Guns and swimming pools

Quick, what’s the difference between a gun and a swimming pool?

Don’t answer that. It’s a stupid question. Anyone with a grade school education — or even no education — should be able to tell the difference between the two. However, there continues to be this comparison between guns and swimming pools in trying to justify the refusal of any type of reasonable gun control. The argument goes like this:

More children die from accidental drownings in swimming pools each year than from accidental or intentional shootings. Thus, swimming pools are more dangerous, yet parents and politicians do not rally to ban swimming pools. As a result, parents and politicians who want to outlaw guns but not pools are hypocrites who want to trample on the Second Amendment to the US Constitution.

It seems reasonable, right? If something kills more children than the other thing, then the something needs to be dealt with. If you looked at the simple numbers, you should get rid of pools and save all those children.

The problem with this line of thinking is that it lacks the thorough analysis that something so serious deserves. But, in order to have a serious analysis and an honest discussion, we need to not talk past each other. We need to have a reasonable discussion. Unfortunately for us, there are too many people on both sides of the gun control debate who are fanatical in their views. They won’t compromise. They won’t talk. For way too many of them, it’s either ban all guns outright or arm everyone to the teeth.

So what is the truth? Are swimming pools more dangerous than guns?

The answer is not easy, but I think you already knew that. First, let’s look at guns. Firearms are designed to kill things. You don’t go into a gun shop and ask for a gun that just maims. (You could, but you’d be laughed out of the shop… Or offered a taser or something non-lethal like that.) Injuries from firearms are permanent and many times deadlier than if you accidentally fall into a swimming pool. That is, falling into a pool without the ability to swim doesn’t guarantee your death. Shooting yourself in the head does. Pull the trigger, and there’s no going back.

Next, let’s look at swimming pools. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “From 2005-2009, there were an average of 3,533 fatal unintentional drownings (non-boating related) annually in the United States — about ten deaths per day.” Of those ten per day, one-fifth were children under the age of 14. That’s about 706 children dead, on average, during that time period. On the other hand, during the same period, there were an average of 4,525 unintentional injuries from drowning/submersion. (The source for these data is this database.)

Screen Shot 2015-01-26 at 8.58.49 PM

 

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For every drowning death, there are 4.5 non-fatal drowning/submersion injuries in children under the age of 14.

As with all data, you have to remember that these are reported cases. There are times when fatal drownings are not reported for a variety of reasons. The same goes with injuries. As we move onto injuries from guns, the same kind of reporting bias is at play, and it is very hard to determine the true effect of these biases. You also have to be aware that the rates you see up there are crude rates. To get a better sense of the rate, you need to adjust for age… Which I won’t do because it’s too technical for the purposes of this blog.

So how about the firearm death-to-injury ratio?

From this database we see that there were 8,797 non-fatal injuries from firearms in children under age 14 between 2005 and 2009. From the same database we see that there were 1,826 fatal injuries from firearms in the same age group and during the same time.

Screen Shot 2015-01-26 at 8.55.22 PM

Screen Shot 2015-01-26 at 8.56.16 PMIn other words, for every death from firearms in children ages 14 and under, there are 4.5 non-fatal injuries. (Does that sound familiar?)

Here, I made a graph:

Screen Shot 2015-01-26 at 9.19.21 PM

So, yes, in absolute numbers, guns kill less children and injure less children. Proportionately speaking, however, the two sources of injury and death are the same.

After seeing the data, the discussion should turn to prevention. Gun injuries and deaths can be prevented by simply keeping the guns away from the children or from people who could hurt the children. This is not about taking guns away from responsible people who lock them away, keep the ammo and the gun separate, have guns with special devices to prevent children from playing with them, etc.

Drowning injuries and deaths can be prevented by teaching children how to swim at a early age, having an appropriate fence around swimming pools, looking over children playing in pools or bodies of water of any size, etc. Of course, you will never eliminate drowning deaths in children completely because there will always be lakes, rivers, and oceans for kids to drown in. Likewise, there will always be a child dying from a gunshot because there are some pretty sick people out there who would shoot a child.

To keep having this discussion where we talk past each other is, to be frank, very stupid. There is obviously a problem when a child dies for any cause, and trying to address a cause is not something that people should be faulted for. Likewise, the complete overhaul of a constitutional right can’t be done overnight. So quit comparing pools to guns or guns to pools and get on with the business of saving lives. All lives.

 

  1. (This comment does not comply with the comments policy for this blog. Please read the comments policy here. As a result, it has been deleted and no further submissions from this person will be allowed until I feel like it. My blog, my rules.)

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  2. Well, there are indeed differences. I recall no Constitutional paragraph or Constitutional amendment enshrining the right to possess or use a swimming pool, in a military context or not.
    Meanwhile, we do require swimming pools in every community I’m aware of, having a specified height fence, with a locked gate when the pool is not in active use.

    Meanwhile, there is a Constitutional amendment that enshrines the right to keep and bear arms and mention of the militia, which is codified as every military aged, able bodied male, as well as veterans up to age 61. Activating the selective service system, i.e.; “the draft” is simply a mobilization of the unorganized militia (the organized militia being codified as the National Guard).
    Now, I am a competition shooter, hunter and own a full dozen firearms. My weapons are extremely expensive models, hence a bit of an investment. As they are potentially dangerous in the wrong hands and are expensive, they are stored in firearms safes. The safes costed a *lot* less than one of the long guns, the handgun safes for our never used home defense weapons (his and hers) are in an area of our home where we spend the most time. I fully expect to never have to unlock those safes, save for annual cleaning. But, those are the only loaded firearms in the house and the only ones permitted to be loaded in the house. I don’t need to load a .308 rifle in the house, as I really like the bricks remaining unbroken and as much as I dislike some neighbors, I really don’t want them harmed. 😉
    My house isn’t a rifle range.
    I’ve read the entire history behind the second amendment, Scalia did get the history right in Heller.
    That all said, I’m a bit of a heretic to the gun nuts, as I advocate for laws requiring firearms to be secured in appropriate security containers. A quality M4 style rifle (a real M4 has a 14.5 inch barrel and non-National Firearms Act rifles have to have a 16 inch barrel) costs around $1800. A decent firearms safe costs around $300 and up.
    A decent M1911A1 costs around $500, a safe for it, a measly $30.
    So, this owner of a full dozen firearms, varying between short range and long range hunting rifles, long range competition rifles, competition pistols and an inherited .25 caliber semiautomatic that is retained for historic reference (it’s an infamous “Saturday night special”), I believe that laws should be instituted to require firearms to be stored in theft resistant, hence locked, safes.
    A child certainly isn’t going to shoot him or herself with a small safe!
    And we do require a fence, with a locked gate, around swimming pools.

    BTW, another fallacy involves automobile accidents killing more children than firearms, but “they’re not banning cars”. My response is, they’re not trying to ban any firearms either and most people have the intellect enough to handle more than one problem at a time, a government more so. Different departments handle highway safety, firearms and swimming pools.
    And you’re required to buy automobile insurance for that car.

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    1. Thank you. I hope the previous poster sees your comment and understands how to keep it civil. It didn’t take him more than a few sentences to immediately twist my words and accuse me of stuff. That, and he wrote an entire blog post of his own when he has a blog he can do it on.

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      1. I missed it, but to judge from the moniker, I imagine the response quality lived up to the moniker.

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    2. 1) There are exactly zero “decent gun safes” for $300.00,there are exactly zero “decent gun safes” for $1,000.00.
      2) Safe storage laws are nonsense-as there is no way to enforce them unless you allow police to enter homes at random,search them,and inspect any firearms to see if they are “safely stored”.
      3) A firearm-any firearm- is useless for defensive purposes if it is locked in a safe.
      4) The second amendment says nothing about any membership in a militia-organized or unorganized-being required before a person an exercise his or her right to keep and bear arms.
      The second amendment-just like the rest of the BOR describes a right of the PEOPLE-not a right of the government,not a right of a militia,but a right of the people.
      5) No,you are not required to have insurance to own a car-you are required to have insurance if you choose to operate a car on public roads.
      6) Operating a car on public roads is a privilege,not a right,it is a privilege that everyone who drives on public roads finances through license plate and driver’s license fees,and fuel taxes.
      7) owning a firearm is an enumerated Constitutional right-not a privilege.
      8) The national guard is NOT “codified as the organized militia” in 1990, the Supreme Court held that the federal government possesses complete power over the National Guard. The Guard is the third part of the United States Army, along with the regular Army and Army Reserve. The Framers` independent “well regulated militia” remains as they intended, America`s armed citizenry.
      9) Multiple politicians,and gun control groups have in fact stated that their goal is to ban ALL private ownership of firearms. The following politicians-(just a partial list)- have stated that banning guns is their goal-
      Sen.Dianne Feinstein
      Sen.Charles Schumer
      Michael Bloomberg
      Illinois Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky
      The late Sen. Frank Lautenberg
      Rep. William Clay (D-MO)
      Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL)
      Barbara Fass, Mayor of Stockton, California
      The following from anti-gun groups have stated that banning all civilian ownership of firearms is their goal-
      Josh Sugarman
      Dennis Henigan
      Handgun Control, Incorporated (HCI) Founding Chair Nelson T. (Pete) Shields
      Patrick Murphy, former New York City Police Commissioner and President of the Police Foundation: “The time has come for us to disarm the individual citizen.”
      Amitai Etzioni, prominent sociologist and Special Advisor to the President in the Carter administration: “Domestic disarmament … would result in a decrease in murder from 40 percent to 45 percent and an estimated decrease in armed robbery of 23 percent to 26 percent.”

      Etzioni later founded the Communitarian Network, which in 1991 endorsed as part of its platform “domestic disarmament,” i.e. the total banning of the private possession of all firearms. Among the signatories to the platform, in addition to Etzioni, were Newton Minnow, Henry Cisneros (Secretary of Housing and Urban Development in the Clinton administration), Albert Shanker (President of the American Federation of Teachers), pollster Daniel Yankelovich, economist Lester Thurow, and distinguished sociologists Gary Marx, Alice Rossi, Robert Bellah, and Dennis Wrong.
      Get the picture yet? There are in fact many,many politicians and anti-gun zealots who do in fact want to ban all private ownership of firearms.
      10) Gun control laws do not work,they never have,and never will. Gun registration an never be allowed-as it has always led to gun confiscation-the only exception being Canada,in which the registration was scrapped before being fully implemented so it covered all types of firearms.
      There can be no compromise with anti-gun groups,or anti-gun politicians,as they have proven-over and over and over that they will never,ever stop trying to ban guns.
      .The only way to reduce “gun violence” is to incarcerate those who use firearms in the commission of crimes for a very long time,no more dropping charges when gang-bangers are caught for the 4th,5th,6th,7th..10th time having “weapons under disability”-(it’s illegal for convicted felons to own a gun)
      Assault is already a crime,robbery is already a crime,carjacking is already a crime,murder is already a crime-the charges for using a firearm when committing any of these crimes should carry an extra 25-life,not be dropped in a plea bargain.

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      1. What a highly fascinating, time spanning, tirade! Going back a generation or two at that!
        Let’s see, yes, there are idiots who play politics and claim that they want to eliminate the right to bear arms. Notable is their entire dearth of effort toward making that become codified law.
        You ignored the living shit out of every Militia Act, the most current being the Militia Act of 1903, which created the National Guard. The militia is, per the Militia Act of 1903, every able bodied mail, between the ages of 17 and 45, as well as prior service veterans to age 61. The federal government does *not* have exclusive control of the National Guard, but is responsible for training the National Guard and equipping it. Do let me know if you want me to go into case law on that matter, for you got the horse behind the cart there, but fully bought into NRA propaganda. Indeed, that propaganda and industry promotions is why I stick with CMP competitions, too many yahoos who don’t learn the facts in the other and well, too many safety violations. BTW, I’m an Army veteran, former National Guard member and Army Reserve veteran. I have served in combat and frankly, it wasn’t a lot of fun. I’ve even killed enemy combatants. Please don’t attempt to lecture me on matters of militia or things military.
        Firearms safes are more than ample to keep a child from accessing firearms. Period. Or do you think that children have welding torches hooked to their fingers? Do you think most burglars have safe cracking equipment? Or are you going for T-120 safes as a definition of a safe? OK, let’s play: http://www.gunsafes.com/Fortress-FS10-10-Gun-Safe-Cabinet-w-Key-Lock.html
        http://www.bulldogcases.com/case-vaults/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=45_47&products_id=253

        Oh, the latter is one I do personally use for home defense weapons, I have two of them. Both are bolted to the frame of the building. I will admit to the fact that I do keep the key in the lock, but only when the grandchildren are not visiting.

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        1. “The federal government does *not* have exclusive control of the National Guard, but is responsible for training the National Guard and equipping it. Do let me know if you want me to go into case law on that matter, for you got the horse behind the cart there, but fully bought into NRA propaganda.”

          Tell it to the SCOTUS-U.S. Supreme Court
          Perpich v. DOD, 496 U.S. 334 (1990)

          A gun cabinet is not a gun safe.

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  3. I’m not really following your reasoning here, what are you trying to show? Wouldn’t the salient point be how many are killed and/or injured? What does it matter if the two have the same proportionality of death to non-fatal injury?

    If you do want to play up the proportionality of the two, wouldn’t that indicated that the ‘scary’ guns whose only purpose is to kill aren’t all that scary? After all, proportionally they have the same injury to death ratio. Of course, since pools are responsible twice as many injuries/death it would seem they are actually much more dangerous since their primary purpose isn’t to kill. It would be nice to know how many kids participate in each activity, but I don’t think you’ll ever find out a concrete number on that.

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    1. I was trying to show that both are just as dangerous in the proportion of deaths to injuries. Hence, both are just as “deadly.” As I stated in the closing paragraphs, the discussion shouldn’t be which is deadlier or which causes the most crude number of deaths. The discussion should be preventative measures for both. However, there doesn’t seem to be any tolerance for gun prevention measures among “ammosexuals,” people who love guns a little bit too much. Laws that require fences or swimming instruction or floating devices are okay. Everyone sees them as something we as a society need. They save children. On the other hand, laws that require parents to keep their guns safe and away from children, or guidelines (not even laws) that suggest pediatricians ask about guns in the house… Well, we can’t have those. Those are a socialist plot to take away our right to defend ourselves from the possibility of a mass invasion of our homes.
      I’ve been thinking about this a little more since I wrote this. I believe the reason that we’ve been safe from a tyrannical government is not necessarily that we have the right to have guns. But that’s for some other time when I’m not trying to figure our my thesis proposal.

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      1. But the ratio of deaths to injuries doesn’t actually show how deadly something is, just how efficient it is at killing vs. injuring. How deadly something is would be mortality figures once encountered. But, I can’t conceive of a way to get accurate information on number or people (let alone just children) that come in contact with a firearm. You might be able to get an accurate survey of who comes into contact with a pool, but the current political climate in the US doesn’t seem to lend itself to accurate self reporting of firearms ownership.

        As for your contention regarding laws on pools v. firearms; there are already hundreds, maybe thousands (I’m not sold on the 20K statement) of laws already on the books. Most do little to nothing to enhance safety, some even hinder it, and are there more for a feel good ‘we took action’ which are basically just another set of charges for after the fact. Regarding opposition to doctors asking about firearms; I can’t blame anyone for objecting to that. I haven’t seen any call for questioning on other Constitutionally protected rights like what books are being read, what types of people someone hangs out with or how they choose to worship. Since the government, at all levels, likes to overstep it’s authority in regards to information gathering the fact that most governments intent on firearm confiscation tend to start off with some sort of firearm registry I don’t begrudge someone resenting questioning that might end up with them on a defacto registry. But, then again, I’m someone you would likely describe as an ‘ammo sexual’ since I’m a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and firmly believe that the US Federal Government has been over-reaching it’s Constitutional authority regarding firearms for the last 80+ years and that states like California and New York can should go take a flying leap with their disregard for the Constitution. Firearms are Constitutionally protected, pools are not.

        How to prevent deaths? Probably better education. I’d start in grade school with firearms safety classes. Make sure the kids know how to properly hold, carry and break down/clean a firearm, and can demonstrate it repetitively before allowing them to shoot at a controlled range. Once they are proficient with that particular firearm, go to another doing the same thing. Simply locking them up where they can’t be accessed easily might make sense in a low violent crime area like the affluent suburbs or most of the Great Plains, but makes little sense in high crime areas where it is more likely to be needed for self defense.

        An even better way to prevent deaths likely be to recognize that firearms violence isn’t a problem of firearms but of violence. Getting people to deal with one another in a more respectful manner rather than the need to resort to violence all the time is the best way I can think of to cut firearms violence and it’s associated injuries/deaths.

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  4. I agree with most of what you said. But here’s the statement from you that confuses things and makes me want to end this discussion right now: “I haven’t seen any call for questioning on other Constitutionally protected rights like what books are being read, what types of people someone hangs out with or how they choose to worship.”
    Can you see what’s wrong with that line of thinking or what logical fallacy you are using?
    It’s called a “straw man argument.” You seem to believe that a physician asking a family if there are any easily accessible guns at home is unreasonable since they’re not asking about books being read, etc. You also seem to think that the physician will report the family to “the government” if the family does have a gun, instead of doing the reasonable thing and counsel them on how to keep the guns away from the hands of the children. Finally, you also seem to think that children have the cognitive ability to deal safely with guns when not in the supervision of adults, that if we teach them to handle them and clean them correctly they won’t use them irresponsibly but instead use them like an adult would.
    Meh, I think we’re done here.
    Oh, and this: “Simply locking them up where they can’t be accessed easily might make sense in a low violent crime area like the affluent suburbs or most of the Great Plains, but makes little sense in high crime areas where it is more likely to be needed for self defense.” What is this? This reads like those stories we hear about — but are never confirmed — of mothers holding off a horde of intruders with an AR-15 in one arm while breast feeding the baby with the other arm.

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    1. Well, to be honest, something like that did happen in my home in Philadelphia.
      We had returned home from my parents home and I remembered I needed to pick some food up at the store. So, I drove to the store, not realizing that the front door was unlocked.
      My wife had entered the house and immediately went upstairs to our bedroom.
      My wife heard a man’s voice downstairs, talking to our dog, who was secured in the kitchen. The man even called the dog by name. So, she thought it was me downstairs, as she was hearing that through our closed bedroom door.
      She then heard someone coming up the stairs, still thought it was me.
      Then, she heard our youngest daughter’s “trap”, she put papers on the floor in front of her bedroom door to warn her before her sister could sneak in and jump on her. My wife knew about it and avoided it, I did the same, as that was a bit of a familial issue amongst the two siblings at that time.
      My wife then turned on the TV, which was connected to a surveillance camera downstairs in the living room.
      What she saw was one man on the stairs, one obviously was within 6 feet of the bedroom door (courtesy of the noise from the paper in the hall) and one was in the living room, still calming the dog.
      My wife quickly ran to the firearms safe that was in our bedroom and pulled out my hunting rifle. Not the designated home defense pistols, my hunting rifle.
      She then shouted, as she cycled the lever action, “Get the hell out of my house or I will F—ing kill you!”. Interestingly enough, that did not trigger a retreat.
      What happened next is hilarious. My wife is standing there with an unloaded rifle, the idiot opened the bedroom door to find a fully armed and angry cat, who jumped onto his face and proceeded to wreak havoc.
      The man stumbled backward, falling over the hallway rail and knocking his accomplice down the stairs. The cat was still worrying away at his face.
      The cat finally released him as he stumbled out of the front door.

      Three months later, we were visiting a neighbor and scar face and his fellow stooges came back, my wife pointed them out and I noticed that they were talking loudly, smack talk, pointing at my house and generally being unwelcome. Especially since they were leaning on *my car*!
      I circled around the block to the alley, went in the back door and retrieved my M1911 and kevlar vest, which I then gave to my wife and introduced myself to the ungentlemen, aiming at scar face’s genitals.
      I explained that their presence is unwelcome, was unwelcome the first time and the third strike would be most… Unfortunate.
      For them.
      They rapidly departed, never to be seen again.

      And yes, I would have emasculated that SOB if he tried anything.
      Never piss off a Sicilian-American when it comes to the safety of family and home.

      Yes, that is a true story.

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      1. Oh, I wouldn’t close comments yet. Illuminating logical fallacies is a good thing, it occasionally actually educates some ill informed readers.
        Such as the fallacy of a physician having some mystical link to the federal government, where a magical database would spring anew. Ignoring the bound book records that is available to the government any day of the week and goes to the government upon surrender of a federal firearms license, be it out of business, retirement or rescinding of the license for cause.

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      2. I remember you telling this story before. I would have loved to see their face.

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    2. ” You seem to believe that a physician asking a family if there are any easily accessible guns at home is unreasonable since they’re not asking about books being read, etc.” – Constitutionally Protected. Ideas are much more dangerous than physical objects.
      “You also seem to think that the physician will report the family to “the government” if the family does have a gun” – As I explained before, the Government (at all levels, but most especially the Federal Government) has a tendency to overreach. If a physician is listing it somewhere you can be rest assured that the government is going to find some way to track it. It may not be legal, but they will do it.
      “Finally, you also seem to think that children have the cognitive ability to deal safely with guns when not in the supervision of adults, that if we teach them to handle them and clean them correctly they won’t use them irresponsibly but instead use them like an adult would.” – Yes, from personal experience growing up around firearms I know they can handle them correctly. I won my first rifle before I was in elementary school. Before I was even eligible for a Hunter’s Safety course. My father and Grandfather taught me. My friends were much the same. Nearly everyone I grew up with not only knew how to safely carry and operate firearms we did it spring, summer and fall, sometimes even without adults around.
      “Meh, I think we’re done here.” – What’s the point of having a blog if you aren’t interested in having a polite discourse?
      ““Simply locking them up where they can’t be accessed easily might make sense in a low violent crime area like the affluent suburbs or most of the Great Plains, but makes little sense in high crime areas where it is more likely to be needed for self defense.” What is this? This reads like those stories we hear about — but are never confirmed — of mothers holding off a horde of intruders with an AR-15 in one arm while breast feeding the baby with the other arm.” – No, it’s simply pointing out that most gun crime happens in high density populations, typically where education is low and unemployment is high. Places like the Dakotas, Montana and Wyoming which have very high firearms ownership rates have very little gun violence. Most of the gun deaths are suicides, not homicides. Overall, those places have very low rates of violent crime, not just low rates of gun violence. Even in states with high overall violence rates, it’s typically not in the affluent suburbs, but in the high population density inner cities.

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      1. The point of having a blog is to present my ideas to whoever reads. The discussion is secondary, and, as you can see, leads to some less-than-informative statements, even some that are completely misled. You are using yourself as the exception to something that is well known to developmental psychiatrists. Children are not adults. Children unsupervised with guns will lead to unfortunate accidents. This is well known in the literature.
        I’m out and about in one of the most dangerous cities in the country, unarmed. If I make it home — which is a big if according to the way you’re framing the debate — I’ll point out some more logical fallacies in what you’ve stated. It’s good practice for dealing with other public health issues. I’m sure Professor Wzrd will come along and school you in the meantime.

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        1. Kamas, I also grew up around guns. Guns that remained under lock and key unless my father brought them out for cleaning or going hunting. In school, we had a rod and gun club, although firearms were prohibited from school property.
          My father would take me to the range with the weapon for that club and return the firearm and myself to home after.
          My children grew up around firearms, though all were in their firearms safes. If for no other reason, the things were damnably expensive and one protects such investments.
          I used to have a concealed carry permit and carried on a regular basis. The aforementioned M1911 was my firearm of choice.
          One day, I asked myself, would the armed felon give me the opportunity to draw my own firearm to equalize the odds? Or would that felon blow the back of my head out and take my firearm to continue committing more and more crimes?
          After those questions, I left the thing in its safe.

          As for “governmental overreach”, I happen to be personally acquainted with the information our government collects. I’ve used it in time of war to defend our nation, well, to be honest, to defend my team and ensure we made it back home.
          I’ve read transcripts of my own morale calls home, a while after a service member attacked other service members over some inane “religious” reason (even service members can go batshit crazy, *really* bad things can happen then, courtesy of our being heavily armed). Indeed, the logging dates confirmed the reason, as there were no logs previous to that date.
          You forget that which matters most, we are at war currently. You know, “bad guys” with guns and bombs vs our guys with guns and bombs. Hence, the government collects data, as we do have internal threats that are indeed related to that war.
          We may not like that fact, but then, I really, really, really don’t like the law of gravity when I get up in the morning. I don’t attempt to ignore that law or any other fact.

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          1. Given Governmental abuses of records from Watergate to the recent IRS scandal about tax exempt entities and the Minnesota officers that accessed Anne Rasmussen’s Driver’s License information I don’t have a lot of faith in it’s ability to not abuse information it gets it’s hands on.

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          2. ROFLMAO!!!
            Dude, really?
            Watergate, where the POTUS was facing impeachment and resigned? The IRS non-scandal, as when all records were reviewed, no political abuses were found, only frauds were prevented from becoming tax exempt.
            Then, you conflate federal government with state government, which are entirely two different things.
            For reference, do read our Constitution. I did at least twice per year of military service to this once great nation.
            Once great because ignorance is killing it.

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          3. “…Since the government, at all levels, likes to overstep it’s authority …”

            Yes, I’ve read our Constitution. Did you comprehend it?

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          4. I’d like to remind you of the comments policy. Start a flame war and we’re done. (WZRD outranks you in more ways than one. So it’s on you to keep it civil.)

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          5. Yes, I comprehend the Constitution quite fully. My reading comprehension exceeds 99%.
            You also forgot the part about checks and balances, which removes any overreach. Granted, it is after the fact, but the system does overall work.
            It’s why I spent so many decades defending this nation in military service. I retired when it got too damned painful to put on the Kevlar vest, with ESAPI plates, two liters of water, combat loadout of ammunition, sidearm, rifle and specialty gear (radio, portable computer, medical gear). Total load was around 100 pounds.
            Whenever things got extra ugly, I read that Constitution. I’m also from Philadelphia, the birthplace of our nation and have read the works of the founding fathers of our nation and enjoyed our bicentennial at Independence Hall.

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        2. I’m NOT saying children are adults. I AM saying they can be responsible people. 30, 40, 50 or more years ago it wasn’t a big deal for firearms to be at school. Hunter’s Safety was held in my elementary school after hours. High School kids showed up for class in the morning with their shotguns in plain site in their vehicles and would go hunting after school. There were never any problems, at least around here. Then they banned guns and the kids that want to go hunting park down the street off campus.

          Baltimore really isn’t all that dangerous unless you get into certain neighborhoods (I have friends that live there). Compared to the rest of the US it looks horrid, but still only around what, 1.5% of the population is going to be a victim of a violent crime in a given year, and most of those are in specific neighborhoods (of which most people would likely describe them as ‘inner city’ or ‘blighted’). I wouldn’t feel threatened walking around most suburban neighborhoods in Baltimore.

          If you have some actual information that refutes anything I’ve said, please share the link.

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          1. Who said I was in Baltimore?

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          2. “Who said I was in Baltimore?” – YOU DID.

            From one of your earlier blogs on 1-7-15 (https://epidemiological.net/2015/01/07/homicides-in-baltimore-an-analysis-of-sorts/) “When I started working in Baltimore in 2007…” It’s also where Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health is located. So, unless you’ve been lying out of your backside about where you are and what you do, I can only surmise you are in Baltimore.

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          3. Yes, but yesterday, when I commented that I was out and about in a high crime city, where did I say I was in Baltimore. I am just as close to DC, Harrisburg, and Philly. You’re getting creepy, dude. Are you sure you’re not with the government?

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          4. You’re a funny guy.

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