Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Weapon Registration

I had an epiphany as I was making my peanut butter and jelly sandwich today. I've been all wrong on this gun control thing. I have vehemently opposed gun control as I've always thought that this country has enough laws already: if anyone chose to enforce them.
But it struck me like a blob of jelly being slung against my toast, we NEED a weapon registration.
Now hear me out before jumping to my Crucifixion.

First, let's get our research in order. The two main sources for this article will be the FBI 2014 crime statistics (specifically the subset of murder weapons) and the CDC Fast Stats on injuries from 2013 (all 4 Fast Stats subsections will be used). I think all readers can agree that these agencies can be generally relied upon to post reasonable statistics. It becomes up to us to interpret them.

As I was saying though...

A registration program should begin by looking at the FBI statistics. Obviously looking at murder numbers should heavily influence our registration program. The title of "most used to commit murder" does appear at first glance to belong to firearms. In general, a majority of murders can be linked back to firearms. This would make sense given the nature of the item.

More than a cursory glance though shows us three additional categories. There are "Knives or cutting instruments", "Other weapons", and "Hands, fists, feet, etc". This is fairly interesting to begin with because these items are at minimum, statistically significant enough to be mentioned alongside the other murderous implements. The "Knives..." category even appears to beat both columns of "rifles" and "shotguns" in a majority of States. The numbers are fairly scattered by State so I'm not going any deeper. I encourage you to look for yourself but I believe this begins to show that our registration should be expanded. Guns and knives on the registry, check!

Let's zoom to the CDC numbers before we finalize our registration details. 

According to the numbers, All homicides in the United States (in 2013) came in at 16,121. Firearms alone accounted for 11,208. This is quite damning but a bit far from the 30,000 deaths claimed on a regular basis. There must be something we are missing. The inconsistency comes from suicides. When we dig a step further, firearm suicides made up 21,175 deaths. This brings us to the "grand" total of 32,383 for 2013: despite a majority of that number being self inflicted.

While we're in the CDC statistics, let's see what else caused our own deaths in 2013. Suffocation and poisoning suicides came in at a combined total of 16,699. This leaves 3,275 suicides unaccounted for and gave us a percentage of 51.5% for suicide by firearm. In addition to gun support, we have more categories for our registration!

Moving on, still in CDC statistics, there are more causes of death to explore for our registry. Under Accidents or Unintentional Injuries, we find massive numbers waiting for us. A whopping total of 130,557 unintentional injury deaths in 2013! Compared to our total  homicide rate in 2014 of 16,121 this number is exactly what we need to support registration!
Of these numbers, we find the following:
  • 30,208 deaths from unintentional falls
  • 33,804 deaths from motor vehicles
  • 38,851 deaths from unintentional poisoning
In conclusion, I agree wholeheartedly with a registry. This registry should contain those items that cause a majority number of deaths each year. For intentional murder, we should consider firearms to be at the top of the list, but the registration of "Knives or cutting instruments" should not be left out as they are shown to cause a statistically significant amount of homicide. After all, if we condemn every gun despite the character of the user then the same should be shown to those items most dangerous to us overall. 

While the CDC begins by lending statistics to our safe assumption of registering firearms, we clearly see that any form of poison is a major competitor for most dangerous on a year by year basis. Likewise, gravity and motor vehicles play a treacherous part in our mortality numbers each year. Any elevation above 6 feet should be registered. Motor vehicles are licensed already, as are drivers, but as we can see the number of deaths are above what we discovered from firearms. Punishment for driving unlicensed should clearly be placed at the same serious level as carrying a firearm unlicensed.

TL:DR version
A registry should contain firearms, any sharp implement ("knife"), any poisonous chemical, any rope like device, and any motorized vehicle operator. The name of the owner and the location of the object should be precisely tracked. Any theft of these devices should be reported immediately under the threat of severe repercussions should more than a day or two go by before a report is filed.

I firmly agree in a complete weapon registry as stated here. Anything less should be considered "not going far enough" or worse, simply a "danger to our children".

Best Wishes,

"Education is the most effective form of Rebellion"

1 comment:

  1. Oh man... you're going to make me do research aren't you?

    In short, I think you're right. I see a national gun registry as a good thing, but it won't solve gun violence. Most responsible people like the idea of knowing where their guns are.

    I think that the issue of gun violence is a fundamental societal issue. Other bloggers on the internet have touched on the fact that our problem is less the presence of the guns and more how people are slipping through the cracks when it comes to the despair and hopeless that causes them to use them in such tragic ways.

    It links (very quickly) back to how we view health care in America. It's not a right, it's a privilege. At the top of that list of privilege is psychological care. Now, everyone suffers from problems with psychology from the highest 0.000001% to the lowest. The difference is that people at the high end have never questioned whether they would be treated.

    In short, my next post is going to be "I'll give you gun rights, if you give me medical rights". I'm not going to lie. It's going to take me a while. There's a lot of data to be interpolated there. But I like it!