"I thought there were more states in the States than 50. Why am I thinking 53"
Have you been reading the secret White House Planning Guide for Iraqi Statehood?<G> No, last time I checked fifty states, one "District", and some dozen "insular whatevers" which include the odd possessions and war prizes like Puerto Rico
Nations divided by a common tongue and all that good stuff, the meaning of "State" seems to have wandered over the years.
"If someone wants to do serious harm to you," Yes, which is why a lot of folks would say that there is an ulterior motive behind blaming guns for violence, i.e. proclaiming the effect of violence is the cause of it, and then conveniently ignoring the real causes, like a lack of self-restraint, a societal tolerance for violence and poor self-control, etc. Sailing tends to require some tolerance, patience, self-control, and the ones who blow it and start screaming often find themselves doing it alone, so maybe there's some correlation there.<G>
"if a baddy wants to knock off your house... to carry a gun if they think one is in the house." Well, there's an old saying about folks who show up at a gun fight carrying knives. (i.e., stupid.) Since the days of club and fang there has always been a reason for obtaining "superior force" and in the realm of hand weapons, the gun is often as superior as a force can get, so things tend to focus on it.
"More guns = more times they will go off. " Nice theory and to some extent true, you can't use what you don't have. On the other hand, you've never met a more civil, respectful, crime-free crowd than the one at a gun range. Leave you car parked with the keys in the ignition and the payroll on the seat, because no one is going to steal it.<G>
All of which comes back to the same societal problems on land or on sea. If there are bad guys being TOLERATED or SANCTIONED by a society, those bad guys will attempt to obtain and use superior force (guns, missiles, whatever) against anything they define as prey. If attacking dainty little yachts flying US flags
resulted in massive US naval response (curiously enough, the Barbary Pirates in the same part of the world caused our Navy
to be created for that purpose) then the pirates would learn "Don't attack those boats, it costs too much. Attack the French boats instead."
Yes, it can be that simple. But absent a radio
link to a convenient air cap patrol from the nearest carrier, you have fewer choices. To be armed, and perhaps killed as a result, or to be unarmed. And perhaps robbed then killed as a result. That's a personal choice that anyone in that situation has to decide for themselves. Guns being only one type of weapon, and one that are very problematic when you cross international boundaries. Before there were guns, pirates used swords and arrows and other things. The Greeks and Romans fought major naval battles without guns, the modern pirates would manage to do the same.
"The original poster said "
My apologies for being sucked into a digression. If I respond to you, as you've responded to me, are we still digressing? Transgressing? Or simply having a conversation?
"YOU posted incorrect information. The stats may not be to your liking, but I assure you they are accurate (U.S. CDC) - I can't help that."
I was quoting the Department of Justice Uniform Crime Statistics from the past 20-odd years. You are quoting the Center for Disease Control, which is odd since "guns" aren't a disease, although the misuse of them may reflect a mental health
problem among the general population. Only the latter would be proper ground for a CDC involvement.
Statistics can and do disagree, when they are kept by different sources, from different data, for different purposes. So yes, we an both be accurate--and still have an apparent conflict.
"To reiterate (CDC stats for 2003 - most recent year for complete state - Gun deaths):"
"If you want to check for yourself, here's the link:
When I searched from that link, I wound up at http://webapp.cdc.gov/cgi-bin/broker.exe
and when I asked it for deaths from "violent" causes in 2003, it said 16,900+ suicide by firearm, 11,900+ homicide by firearm, for all ages, in all states, in 2003.
You're welcome to read http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/guns.htm
to find out what the correct agency has to say about guns and gun crime. Are guns often used in crimes? Sure. But as a million or so Hutus and Tutsis might have told you, before they were slaughtered with cheap
machetes from China
, guns are not the problem. Crime is the problem.
"Ok, ignore the raw numbers in my above post (i misread the link) - but the jist is still the same:"
Is it? You're lumping suicide and homicide numbers together, for a start. So let's subtract the 1242 suicides, and we find there were only 698 deaths from all other forms of gun violence, including police shootings, in Florida
that year. You can play all sorts of games with statistics, don't confuse depression and old age with violence and crime.
I know the source of my stats. As Galileo supposedly said "Nevertheless it turns".
Gun deaths? Sure, but first look at the number of people drowned in wading pools, bathtubs, or at sea. Home fires, killed by smoking in bed
chasing balls an bicycles into traffic. Drunk drivers. Put it all in perspective...and guns are a tool, like any other. Only a poor worker blames the tools.
eskfreedom, my formal apologies if you feel your thread was hijacked. A little humor: See, we hijacked it without guns!<G>