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January 29, 2020 · OPINION

Remember those who lost their lives to gun violence

By Colleen Taylor
Warrenton

Fifty-eight percent of American adults have experienced gun violence or know someone who has. Suicide, domestic violence and accidental shootings all create death on a daily basis in this country and they also create survivors who have experienced trauma and will continue to cope with the aftermath for the rest of their lives.

We often think survivors are OK – happy that they’ve survived a horrible incident, but we don’t think about the aftermath for them. They feel survivor’s guilt, jump at loud noises or doors slamming, don’t feel like they can talk to people about what they went through, because after all, they lived.

These survivors are all around us – friends, coworkers, neighbors. As I have opened up about my experiences, I’ve been shocked to have people tell me of their own experiences. The father that killed himself. The father that murdered their mother. The grandson that killed himself. The mom killed by her husband. The child who finds a loaded gun and is killed. On and on.

February 1-8 is National Gun Violence Survivors Week. Remember those taken from us by gun violence. Help those who survive.
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jim goodwin · February 10, 2020 at 6:34 pm
Jerome, please. Explain your remarks. If you want to call us stupid or ignorant, at least back it up by picking apart our arguments. If you think we're living under a dictatorship, explain how.
Jerome Fields · February 8, 2020 at 11:04 pm
It is people such as you and your insipid stupidity that are dangerous Donkey.
Jerome Fields · February 8, 2020 at 11:02 pm
We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.

Benjamin Franklin
DonkeyFarmer · February 8, 2020 at 8:18 pm
Historically, you just made all that up Jerome. Trump is in your head so bad he has scrambled your brains. You think you are living in a Dictatorship. I hope you lefties never get control again. You are dangerous.
Jerome Fields · February 8, 2020 at 8:00 pm
Historically, it is those that think they are smarter then everyone else that suffer the worst under a dictatorship Donkey Farmer.
new2diesels · February 8, 2020 at 7:35 pm
Statistics are not the best way to establish that guns <can and do> save lives. A single example is more than adequate to prove the statement. A recent and well publicized example occured in the West Freeway Church of Christ in Texas. A simple google search will provide the video evidence. -WARNING- the videos are of course graphic, so I will not post a direct link here. Many additional examples are also available using common searching tools but it is abundantly clear and true that guns save lives.
DonkeyFarmer · February 8, 2020 at 4:16 pm
Give Jerome a break, it's been a really bad week for the left.
jim goodwin · February 8, 2020 at 3:38 pm
Well, Jerome, clearly you're a person of the Left. You didn't really care about the defensive gun use statistics, did you?

Writing a stream of propagandist soundbites doesn't impress me. It's shallow and useless. Put some thought into those claims. And how about you stay on topic instead of pivoting to "orange man bad."
Jerome Fields · February 8, 2020 at 3:05 pm
jim goodwin - "Government is made up of people. People are fallible, some have bad policy ideas and some have bad motives. When the government is taken over by a preponderance people with bad ideas and/or motives, it must be resisted."

What do you call what is happening now in our government? Purple Heart recipient being vilified, a shock jock being honored, dictators being fawned upon, national parks, rivers, streams being destroyed, etc. Those sound like some very bad ideas to me with bad motives directing those ideas.
new2diesels · February 8, 2020 at 12:09 pm
Making guns illegal will not stop "the violence", it will just occasionally change the tool used for the violent act. However, it will instantly make all law abiding citizens potential victims of gun carrying criminals, who by definition do not obey the law. It is not possible to somehow "unlearn" the technology required to make a gun (which is not complex), which means it is not possible to eliminate firearms.

Laws infringing on the 2nd amendment breed violence, as is evident in recently publicized "mass shootings" many of which took place in "gun free" or "heavily gun restricted" zones. Statistics on this are essentially impossible to post as there are no agreed definitions for "mass shooting" or "gun free zones" (any stats available are likely skewed in some way) but it is possible to look up the most recent and well publicized mass shootings over the past few years and look up where they occured.

Violence of any kind is horrible. Support and love should be given to the survivors and victims.
jim goodwin · February 8, 2020 at 11:42 am
Jerome, no one knows for sure because very few jurisdictions have a consistent means of reporting defensive use. It's rarely possible to say in any situation whether the use of a gun "saved a life" or not. Did the burglar frightened off by an armed homeowner intend to kill? It's much easier to say a crime was deterred, but even then, it's often a "non event" because no crime was committed (duh) and reporting by law enforcement is haphazard.

However, why do the numbers matter so much? Gun control advocates often say saving even one life is worth the cost of gun control measures. Well, isn't the same true of defensive use of firearms? This compassionate editorial doesn't mention situations like the 12 year old girl that was home alone when an intruder kicked in her door. You can watch her 2-minute interview here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n0f9lNpXwJc Did it save her life? We'll never know.

The justification for an armed populace doesn't lie in statistics. It lies distrust of government and defense against tyranny. Government is made up of people. People are fallible, some have bad policy ideas and some have bad motives. When the government is taken over by a preponderance people with bad ideas and/or motives, it must be resisted. But that resistance becomes impossible if we allow ourselves to blindly trust the government and to let those in power disarm us.

Just look at how badly the Democratic party wants more power. They have proposed allowing illegal aliens the right to vote while promising to protect them from deportation. They have proposed allowing 16 year olds the right to vote, knowing that their naivete, idealism and lack of wisdom will likely cause them to vote Democrat because of how their policy proposals are framed (cloaked in compassion). They have proposed doing away with the Electoral College because they know that a majority of people live in urban areas and urbanites are more likely to vote Democrat.

The solutions to violence do not lie in government policy, they lie in the responsibility of each citizen to self-govern through social accountability. There are no perfect solutions but, one's involvement in family and community are the primary means of molding responsible citizens.

This editorial by Ms. Taylor is compassionate on the surface but its real motivation is to garner sympathy and support for gun control laws. It's that simple.
Jerome Fields · February 8, 2020 at 9:26 am
Does anyone have the numbers to how many lives guns have saved versus how many they have taken? A recent report posted somewhere on here states that 700 people die per week from gun violence.

To prove that guns save lives, it will take more then just saying so. Fact based information is what I'm looking for not just someone's guess.
jim goodwin · February 6, 2020 at 6:18 pm
Sillii said: "Nobody is taking away your guns or anybody's right to protect themselves. What nonsense are you reading and believing? go to the actual language of the statutes instead of drinking kool aid. You want a gun, you have to have a background check. You're a serious danger to yourself or others - you have due process rights if law enforcement gets a court order to take your guns TEMPORARILY."

Silii, the problem is, HB 961 labels THE MOST COMMON firearms currently owned by the general public as "assault firearms" and bans their sale in the state of Virginia. This is how the bill defines pistols under the definition of "assault firearm":

"A semi-automatic center-fire pistol that expels single or multiple projectiles by action of an explosion of a combustible material with a fixed magazine capacity in excess of 10 rounds;"

Will they confiscate them? Yes. They will. Anyone who owns one is required to register it before 1/1/2021. They may retain possession of it until they die and they cannot transfer it to anyone within Virginia. When they die, it cannot be transferred to anyone in their family. The state usually knows when someone dies. It will be a very simple matter to execute a cross check between the person that died and any permits they own. Therefore, if the poor sucker followed the law, it will be confiscated.

Here's the bill if you don't believe me: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?201+ful+HB961+hil

As for the last part of what I quoted from you, I assume when you say "You're a serious danger to yourself or others..." that you're talking about the red flag laws. Of course you don't care about this. It's no skin off your hide when someone else has to pony up tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees to try to restore their rights. And no one like you cares about all the ways that the red flag laws can be easily weaponized.

Your compassion is as deadly as it is wonderful. The kind of trust you have in government has already killed hundreds of millions of people. You're so blind to the consequences of bad, compassionate policy that you can't see how we are headed for the same fate. Go ahead. Laugh it up. It probably won't be our generation so we're the lucky ones.

Gun violence, violence of any kind, is inevitable. It is not 100% preventable. The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED. Gun bans are an infringement. It's none of the government's business how I choose to defend myself.
DonkeyFarmer · February 4, 2020 at 11:39 pm
Silii- I'm going to put aside my differences with you for a minute because you made a decent comment that did not insult anyone here and made a good point. Even if I don't agree with the conclusion.

I only told a small part of the story of my friend that shot himself. Im sure our military on the battlefield have seen worse. But this guy did it on FaceTime. Nobody knew where. The police didn't believe me. I had to drive around looking for his truck for hours. Yeah it was brutal. Thinking about it now what you say might be true. But i don't blame the gun. He was drunk and on drugs and he had emotions from fighting with his fiance.

His mother, by the way, killed herself by walking in front of a train a few years later. No gun. We should focus on mental health and not some gun. That's just my opinion.
Silii · February 4, 2020 at 6:41 pm
To JDWarrenton: Nobody is taking away your guns or anybody's right to protect themselves. What nonsense are you reading and believing? go to the actual language of the statutes instead of drinking kool aid. You want a gun, you have to have a background check. You're a serious danger to yourself or others - you have due process rights if law enforcement gets a court order to take your guns TEMPORARILY. You want to own an arsenal - you still can at one gun per month. Easier than getting a mortgage.
Silii · February 4, 2020 at 6:27 pm
No to Northam: People who survive gun violence, even when it was a gun that saved them, suffer severe trauma. That's what you missed in this Opinion. Yes, people kill people, etc., but there's more to it than that but apparently your are cold to that or so traumatized that you deny it. And Donkey Farmer, what you experienced was severe gun trauma. What a horrible thing for you to experience. You could very well have PTSD from such an awful thing because it is not a normal, loving experiences what you went through. Be kinder to yourself. And, yes, it was the gun.
Mark House · February 4, 2020 at 8:19 am
"Nearly 700 People In The U.S. Die From Gun Violence Each Week."

https://www.npr.org/2020/02/04/802336681/nearly-700-people-die-from-gun-violence-each-week-in-the-u-s-a-memorial-honors-t

No to northam - how many people would "a gun saved my life week" add up to?
No to northam · January 31, 2020 at 5:58 pm
How about the week after this we have national a gun saved my life week for people who are alive becuase of guns.

People kill people , people kill themselves , accidents happen it all sucks but any tool can be used in a negative way.

Prescription pills, over the counter pills, alcohol, a hammer, knife, chainsaw, car , truck hell pressure cooker even fertilizer like McVeigh...

People will use any means necessary to do what they want or feel they need to do same as accidents happening.

Capital punishment and fixing the mental issues in our country is a start.

Give criminals a rwason to fear like these 2 from Stafford at the top of the page, get rid of the medias lies pushing people over the edge, stop having schools push to much on kids or pushing kids threw that are not ready ..plenty of fixes
Constitutional Insurgent · January 31, 2020 at 6:27 am
I love me some Mark Rosenberg; single handedly responsible for Congress finally growing a pair and ending the zealous gun control activism by the CDC. He shall however, forever remain in the pantheon of useful idiots....
DonkeyFarmer · January 30, 2020 at 11:12 pm
If you call suicides by gun "gun violence" then I have lost 2. My cousin that got drunk one night and made a bad decision, and a good friend after a fight with his fiance.

I was the one that found my friend, the gun was in his lap. The paramedics arrived first and wouldn't even approach him because they saw the gun. I had to take his vitals while his fiance was screaming behind me. I still remember that gun sitting there in his lap, a Glock .40. The slide was locked back indicating he only loaded 1 round. That was the worst day of my life. But you know what? I don't blame the gun. He could have killed himself any number of ways. It's just a tool. We really need to be looking at the person, not the firearm.
Linda Ward · January 30, 2020 at 8:34 pm
"Dr. Mark Rosenberg is the former director of the CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control and says the numbers show the government must invest more in gun violence research.

“It’s shocking because we lose 40,000 people a year to gun deaths and almost all of these gun deaths are preventable,” he said."

A near-record number of Americans died by gunshot in 2018 according to the latest statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"According to a CDC spokesperson, nearly 40,000 people died by firearm in America, including suicide, homicide and accidents."

"And while these numbers are a national total, existing research has found suicide rates tend to be higher in states with higher rates of gun ownership.

Increasing gun regulations have become a big topic on the campaign trail, as a crowded field of Democrats is vying for the 2020 presidential nomination.

Compared to other wealthy countries, America has much higher rates of gun ownership and astronomically higher rates of gun deaths."
JDwarrenton · January 30, 2020 at 6:06 pm
I'm into my sixth decade on this earth, and I don't know anyone lost to gun violence or gun suicide, nor do I have any family members, relatives, friends, or coworkers, that have either. So 58% statistic seems suspect to me.

That said, without dwelling on it too very much, I know one family member and three friends that stopped violence upon themselves with a gun. In every case, it was a stranger that was the aggressor, and it was unprovoked. In two of those four separate cases, there was more than one aggressor, so the intended victim was outnumbered. It was a good thing they had a hand gun to even things up. In each case, the perp was stopped cold without a shot and no one was hurt. In each case, the perp certainly did intend harm - one with a crowbar, one with a knife, and in two other cases, one a gang, the other two large drunks trying to bash in the door to the wrong house, made clear they were going to beat them to a pulp or worse.

So don't take away my or anyone else's right and ability to defend themselves. I know scores of people who own firearms, and many have their CCP, Concealed carry permit, and zero of these people are criminals, or would commit any crime let alone murder. But any one of them could stop a crime or murder, and who knows, might save someone else from being a victim.

I respect your decision. If you wish to deny yourself or loved ones the right to defend themselves, fine. Do so. Just don't demand that law abiding people can't either. Besides, true criminals will never adhere to laws, especially gun laws.
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