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Let’s talk about guns.

Well, first let’s remove the politics and truthfully talk about gun laws, about gun violence.  After the Newtown shooting President Obama commissioned the Center for Disease Control to research gun violence and offer solutions.  And the study was completed this summer and it just might make you rethink your stance, your view, on the issue.  It did for me.  It’s making me rethink it.  I’m going to cite the CDC study and I’m going to cite an article from Slate magazine, which find that no surprise we, the United States of America, have the worst gun related homicide problem of any industrialized country in the world.  Almost 20% higher than the homicide rates of any other “high income country in the world.”

However, that same study – are you listening? – it shows that mass shootings are not the problem.  They account for a very small fraction of firearm related deaths.  Here are the numbers.  Since 1983 there have been close to 80 shootings where four or more people were killed by a single perpetrator in one day in the U.S.  Eighty shootings, four or more people killed.  That’s about 560 victims, people who have been killed, since 1983.  Thirty years.

You know how many people died from non-mass shooting events, four or more people, between 2000 and 2010?  That’s ten years alone.  Three hundred and thirty-five thousand people.  Three hundred and thirty-five thousand.  And the vast majority of those victims did not die from those so called military style assault weapons that people rally against so much.  Instead they died from handguns. Handguns are used in more than 87% of all violent crimes.  And in fact handguns accounted for the most, most of the murders, the manslaughters, the incidents in this country.

So what does that say?  It says that even though the Navy Yard shooting happened on a military installation, it was unfortunate.  People died.  But it says that people in the military, people who are hunting, are not for the most part the people who are killing other people and themselves in this country.

It says that you have a better chance of getting shot walking down your street, getting into an altercation, or getting robbed in cities like New Orleans, Detroit, Baltimore, Miami, D.C., Atlanta or Cleveland than you do getting shot or killed in a mass shooting.

So, while the studies show that most gun violence, and most crime in the country, are not worse, it’s going down, it’s still an epidemic.  And as a person who often walks down the street in some of those cities and who lives in a big urban city himself it makes me wonder for all of us.  If our lawmakers, including the President, won’t step up and make significant changes in gun laws, in gun registration, background checks, mental health, if gun purchases continue to grow and flood the streets, it makes me wonder that by some of us not owning a gun, or at least embracing the idea of one, are we setting ourselves up to be victims in a movie theater, a school, a public building, most of all in our streets, in our own neighborhoods, and in our own homes.

And armed with just our cellphones, our fists and our wits, are we setting ourselves up to be sitting ducks, defenseless in the face of a sane, or an insane person, armed to the teeth and bent on killing.

TOM JOYNER:  Make them think.  Make them think.  Now the one problem about legislation, the lawmakers, most of the lawmakers are backed by the NRA.


TOM JOYNER:  The lobbyists.

DON LEMON:  One of the most powerful, if not the most powerful lobby in the country.

TOM JOYNER: So what we need to do is get these legislatures who are backed by the NRA out.

SYBIL WILKES:  Good luck with that.

DON LEMON:  You know how most people are killed in the country by guns?  Suicide.

TOM JOYNER:  Really?


TOM JOYNER:  Hmm.  Don Lemon, Make ‘Em Think, Don Lemon.

16 thoughts on “REALITY CHECK: Let’s Talk About Guns

  1. Kimberly I agree with you 100%. I just got mine this weekend and looking into getting a concealed weapons permit. I had never thought of getting one before. I feel it’s better to have one and never need it, instead of needing one and not having one.

  2. JWash: Yeah too many black people are stuck in the past, and STILL blaming ‘white people’ for everything, instead of moving on with their lives. And, for the naysayers….NO I’m not saying we should forget what happened in years past; what I’m saying is why dwell on it.

    • For slavery, Africans are as much to blame, as are Arabs, both of whom initiated the slave trade and still continue it. Every ethnic minority in America, the Irish, Italians, Japanese, Vietnamese, have been treated badly and discriminated against. Most whites who came here did so because of persecution and death at the hands of Europeans. If anyone wants to hold a grudge for what happened to their ancestors, they can, no matter what color they are. America as a whole paid a frightful price for slavery, with millions killed. We all, as Americans today, are paying the price for discrimination and mistreatment of blacks by whites. We are all collectively paying the price and suffering because politicians, left and right, who use race and economic status to divide us for their own power and purposes. Are whites really victims of black crime? No, blacks are. Are blacks really victims of discrimination and abuse by whites, or are blacks and whites victims of politics and hustlers? In my town blacks and whites (about 50/50) do fine. Our leadership is black Democrat and reelected constantly (by conservative whites).

  3. This at least proves there is indeed hope for intelligent people to move out of fantasy world. Pity he still fails to understand two undeniable facts: 1.) you will not stop criminals from getting weapons by banning them, california is a perfect example of this, where gang bangers still get fully automatic AK-47s and the like from their buddies across the border who bring them the drugs that have always been illegal yet still present, and 2.) even if you removed every single gun on this planet, people will still commit murders, be it with knives, their hands, or weapons of opportunity. A grown man with a baseball bat or an axe could have caused more damage than Adam Lanza did at Sandyhook.

    And an aside to #2, if you remove all guns, you make it nigh-impossible for these types to defend themselves from predators: the less powerfully built humans (IE my 59 year old mother who’s 100% disabled), and the outnumbered: (I dont care how big a boy you are, if 5 or more guys jump you, if you aren’t chuck norris, you’re F’ed).

    Guns dont make people criminals. They just make criminals lazy and unimaginative. Example: biggest school mass killing in US history? A bombing. The weapon for the largest mass murder in US history? Jet-liner. How did they take it over? Box cutters. Next after that? A bombing. Bombs are much more powerful than firearms, there is a lot lower chance of surviving a bombing, regardless of what happened in Boston this year. The largest mass murder in recent history aside from 9/11 and OKC? Arson.

    The people that believe that banning firearms will make our country safer in any measure are ignorant or deluded. If someone is bound and determined to do something like this, they are going to do it; and I honestly think that firearms are the LEAST lethal of the commonly used methods for committing such heinous acts.

    Lastly, I’d also like these people who read these statistics to consider the firearm related deaths that are not criminal murders, they are from police shooting criminals. Not to mention the deaths of criminals who are killed by their would-be victims who are armed.

    • Goin' Broke on said:

      Wait… Mmm! What’s that sweet aroma I detect in the air?? I know! It’s common sense! Thank you, usonumabeach!! You’ve made my day.

    • Pure: Yes it is “PURE” Pettiness. “Donte” ” “Don”….so what. And, for me I give a ‘side-eye look’ at people that always bringing up “white” people. In my opinion it’s a sign of insecurity when people always bring up white people. It’s like white people are some litmus test for what’s right, or wrong in the world. NOT!!

      • Who cares what “white” people think? Who cares what “black” people think? How about ignoring idiots and caring about doing what is right and honorable? One cannot complaint about “racism” on one hand, only to then lament what “white people” do.

  4. tangledthorns on said:

    Thank you Don for speaking the truth about gun violence! You should talk about this on CNN too!! Don’t fear the liberal back lash.

  5. The issue isn’t so much guns as it is that (most) people that use guns in violent matters, i.e., gangs, mass murders, etc. have mental issues.

  6. I believe that President Obama has done all he can do to improve/address gun laws. The Republicans and NRA are the 2 groups that block this progress. They should be held accountable by us citizens. We should make a statement during the next election by voting out ALL candidates who don’t support improving gun laws and are supported by the NRA. With everything going on, it has given me pause and thought about getting a gun also. Not sure that is the answer, but the thought has crossed my mind. Don makin us think and gettin us to talk about it!!!

    • dtown: And, unfortunately no matter how many laws President Obama, or any President gets passed people that want to get guns, and use them illegally will find a way to get them. The other factor is that there will always be candidates that get support from the NRA, and people that are for guns, and there will always be people that are against guns. That’s just the fact of life. Everyone has their agenda. Personally I don’t like guns, and would never have one in my house.

    • The government needs to do a better job of enforcing the gun laws they have on the books. The Navy Yard shooter should not have been able to buy a gun this past weekend with his record. The federal and local governments failed the victims and he was not banned from owning guns from his prior gun violations and signs of mental illness.

  7. Kimberly on said:

    Thanks for the concern. I’ve never owned a gun, but I am mindful of purchasing one, in case you haven’t noticed, this world is producing fools and people who are losing their minds as there as much tea in china! I will purchase a gun for protection and those who think they can take the law in their hand as the smoke screen bafoonery of GOD rest his soul Trayvvon Martin and may GOD have mercy on the guilty

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