catsittingstill: (Default)
 So, a guy in Arizona shot himself someplace delicate with a gun he had tucked in his pants.  The full story is here, if you want to see it.

I don't blame guns.  I don't even blame him.  I blame how he was taught to think about guns.

One way to think of them, is the NRA way.  Guns are amulets to defend against ever-present crime; peope who think that is perhaps not a good idea are irrationally prejudiced.  Put this way, shoving a gun down your pants is a good idea: you will be able to fight crime if a criminal mistakes you for a sheep, but irrationally prejudiced people won't hassle you for having it.  I suspect this was his line of thought.

Another way to think of them (I don't pretend there are only two, but for purposes of this post I am only dealing with two)  is the one I brought up before.  Guns are power tools.  They make holes in things, as many hand tools can, but they do it very quickly.  The very thing that makes power tools attractive--their speed--means people should only use them when they are in full command of their good judgement, and can pay complete attention to the power tool from start to finish.  Then the tool should be turned off, disabled (by unplugging it, or removing the battery, or the firing pin) and locked away in the workshop where it can't hurt anyone.

Shoving an amulet that fights crime down your pants is a reasonable thing to do.  Shoving a power tool down your pants is obviously risky.  It's all in how you think about it.  Or fail to think as the case may be.
catsittingstill: (Default)
 Some scientific research on guns and safety.

(This is an opinion piece but it has links to research papers.)  http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1487470

Injuries and deaths due to firearms in the home:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9715182

Snopes--not exactly scientific but more so than not,
links to DoJ figures on homicides by weapon type.
http://www.snopes.com/politics/guns/baseballbats.asp

Department of Justice:
http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/

Stand your ground laws increase homicides 
http://www.npr.org/2013/01/02/167984117/-stand-your-ground-linked-to-increase-in-homicide?utm_source=NPR&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=20130102

http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1487470
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_violence_in_the_United_States


Comments from actual gun owners and users (not scientific--but good)
http://www.xojane.com/issues/on-black-holes-patience-and-what-i-know-to-be-true

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