President Obama issued 23 executive actions on gun control today, including provisions encouraging research into the causes and prevention of gun violence. He also challenged the private sector to develop innovations in gun safety.
One order calls for the issue of "a presidential memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence." Federally funded science agencies have been prohibited from using their funds to "advocate or promote gun control," something critics say has stymied research into the causes of gun violence. "Public health research on gun violence is not advocacy," the White House plan clarifies.
Obama is additionally asking Congress to provide the CDC $10 million to conduct research into the relationship between video games, violence and media images.
The president also wants to encourage the creation of new gun violence-combating technologies and called on the attorney general to "issue a report on the availability and most effective use of new gun safety technologies and challenge the private sector to develop innovative technologies." As part of a national responsible ownership campaign, the White House wants to encourage the development of technology improving safe use and storage of guns. The plan also directs the Consumer Product Safety Commission to assess the adequacy of current safety standards for gun locks and safes.
"We don't benefit from ignorance," Obama said. "We don't benefit from not knowing the science of this epidemic of violence."
You do not have to excuse yourself. You stated your opinion and I stated mine. We have different views on the matter and they appear to be irreconcilable.
By the way, I do not know what state you are from but in Pennsylvania "Petty Theft" is when someone clandestinely steals something like a minibike or something of that nature. However, when someone walks into an Establishment and threatens the customers with a weapon with the intent of removing their property it is called Armed Robbery.
"There is no indication that these teens intended to kill anyone. On the contrary, they ran away instead of returning fire because, at 19, they were practically children."
As they say, 'hind sight is 20/20'...
We can play at analyzing the situation in retrospect, and argue that because the boy fled he never intended to hurt someone, but none of that can be determined in the moment, and any speculation as to his intent is just that; speculation.
But consider that many of these 'misguided' youths, as you call them, are highly unstable, and with a gun in hand the situation can change drastically with or without another firearm in the mix. Something as simple as an uncooperative employee or a panicking customer/victim have, on numerous occasions, resulted in the death of an innocent. Many of these misguided youths, especially when in a gang environment, are encouraged to kill others, and often have done so, without provocation or gain. The point to be made is that many criminals may not immediately intend to take someone's life but have no problem in doing so if they see fit. The transition between those mindsets may never be apparent until it is too late to act.
Conversely, many criminals greatly fear bodily injury, and when presented with a balance in power during the commission of a criminal act, will immediately surrender (or flee). This state of mind is also very difficult to determine in such intense moments of conflict.
In light of that, many Americans feel that it is unreasonable to ask a citizen to place his life, or the lives of others, on the unpredictability of an unstable criminal who is wielding lethal force; hence the laws in place in many states governing self defense (which I discuss below).
Keep in mind, that with very few exceptions, simply brandishing a firearm is considered to be an application of deadly force and can be met with equal force in the defense of oneself or another - regardless of whether or not the weapon is fired. In many states, citizens are also permitted to use deadly force in the protection of private property if no other means could reasonably be expected to safely (for the property owner) prevent such loss. You may disagree with these laws on a moral level, but make no mistake, those who exercise these statutes are in the right (legally). You have very little argument to stand on in that respect, no matter how you choose to frame it.
One other thing I wanted to discuss...
"You talk as if ending their lives is a reasoned and proportionate response to petty theft"
I'll assume that your characterization of armed robbery along side a class of theft that generally results from shoplifting is hyperbole...
The vast majority of gunshot wounds from defense use of firearms result in penetrating wounds the the chest and abdomen. These wounds do not, generally, lead to immediate death, nor is mortality incredibly high. Various studies published report varying mortality rates, with the highest I've found reporting a 25% mortality rate for penetrating gunshot wounds to the heart (or other portions of the cardiovascular system), if treated within hours of the injury. Other chest/abdominal trauma saw mortality rates far lower. Many estimates of the over all mortality fall below 20%, some as low as 10%. Some of these study abstracts:
The goal of any defensive use of a firearm, as often taught in defensive training courses (which I encourage everyone to take), is to incapacitate, never kill. This will result in death on occasion, but many find it infinitely preferable that a criminal endangering others would die than the possibility of an innocent. You may see no distinction, but again, the law is the law and your personal morality wont change that.
I should clarify, that those mortality rates apply to those cases where the gunshot wounds were not immediately fatal. This number is much harder to estimate (and I cannot find any journal studies that report it), but I have calculated values ranging from 30%-50% mortality if all gunshot wounds are included (murder, accidental, suicide, etc.) Controlling for suicide, you get the lower range down near 30%.
Take this comment with a grain of salt (hah); as I said, I dont have any references... my own math.
@iambronco & @matsci1
Thanks for posting. I'm pretty much of the same opinion. Some good points to ponder.
@the 71 year old in the cafe: way to go, that must have been a hard decision.
As communication technologies get more advanced, I think you'll see more senseless violence. The reason I say this is this, during WWII, the only media reporting on the war was newspapers, radio, and short clips in a theatre before the actual show.
Presently, we have 24 hr. access to news footage during wartime, movies and games that glorify war and violence.
I'm not blaming Hollywood or the makers of games, but the fact of the matter is, there are weak minded people out there who cannot distinguish what is real and what isn't.
William OsterlooThe NRA came out with a catchy little phrase that goes,Guns don,t kill people,People kill people.Let Me introduce You to another catchy little phrase.It,s from a little book called The Bible,Inspired by a being called GOD.The phrase is,If Thine eye offendeth Thee,Pluck it out.Since Americans claim to be a GOD fearing nation it,s only logical that Americans should listen to what it says.Handguns and Assault rifles are being used to murder innocent American,s.If a Child was burning down Your house I would think You,d have the brains to take the matches away.Or are You going to tell Me that Matches don,t burn down houses ,People burn down houses.The day is coming when someone or some group will murder so many Americans in such a spectacular way thateven the NRA will say it,s time to put an end to all these weapons.The question is not about Should You ban these weapons.The real question is When will You ban these weapons.
@Bill I am
When your child attempts to burn down the house with matches you do, in fact, take the matches away from them; however, you do not take them away from your neighbors.