Brodie Farquhar: March for gun control
February 28, 2018
First, a few facts to keep in mind for the rest of my letter.
- According to Politifact.com research, our nation’s combat deaths in all our wars total 1,396,733 and counting, from the Revolutionary War to today. That includes death by disease up to WWII, which dramatically increases the total from 666,441 military action deaths, calculated by other studies.
- Working from and updating a 1994 paper from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Politifact estimates gunfire deaths from 1968 to 2015 at 1,516,863. That’s not just homicides. According to a 2013 update by the CDC, 63 percent of gunfire deaths were suicides, 33 percent were from homicides and roughly 1 percent each were from accidents, legal interventions and undetermined causes.
- Mass killings by gunfire – defined as a minimum of four dead – are much smaller statistically, but they get much more publicity, especially if the death toll hits double digits. USA Today made a comprehensive study of mass killings from 2006 to 2017 and found 271 incidents with a total of 1,358 victims. That’s one mass shooting every 16 days or 22.5 incidents per year.
- The Guardian newspaper in Great Britain looked at gun ownership and numbers in late 2017 and found the U.S. has 88 guns per 100 people and sees mass killings 11 times that of any other developed country.
- The Guardian’s research found that on average, the United States sees over 30,000 deaths and over 100,000 shootings each year. On average, 90 people per day die from gunshots.
- Gun ownership has increased 38 percent since 1994 – I think because of NRA fear-mongering that someone’s gonna come take yer guns.
- According to a Harvard/Northeastern University survey, 3 percent of the U.S. population own about half of the guns, anchored by 7.7 million "super-owners" who have between eight and 140 weapons, like the Las Vegas shooter.
So, that’s the context of where we are today.
Now for a clarion call to action from the kids who survived the mass-murder last week in Parkland, Florida. They are calling upon every high school student in the country to "March for Gun Safety" on Saturday, March 24 in every city, every county seat, every state capitol and D.C. They want to shame every and any politician who has taken NRA money, Republicans and Democrats alike.
The kids are getting help from March for Women organizers, who are calling for a 17- minute school walkout, all over the country, at 10 a.m. on March 14.
Another walk-out is set for April 20, the 19th anniversary of the Columbine mass killings.
I think the Parkland kids should get support and help from parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts — everyone who is sickened by the carnage and hasn’t turned guns into objects of worship and idolatry.
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Politicians, of any party, at any level of government, who have taken NRA political contributions, have taken blood money. If they don’t renounce the NRA and donate that money to charity and act strongly on gun control, I and millions like me will work to defeat them come November.
And guess what? Conservatives are running scared. On Fox News, Rush Limbaugh called the planned marches and demonstrations "totally political." Darn right they’re political. That’s what happens when "We the People" and their kids decide to take our country back from politicians who’ve sold their souls to the NRA.