 13.3 percent 5.33


But it gets even worse:

The health risk of having a gun in the home

Having a gun in your home significantly increases your risk of death — and that of your spouse and children.

And it doesn’t matter how the guns are stored or what type or how many guns you own.

If you have a gun, everybody in your home is more likely than your non-gun-owning neighbors and their families to die in a gun-related accident, suicide or homicide.

Furthermore, there is no credible evidence that having a gun in your house reduces your risk of being a victim of a crime. Nor does it reduce your risk of being injured during a home break-in.

The health risks of owning a gun are so established and scientifically non-controvertible that the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a policy statement in 2000 recommending that pediatricians urge parents to remove all guns from their homes.

Notice that the recommendation doesn’t call for parents to simply lock up their guns. It stresses that the weapons need to be taken out of the house.

Bottom line: Guns kill people. The more gun ownership, the more people are killed by guns.

Because the interpretation of the law is faulty, the implementation of the law is deadly.

Beyond mere statistics is human psychology, notably fear and loathing. The right wing, which is strongest for gun ownership, also is consumed with fear and loathing.

Right-wingers, who inordinately fear and loathe blacks, browns, yellows, gays, the poor, non-Christians, non-Americans — virtually anyone different from them in some way — most feel the visceral need for guns.

Guns are the security blanket for people who live lives of fear and hatred, and those are the kinds of people most likely to shoot first and ask questions later. Fear, hatred, guns = a deadly combination.

So in answer to the title question, “Do guns really kill people?”: Yes, if you own a gun, you have an increased chance of being killed — despite what the gun makers and the NRA tell you.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty

P.S. Two recommended laws that could reduce gun deaths while not infringing even the right wing Courts interpretation of the Constitution:

1. Any person who commits a felony while carrying a gun, shall be sentenced to a prison term of 20 years to life, in addition to the term for the felony itself.

2. Any provider of a gun that is used in a felony shall have the same criminal and civil liability as the actual perpetrator of the felony. (This latter is similar to the “dram shop” laws for liquor.)

Ten Steps to Prosperity:
1. Eliminate FICA (Click here)
2. Federally funded Medicare — parts A, B & D plus long term nursing care — for everyone (Click here)
3. Provide an Economic Bonus to every man, woman and child in America, and/or every state a per capita Economic Bonus. (Click here) Or institute a reverse income tax.
4. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone. Click here
5. Salary for attending school (Click here)
6. Eliminate corporate taxes (Click here)
7. Increase the standard income tax deduction annually
8. Tax the very rich (.1%) more, with higher, progressive tax rates on all forms of income. (Click here)
9. Federal ownership of all banks (Click here and here)

10. Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99% (Click here)

The Ten Steps will add dollars to the economy, stimulate the economy, and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and the rest.

10 Steps to Economic Misery: (Click here:)
1. Maintain or increase the FICA tax..
2. Spread the myth Social Security, Medicare and the U.S. government are insolvent.
3. Cut federal employment in the military, post office, other federal agencies.
4. Broaden the income tax base so more lower income people will pay.
5. Cut financial assistance to the states.
6. Spread the myth federal taxes pay for federal spending.
7. Allow banks to trade for their own accounts; save them when their investments go sour.
8. Never prosecute any banker for criminal activity.
9. Nominate arch conservatives to the Supreme Court.
10. Reduce the federal deficit and debt

No nation can tax itself into prosperity, nor grow without money growth. Monetary Sovereignty: Cutting federal deficits to grow the economy is like applying leeches to cure anemia.
1. A growing economy requires a growing supply of dollars (GDP=Federal Spending + Non-federal Spending + Net Exports)
2. All deficit spending grows the supply of dollars
3. The limit to federal deficit spending is an inflation that cannot be cured with interest rate control.
4. The limit to non-federal deficit spending is the ability to borrow.

Monetary Sovereignty

Monetary Sovereignty

Vertical gray bars mark recessions.

As the federal deficit growth lines drop, we approach recession, which will be cured only when the growth lines rise. Increasing federal deficit growth (aka “stimulus”) is necessary for long-term economic growth.


–Is gun control possible?

An alternative to popular faith

Jesus: “all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.”

Recently, a Chicago off-duty policeman was shot and killed by four good-for-nothing bums, who decided it would be a lark to commit armed robbery. Ho hum. Another Chicago murder. Another good life lost.

Is there any way to stop the killing, or at least slow it? In answer to that question, we must consider a few facts:

  1. Most murders are committed with guns
  2. Millions of Americans want guns.
  3. The gun lobby is powerful.
  4. Even the Supreme Court ignores the first phrase of the 2nd Amendment, to make anti-gun laws unconstitutional.
  5. Gun manufacture, import and sales are quite profitable.
  6. Prohibition of something people want never works.
  7. There is widespread belief that anti-gun laws leave criminals armed and honest people unarmed.
  8. Chicago, and most other cities, do not have fully staffed, fully trained police. Money has gone elsewhere.

So, what to do? Here are a couple thoughts. Though none is a complete solution, a few worthwhile partial solutions could move us in the right direction:

Make each manufacturer, seller or provider of a gun liable for the use of that gun.

If you make or sell or give someone a gun that is used in a crime, you are responsible for that crime. Harsh? Unfair? Some states have “dram shop” laws, making a tavern responsible for damages where intoxication was at least one cause of the damages. Sell liquor to a drunk; the drunk commits a crime; you go to jail.

If you feed someone liquor in your home, and that drunk drives a gets into an accident, you could be found guilty of aiding and abetting a crime.

These laws are weak (they generally don’t apply to the manufacturer, importer, wholesaler or package liquor dealer), are different in every state, and are difficult to apply across state lines, but the point is, they do make sellers liable for a product they sell, even though they themselves didn’t misuse it. So even these woefully weak laws make bartenders a bit more cautious about selling drinks to doubtful people.

The precedent, of making a seller liable for the misuse of product he sells, could be extended to guns. Gun manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, even private citizens, would be liable for crimes committed with guns. So you, the gun provider, better set up a system to prevent your customer, or your customer’s customer, from misusing the gun.

Rather than trying to outlaw gun ownership, which for the above-mentioned reasons won’t work, merely make gun ownership more costly. Sellers probably would have to buy expensive insurance, the cost of which would be added to the cost of the gun.

I visualize a clearing center that would track every gun sale in America. All manufacturers, wholesalers, importers, retailers and private citizens would be required to submit a report on the purchaser of every gun.

The clearing center could be financed by a tax on gun sales and ownership. Just as we tax the sale and ownership of homes, cars, liquor and cigarettes, we could tax the sale and ownership of guns. The tax also could be used to hire, train and equip more police, as increasing police presence deters crime.

Under the economic theory “money changes everything,” making gun ownership more expensive, and making gun sellers more wary about liability, and hiring more police could together reduce the availabiltiy and ownership of guns — and reduce the murder rate.

Would this eliminate guns? No.
Could honest people still obtain guns? Of course.
Could criminals still obtain guns? Sure.
But the increased cost, the clearing house and the added police represent a step from the current, insufficient control for the single most dangerous, easily available product the world has ever known.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

No nation can tax itself into prosperity