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C-J edit board: Too many guns, too readily available

April 2, 2010

The Courier-Journal‘s editorial board commented today on the recent shooting death of 12-year-old Darius Tucker in South Louisville.

The boy died after being accidentally shot by his brother with a handgun the boys had been playing with after school. The gun, along with two others, were sitting atop a 6-foot-high entertainment center, loaded and available.

From the editorial

This case, like so many others, highlights a fundamental problem in our society: Too many guns are too readily available. They’re readily available to the criminals, who often steal them from legal owners, and too readily available to legal owners who lack the common sense to keep their loaded weapons safely stored and out of the hands of children. It would be nice to believe that what happened to Darius Tucker is rare and won’t happen. Unfortunately, these gun accidents are not rare, and they’re going to happen again and again until common sense prevails.

I’m not a gun owner, but I did go to a gun show here in Owensboro the other weekend. It was an interesting display of the enthusiasm people have for firearms that is so interwoven into our society. I grew up shooting a rifle, and learning to show the proper respect for firearms and the proper safety measures to take. I’m sure most of the folks at the gun show I visited learned many of the same lessons.

But there are those that don’t follow the rules, that don’t take the precautions to keep themselves and others safe from needless injuries and death. As the C-J editorial board notes, until that proper respect for the awful power of firearms is more widely observed, deaths like Darius Tucker’s will be all too common.

Any thoughts?

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2 Comments
  1. Dale Taylor permalink
    April 2, 2010 10:27 am

    While any human death is tragic, the percentage of deaths in the US by accidental discharge of a firearm is by far less likely to happen than by most all other accidental death causes.
    The information below was attained by a simple 30 google search “accidental deaths in the US”.
    I just copied and pasted so its a bit out of format. But youre smart people. You can figure it out. Or better yet, maybe google it yourself before sensationalizing and misrepresenting.

    Leading Causes of Accidental Death in the United States
    Note: In the yellow row, “Total Number of Deaths,” the percentages answer the question, “Of the total number of deaths
    for all ages in the United States, what percent was attributed to each age group.”

    In the white rows, percentages answer the question, “Of the total number of deaths for all ages in each ‘Cause of Death,
    ‘ what percentage was attributed to each age group.”

    Cause of Death/Age Range All Ages Under 1 Yr 1-4 yrs 5-14yrs 15-24 yrs 25-34 35-44
    Total Number of Deaths 97,900 100% 881 0.9% 1,826 1.9% 2,979 3.0% 14,113 14.4% 11,769 12.0% 15,413 15.7%
    Motor Vehicle 43,354 44.3% 168 19.1% 651 35.7% 1,772 59.5% 10,560 74.8% 6,884 58.5% 6,927 44.9%
    Unspecified nontransport accid’ts 17,437 17.8% 572 64.9% 266 14.6% 267 9.0% 648 4.6% 895 7.6% 1446 9.4%
    Falls 13,322 13.6% 8 0.9% 36 2.0% 37 1.2% 237 1.7% 303 2.6% 608 3.9%
    Poisoning and Noxious Subst’s 12,757 13.0% 14 1.6% 32 1.8% 45 1.5% 1,160 8.2% 2,380 20.2% 4,663 30.3%
    Drowning 3,842 3.9% 75 8.5% 493 27.0% 375 12.6% 646 4.6% 419 3.6% 480 3.1%
    Exposure to Smoke, Fire, Flames 3,377 3.4% 37 4.2% 290 15.9% 266 8.9% 192 1.4% 241 2.0% 402 2.6%
    Other Land Transport Accidents 1,492 1.5% 2 0.2% 31 1.7% 98 3.3% 243 1.7% 212 1.8% 317 2.1%
    Complications of Med/Surg Care 3,059 3.1% 19 2.2% 22 1.2% 31 1.0% 32 0.2% 85 0.7% 149 1.0%
    Accidental Discharge of Firearms 776 0.8% 1 0.1% 18 1.0% 67 2.2% 202 1.4% 131 1.1% 153 1.0%

    Cause of Death/Age Range 45-54 55-64 65-74 75-84 85 and over Not stated
    Total Number of Deaths 12,278 12.5% 7,505 7.7% 7,698 7.9% 11,758 12.0% 11,595 0.5% 85 0.1%
    Motor Vehicle 5,361 43.7% 3,506 46.7% 3,038 39.5% 3,173 27.0% 1,288 11.1% 26 30.6%
    Unspecified accidents 1,510 12.3% 1,349 18.0% 1,824 23.7% 3,678 31.3% 4,966 42.8% 16 18.8%
    Falls 871 7.1% 949 12.6% 1,660 21.6% 3,841 32.7% 4,772 41.2% 0 0.0%
    Poisoning and Noxious Subst’s 3,061 24.9% 688 9.2% 278 3.6% 245 2.1% 184 1.6% 7 8.2%
    Drowning 354 2.9% 217 2.9% 179 2.3% 156 1.3% 64 0.6% 24 28.2%
    Exposure to Smoke, Fire, Flames 439 3.6% 369 4.9% 401 5.2% 472 4.0% 263 2.3% 5 5.9%
    Other Land Transport Accidents 234 1.9% 122 1.6% 100 1.3% 91 0.8% 35 0.3% 7 8.2%
    Complications of Med/Surg Care 295 2.4% 376 5.0% 647 8.4% 825 7.0% 578 5.0% 0 0.0%
    Accidental Discharge of Firearms 78 0.6% 50 0.7% 41 0.5% 24 0.2% 11 0.1% 0 0.0%

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