Insights Into Tomorrow: Episode 0 “Gun Violence”

In our first episode of our newest podcast on the network we introduce our newest show host Sam Whalen as we discuss Gun Violence in America. We take a look at the Second Amendment, how it’s evolved since the inception of the country and how gun violence compares statistically to other types of deaths in country. We’ll also take a look at the effect mass shootings are having on our society and look at some of the proposed solutions to the issue of gun violence and how all of this will shape the future of America moving forward.


Speaker 1: 00:00:01 Insightful podcast by informative hopes, insights into a podcast network.

Speaker 2: 00:00:25

Speaker 3: 00:00:25 Come to insights into tomorrow where we take a deeper look into how the issues of today will impact the world of tomorrow from politics and world news to media and technology. We discuss how today’s headlines are becoming tomorrow’s reality.

Speaker 2: 00:00:58

Speaker 4: 00:00:58 Welcome to insights into tomorrow. This is episode zero gun violence. I’m your host, Joseph Waylon and my insightful and intelligent cohost Sam Waylon. Are you doing today? Sam?

Speaker 5: 00:01:14 Hi, I’m good. Thanks for having me.

Speaker 4: 00:01:16 So this is our inaugural episode of insights into tomorrow. Just real quick, I wanted to sort of give a synopsis of what this podcast is going to be about. Basically we’re going to be talking about news and issues in the headlines here that are impactful today and things that will moving forward into the future have a lasting effect. So the first topic that we’re talking about this week or in this episode is gun violence. And I think it’s pretty clear to say that gun violence is a large topic in the news today. Mostly thanks to a lot of the

Speaker 6: 00:02:07 Mass shootings that we’re seeing these days. But I think gun violence in general in the United States is much deeper and much more complicated than that. So the first thing that I think we’ll be talking about is just basically

Speaker 4: 00:02:22 A recap of some useful information regarding the second amendment. So you’re aware, Sam, the second amendment is what gun advocates cite for their right to carry or a right to own weapons? Correct.

Speaker 5: 00:02:44 Yeah, that’s usually the good to go to answer. I know in the second amendment it’s hard to argue against something a historical official like that.

Speaker 4: 00:02:52 Exactly. And the way that the second amendment is written has been open to interpretation and it reads, you know, from the constitution a well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

Speaker 4: 00:03:16 And if you read that strictly on face value and you consider the time period in which it was written you’re talking about, you know, revolutionary times when your militia was basically your, essentially what became the national guard, right?

Speaker 5: 00:03:40 Yeah, exactly. I mean, it was a time where, especially if post revolutionary war where you weren’t even sure where, you know, what country you lived in at the time. I mean, there had just been a revolution. There were still you know, battles going on in your hometown. So it, it only made sense to want to protect yourself.

Speaker 4: 00:03:58 Sure. And your local militias were basically groups of people that, that, you know, I guess if I, if I used a wild West term, it would be almost like posses in the wild West where it was a group of vigilant citizens who were bound together to try and protect the greater good.

Speaker 7: 00:04:22 And they were

Speaker 4: 00:04:25 Gangs really for, for, you know, a better, in lack of a better term, they were citizens with guns. And those citizens with the guns had a loosely aligned group of people that would stand up against foreign invaders. They weren’t regular soldiers, they weren’t part of the army. But they work in Sidore to be part of a militia at that point in time. So the idea behind the second amendment was that the citizens who could form these militias should be allowed to bear arms and and carry weapons, keep weapons. And a lot of people who are in the column of gun control have latched onto that mil, that militia aspect of things and basically said, well, if you’re not in the Melician now, then you shouldn’t be allowed to, to bear arms. You have to be part of some kind of organized militia. And we don’t have militias today. At least none that aren’t generally associated with, you know, cults or extremists or, or something along those lines. The concept of citizen soldiers, which is what militias were born from evolved into today’s national guard where it’s not regular army, they are citizen soldiers who serve part time.

Speaker 4: 00:05:55 And if you look at it from that perspective, it makes sense that the national guard members should have weapons, but average citizens shouldn’t.

Speaker 4: 00:06:04 What are your thoughts on that?

Speaker 5: 00:06:07 Yeah, I mean I agree with that. I just think, and it’s something that’s usually decided when you’re arguing against the second amendment and how it speeds is that the militia that in the revolutionary war imposed note, Robert Hussein war, their weapons were a monk and you know things that were individually loaded and oftentimes it would just come down to hand to hand combat anyway. So comparing that to today is impossible because when, you know, when that amendment was written, defending politics had no idea the leaves that technology would take forward where, you know, automatic weapons and things like that in the hands of emulsion today are much more deadly than say, you know, 10 or 12 people with muskets lining up and firing the trees. One person who I don’t want a magic weapon can be far more deadly than a whole militia back in post-revolutionary times.

Speaker 4: 00:07:00 Absolutely. I mean, you figure a well-trained soldier who has worked with a musket for years, if they’re lucky, they could get three to four rounds off per minute with a musket and the muskets were notoriously inaccurate. So those four rounds, if one of those four rounds struck home, you would have been lucky. And you look at what you have today, you can fire off hundreds or tens or dozens of rounds per minute depending on, you know, the type of capabilities the weapon you have today is. So, yeah, it was, I mean, one person could, could put out the equivalent fire power over an entire line of militia.

Speaker 4: 00:07:49 And it’s, it’s kind of scary, but

Speaker 4: 00:07:53 People who attack that whole idea of, you know, I don’t have to be in a militia. It’s designed for citizens. And there was a case in 2008 that went before the Supreme court. It was district of Columbia vs Heller that held up that the second amendment protects an individual’s right to possess a firearm unconnected with service and a militia. So that ruling right there kind of undermines a lot of what I think the founding fathers had in mind for, for weapons. You know, they didn’t expect the founding fathers could not have foreseen an individual who was mentally deranged going off and killing dozens of people with a weapon that was meant to defend people with. So we’re kind of left with that fairly fresh legacy of that Supreme court ruling.

Speaker 5: 00:08:53 Yeah. And I mean, I am, I think, go ahead.

Speaker 4: 00:08:55 No, no, go ahead please.

Speaker 5: 00:08:58 A part of it that ruling for self defense and I think it’s something I’ll probably touch on later once we get to the mass shootings. But I think this is just more my personal opinion, but I don’t think a, an assault rifle or automatic weapon in general is unnecessary for the level of self defense that is intended in that ruling. I mean, a pistol or even a shotgun for home defense. I mean you’re not holding off armies of people in your own town. You don’t need something as efficient as well efficient at killing in the worst way as an assault rifle to do that. And I think that’s where a lot of that gray area comes in. Which I’m sure, like I said, we’ll touch on a lot more later.

Speaker 4: 00:09:36 Yeah, I agree. And I think, I think the sad thing is, is that if you’re going to use self-defense as a reason for having a weapon, that self-defense is really defensive against other people with those weapons. In which case it’s the Gates itself, right? So, so anyway, we have the second amendment now. We have to sort of live with it at this point in time, but it’s, it’s good to kind of reflect on, on why it was put into the constitution and the, the aspects that we have to deal with today. Let’s take a quick break and we’ll come back and we’ll talk about some some interesting statistics on gun violence and the leading causes of death in the United States.

Speaker 4: 00:10:29 So every day a hundred Americans are killed with guns. And hundreds more are shot and injured. According to the website. Every town researched up or the effects of gun violence extend far beyond these casualties. Gun violence shapes the lives of millions of Americans who witness it. No, someone who was shot or live in fear of the next shooting. So I find that number, I mean statistically alarming that a hundred Americans are shot are killed with guns every day. And, and of course it averages out across the course of the year. But that’s like, I don’t, I don’t see a hundred people during the course of a day. And so imagine that a hundred people are being killed by guns is kind of scary, don’t you think?

Speaker 5: 00:11:25 Yeah. I mean it’s, it’s difficult to put that number on a personal scale. Cause I mean, if you think about a hundred people like you said, you don’t even see a hundred people that often and could you name a hundred people that you know? But then when you compare it to the, what, 330 million people that live in the United States, it’s a much smaller number. And I think that’s something that when you’re looking at statistics like that, it’s difficult to see the scale of them and just compare a number, like a hundred people a day to the wider number of the total population of the United States and, and there where you can get lost kind of in the numbers, which can be kind of confusing, you know?

Speaker 4: 00:12:05 Sure. And I think you’re right. I mean, it is a a hundred people a day as statistically insignificant in the grand scheme of things, unless you’re one of those a hundred people. Right.

Speaker 8: 00:12:15 Okay.

Speaker 5: 00:12:16 Exactly. And that’s, you’re not going to go up to one of those a hundred people’s families and say, Oh, your numbers are, you know, your numbers don’t matter because there’s so many other people in the United States, of course, for those hundred families that are affected, or a hundred, you know, brothers and sisters are wives and husbands that are affected it, it changes their lives forever. And that’s, it’s definitely a problem. Especially because it doesn’t have to be a hundred people a day. You know, there’s, there’s things that we can do or that should be able to do to at least lower that number.

Speaker 8: 00:12:45 Okay.

Speaker 4: 00:12:45 I agree 100%. So if you mathematically put the numbers out there, you’re looking at an average death per year to gun violence at 36,383, which is an alarming number. There’s no doubt about that. But if you look at the top 10 leading causes of death in the U S

Speaker 8: 00:13:06 It again, it, it

Speaker 4: 00:13:10 Sort of dilutes that 36,000. So the number one leading cause of death in United States is heart disease. So 600 and nearly 650,000 people a year die from heart disease at the number one spot. So 36,000 seems less significant considerably from that. But heart disease is also something that is something that may or may not be preventable. Whereas gun deaths, you know, you take guns away, you can stop gun deaths. I mean

Speaker 8: 00:13:46

Speaker 4: 00:13:46 On the surface it seems like such a no brainer type thing of well we’ve got 36,000 people that are dying because of guns. Let’s just stop it. Let’s make the guns go away and stop it. Do you think that’s, that’s a viable answer for that?

Speaker 5: 00:14:02 I think it’s an idealistic answer. I don’t think it’s a realistic one though. I mean, I’m looking at those numbers. Neil deGrasse Tyson got in trouble a couple probably like a month ago for making the same argument because you know, he compared similar numbers. He can very gun deaths to, you know, car accidents and heart disease and stuff like that. But the part that he left out was that there’s, there aren’t heart disease lobbyists that are campaigning for more heart disease in America and you know, you, you can’t prevent heart disease, but things like cancer, which is the number two with a 599,000 deaths, that’s more difficult to prevent. And, and like you said, you could take the guns away to prevent those desks, but I think that’s going to be much, much more difficult than you know, a lot of people are ready to accept.

Speaker 4: 00:14:47 Well, I think cancer is a, is a very good one that can pick on here because you’re right, it’s nearly 600,000 people annually die from cancer. And, and this is all cancers. Mind you, we didn’t break down the cancer numbers, but a large chunk of those are from cancers, from tobacco products. And even to this day, the federal government subsidizes the growth and sale of tobacco products because of how much money the federal government brings in, in tax dollars on it. So the federal government doesn’t want to move to stop gun violence. You can’t get legislation literally to save your life from the federal government. But a cancer causing agent that we know is a known carcinogen. We know we can put a number on how many people get cancer from smoking tobacco and chewing tobacco and everything else. The government actually subsidizes that. Now if you could get the government to stop that, I have to imagine you’re going to see a significant drop in cancer deaths as a result of tobacco use. But the federal government’s not going to do that because there’s money in it.

Speaker 5: 00:16:00 Yeah. And that’s something we’re going to touch on later with guns as well. There’s a lot of money in that, and every week, every year, more money is dumped into it. So it just another industry or like, okay.

Speaker 4: 00:16:11 Yeah. And with, with government, unfortunately it’s always a matter of following the money and you’ll see why things get done with government. Another interesting statistic that came out of the leading causes of death, the number 10 leading causes of death is suicide. Now that’s a roughly 47,000 people die from suicide, which in and of itself is tragic. But when you look at the number of gun deaths at 36,000 and you break those numbers down, nearly two thirds of gun deaths are suicides. So that number makes up the vast amount of suicides that are done in this country in itself. So the natural conclusion one can draw at that point is if people didn’t have access to guns, would they commit suicide?

Speaker 5: 00:17:07 Well I think, I personally think they still would. I mean the guns aren’t, aren’t causing mental health issues. I think the reason that the gun, nearly two thirds are from guns is because it’s, it’s kind of awful to say this, but it’s the, it’s a fast way to go and it’s an easy way to go, especially if you have access to a gun. I mean other options and it’s mentioned here they’re often not successful. And you’re often just left in more pain than you had before. So, so with the gun, you know, it’s fast and it’s easy and I picked that. That’s why the number is so high. So even if you took guns away, you’d still have suicides or I guess maybe you’d have more suicide attempts. But I know it’s, it’s unfortunate.

Speaker 4: 00:17:52 So guns are a convenient path to suicide, but if you’re committed to committing suicide and you know, if that’s the path that you run it go, you’ll find a way to do it. Whether or not you have a gun or not.

Speaker 5: 00:18:06 Yeah, exactly. I think in this instance the real, if you’re talking about suicide is the real problem is going to be mental health and mental health facilities that tricky to do a whole another show on. I don’t think guns are the problem when it comes to suicide. I think guns are a tool that people use to achieve, you know, the end that they’re going to get to either way

Speaker 4: 00:18:24 Agree with that. But I don’t know, maybe the optimist in me wants to think that if, if it wasn’t so convenient to commit suicide, maybe there was a, a higher survival rate or a higher chance of, you know, quote unquote talking that person down off the ledge if it wasn’t so convenient. So if it was something where, I mean, let’s face it, a gun is a snap decision pull the trigger and you’re done. Other methods of suicide tend to be a little bit more involved, a little bit more complicated and a little bit more difficult. And Nate, some, some of those methods take some, some effort and time to accomplish. And maybe that little bit of time if I didn’t, if I couldn’t just pick up a gun and do it, maybe there’s a chance and trying to go through those other methods that somebody could reach out to me and see that I have an issue in and get me the help that I need. And you might see those rates go down. That’s purely speculative though.

Speaker 5: 00:19:28 I can definitely understand that. And on top of that, if someone still can’t get to you in time, you can still be brought back from whatever you’ve attempted. You know, you can, you can be brought to the hospital and they can treat you. You can be, you know, it’s, it’s less fun. It’s less final than a gunshot wound to wherever you’re going to do that. Other methods you know, there’s ways to treat that you can have here that your stomach pumped or you can have, you know, cuts you know, bandaged up and healed. Whereas with a gunshot wound, especially if it’s going to be that that’s going to be fatal. Like we have here, 85% of the time, those suicide attempts and then death. Now I think with other, with other ways of going about suicide, those numbers just aren’t the same because you can be brought back and you can be, you know, treated or rescued from that.

Speaker 4: 00:20:15 That’s a very good point. You know, you know, if I put a gun on my head and pull the trigger, chances are that’s immediately fatal. And you’re not going to revive me from that. But you know, if I take a handful of pills to try to do things, cause I’m down in the dumps and, and I don’t think there’s any way out, someone can discover me. And, and you’re right, I could be revived from that. So, very good point. So two thirds of gun violence in two thirds of deaths are suicide. So that leaves us one third of our, our gun deaths, a little over 10,000 gun deaths a year are homicides by someone else’s hand, obviously. And there’s a couple of interesting statistics on this. For instance the U S gun homicide rate is 25 times higher than that of other high income countries. So we killed 25 times more people than other countries, other first and second world countries.

Speaker 4: 00:21:24 Is that because we have access to guns?

Speaker 5: 00:21:30 I personally absolutely think so. Yeah. I mean, I, I’ve heard people from other countries speak about gun violence in their countries and you just can’t get guns. So there’s not that much gun violence. That’s why in, you know, the UK, you see a lot of stabbings and things like that because of guns aren’t as easy to get to. Even police officers, I don’t believe that they’ll care and guns there it’s astounding. It’s such a different culture compared to America where we have almost a, a fetish with guns in this country. I believe so. Anyway. so yeah, I mean, because you can’t get access to guns. Those numbers are obviously going to be lower. And the, the argument is always, well, if criminals want to get guns, they can get them. That’s really not true because it’s, it’s people that get the guns legally and otherwise that allow them to it to be 25 times higher than, than high. They’re high income countries.

Speaker 4: 00:22:28 And that’s a good point because a lot of, a lot of arguments that I hear on this subject are, well, you know, if you pass gun control laws so the average citizens can’t get a gun, then only the criminals are going to get the guns because they don’t abide by the laws. And while there is a certain natural logic to that, the point that you make of well where are the criminals getting those guns? They’re getting them illegally from people who legally obtain those guns. So if the average citizen couldn’t get guns, the flow of guns available to criminals should in theory drop significantly at that point in time.

Speaker 5: 00:23:11 And that’s thought. It’s also an issue of, of supply and demand. Cause if there’s a demand for guns, the market is going to be flooded with them, which it obviously is. So if there’s just more guns in circulation in general, anybody who’s going to be able to get their hands on them, if there isn’t any demand or if there’s some kind of regulation where those guns aren’t being produced or sold, then the pool from which you can get a gun from, it’s going to drop dramatically.

Speaker 4: 00:23:36 Well that in that case, I would say the effect that prohibition had. Okay. So with prohibition, they outlawed alcohol, the production and transport of alcohol. And as a result of that, there was such a demand for it that it fueled this huge criminal underground that bore the lakes of Al Capone and, and other organized crime families that then basically became a plague on the country. Do you think something like that could potentially happen if a law is passed to stop citizens from owning firearms where the black market or the underbelly of society then has such a demand for them that, that the criminals rise up?

Speaker 9: 00:24:29 Well, I think, I mean, if you’re comparing to the prohibition, it’s a lot easier to make alcohol in your basement than it is to make our gun. And I think that’s, that’s something there that, you know, cause the guns are complex machines. Obviously they require a lot of parts, but I think, I’m not sure if the criminals would rise up. I think we already have such a problem then. And I think in other countries they’re, their gun regulations are much more strict and they, the fact is they just have less shootings. So I think that the data is there to support the fact that that less guns overall equal less mass shootings and less deaths by guns. So

Speaker 6: 00:25:03 I, and I, and I don’t disagree with that. That premise. However, I will say with the advent of three D printing now and, and the ability to print metallic objects, it’s not that difficult to build your own gun at home these days. You have, you have home-brewed gunsmiths that are doing this on a fairly regular basis now. And they’re, they’re, you know, they’re unregistered. They’re, they’re unregulated guns in that case. And the federal government has been struggling to find ways to crack down on that.

Speaker 9: 00:25:40 Yeah. I think if you were to eliminate guns, you would then see the uptake in three D printing, which, and then you could regulate that. So I think there’s always a cause and effect, no matter what you’re going to do, you’d be able to regulate it somehow.

Speaker 6: 00:25:53 So another interesting statistic on gun homicide is half of all gun homicides took place in 127 different cities, which represent nearly a quarter of the us population. And within these cities,

Speaker 4: 00:26:12 Gun homicides are most prevalent in racially segregated neighborhoods with high rates of poverty.

Speaker 4: 00:26:22 This is a throwback to the black lives matter

Speaker 4: 00:26:29 Movement I believe, where you’re seeing low income people in high crime rate areas are being the, you know, largely the victims of, of this plague of gun violence. What’s your take on that? And I mean, is that, is that indicative of our society? Is that something in and of itself that can be fixed?

Speaker 5: 00:26:57 Ah, well I think, I think a lot of it is that poverty can sometimes be a trap a lot. Sometimes. Most of the time it’s impossible to get out of. And I think that it, the culture of it can cause people that are growing up in a to then they get more of the negative influences of it. So I think that the gun violence is, it can come from it because it’s a, it’s almost a brute force technique where if you want something, the easiest way to get it is to point a gun to somebody to take it. And if you’re in poverty, you don’t have that much. So it’s, it’s a, it’s a matter of survival almost. And guns again, become a tool to survive in that kind of environment.

Speaker 4: 00:27:41 No doubt. Yeah. I think you’re, you’re absolutely right. As it is really as survival of the fittest. Statistically black Americans are 10 times more likely than white Americans to die by gun violence. And I think that’s a significant statistic, not just on the topic of gun violence itself, but you know, I mean, that spreads across racial lines and spreads across economic lines. And I really think it’s a Testament to how our society reacts to these issues and, and how, you know, we solve or we don’t solve these problems is, you know, politicians, again, you follow the money. You know, politicians are going to regulate things that are beneficial to themselves, their campaigns and their political parties and inner city blacks, while they mean votes for these politicians, they’re not getting any money out of them. And I think ultimately it’s a, it’s an economic crime on the part of our politicians to ignore these things and hope that they solved themselves, but they’re never going to. So we’ll take a little break, we’ll come back and we will talk a little bit about mass shootings. So during the course of 2019, which isn’t even over yet, we’ve had statistically speaking, a total of 79 people killed and 122 people injured in mass shootings. And these STEM from the January 23rd shooting in submarine Florida, all the way up to the August 31st Odessa, Texas shootings. And in between

Speaker 9: 00:29:42 There, there’s three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10, about 12. So just for 2019, we’ve had a

Speaker 4: 00:29:52 Roughly a dozen mass shootings in the United States. Is that alarming to you?

Speaker 10: 00:30:06 I don’t,

Speaker 5: 00:30:07 I’m not sure because I think nowadays it

Speaker 10: 00:30:11 Yeah.

Speaker 5: 00:30:11 And I hate to say it, but it has become commonplace. It’s almost become expected to have these kinds of things. You know, you look at the spreading out of these, of these dates and it’s

Speaker 9: 00:30:23 Averaging at least one or two a month and, and to think back like it’s, it’s, you become desensitized to it, which is awful because it’s still such a horrible thing. But

Speaker 7: 00:30:33 Okay.

Speaker 9: 00:30:34 I mean, the human mind, you know, it’s a, it’s a coping mechanism when you hear about it so often it just becomes expected at certain extent. And it’s obviously terrible because if you’re in one of these shootings, you don’t see it that way because it’s your life and it’s happening to you. But then again, I think most people don’t think it’s going to happen to them. And I think that that’s just a symptom of, of the, the larger issue of, of these plethora of mass shootings.

Speaker 6: 00:31:00 Well, and, and again, we’ll look mathematically at the equation here. Statistically speaking, we’re saying that the 36,000 people who were killed by gun violence in the grand scheme of things in the country is insignificant. Of those 36,079 were killed in mass shootings, which is not even a margin of error in the calculations of these numbers, but the mass shootings are the ones that seem to get all the press.

Speaker 6: 00:31:35 Do you think that’s doing

Speaker 6: 00:31:39 Is that helpful to the overall topic of gun violence? Do you think it’s doing a disservice by, by leaning so heavily on mass shootings as an example of, of what is wrong with gun violence in this country?

Speaker 9: 00:31:56 I think it can be a double edged sword. I do agree that, I think, cause I wasn’t, I was aware of the, the number of suicides attributed to gun violence. So I think a lot of that should be touched on more, but I also think it’s, it’s a problem with the media in general today is that it’s about sensationalism. And you’re not going to report on the number of suicides from guns every week, but if you can talk about, you know, a mass shooting and you can get footage of, you know, people running or you can get firsthand accounts of, you know, how terrible it was that’s going to get, you can put that on your five o’clock news and it’s going to get people to watch. And it’s, it’s terrible to equate acquainted that way. But that is a lot of the times how these kinds of things work, they need people to watch and that requires stories. And that’s why despite the fact that it’s a margin of error in, you know, statistics wise, it’s the thing that’s going to get eyeballs on these kinds of stories. And that’s why they keep getting reported on and harped on, even if they’re a small you know, symptom in the, in the grander disease.

Speaker 6: 00:33:04 And I don’t disagree with you there. I think my concern comes more from the fact that because the mass shootings get the the press going and they’re the ones that seem to get all of the attention, the outrage from people is, is inaccurately placed on these things. So, you know, 79 people were killed this year so far, which is tragic without a doubt. But the fact that people are demanding that we have gun control measures put in place so that people can’t buy automatic weapon semiautomatic weapons. You can’t buy bump stocks, you can’t buy magazines that are over a certain size. All the focus that the politicians and the public are demanding in seeming to adopt here are targeted towards mass shootings when,

Speaker 8: 00:34:03 Okay,

Speaker 6: 00:34:04 None of the, the majority of these killings being suicides is getting the attention that it needs. Like, you know, and I don’t mean to make light of this, but you know, an AR 15 with a bump stock that has a 30 round clip isn’t going to save someone’s life who’s committing suicide with a gun. So putting restrictions on that’s not solving those problems. It only takes one gun or one bullet, you know? So my concern is that because the mass shootings are getting all this attention, you’re getting an extreme uprising of what people think are the solutions. And when you have that kind of extreme uprising of we need to take all the guns off the street, then you get the second amendment you know, gun rights people out there who are getting even more extreme and inflaming the situation even more when really you’ve got 20,000 people who are killing themselves with guns, whose voices aren’t being heard here. You’re not getting mental health, like you said earlier, to help those people because they’re not crying out for help. And the lack of then not crying out for help is being overshadowed dramatically by mass shootings where people are asking for extreme solutions. What are your thoughts on that?

Speaker 9: 00:35:28 Yeah, I, I do agree with you with that, but I think in addition, I think that at least there is reporting on it because by reporting on mass shootings, you’re getting shining a light on, on things that America has not really been keen on talking about. Mainly the two are mental health and the uptick in white supremacy in the last couple of years. So by shining a light on mental health in regards to the shooters, I think that that can have ripple effects to people that may be facing, you know, suicidal tendencies as well as people that are mentally I don’t want to say deranged, but that could you know, hurt themselves and others through using guns as well as, you know, the white supremacy which you’re seeing a lot of these Mo, most recent shootings. So I think the suicide is definitely should be talked about more, but I also think a byproduct of covering mass shootings in general is that mental health is getting is becoming more of a national dialogue. Whereas previously it wasn’t it wasn’t as commonplace in, you know, most people’s vernacular.

Speaker 6: 00:36:33 Oh, by that, you know, it definitely is getting more attention because of these shootings. And I think more attention in general is probably a good thing, even though it’s not a direct it probably where it would do the most good, but anything’s better than nothing, I suppose. And speaking of nothing, I want to take a moment to talk sort of a little bit about where I think some of the problems are with gun control itself. And to do that, I’d like to illustrate that point by putting a few numbers out there. So gun control is really a political issue. So if you can get politicians on board with your point of view you’ll get legislation passed that supports your, your points of view. America has demonstrated time and time again that we have the best politicians that money can buy. And just in 2018 looking at gun rights versus gun control, lobbying the gun control lobby, the people who want gun control spent just over $2 million on lobbying groups with government. Elected officials. Whereas the gun rights group, our second amendment friends, you think everyone should be packing heat. They spent nearly $12 million and the gun manufacturing industry who obviously wants to sell guns, spent an additional one point $4 million. So you’re seeing the gun control lobbyists significantly by an order of magnitude outspent consistently by gun rights and the gun manufacturing industry. So it’s really no surprise why politicians are doing little to nothing for gun control. How do we, how do we solve this problem?

Speaker 9: 00:38:33 I mean, it’s difficult compete with money. Just in general, especially when you have organizations like the NRA, which are huge which we’ll touch on them later. But when you have organizations like that, that their sole purpose is to influence politicians and, and to fund for gun rights, and they’re backed by some of the richest people in the world, that is a difficult thing to compete with. And I think really, if you can’t get them with money, you’re going to have to get them with public image. Because when and when they’re branded as almost supporting or fueling these with the mass shootings, despite the fact that the mass shootings are statistically, you know, not that impactful in terms of deaths compared to the rest of the country, giving them a negative public image I think is gonna hurt them a lot more than you know, outspending them because despite the fact that money runs a lot of the show, I do think that at the end of the day, if the public perception of these lobbyists in these organizations are negative, that’s going to have almost as equal of an impact.

Speaker 6: 00:39:37 I, you know, I’d like to think that that’s how it would be. I don’t know, maybe I’m just overly skeptical when it comes to politicians and money, but you know, none the number one thing a politician is interested in when they get in the office is getting reelected. And they’ll do pretty much, you know, as demonstrated historically, they’ll do pretty much anything to, to assure that they get reelected, you know if, and anyone who wants to get elected or reelected needs campaign financing. So the concern that I have is you can buy politicians. You just need to be the highest bidder in the room. And right now the, the gun lobbyists are the ones that are, that are packing the most money in. So how do we, if we can’t get gun control in place, how as citizens, can we solve this problem or protect ourselves or otherwise resolve the issue of gun violence? Do we have some alternative?

Speaker 9: 00:40:43 Well, I mean, the, the easy answer, even though it’s not the most realistic one as is to vote with your wallet, you know, stop buying guns, stop buying ammunition. Despite the fact that these countries have, are not countries that companies have contracts with the military and then with the government that they’re going to get a lot of their money from. If they lose the consumers that are buying a lot of these guns, that could hurt them too. Otherwise, I’m not really sure. I looked gun control lobbyists or officials that are, have a lot of money on, I’m not sure how to, you know, you can fight fire with fire I guess, but it’s, it’s it’s an uphill battle. Absolutely.

Speaker 6: 00:41:23 Well, you make a couple of good points there. One is stop buying ammunition. So, so the second amendment guarantees you the right to bear arms. It does not guarantee you to ammunition. So is outlawing ammunition or charging $1,000 per bullet an answer?

Speaker 9: 00:41:41 It’s an answer. I don’t think it’s going to work though. I don’t think anybody would ever go for that. I mean, I think cause then you could just start making your own bullets because I think that’s, I mean if you S you talked about three D printing guns as easy. I think making ammunition is even easier. So that would, I think that would encourage more underground black market stuff. But I don’t know that is an answer. But like I said, I don’t think that would ever pass .

Speaker 6: 00:42:05 I would tend to agree with you with that. The other thing that you mentioned there is to vote in people of your own point of view. And I think ultimately that’s kind of where we need to get to. Politicians spend a lot of money to get elected and it’s not always the guy who spends the most who gets elected. Sometimes the moral fiber of the country wins out and you elect the best person, not the richest person. And I’d like to think that if we had a little bit more of that then, then we could solve some of these problems without having to worry about buying our politicians. But we’ll come back, we’ll talk about some gun control techniques, what we think will work and some gun control, corporate gun control, that’s been done in the news lately.

Speaker 6: 00:43:12 So there are a number of techniques that are floating around for gun control. I’ll run down the list real quick and you tell me what you think would be the most effective or combination of these. So we’ve got background checks. Everyone is, is yelling about these days. Then you’ve got a technological solution and smart guns that only keyed individuals can fire. We have our assault weapon ban that’s already in place that people want to extend to additional rapid fire semiautomatic weapons. Then you’ve got legislation for restricting the magazine size of the weapons themselves. So you can only have a certain number of weapons, which I think are mass shooters at that point in time. Just practice reloading and it’s doesn’t solve a problem. Then you have waiting periods where you can have and these work in conjunction with background checks where you can limit the immediate access that people have to, to weapons. Do any of these have a chance of solving any of the problems that we’re facing today?

Speaker 9: 00:44:23 Well I do like the assault weapon ban. I do personally believe that that should be expanded onto include pretty all automatic weapons. I don’t see the need unless you’re going to a firing range of why a citizen would need to carry an automatic weapon. For self defense. I mean, like I said at the top of the podcast, you’re not defending your house from an army anymore. But,

Speaker 6: 00:44:48 And just to clarify that there is a band, you know, there was a thing, it was a 94 ban on fully automatic weapons. So we’re talking weapons that you can fire as fast as you can pull the trigger, which in most cases equates to automatic, especially if you’re using bump stocks.

Speaker 9: 00:45:04 Okay. Yeah, that makes a little more sense. But then I guess I’m not sure. I, I was not familiar with smart weapons. I’m not sure how practical or, or prevalent they are how easy they are to get. But I’m not sure how smart weapons would help because if the person owns the gun legally and is going to do some kind of shooting illegally, if it’s coded to their thumb printer, however they work, they’re still going to be able to use it. I don’t see how that would help. Background checks and waiting periods are probably the best. The two together. And I think with background checks, more emphasis on mental health evaluations would be probably the best route because that’s where we’re seeing, cause then you could, you know, get two birds with one stone, preventing the number of suicides. If mental health evaluation is a thing you can give people the help they need as well as people that are a threat to others and themselves with the mass shootings.

Speaker 6: 00:46:04 And, and I think you’re probably probably right of the options that we have available. They’re probably the best. Smart weapons are interesting because famously a few years back, the state of New Jersey legislature passed a law saying that when smart weapons were made available, they were mandatory in our gun laws. So they, they didn’t even exist at the time. But the premise of a smart weapon is there is an electronic circuit with sensors in the gun and the person who owns the gun would have a bracelet or some other type of transmitter so that if they’re holding the gun, the gun can be, the safety is unlocked and they can fire the gun. But you’re right, if the owner who legally owns the gun is the one who’s using the weapon for illegal purposes, smart weapons don’t solve anything unless there was some kind of mechanism in which police had some kind of universal override to lock the weapons,

Speaker 9: 00:47:05 Which no one’s ever going to go for that because it’d be the same thing as taking the guns.

Speaker 6: 00:47:09 Exactly. Exactly. And even background checks with waiting periods and fortunately have holes in it because the system itself has had individuals who have been involved in mass shootings who have had red flags thrown up in their background checks or their paperwork got held up or got redirected and action that should’ve been taken. Was it taken? Maybe a combination of all of these things might, might be helpful. The idea of restricting magazine signs, you know, we go back to muskets. Okay. So if, if we, if we take the concept of bearing arms, literally the way it’s written in the constitution and the time period in which it was written, then everyone should be allowed to have muskets and no other weapons, in which case you would pretty much eliminate mass shootings because if I could only fire three rounds per minute, if I’m really good, you know, there is a 22nd turnaround time between re-loading that gives people a chance to, to, you know, run away.

Speaker 6: 00:48:18 We had done an another podcasts on our insights in the teens podcast on mass shootings and we had talked about safety techniques and how to handle an active shooter situation. And one of the things we talked about there is wait for the person to reload and use that opportunity to act either to flee the scene, contact police distract the, the shooter or take the shooter down. But really it’s a matter of when they’re not lethal, they’re in the process of reloading. So if that person has to reload every six rounds, it increases the number of opportunities that individuals who are victims in this case can, can fleet a safety or defend themselves. So it might be a combination of all of these things. Now, one of the interesting things along these lines is what commercial companies are doing these days. So for instance had an article a little while back on Walmart who’s going to stop selling certain types of ammunition in the wake of the El Paso, Texas shootings.

Speaker 6: 00:49:41 The Walmart CEO, Doug McMillan says it’s clear to us that the status quo is unacceptable, which is just a statement to the obvious. But with such as the two to three caliber rounds using some military style weapons, like the AR fifteens can break bones damaged tissue far from the point of entry. And that’s less to do with the caliber of the weapon than it has to do with the the charge that it uses because of a high speed nature of the round. And they talk about handgun ammunition such as nine millimeter hollow points are designed to maximize. Now why civilians are allowed to purchase hollow point ammunition is astonishing to me. But both types of these ammunition will be discontinued at Walmart. So from a corporate standpoint, Walmart’s at least trying to do their part to improve things. Do you think this helps the overall situation? Do you think it, it they stand out as leaders as a result of this? What are your thoughts?

Speaker 9: 00:50:52 Absolutely. I think they do. Yeah. I mean, I’m not much to advocate for Walmart but they’re all, they’re like the largest retailer in the world, I think, or at least in the country. So I think for them to take a stance on some of the things this is, is huge. And it’ll encourage companies to follow suit. I mean, even if you look at it from the civical standpoint that because the shootings happened in Walmart, they need to make a stand. It’s still, you know, positive change because it’s, it’s got to start somewhere. And even if it’s from a cynical accompany saving face standpoint, the end result is still the same, that these changes are being made. And if, you know, Walmart is the first to do it, it would benefit other companies to probably follow suit or face, you know, public iron.

Speaker 6: 00:51:37 Yeah, I agree. Anything someone has to stop op, someone has to be the first to step up and start doing something. If the government’s not going to do something to help out corporate responsibility, you know, needs to kick in here. And on another front you have companies like Walgreens, Kroger CVS and Wegmans who have adopted a no open carry policy now. So they won’t allow you in the stores if you’re carrying weapons at this point in time. Now to me, this isn’t solving anything, but what it is is basically them throwing their weight behind the gun control movement at the very least. So at least they’re trying to spearhead the efforts. I mean we, we’d go to Disney frequently and even though I’m not a big fan of Disney, Disney has had an open, a ban on carrying weapons in general.

Speaker 6: 00:52:34 And in fact we had, I had an incident a few years back. I was meeting a, a group of friends from a gaming group and one of the people who attended was a Florida citizen in Florida is a open carry state where you can, as long as it’s clear and in view you can carry your weapon. He had shown up at the, what was downtown Disney, they’re shopping area and we were going to have lunch and we’re sitting there having a conversation and Disney two Disney cast members in, two security guards approached us and basically started questioning him because he had his holster on, but he did not have the weapon. He kept a weapon locked up in his car. And they went so far as the ask him to, you know, take the holster off and conceal the holster, put the holster in his car for the duration of his stay because of how alarming it is for people to see someone carrying a weapon and how strict they, wherever their weapons policies.

Speaker 6: 00:53:37 So having other companies jump on board here with this kind of the feats, one of the arguments that these open carry States have that being well if there’s someone who’s a active shooter, our citizens can carry weapons and defend themselves. Which clearly wasn’t effective in two of the recent Texas shootings where Texas is an open carry state as well. And you know, this shooting still occurred and they were not intervened by members of the public there who were carrying weapons. What are your thoughts on open carry and these companies banding opening open carry in their stores?

Speaker 9: 00:54:23 Well I can definitely understand that, especially for someone like Disney because there’s a lot of kids there and then kids, especially since they’re conditioning now in school to have gun for shooting drills. I can absolutely understand why a gun would become a something that would be a fear kind of trigger. So I can understand that. But I also think that, I dunno, I’m not sure what the, Oh, I can understand why you’d wanna open carry while you’d want to be able to say, Hey, I have a gun. I can defend myself. So that if you were to encounter some threat, it might deter the threat because they can see that you have a gun. But I mean, in the Walmart shootings, I believe, and I could be wrong about this, but if you look at the security footage of the guy doing it, he just walked in and opened fire. He wasn’t, he didn’t have any holsters or anything. He was fully loaded when he walked into the store. So I think it’s mostly like you, like we said before, the companies just getting on the bandwagon and, and doing something to try to you know, save public face.

Speaker 6: 00:55:26 Yeah. Yeah. And you know, people like to go back to the Oakland Carey and say, well, someone sees me carrying a weapon. It’s a deterrent. They’re going to be far less likely to do anything and then I can’t help but think of, yeah, that really worked in the wild West, right? There were no shootings because everyone was carrying a six shooter.

Speaker 9: 00:55:45 And it’ll make you more of a target too. I mean, they’re going to aim for you first. Do they think you’re

Speaker 6: 00:55:48 Right? They’re going to hit the person and it’s the biggest threat. So one of the other things that I wanted to mention here, and it was, I think this is probably the last thing that we have to talk about is a frustration that States and cities have now with the federal government not taking action and then taking action themselves to try and curb some of these threats. The city of San Francisco recently according to a Fox news article branded the NRA, a domestic terrorist organization they passed a resolution that says the U S is plague by an epidemic of gun violence, which is, you know, you couldn’t state anything more obvious than that. The resolution accuses the NRA of using its considerable wealth and organizational strength to promote gun ownership and incite gun owners to acts of violence. Is this the way to go?

Speaker 9: 00:56:52 I think it helps. I mean, I also think it’s probably, well, I’d probably, it’s definitely politically motivated. I mean San Francisco is probably mostly a liberal area, so by doing this are probably gonna get a lot of votes when people that are against the NRA, which is typically a Republican dominated. But again, despite it being cynical, I do think it is something helpful, especially cause they talk about limit those entities who do business with the city and the County of San Francisco from doing business with this domestic terrorist organization. I think it’s a little extreme but it’s also really bold and you know, to come out and see this organization is domestic terrorist. And I’m sure that people that are members of the NRA are, you know, we’re thrilled about that. But I think it’s similar to Walmart or someone has to make the first step and someone has to say something and do something. So I think if that’s, you know, politically motivated or not, if that’s what comes out of, and I think it does have a positive outcome.

Speaker 6: 00:57:53 Well, the interesting that I, I take from this and you pointed out here is they’re labeling the NRA as domestic terrorists. Well, if you have a domestic terrorists, Timothy McVeigh was the domestic terrorists. Law enforcement went out of its way to capture this individual court. I’m on trial and put them away. They’re not doing this to the NRA. What are they doing to the NRA? They’re trying to hurt the NRA financially by saying no one can do business with them. So they’re not, they’re labeling them domestic terrorists, but they’re not treating them like domestic terrorist. They’re treating them like, you know, a misbehaving corporate entity that you’re not going to allow them to do business with the city anymore. So not only is it politically motivated, I think, I think it’s economically motivated here because you’re not handling them like you would a regular domestic terrorist. I agree. It’s probably a step in the right direction. Is anyone going to follow this example though, is what my concern is?

Speaker 9: 00:59:00 Probably not. I mean, it would depend on what the, who would Stacey NRA has in their pocket. If it’s all, if it goes, you know, red state, blue state, it’d be a little bit easier to determine. But again, who knows? And I think the, going back to the wording of that, I’m pretty sure the only reason I threw the domestic terrorist organization thing and there was to get headlines to draw attention to it because like you said, not act on any of that, but if you’re going to call anything or anyone a domestic terrorist, you know, you’re going to get the headlines. And it doesn’t even make any sense to call a corporation that it’d be like, you know, I mean, yeah, corporations are people, but calling it the NRA, a domestic terrorist, it’s, I don’t know, but it doesn’t really make any sense. It’d be like, you know, calling them equivalent to all Cod or the Taliban for foreign tourists.

Speaker 6: 00:59:44 Yeah. Especially when you have no intention of arresting anyone or, or like actively doing anything. You’re just saying, I’m not gonna do business with you. Yeah. So I don’t know. It’s not going to solve any problems, but you’re right, it’s a headline grabber. So we’ll come back and we’ll talk about our final conclusions on the discussion. So safe to say this, this problem is, is certainly bigger than the, than the two of us here. We’re not going to solve the problems or come up with any associates here, but I am curious where you think this is taking us down the road. Do you think this is

Speaker 6: 01:00:34 This is something that’s going to stick with this and where do you think the, ultimately the resolution is going to go?

Speaker 9: 01:00:42 Well, I think it’s probably only gonna get worse before it gets better of given the, the view. Yeah. Well I mean, given the current administration, they don’t seem to have any intent to change the gun laws. And even with a change, you know, we have the upcoming election, but even with the change of administration, we saw how much that money’s being dumped in to keep guns in the hands of Americans. And being circulated. So I’m not sure it changed the political party even if that were to happen is going to make that much of a difference, you know, when compared to the millions and millions of dollars that are being spent. In conjunction with the, I mentioned it before, but I do think America as kind of a fed as it , that’s a difficult word to say with guns. And I think that that’s a core social problem that needs to be addressed that I don’t think anyone really wants to talk about. Americans love guns to a weird, in my opinion, weird level that you don’t really see in other parts of the world. In other parts of the world, guns are a tool. They’re utility, they’re for self defense. But in America it’s, it’s a point of pride. It’s like having a Lamborghini in your front yard. You have, you know, your assault rifle tricked out with all the most expensive attachments. I think that that is a, another symptom of the problem that is extremely difficult to address and to treat.

Speaker 6: 01:02:05 And I would agree with you 100% there. I think what we have is a cultural problem. A not a legal problem. I mean we have laws right now that govern how and, and how we weapons and how they can be used. I don’t think passing more laws is going to solve the problem. I think people need to not be as fetishized about their guns. I think you hit the nail on the hand and guns are a Rite of passage just like cars are for Americans. And until we as a society decide that, you know, the survival of our children and our loved ones is more important than walking around with the biggest and most impressive gun. I think we’re lost as a society. We have to kind of accept the fact that those freedoms that we have, that our second amendment friends are clinging so, so tightly to they’re going to cost us lives and they’re going to continue to cost us lies.

Speaker 6: 01:03:16 In the meantime, we’re not focusing on where the real problems are with, with mental health issues. And we’re not dealing with the real problems that cause these things. And gun violence is not about mass shootings. Mass shootings are an outlier that are attention grabbing, headline grabbing outliers of gun violence. The leading cause of the leading statistic of gun violence is suicides. And you know, mass shootings are unfortunate side effect of having weapons, but suicide is something that is not gun driven, but at no point in time should suicide be convenient. So I think, you know, as a society we need to focus on those things that are more important and if we can focus on our mental health issues, they will indirectly affect the other problems themselves. So I think that’s all we had for this week. Was there anything else that you wanted to add, Sam?

Speaker 6: 01:04:23 No, I think we covered everything. All right. I think that’s it. This is a monthly podcast that we’re looking at here. We don’t have a production schedule just yet. This is our first one. Once we go through post production, we’ll see we’ll see when we get this posted. But when it does go up you’ll be able to get the audio version of this at podcasts at insight, I’m sorry, podcasts dot insights into and you’ll be able to get the video version on our YouTube channel at into things. I want to thank you, Sam, for taking the time with us today. And we’ll be back next month with another great topic.

Show Notes

  • Introductions
    • Insights Into Tomorrow: Episode 0 “Gun Violence”
    • My insightful and intelligent co-host Sam Whalen
  • Insightful Topic of the Month (Gun Violence)
    • The Second Amendment
      • A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
      • In the 2008 case District of Columbia v. Heller, the Supreme Court held that the “Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.”
    • Gun violence
      • Every day, 100 Americans are killed with guns and hundreds more are shot and injured. The effects of gun violence extend far beyond these casualties—gun violence shapes the lives of millions of Americans who witness it, know someone who was shot, or live in fear of the next shooting.
      • Average Deaths per Year Total 36,383
      • Top ten leading causes of death in the US
        • Heart Disease: 647,457 (23.5%)
        • Cancer: 599,108 (21.3%)
        • Unintentional Injuries (Accidents): 169,936 (6%)
        • Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease: 160,201 (5.7%)
        • Stroke and cerebrovascular disease: 146,383 (5.2%)
        • Alzheimer’s Disease: 121,404 (4.3%)
        • Diabetes: 83,564 (3%)
        • Influenza and pneumonia: 55,672 (2%)
        • Kidney Disease: 50,633 (1.8%)
        • Suicide: 47,173
    • Gun Suicide
      • Nearly two-thirds of gun deaths are suicides.
      • The U.S. gun suicide rate is 10 times that of other high-income countries.
      • Access to a gun increases the risk of death by suicide by three times.
      • Gun suicides are concentrated in states with high rates of gun ownership.
      • Most people who attempt suicide do not die—unless they use a gun.
      • Across all suicide attempts not involving a firearm, less than five percent will result in death.
      • But for gun suicides, those statistics are flipped: approximately 85 percent of gun suicide attempts end in death.
      • White men represent 74 percent of firearm suicide victims in America.
    • Gun Homicide
      • One-third of gun deaths are homicides.
      • The U.S. gun homicide rate is 25 times that of other high-income countries.
      • Access to a gun increases the risk of death by homicide by two times.
      • Gun homicides are concentrated in cities—half of all gun homicides took place in just 127 cities, which represented nearly a quarter of the U.S. population.
      • Within these cities, gun homicides are most prevalent in racially segregated neighborhoods with high rates of poverty.
      • Black Americans represent the majority of gun homicide victims.
      • In fact, Black Americans are 10 times more likely than white Americans to die by gun homicide.

    • Mass shootings in the US in 2019
      • August 31, Odessa Texas – 8 killed, 25 injured
      • August 4, Dayton Ohio – 10 killed, 27 injured
      • August 3, El Paso Texas – 22 killed, 24 injured
      • July 28, Gilroy California – 4 killed, 15 injured
      • May 31, Virginia Beach Virginia – 13 killed, 5 injured
      • May 7, Highlands Ranch Colorado – 1 dead, 8 injured
      • April 30, Charlotte NC – 2 killed, 4 injured
      • April 27, Poway California – 1 killed 3 injured
      • February 15, Aurora Illinois – 6 killed, 6 injured
      • January 28, Houston Texas – 2 killed, 4 injured
      • January 26, Ascension and Livingston Parish LA – 5 killed
      • January 23, Sebring Florida – 5 killed
      • 79 killed
      • 122 injured
    • Gun Control Developments
  • CHART: Gun rights vs. gun control lobbying, 1998-2018

    Year        Gun Control       Gun Rights Gun Manufacturing

    2018        $2,009,212     $11,850,845 $1,431,000

    2017        $1,942,415     $11,440,684 $1,484,000

    2016        $1,657,992     $11,181,199 $1,120,000

    2015        $1,678,956     $11,406,347 $1,010,000

    2014        $1,942,396     $12,013,482 $797,500

    2013        $2,217,765     $15,292,052 $850,000

    2012        $250,000   $6,129,911   $1,039,500

    2011        $280,000   $5,580,651   $1,515,000

    2010        $290,000   $5,847,597   $1,685,000

    2009        $251,425   $5,209,870   $1,594,000

    2008        $150,000   $4,128,771   $1,398,000

    2007        $208,374   $3,962,242   $1,368,000

    2006        $90,100   $3,184,231   $1,400,000

    2005        $230,000   $4,070,587   $1,395,000

    2004        $1,352,346     $4,342,400 $880,000

    2003        $1,021,665     $4,283,326 $672,000

    2002        $1,842,054     $5,684,546 $660,000

    2001        $2,113,699     $6,236,161 $674,000

    2000        $440,000   $6,710,758   $460,000

    1999        $840,000   $5,891,966   $795,000

    1998        $160,000   $4,498,393   $510,000

    • Gun control techniques
      • Background checks
      • Smart weapons
      • Assault weapon ban
      • Restrictions on magazine size
      • Waiting periods
    • Sites of interest
    • Walmart to stop selling certain gun ammunition in the US
    • Walgreens joins Walmart and Kroger in asking customers to no longer openly carry guns
      • Walgreens announced Thursday it was asking customers to “no longer openly carry firearms” in its stores.
      • Authorized law enforcement officials would be exempt from the request
      • CVS and Wegmans released similar statements later Thursday
      • “The sight of someone with a gun can be alarming, and we don’t want anyone to feel that way at Wegmans,” the supermarket chain said in a statement “For this reason, we prefer that customers not openly carry firearms into our stores.”
      • The announcements come two days after Walmart asked its customers not to openly carry firearms in stores
    • San Francisco officials brand NRA a ‘domestic terrorist organization’
      • The San Francisco Board of Supervisors has passed a resolution declaring the National Rifle Association a “domestic terrorist organization” and urged the federal government to do the same
      • The resolution, which passed Tuesday and says the U.S. is “plagued by an epidemic of gun violence”
      • The resolution also accuses the NRA of using “its considerable wealth and organization strength to promote gun ownership and incite gun owners to acts of violence.”
      • The document resolves to assess the relationships that those who do business with the city have with the group and says “the City and County of San Francisco should take every reasonable step to limit those entities who do business with the City and County of San Francisco from doing business with this domestic terrorist organization.”
      • The NRA responded by calling the resolution a stunt that was distracting from the city’s myriad of social problems.