People who say more good guys with guns is the solution lack firing neurons

Via NBC Latino

The NRA’s argument that more guns is necessary to prevent mass shootings, or any shootings was always nonsense.  The ridiculousness of this argument is on display yet again, with the recent news out of Georgia where a man shot and killed a young Latino man who accidentally pulled into his driveway.

Via NBC Latino:

Rodrigo Diaz, 22, was driving around with his girlfriend and two friends when he pulled into a driveway, thinking they had arrived at another friend’s house, his brother says. But instead he pulled into the driveway of Phillip Sailors, 69, who thought his home was being robbed, his lawyer says. Sailors then shot Diaz, according to the police report, citing what Sailors told officers at the scene. Diaz later died while in the intensive care unit.

“Basically, what happened is they were looking for one of my brother’s girlfriend’s friends,” says his brother David E. Diaz-Valencia, 23. “The guy came outside and my brother’s girlfriend said he was screaming, ‘Get off my property!’ and he shot into the air. My brother was backing out fast because he was scared and he rolled down the window to say he was sorry and he was not doing anything wrong. Then the guy shot him in his head.”

When officers arrived, Angie Rebolledo, Diaz’s girlfriend, had blood on her jeans, both arms and both hands as she was attempting to get a response from him and screamed frantically that her boyfriend had been shot, according to police.

Thankfully, Mr. Sailors isn’t the next George Zimmerman and the police have charged him with murder.  It seems to me that everyone having a gun would lead to accidental shootings much more frequently than the prevention of the next Newtown or Aurora but that’s just me having common sense.  It’s a relief that this time the debate about gun violence prevention is different than in the past, and if we keep pressure on our elected officials to act, they might just feel compelled to pass something helpful.

The main thing is that when these types of incidents happen instead of viewing them in a vacuum, we always need to think about it in context.  The fact of the matter is that there have been nearly 1400 shootings since Newtown in this country and when the father of one of the Newtown victims is heckled at a hearing on gun violence, it’s a reminder of how entrenched the opposition is and how hard we are going to need to work to get something done.


Join the Conversation

  • Kalen T

    I’ll admit, I’m very conflicted about this as someone still forming an opinion on the gun debate. What I’m not conflicted about is that Diaz did not deserve to die and that Sailors should receive the fullest punishment for his irresponsible and illogical actions. I also think there should be even harsher laws in place to deter the trigger happy, such as Sailors.

    ” It seems to me that everyone having a gun would lead to accidental shootings much more frequently than the prevention of the next Newtown or Aurora but that’s just me having common sense. ”

    Common sense is not so common, really. I’m all for stricter gun control laws, but I am as yet not willing to go as far as a flat out ban on them. The U.S. is in the transition zone between all or none and, while I believe it is very possible but very difficult to get the U.S. into the ‘no guns whatsoever’ zone, it would also be unlikely to get it completely to a firm 0% given the vastness of the country. Even then, it would be the law-abiding who would follow this.

    Reading through conversation, many gun advocates I see bring up Israel and Switzerland without mentioning a key difference between these countries and the U.S. — both Israel and Switzerland have severe gun control laws even whilst they have a great presence within the country. Potential gun owners are run through extensive background checks, including physical and mental requirements; gun owners are required to take refresher classes every few years or so regarding safety, use, and in some cases, the legal aspects of conflict situations; there are requirements for how a gun should be stored; limits on the capacity of magazines, and so on.

    On the gun-control advocate side, I finda lot of folks are more willing to cite huge numbers in blankets of data without parsing out the make-up of that data. Currently, I’m researching the percentages/numbers of firearms deaths as parsed out by between suicides, homicides, and simple accidents. Even going to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention this Line sticks out: “Firearms are used in more suicides than homicides.”

    In the bullet point above that: “Although most gun owners reportedly keep a firearm in their home for “protection” or “self defense,” 83 percent of gun-related deaths in these homes are the result of a suicide, often by someone other than the gun owner.”

    Even a quick search of statistics shows that suicides make up the bulk of gun deaths. If we were to flat out ban guns to protect individuals from themselves, I think it is legitimate to say that this would not deter the most determined. One could posit that it might slow them down without access to such an effective tool, but it would not stop such individuals. There as many ways to commit suicide as human creativity can allow.

    I’ll be frank. I’m more concerned with homicides and accidental deaths as a result of negligence, carelessness, or sheer dumbness by gun owner households. These are the numbers and statistics which I’d like to see gun-control advocates address in response to assertions about self-defense and home protection.

    With suicides, these are folks acting upon themselves, something beyond my control and responsibility even if I will do my damnedest to get someone the help they need. The best solution to suicide prevention that I can think of is to get them the help.

    Question is this: do we penalize a gun owner for owning a legal weapon and being negligent with it –presuming strict gun control regulations without flatly banning them a la Israel/Switzerland — if they can not succeed in keeping their firearm out of the hands of a suicidal individual?

    As for the gun advocates heckling Neil Heslin? That’s just flat out disgusting. It solves nothing and encourages nothing of civil dialogue or working towards a solution. Both sides need to at least attempt to understand each other rather than double-down on well-trod rhetoric.

    • Roze

      Nice to to know you dont give a shit about suicides. You obviously have never felt that way or knew someone who has.

      • drahill

        That’s not the point that Tom is making. He’s making the point that suicide results from mental illness or distress and that the lack of a gun in the home, given the determination of the actor to die, likely would not deter them; they would select another method. Point out to me where he says suicide doesn’t matter.

      • Kalen T

        No. I have known people who have been suicidal who I have done my best to help in the past. Thankfully, they finally got the help and sometimes medication they needed. I am just so incredibly thankful that those who felt they could open up to me and let me know what was going on would allow me to help; I can’t read minds and I can’t control people. I have also known that black-hole crushing depression and feeling like there is no light or anything to grab onto.

        Please don’t presume you know about my history or past dealings with suicidal individuals and please don’t presume I don’t give a shit. If someone is going to attempt it, I will do my best to stop them. I see putting policies in place in the name of protecting the suicidal from themselves as something which could be equally applied to equally lethal methods — drugs, knives, cars, trains, etc. Knowing that the vast majority of folks are not suicidal, is it fair to place similar restrictions on equally likely weapons of the suicidal?

        There is a balance to be struck between individual and community and a community has its limitations. It is a balance I’m trying to navigate while still remaining fair and empathetic to the best of my ability as a human.

        So please don’t presume.

  • a male

    “Although most gun owners reportedly keep a firearm in their home for “protection” or “self defense,” 83 percent of gun-related deaths in these homes are the result of a suicide, often by someone other than the gun owner.”

    Yes, approximately 2/3 of all gun deaths in the US are suicides. This is of course a tragedy that greater resources for mental health would help address. 20,000 people a year are not committing suicide with “military styled” rifles with high capacity magazines, so that tragedy has nothing to do with the currently proposed ban.

    As for the fact that suicide and homicide deaths outnumber justifiable homicide or defense shootings, that is due to the fact that unlike in mass shootings and murder, the intent of self defense is NOT bloodshed and death. Without justification to believe he was being threatened, this homeowner committed murder.

    CNN’s Piers Morgan infamously claims repeatedly that he’s never heard of AR-15s being used in self defense, or asks who needs one. Two university students in central New York, apparently do, as one home occupant used an AR-15 to scare off two armed home invaders who pursued them upstairs two weeks ago, just by displaying the weapon. No shots fired, no deaths. The rifle was intended for target practice. My firearms are also for target practice. Self defense is their only acceptable use against a human or animal, because I do not hunt.