GUNS IN AMERICA PT.1
(FROM CHICAGO TO SANDY HOOK)
I can remember very clearly the first time I laid my hands on a gun. I can still feel the immediate sense of power and electricity that surge from my hands to my brain. I couldn’t have been a day older then 7 or 8, snooping around 1 of my uncle’s bedrooms while he was babysitting me. It was a small pistol and considering the time frame, probably a “Saturday night special” made popular by “street cats” in the mid 70’s, Popular because they were very cheap and very available. When I first saw it, I thought it was a toy, because I HAD toys that looked like a carbon copy of the very gun I held in my immature hands. I did what most kids who’ve never held a gun do… Pointed the barrel towards my face and click… and then I pulled the trigger again and again, click… It was in that moment, that I became scared.
This thing was different from my “toy guns”. It was heavier and colder and in my naiveté, broke! What I didn’t know was that it was not ‘broken’, but actually, and luckily for me, unloaded. Daam, when I think about it now, that could’ve been a wrap for me! I threw the “broken hunk of metal” back in the drawer I took it from, and bounced before I was caught and got my ass whooped. True, it frightened me, but it also kept a curiosity in me alive, born the very first time I saw gun violence on the television. I didn’t need to wait to see it on T.V. though. No, it was right there for me as soon as I left the safety of my mother’s apartment. I used to collect bullet casings from out of the gutters in the wicked streets of Brooklyn, NY. My buddy’s and I would throw them at each other pretending they were real when we played “cops and robbers”.
I saw a man murdered, shot in the head for his boom box one night while sitting on my terrace. I watched the police, then the coroner, come and pick him up and take his lifeless body away. I listened as the “ol-heads” from the block talk about how that “boy got his head blown off for a goddam radio…” In that same apartment building, a whole family of Columbians were murdered inn an apparent drug deal gone wrong. I got off the elevator one day to visit my cousins who lived in the building and was overwhelmed by the smell of “death”. If you’ve never smelled it you cannot fathom what I mean. I don’t remember how many people were killed but I do recall they were shot, and all of this happening before the age of 13.
AS time passed I began to lose friend after friend leading up to the untimely deaths of my comrades Tupac and Yafeu. Prior to that, my older brother’s dad was even shot, but survived. I say this to say Gun violence is something I know all to well. From an Uncle that I never got a chance to meet to rapper Rick Ross’s Rolls Royce being shot up recently, murder from the barrel of a gun is as familiar to me as the palms of my hands.
Now that was some of my beginning, but lets go all the way back, back to the origins of Guns. That would mean we’d have to travel to China in the 12 century. 3 centuries prior, they invented gunpowder. They started as mini cannon’s, then traveled west, being improved along the way. The Native Americans’ knew nothing of such a weapon and this resulted in them being slaughtered by the thousands, in the name of advancement or exploration by the time the 17th century rolled around. Killing someone became a lot easier and cleaner because of this invention. Our “fore-fathers” knew the importance of the instrument; so much so, it’s the second amendment right after the freedom of speech, assembly, and religion! I won’t even get into the fact that it was only permissible for whites and a “slave’, even a freed black person could be hung if caught with one.
I always felt it was a certain karma that came with firearms, especially when it came to The United States of America. In my opinion this is the exact reason country seems to be the nation who has the biggest issue with them. We out paste most 3RD WORLD countries and “Super powers” in murders per capita. Has anyone wondered why there are so many guns in this country in the first place?
Here are some stats I found that were interesting to me:
• The US has an estimated 283 million guns in civilian hands
• Each year about 4.5 million firearms, including approximately 2 million handguns, are sold in the
• An estimated 2 million second hand firearms are sold each year
• The percentage of American households with a gun has been steadily declining high of 54% in
1977 to 33% in 2009
• The average number of guns per owner has increased from 4.1 in 1994 to 6.9 in 2004. Sources:
Injury Prevention 2007; ATF 2000; National Opinion Research Center 2008; Pew Research Center 2009
Gun Deaths: firearms each year in this country More than 30 people are shot and murdered
each day kill More than 30,000 people
1/2 of them are between the ages of 18 and 35
1/3 of them are under the age of 20 Homicide is the second leading cause of death among 15‐24
year‐olds And the primary cause of death among African Americans of that age group
Gun Homicides average annually: Less than 50: Japan Less than 150: Germany, Italy, France,
etc. Less than 200: Canada More than 10,000: USA Source: IANSA International Action
Network on Small Arms of the United Nations
Other countries have citizens who use there right to “bear arms” freely, but as you can see, don’t come close to the U.S. in the amount of deaths from guns. Recently while watching the news, I was amazed at the mile long line of willing participants in L.A.’s “gun buy back program”. Essentially, you can bring you firearm back (to the police); sell it, no questions asked. Of course in these desperate economic times, people were more than willing to give up a couple of their weapons for cold hard cash. Conspiracy theorist cry out “the government wants guns out of the peoples hands, so they can enact Marshall law!” Could there be some truth to that? If so, a gun buy back program is one way to do it, but with over 300 million guns in this country, it would take a hundred years to do this successfully…
After Sandy Hook, there was an outcry for tougher gun laws. Add that with what happened in Colorado this summer and we now have full fledge hysteria! These tragedies stand out because of the amount of casualties that occurred in one setting… But everyday in this great nation’s middle, the city that gave us Obama “the politician”, people are dying in numbers that resemble a small war…
TO BE CONTINUED…