Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Who's Judging Who?

I love to hunt, though I don't get to do it these days due to schedules and lack of affordable hunting lands. I have always been raised around guns and I have always been taught how to handle firearms safely, both by my dad and grandfathers, as well as, by the Marine Corps. I bagged my first deer when I was only 10 years old. Normally, I wouldn't talk politics here but I just heard something that burns my butt more than a flame three feet high. I really think this goes much deeper than the politics so try to stay with me here and see if I am making any sense.

I was just listening to the CBS 42 10 o'clock news to find out all the bad things that happened today when I hear that my state, Alabama, has received an "F" rating (State Gun Laws) from the Brady Center regarding laws that protect families from gun violence. Now, hearing this I just had to do some research.

Since all of the lawmakers are in Washington, D.C., I decided to compare the crime rate in Alabama to that of the District of Columbia. Using data for 2004-2005 and looking only at Violent Crime and Murder/nonnegligent manslaughter, I found the following crime rates per 100,000 in population;The Disaster Center
-Alabama ranks 23rd in total population while DC ranks 51st for 2004-2005
-Alabama ranks 23rd in Violent Crime; DC ranks 1st (2004 and 2005)
-Alabama ranks 23rd in Murder/non negligent manslaughter in 2004, 6th in 2005; DC ranks 1st (2004 and 2005)

I found this quite curious knowing that possession of a firearm is illegal inside the beltway in DC, so I decided to look to the Brady Center for the grade on the District of Columbia. What a shock!!!! DC gets a "B" in gun violence protection laws.

Ok, I know that all these crimes aren't committed with guns, so I decided to search for data on specifically firearm related incidents. I did find some homicide data at the Department of Justice website on Alabama but interestingly enough, there was no data for the District of Columbia.

Now, let me get to my point. If gun laws worked as well as the anti-gun lobbyists would have us believe, it would stand to reason that the areas with the best gun laws would have the least amount of gun related crime. This doesn't appear to be true based on the limited research I have made prior to writing this article. And it even appears that the government doesn't want us to know the true statistics for gun related crimes in the DC area. The things that work for protecting families from gun violence are education and enforcement. Parents, guardians, teachers, communities, educate your kids on gun safety, gun use and the penalties for improper or illegal use. Local and State governments enforce the laws that are already on the books; don't try to make more laws that won't work or that you don't have the resources to enforce. Rethink current gun laws; Why don't they work? What would work? The only people protected by gun laws are those criminals that don't obey the laws.

Whether you agree or not doesn't really matter. What does matter is that this is America and we have enabled Criminals to make us lock our doors, fear going to the grocery store, fear going to school or fear doing anything that makes us feel like we live in the "Land of the Free". So, Brady Center, before you start judging people/states/governments, maybe you should take a look in your own back yard. Wake up America!!! Let's start punishing the criminals, not innocent citizens.

  )\ <====== (Me walking away from my soapbox)

Brad Walker

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