the weaponized life

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As a board member of the pacifist War Resisters League, Frida Berrigan offers us a perspective on the weaponization of everyday life. She writes that "One in four Americans now owns a gun or lives in a household with guns," and that "two million kids in this country live in homes where guns are not stored safely and securely." She notes with dismay that "School shootings are now treated as a structural part of our lives," and "Part of their orientation now involves regular "shelter in place" and "secure-school" drills:"

As parents, we need to do more than blindly accept that these traumatic exercises are preparing our kids for the worst and helping them survive. Kids are vulnerable little beings and there are countless dangers out there, but they have a one-in-600-million chance of dying in a school shooting. We endanger them so much more by texting while driving them home from school.

According to the WaPo article:

Since Columbine, approximately 200 public school students have been shot to death while school was in session, including the recent slaughter at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. (and a shooting in Birmingham, Ala., on Wednesday that police called accidental that left one student dead). That means the statistical likelihood of any given public school student being killed by a gun, in school, on any given day since 1999 was roughly 1 in 614,000,000. [emphasis added]

We should consider a more realistic metric: the cumulative risk over a student's academic career. At 180 days per year, the 13 school years of a K-to-12 student works out to 2340 education days; the student's career risk of gun death in school is 0.0003811%, or 1 in 262,398. Those odds don't look quite as good, do they? "Two questions are answered far too infrequently," Berrigan continues, "Where do the guns come from?" and "Where does violence come from?"

Guns of all sizes and description are manufactured and sold in this country in remarkable numbers, far more than can be legally absorbed in our already gun-saturated land, so thousands of them move instead into the gray and black markets. Evidence of this trend shows up repeatedly in Mexico, where 70% of the weapons seized in crimes between 2009 and 2014 turned out to be made in El Norte. We have an estimated 300 million guns in this country, making us first by far in the world in gun ownership and some of them couldn't conceivably be used for "hunting." They are military-style weapons meant to tear human flesh and nothing but that -- like the AR-15 that 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz legally bought and used in his grim Parkland shooting spree. [emphasis added]

This country, in other words, is a cornucopia of guns, which -- honestly, folks -- doesn't have a damn thing to do with the Second Amendment.

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on April 16, 2018 8:34 PM.

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