Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member Latest Breaking News General Discussion The DU Lounge All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search


AndyS's Journal
AndyS's Journal
February 15, 2022

Ya' can't fix something you know nothing about.

From the Trace newsletter email:

In 2017, a novel study estimated that shootings were the least researched topic among the top 30 causes of death in the United States. In one particularly striking example, it estimated that gun violence research between 2004 and 2015 received 0.7 percent as much funding as research on sepsis, which killed about the same number of people. While public health issues like motor vehicle accidents, influenza and pneumonia, and Alzheimer's get millions of dollars of investments from both public and private sources, researchers interested in gun violence have had to jump through hoops including an effective federal funding ban and intense scrutiny from political leaders.

A Young Scientist Compared Gun Deaths to Other Leading Causes, and Found a Billion Dollar Research Deficit
How David Stark put a number to the knowledge gap surrounding fatal shootings.

I've seen everything in the world blamed for gun violence and the devastation it leaves behind. Video games, poverty, gangs, drugs, the pandemic and just about everything under the sun. Yet we really don't know how to deal with 90 people a day being shot. It costs the US $280 Billion a year yet we spend next to nothing finding out how to stop it.

It's politics clear and simple. The gun industry does not want us to know how to stop gun violence because it will decrease sales. Fear sells guns and gun violence stokes fear. The gun industry has been buying legislators for 50 years. ALEC and the ILA (legislative arm of the NRA) write laws and hand them to politicians to put into practice. ALEC wrote the first Stand Your Ground law and got it passed in 25 states.

If anything is to change we have to play their game. BUY politicians. Contribute to a gun violence prevention group of your choice.
February 8, 2022

From the mouths of babes . . .

Take a Positive Stand: resources
February 7, 2022

DOJ releases 50 years of mass shooting data.

Public Mass Shootings: Database Amasses Details of a Half Century of U.S. Mass Shootings with Firearms, Generating Psychosocial Histories
A troubled past and leaked plans are common to those who take part in mass shootings. Most use handguns, NIJ-supported research shows.

Like most DOJ reports it's kinda dry reading but there are some highlights:

Persons who committed public mass shootings in the U.S. over the last half century were commonly troubled by personal trauma before their shooting incidents, nearly always in a state of crisis at the time, and, in most cases, engaged in leaking their plans before opening fire. Most were insiders of a targeted institution, such as an employee or student. Except for young school shooters who stole the guns from family members, most used legally obtained handguns in those shootings.

77% of those who engaged in mass shootings purchased at least some of their guns legally, while illegal purchases were made by 13% of the perpetrators.

The findings support safe storage of guns. Yet, the researchers noted that there are no federal laws requiring safe storage of guns, and no federal standards for firearm locks. The data also support “red flag” laws permitting law enforcement or family members to petition a state court to order temporary removal of a firearm from a person who presents a danger.

What surprises me is that about half of the shooters broadcast their intentions and nobody did anything about it! Of course that's made more difficult by the fact that only 19 states (and DC) have red flag laws and one state, Oklahoma, has an Anti Red Flag law. In the states that have red flag laws police and courts are often un-informed of their existence or are unwilling to enforce them. How about that, more than half the states have no recourse even if someone knows of a pending mass shooting and the states that do often treat warnings with 'meh'.

It doesn't have to be this way. GVPedia.org researched political donations by state by pro&anti regulation groups. In states where anti violence spending exceeded gun rights spending there was a 44% success in passing anti violence laws resulting in about a 5% decrease in gun deaths. It can be done. Now is a critical time to give. The gun industry has had 50 years to buy politicians and we have just passed the 10 year mark. Momentum is building and every $5 counts.

Do something: resources
February 6, 2022

As of today, February 5, 2022

There have been 4122 people shot in the united states since the new year started.

2% were shot in defensive use incidents.

That matches the 2% that were children under the age of 11.

It's far less than the 3% that were 'unintentional shootings'.

Can someone tell me again how safe guns make you?

It doesn't have to be this way: link


February 4, 2022

NRA Membership down as much as 30%

The NRA is bringing in less money — and spending more on legal fees — as members jump ship. That’s the big picture assessment from an August 2021 financial document prepared for the NRA Finance Committee that was obtained by The Reload. At $165 million through August, the NRA’s revenue had fallen by close to half since 2018 and was nearly $20 million short of its own projections for last year. Declining membership dues played a big factor in the revenue drop as overall membership also fell to the lowest level since 2017. Meanwhile, legal fees made up some 20 percent of all expenses, coming in at $31 million in total. Major cost cutting: The organization had a budget surplus through the fall, but it achieved that by spending less. The bulk of costs covered acquiring members and legal expenses. Brian Mittendorf, an accounting professor at The Ohio State University who has studied the NRA’s finances, said the financial documents show an organization that has seen a “remarkable” financial decline since 2016. “Their budget is sustainable, but at what point do members see a huge chunk of the money is going towards legal costs and the primary programs have really been gutted?” he told The Reload. In a statement to The Reload, NRA spokesperson Amy Hunter said the report in question was “outdated” and “unaudited,” while adding that it is, “as objective observers agree, very positive.” Hunter in part blamed the pandemic for the NRA’s financial position.
Link to Trace article.

This doesn't mean that the gun lobby is toothless, only that it has a cavity or two. The other news is that the NRA was a major influence in 2016 but since Trump came into power the influence has shifted to Brietbart, Tucker Carlson (not Fox at large) and other once fringe groups. That's kind of mixed news.

We CAN counter the gun lobby. Take action.
January 25, 2022

This is what our children go through because . . . GUNZ

Our dead children don't trump their second amendment rights . . . every gunner knows that.

January 20, 2022

Why More American Children Are Dying by Gunfire

The number of children and teenagers killed by gunfire has risen sharply during the coronavirus pandemic. Researchers describe the increase as a fatal consequence of rising nationwide homicide rates, untreated traumas of Covid-19 and a surge of pandemic gun-buying that is putting more children into close contact with guns — both as victims and those wielding guns.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that ther ate of gun deaths of children 14 and younger rose by roughly 50 percent from the end of 2019 to the end of 2020.

Toddlers are discovering guns under piles of clothes and between couch cushions. Teenagers are obtaining untraceable ghost guns made from online kits. Middle school students are carrying handguns for protection.

“It’s like a normal thing,” said Kim Sipes, whose 16-year-old nephew, Ramon Sosa, was shot and killed with his grandmother over the summer in Oklahoma City.

"It's like a normal thing."

That's where we are as a country.

It doesn't have to be that way. EVERY SINGLE STUDY INDICATES THAT STATES WITH STRONG GUN LAWS HAVE FEWER SHOOTINGS. The gunners among us will find some tiny exception somewhere and dispute that but they are wrong and have been brainwashed by their gun industry overlords. https://everytownresearch.org/rankings/compare/?states=CA,HI

Take action: Resources

January 12, 2022

So far in 2022 . . .

Every day there were:

188 people shot (killed or injured).

66 suicides by gun, a very permanent solution to a usually temporary situation.

40 were homicides.

3 were accidental.

2 of them were under the age of 11.

1 of them was a bad guy shot by a good guy with a gun.

On average 5,000 guns are sold in America every day.

If this is the 'price of freedom' why do only innocent people pay it?


Do something about it. Resources.
January 11, 2022

Nearly 2 in 3 Californian adults have had at least indirect exposure to [gun]violence.

Nearly 2 in 3 Californian adults have had at least indirect exposure to [gun]violence. That’s according to a study from the University of California-Davis Firearm Violence Research Center that sought to quantify how broad the social effects of gun violence might reverberate out from direct or witnessed victimization. The study was based on a state-representative survey conducted in July 2020 and assessed six possible indirect experiences of violence people have had, ranging from gunshots occuring in one’s neighborhood to knowing someone who had been a gun violence victim. Extrapolating from the sample, the researchers estimate that more than 3 million Californians had more than three experiences of violence over a year; about 5 million personally know more than one person who has been intentionally shot; and 3 million know people at risk of committing violence. “Our main conclusion is that almost everybody is touched by this, and we’re a state with relatively low rates of firearm violence,” lead author Garen Wintemute told Crime Report. “I would expect the situation would be worse in many other states.”

It's like Six Degrees of Separation. Guns and Gun Violence has become so pervasive that almost everyone knows someone who has been directly touched by it. Think about yourself and all the people you know. It's not just adults, think about all the children who routinely do Active Shooter Drills. As a Grandfather of three I can attest to the effect it has on them.

For my own part my Sister in Law's son committed suicide with a gun. A close acquaintance's daughter attempted suicide with a gun he kept for home defense (had it not been for his military training in dealing with sucking chest wounds she would have succeeded). I personally have had a gun pointed at me while the user tried to clear a jam by repeatedly working the action and pulling the trigger (fortunately it was a very stubborn jam).

If you are not one of those 2 in 3 the powers that work the cosmos have been kind to you. Next time you're in a group of people look to the one next to you on either side and think about it.
January 10, 2022

I have two missions in life:

To make images that reflect things that affect me. https://andyshanks.smugmug.com/ (pay note to Activism on that page) and to educate everyone I can about the pervasive influence and social damage that guns do to society. That includes the influence of money from the gun industry and the brainwashing of gun fetishists by that industry.

Ignorance is bliss and I was quite blissful until December 14, 2012. I held a Federal Firearms License so I could collect antique guns from the WW I era and buy/sell over the internet without a background check on each one. I grew up in a rural culture where guns are ubiquitous and no more noticeable than the flatware next to your dinner plate. Then on that date 20 first grade children were killed with a military grade weapon after a person who had no business being close to such a weapon fired 500 rounds in five minutes, most of them into the bodies of babies weighing less than 50 pounds.

That changes a man. Or it should. Apparently it doesn't if that man loves guns.

I started looking into guns in America and what I found shook me.

There are more guns in America than people. 120 guns for every 100 people.

Since 1970 when the National Rifle Association, once a bastion of gun safety education and reasonable gun regulation, was taken over in a coup by the gun makers the country has become more and more inundated with guns and and any sense of responsibility for gun ownership eroded. Working in the quiet and secrecy of legislator's offices with campaign funding the gun industry has effectively turned the will of American voters on its head.

Only 9% of voters favor loosening gun laws yet state after state approve Stand Your Ground laws and "Constitutional Carry" (it's not) laws that allow anyone to carry a loaded gun in public without a permit, background check or training. Most recently in Texas the "Constitutional Carry" law passed against the will of 82% of polled voters.

Gun deaths in America were at a low of 4/100,000 when Bill Clinton signed the Assault Weapons Ban. It is now at 13/100,000 and edging up to the all time high of 14/100,000.

Every recognized violence prevention organization beginning with Amnesty International, The UN and most local law enforcement recognize the availability of guns as the NUMBER ONE CAUSE OF HOMICIDE AND INJURY.

I am convinced that if America knows what I do things will change.

So I and people like me are the worst nightmare of of the Gun Culture. And yes, we will take the guns away. Not today, not tomorrow. But we will. It took 50 years of working in darkness and secrecy for an industry that thrives on death and injury to bring us to where we are and I will work to the end of my days to reverse it. And my numbers are growing.

Educate yourself. Knowledge is power.

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Pelican Bay, TX 76020
Home country: United States
Current location: home
Member since: Thu Jan 20, 2005, 02:07 PM
Number of posts: 14,559
Latest Discussions»AndyS's Journal