Tuesday, April 17, 2007

HuffPo Sent me an Email

I don't know why or how, but a while back I started getting daily messages from HuffPo. See, I don't even have to go trolling. They bring the troll to me. Anyway, today in the email is this little (predictable) gem from Jane Smiley:

What I would like is for the gun-toting right wing to admit that there is a price we pay, that senseless accidental deaths and traumas are a national cost and that it's not so clear that it's worth it, but hey, we pay it anyway because so many guns are in the hands of so many people that there would never be any getting rid of them. I would like the right wing to admit that guns are not "good" and that the right to bear arms is not an absolute virtue and that the deaths in the US caused by guns are at least as problematic, philosophically, as abortion.

First, if you want to talk about senseless accidental death and trauma, I have got a big one for you. Motor vehicles. To the tune of 43,358 a year. Firearm deaths (including gang warfare, self defense shooting, and criminals killed by police) ring in at 28,663 a year." Accidental discharge of firearms" account for 776 deaths, making it ninth under the category of "accidental" deaths. So, there are eight more dangerous "accidental" causes of death than guns.

Motor vehicles are number one, of course.

You know why? Because so many cars are in the hands of so many people.

The right to bear arms is an absolute virtue. We live in dangerous times, and I do not fear a gun in the hands of a law-abiding citizen. I never have, and I never will.

Perhaps Jane Smiley would like to visit me in Detroit. It was a gun in the hands of my neighbor that chased away the crackhead who repeatedly came to my door, at all hours of the night. The police didn't have time to deal with my petty complaint.

We cannot yield our defense completely to the hands of the government, be it locally, or nationally. The SWAT team isn't always going to be able rush in and safe you. And- as we saw yesterday- the SWAT team arrived way too late.

Finally, there is Smiley's comparison between the right to bear arms and the right to abort. Are guns as problematic as abortion? The CDC puts the annual abortion rate at around 848,163. So, no, I do not think guns are as problematic as abortion. 776 accidental deaths, versus 848,163 abortions. Seems silly to even make the comparison.