Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Easy Answer To Gun Homicides

First let me say, don’t be misled by a statistic that’s been quoted a lot in the news this past week which says that the average age of a MASS murderer who uses guns to kill is 35 and that it’s usually a white male. The problem with that stat is that it only represents a tiny number of gun homicides in this country. Most murderers are not mass murderers. It’s the mass murderers who get all the press though.

While one mass murder might happen a couple of times per year, there are thousands of other murders where only one or two people die. Here the statistics show a much younger trend. The vast majority of murders in the USA are perpetrated by people under the age of 30. And the vast majority of murders are committed with a gun, usually a handgun. I found some relative statistics by the Bureau of Justice. Most of their stats only go up to 2005, but I doubt that they’ve changed much.

Here you can see that it’s mostly guns which are used to murder:

And here we can see that it’s mostly young people who are doing the murdering:

We don’t allow anyone under the age of 35 to hold office as President in this country. Why? Because we don’t think anyone could possibly be mature enough for the job before then. (And those of us well over 35 understand this to be absolutely true.) So why is it that we think people under 35 will be mature enough to use a killing weapon responsibly?

Any time some senator or other legislature talks about gun control it’s always in such a wimpy way that people laugh at it. They want to ban certain kinds of guns or certain types of bullets, or make the registration process difficult etc. This does little or nothing to affect the murder rates. If you’re going to have gun control, then get aggressive and do it right. Ban anyone under 35 years of age from owning or shooting a gun of ANY kind and our murder rates will drop by at least 60% overnight.

Of course you’re aware that Bob Costas, for some reason that’s unfathomable to me, got into some trouble recently because he quoted a piece about gun control written by Jason Whitlock. The trouble with the media is that they’ve not been quoting the part of the Whitlock article that Mr. Costas was focussing on:

Our current gun culture," Whitlock wrote, "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."

"Handguns do not enhance our safety. They exacerbate our flaws, tempt us to escalate arguments, and bait us into embracing confrontation rather than avoiding it."

I’m sorry gun lovers, but this exactly hits the nail on the head for the crowd under 35, and especially the young blacks and Hispanics under 25, MANY of whom belong to gangs and live for confrontation. Put a gun in their hands and it’s a murder waiting to happen. There’s a feeling of power that comes with owning a gun when you’re young and angry and think you’re always right and everyone else is always wrong.

Some people are under the faulty assumption that, "If people want to kill somebody they can do it without a gun." That simply doesn’t wash. A gun is a fairly clean way of killing by putting a small hole in somebody from at least a short distance if not a long one. It’s easy to pull a trigger. Hell, it’s easy to push a button a drop a bomb on your enemies from so far above them that you don’t even see them. If those same murderers had to shove a knife between somebody’s ribs to kill them, or to actually place their hands around their victims necks to strangle them, the majority couldn’t do it. It becomes too personal. Killing someone in hand to hand combat is a very different thing from using a gun from a little way off.

If you REALLY want to stem the homicide rate in this country and make it a safer place, then by all means enact gun control legislature, but do it right or don’t bother. Ban guns of any kind from anyone under 35 and invoke a mandatory prison sentence of 20 years without parole for anyone breaking this law. If you do that, those over 35 will be the peace keepers.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

"If Jesus Was Like Me"

This is without a doubt the saddest song I know. It's by Pat Terry, who was one of the pioneers the music that spearheaded the Jesus Movement during the 1970s. (I saw him in concert around 1979.) This song is from a CD he came out with in 2009, his first in over 20-years. Boy he hasn't dropped a beat. He might be a little more country-ish these days because he's a Nashville songwriter now who's written dozens of hit songs for other people. But "Jesus Music" is still what he does best. From one of the greatest songwriters I ever heard:

If Jesus was like me, he'd seem like an alright guy
Till the first time he healed someone, or turned some water into wine
Then he'd talk too much, act way too proud
They'd say, "There goes that Jesus again running off his mouth."
How sad would that be, if Jesus was like me?

If Jesus was like me, he'd be all merciful and meek
Till the first time you made like Judas and kissed him on the cheek
Then he'd act all hurt, point out all your sins
When you ask, would if he forgive you, he'd say, "Well that all depends."
How hopeless would we all be, if Jesus was like me?

If Jesus was like me, he'd mean well but he might not follow through (when you needed him to)
If Jesus was like me, love might be the one thing he'd try but couldn't do

If Jesus was like me, he'd be your closest friend
Till the first time you nailed him to the cross for all your sins
Then he'd pull the shades, take your number off his phone
Let you pound all night on Heaven's gate while he pretends he isn't home
How lost would we all be, without one prayer or hope for anything
Imagine where you'd be, if Jesus was like me
You might as well just get up off your knees, if Jesus was like me