We Need A Movement #SaneGuncontrol

Handguncontrolgodblessamerica1We Need A Movement #SaneGuncontrol

I generally don’t rant here on taylorholmes.com – I bloviate. There is an enormous difference. Bloviating (as defined by me) is general pontificating and pondering. Ranting, on the other hand (also defined by me) is a diatribe of opinions coming in rapid fire succession. Which, you are now warned, I am about to do… in spades. But if your attention span is short, I drop to the skinny right away.

We need a movement – the equivalent of a “We Are The 99%” – for gun control. And we need it right the f@#! now. And so I am proposing the hash tag #SaneGunControl as our banner.

And the next few steps for the #SaneGunControl movement? Simple:

1. Write a sane gun control manifesto proposing:
a. An enormous buy back campaign of 60,000,000 guns (20%)
b. Increased background checks for current sales

c. Required safety classes before purchases

2. Depose all Senators that won’t sign the #SaneGunControl manifesto.

3. Create a Constitutional Amendment to clarify and restrict gun ownership rights significantly.

Now, before you Republicans have your eyes roll back into the backs of your heads and the beginnings of apoplectic shock set in… listen to me for a second. I am not your average run of the mill Liberal calling for this insanity in the normal run of the mill way that happens after every single mass shooting that occurs.


And I love the NRA – and our constitutional rights given to us by our founding fathers. Let me set the scene for you. In High School I helped found a Student Republican club. I was a key Republican member of my State’s Model Student Government that met in Annapolis for four years running. I was an outspoken Republican thinker at the Model United Nations for college students at Harvard several years in a row. After attending Wheaton College which is in the top 50 colleges in the nation (and arguably one of the most conservative Christian colleges in the world) I worked for Republican Senator Grassley of Iowa (one of the most conservative Christian Senators in the Senate.)

And for all you gun lovers out there – I could probably out love guns in one simple sentence. I’ve attended several extremely exclusive NRA hosted clay shoot parties. Have you? You know, the ones with the towers, that fling simultaneously pigeons and rabbit clays at the same time? Truly a crazy crazy experience.

I am a Republican’s Republican. I’ve never. In my life. Voted for a Democrat. Ever. I don’t even think I thought it was possible under the constitution. It just has never once crossed my mind. So how the hell did this hardcore Republican come to the conclusion that we need massive Federal gun control reform here in the land of the free and the home of the brave?

I am sure that as you are reading this you are assuming that I am responding to the numerous shootings breaking out across the country like hives. No. I am pissed off about the shootings. But that’s not it. This is not a movement in response to terrorism. This is not a movement that is for decreasing military spending or anything even remotely close to that realm of thinking. This is a movement that is for the decrease of gun violence in America. Here, this graph shows the difference between the deaths caused by gun violence and terrorism since 2001:


This graph was crafted (a good graph really is an orgasmic sort of brilliance – but that is a different post for a different day) by CNN in a fantastic post discussing the chaos of gun violence compared to deaths caused by terrorism on American soil. Can you see why the #SaneGunControl movement can’t get caught up in the terrorism and gun control movement? It’s basically a non-issue. Obviously 3,380 deaths is 3,380 more than we should have. But 406,496 is a number of a totally ‘nother sort. Almost half a million people, dead, as a result of gun violence in America. But this graph doesn’t really do this travesty justice…


This graph is basically saying that the United States averages 3.5 violent deaths by firearms per thousand people in the population. The closest competitor in this inauspicious race is something like .5 per thousand. death-frequencyWhich means that our violent deaths by firearms for 2013 on this graph is something like 7 times higher. Read through this rotating gif at the right and just let these simple facts marinate a bit. And we call ourselves civilized?

Which is just unbelievable to me. But that is because the bad guys have the guns!! We need guns to protect ourselves.  I see this lame argument everywhere. If this is your argument, what are you doing – in your own head, not with anyone else – how are you sleeping at night after reading this next graph?

unintentional-firearms-deathsThis graph shows the number of accidental deaths in the United States as opposed to other similar countries in the world. And this is the single data point that has made me change my mind about gun control. If you’d like to dig into these numbers here a bit deeper, feel free to head here and play with this dynamic graph a bit and spin the numbers by age, but gender, what have you. Stop looking at these numbers as numbers and it is truly a devistating set of statistics. The Washington Post recently did a piece in April on deaths of children as a result of accidentally stumbling upon a weapon in their home and it was really eye opening for me. Compared to other civilized nations our accidental death rate via hand guns is 9 times higher than any other country. As a Republican father, that cares very much for his children, I decided along time ago, I would not have guns in my house just for the simple reason I’d like to keep my children alive. If a robber comes into my house, I will make it painfully clear to him that I am his moving team. Whatever he wants from the house, I will haul it for him. Anything. He can have it. But if he goes anywhere near my family he will never see a more enraged berserker in all his life.

But it couldn’t simply be the gun ownership that is killing all of these people could it? Nah. That’s ridiculous. Accidents and homicidal idiots kill people, not ownership itself. Well, look at this graph that compares gun ownership rates in various countries with their violent death rate and tell me what you think.


That graph is a little hard to read. The bottom axis is the number of guns owned by 100 people (please notice that the number of guns per person is almost a 1 to 1 correlation in the United States) and the left side axis is the number of gun deaths per 100k people.  And notice, that in America our penchant for gun ownership goes hand in hand with our ability to kill – whether accidentally or intentionally.

And all for what? Republicans love the rhetoric about the “Right to bear arms”. The ability to defend oneself from a tyrannical government. Or better yet, what about a Patrick Swayze, Red Dawn scenario? Russian surprise attack?! We’ll need all the guns imaginable. My response to this faulty logic is this… so let me get this straight, the mere possibility of our government becoming a tyrannical overlord is worth half a million children, teens, and adult’s lives to you. You are paying that insurance policy with the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.

Much hay has been made out of the fact that after a gunman opened fire in Australia and killed 35 people and wounded 23 more, they were able to spin on a dime and create massive buy back programs and institute enormously positive gun control rules that succeeded in dropping violent gun deaths exponentially. The country’s new gun laws prohibited private sales, required that all weapons be individually registered to their owners, and required that gun buyers present a “genuine reason” for needing each weapon at the time of the purchase. (Self-defense did not count.) In the wake of the tragedy, polls showed public support for these measures at upwards of 90 percent.

This is the logic behind the #SaneGunControl movement. We need to collectively say, enough is enough. We’ve had enough accidental deaths of toddlers and parents who’ve stumbled upon weapons. We’ve had enough of our country making it simple for terrorists to skate by gun checks that basically beg them to purchase an automatic weapon. We have to say that we’ve absolutely had enough of our brothers, sisters, daughters, husbands and mothers dying senselessly so that our Republican friends who hide behind the Constitution and don’t take a long hard look at the damage this same constitutional item has wrought across our land. We need to open our eyes and say, enough is enough. And we need to speak with our ballots. We need to depose these Senators that are so deep in the NRA lobbying pockets that they don’t even know which way is up on this issue anymore.

I am a #Republican4GunControl – and that makes me all about #SaneGunControl. I generally don’t talk about politics, even though I was a political science major, and can bloviate with the best of them in that arena. But I am tired of seeing the scythe cut down so many in our country, and I really think this is a sane plan for turn the tide around. We know that guns kill people. The stats are loud and clear. And since we take care to make sure people behind the wheel of cars are approved to be there, and have taken the right precautions to do so, we should also do so with guns. And if you are a #sanegunowner, I would think you would be all about #SaneGunControl. No? So you have to wait a little longer and take a test or two. You should care about children. And care about your hunting. You should care about safety, and care about your rights. It’s not a myopic one or the other. You should be able to have your proverbial cake and eat it too. You just need to stand up and say enough is enough. Let’s turn this horrible trend around and save a half a million people over the next ten years.