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So What is 'Gun Violence'?

March 10, 2023
Mike Sampson

As regular Gun Talk readers know, I have written often about the differences between “gun violence” and “criminal violence.”

After a bit of research, perhaps I can clarify what some descriptions of “gun violence” include.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) weighs in often on “firearm violence.”

CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC) says it has been the nation’s leading public health authority on violence and injury prevention for nearly 30 years. Firearm violence has tremendous impact on American’s overall safety and wellbeing. Using a public health approach is essential to addressing firearm violence and keeping people safe and healthy.

CDC’s approach to preventing firearm injuries focuses on three elements: providing data to inform action; conducting research and applying science to identify effective solutions; and promoting collaboration across multiple sectors to address the problem.

On the “conducting research” and “promoting collaboration” points, I described last December in a Gun Talk article on “Another Federal Agency Rolls Over to Gun Control” how CDC manipulated research to be politically correct and in line with the antigun community. I long have questioned CDC’s credibility as a politicized federal agency.

Realistically, “gun violence” can include suicides, homicides (including gang shootings), legal intervention (law enforcement or justified self-defense), unintentional death (accidental), and “undetermined.”

Amnesty International, as expected, says, ”Gun violence is a contemporary global human rights issue. Gun-related violence threatens our most fundamental human right, the right to life. Gun violence is violence committed with the use of firearms, for example pistols, shotguns, assault rifles or machine guns.”

The organization also notes that, “Easy access to firearms – whether legal or illegal – is one of the main drivers of gun violence. Amnesty International calls on states to fulfil their obligations to introduce and implement strict gun violence prevention laws and regulations.”

“Among wealthier, developed countries, the USA is an outlier when it comes to firearm violence. US governments have allowed gun violence to become a human rights crisis. The USA lacks measures such as a national firearm registry.”

Amnesty adds that, “Individuals can lawfully carry concealed firearms in public in every state in the USA and can lawfully openly carry firearms in public in most states. However, there is no nationwide uniformity in laws governing the carrying of firearms in public, and in some states there are no laws at all: 12 states allow individuals to carry concealed weapons in public without any license or permit and 30 states allow the open carrying of a handgun in public without any license or permit.”

“Open carrying of firearms in public, in some form, is currently allowed in 45 states. In only seven states are people required to provide a credible justification or demonstrated need to carry a concealed firearm. All 50 states and Washington, D.C. allow for some form of concealed carrying of firearms in public.”

Do take note that Amnesty believes that “by using gun laws, we can all live safely and without fear – which is our right.” So where is my right when criminals use “gun violence” and I am unarmed? Can anyone truly believe criminals will give up their weapons to comply with gun laws?

We have only to look at how lenient enforcement of existing laws, liberal prosecutors and courts coddle criminals. Back-on-the-street in 24 hours too often is the norm.

Gun Talk readers do need to be aware that Amnesty promotes the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) which became international law in 2014. Every state that has ratified the ATT must follow strict rules on international arms transfers. So far, the USA has declined to sign on this so-called “treaty,” but the current White House administration seems to favor doing so.

For more specifics on the treaty, look at my Dec. 30, 2021 article “What’s In The U.N. Arms Trade Treaty?” The treaty includes universal gun registration and much more to threaten our Second-Amendment and Constitutional rights.

Supposedly, the U.S. Senate would need to ratify the treaty, so keep in mind today’s political and antigun leanings in that branch of government.

Our healthcare industry has antigun leanings too. How many Gun Talk readers have fielded a medical practitioner’s question “Do you have a gun in the house?” Several friends and I have.

The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) joined the American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Physicians, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the American Psychiatric Association urging the president and Congress to take the following concrete steps to address gun violence:

1.     Label violence caused by the use of guns as a national public-health epidemic.
2.     Fund appropriate research as part of the federal budget.
3.     Establish constitutionally appropriate restrictions on the manufacturing and sale, for civilian use, of large-capacity magazines and firearms with features designed to increase their rapid and extended killing capacity.
4.     Gun-safety legislation.
5.     Strict enforcement of current gun laws.
6.     Appropriate funding for mental health services.

And for another “gun violence” cause, almost 8,000 shootings in U.S. cities in recent years were attributable to unseasonably warm temperatures, according to a new study. I can agree hot weather can increase frustration and shorten tempers. Climate change is a focal point for many issues.

Researchers at the University of Washington, Seattle, said their work suggested the climate crisis could be contributing to increased gun violence. “Our work suggests that climate change, which may elevate daily temperatures above normal ranges, may contribute to increased firearm violence,” the researchers said.

A study on gun violence in Chicago found that a 10-degree increase over the average temperature was associated with 33 percent increase in shootings. Homicides and crime in Chicago apparently contributed to Mayor Lori Lightfoot losing her reelection bid. Could be the weather, although she blamed other causes.

While it is important to understand what “gun violence” may be with proposed solutions, I have yet to see any concrete means to deal with “criminal violence.” Invalidating my Constitutional rights is no solution, nor is leaving me unarmed.

Until solid solutions come about, I will continue to exercise my Second-Amendment rights, carry concealed, and Stay safe, be prepared. ~ Mike

Mike Sampson

Mike now calls Northwestern Arkansas home, but has lived and worked in several states and internationally. He has been an independent contractor and consultant since 2006 specializing in risk management, emergency management and training. In addition to work as a law-enforcement planner and technical writer with the Boise, Idaho, Police Department, he has experience in journalism, crop and animal agriculture, dryland farming for 20 years in western Kansas, plant and animal diseases, pandemic influenza, agroterrorism, bioterrorism, food safety and healthcare marketing.

He has a journalism degree from the University of Missouri and has newspaper and agency writing and editing experience. At Washington State University in Pullman, he earned a master’s degree emphasizing adult education and communications.

While living in Lander, WY, Mike provided photographic coverage of the One-Shot Antelope Hunt for three years, and got to meet and accompany folks such as Chuck Yeager, Carroll Shelby, Buzz Aldrin, Dale Robertson and Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf on their hunts. He also worked as an outfitter’s guide.


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