99 Children killed by auto-safety airbags -
82 Students murdered by guns during same period since 1993!
Guns and the media - Why the disparity of coverage?
FACT: Law-abiding people use guns 2.5 million times a year to stop crime!
3,000 criminals are shot a year by honest people defending themselves!
Commentary and opinion by Chuck Harder
(NHE) - - The September 1999 issue of CAR and DRIVER magazine points out that life with airbags in our cars has turned out very different since what was promised by Joan Claybrook back in 1977. Even worse, Dwight Childs age 29 of Broadview Heights, Ohio was charged with vehicular homicide when an airbag killed his infant son in a 10 MPH crash - a crash that should have easily been survived due to having airbags. Although his child was in an approved infant car-seat, he was driving his truck and thus it did not have a back-seat where children normally are located. His crime was that he forgot to turn-off the passenger-side airbag switch and when the bag deployed it killed his infant son.
Up is down, down is up and we live in a country with a "Nanny government" that is run by people who remind me of the "nutcakes" in Alice In Wonderland. Even worse - if successful, the "gun grabbers" in Congress are on the loose and you could die from their nonsense. I have personal knowledge about this - more on that later.
In the CAR and DRIVER article mentioned above, editor Patrick Bedard makes the point that our all-knowing government experts force us to use airbags even when they know that people will be killed by them. Interviewed on my radio show, Bedard said that the statistics show that some 177 people have been killed by airbags and about 5,000 have been saved since 1993. Thus in the mind of the "all knowing bureaucrat" the trade-off is acceptable even if 177 innocents were sacrificed to the airbag for "the greater-good." Hold that thought for a moment and realize that rock-solid studies have found that people who had guns saved millions of lives (during the airbag time-period of 1993 to present), by simply waving a gun in front of the bad guy. Thus the trade-off numbers are much more defendable than airbags when you look at all the statistics.
Here’s a couple of facts to keep in your head as you read this. It is the Second Amendment that gives us the personal freedom to own a gun. The Friday August 27, 1999 edition of USA TODAY on page 4A tells how renowned Constitutional scholar Professor Laurence Tribe of Harvard now states that, "The federal government may not disarm individual citizens without some unusually strong justification." He further states that the Second Amendment includes an individual right "admittedly of uncertain scope - to possess and use firearms in the defense of themselves and their homes." Please remember that Professor Tribe has been quoted more than 50 times in Supreme Court decisions by both liberal and conservative judges.
And when you study all the numbers you will wonder as I do - why must they grab our guns? According to statistics, there are 1,520,000 abortion fetus-deaths a year in the USA, 725,790 die of heart disease and way down on the bottom of the "causes of death list" are the 17,000 people a year who die by gunfire. The breakdowns I can find list about 8,500 as suicides and another 3,000 of them are criminals shot by the public or police. Thus about 5,500 people die in the course of our having the national freedom to own guns which is not that many. Even better, our national homicide rates for shooting-deaths are going down each year partly due to many states allowing people to carry concealed weapons.
Compare the above numbers with the 42,000 people who die each year in traffic deaths and the gun-death totals are rather modest. Also remember that the best current population estimate of the USA is about 270+ million people and thus these are small numbers. This one however is not: Some 2.5 million people a year who own a gun simply wave it in front of a criminal and thus stop a crime or a shooting-death and that fact is hardly ever reported!
The Supreme Court decision of Roe vs. Wade gave all women the right to have an abortion. And true, the gun-grabbers are mainly Democrats who say they want to save lives yet they have no trouble with women who use "their personal freedom" to abort and kill some 1,529,000 unborn children each year. Since the Roe Vs. Wade ruling the best estimate is that 31 million unborn children have been killed. So, which of these personal freedom’s are more important? Abortion or gun ownership? The gun-grabbers say it’s OK to kill 31 million unborn, but they don’t want me to be able to own a gun and protect my family. When they confront reality it makes no sense to deny you or me the right to bear firearms without being hassled.
BIG MEDIA THRIVES ON GUN TRAGEDIES
The scene on TV is so familiar. Scores of satellite news trucks have encircled the crime scene and there are endless shots of the area from helicopters overhead. Cameras take close-up views of rotating blue and red emergency lights on the tops of police cars and ambulances. There are endless zooms into throngs of police with riot gear and body armor. No, it’s not a "made for TV" movie, instead, it’s big media business and super ratings. Bluntly put, a real money-maker. The media is turning a real criminal shooting event into a circus - they will ring the cash register because people died. Soon, other sick people may become "copy-cats" and do similar terrible things to get attention.
The national media is screaming for gun-control since the horrid shooting by crazy Buford Furrow at the Jewish Community Center in Los Angeles. They and the politicians won’t stop until there is licensing and registration prior to confiscation. Yet we have to be honest about the law and what it actually can do to protect us. It’s illegal to buy or sell cocaine - yet people sell it today on street-corners across the USA. Criminals are not stopped by laws. If that was true we wouldn’t have anyone in prison or on "death row."
If Buford Furrow was a good citizen, obeyed the existing law and rulings he would have taken his medicine and wouldn’t have had any guns in his possession. He was violating the law when he broke probation and bought guns. Naturally such laws didn’t slow him down. Again, "gun-grabbers" only affect good people who will eventually be disarmed and the bad guys will still have guns.
All cars are licensed and drivers must pass a test before being allowed to drive. Yet car thieves steal countless licensed cars everyday and people who don’t have licenses continue to drive. How will guns be any different? Thus it seems to me that the process of testing and licensing is honored by good people while bad people do as they wish and laws don’t stop them. The media never bothers to confront reality as that’s not how they earn money. Honesty and logic doesn’t sell newspapers or garner TV ratings. Therefore the media is looking for profit and audience numbers. If that wasn’t the case they would not presently be piping "TV video sewage" into our homes and our kids’ minds.
Thus it’s no surprise about what crimes national TV covers. Here’s a good example: Saturday August 14, 1999 THE NEW YORK POST reported that two 12-year-old black kids slashed an 8 year old boy in Queens with a box-cutter. They missed his carotid artery by just half an inch. Had they cut it he would be dead. Instead young Adis Lucevic will be disfigured for life and was lucky that his father was nearby and able to hail two cops to catch the slashers and call for an ambulance. Had it been night and dark out or had his Dad not been nearby he could have died. Many stories in New York media tell how young punks use box-cutters to slash the faces of their victims to prove they should be accepted and initiated as gang members. Yes, box-cutters are legal.
Although the POST reports that New York’s finest are investigating the incident as a hate-crime, the POST also reported that the kids will face a maximum of 18 months in a juvenile home. No, I didn’t’ see that incident on national TV. Why?
The same edition of the POST told how a hard-working man in Washington Heights was killed and two bystanders were wounded when Latin Kings gang members Michael Rivera and Jouse Rodriguez opened fire. They shot and killed Elvis Paulino in front of his apartment at 566 West 190th street. Guns are outlawed in New York and the bad guys still get them but honest people can’t. That fact gives tremendous comfort to all New York criminals and thugs. Again, that incident was not televised either across the USA.
And here’s another: The August 10th edition of THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT newspaper reports that Sarah Anne Bruehl was on her way to Virginia Beach, VA for a day trip of swimming. While driving, two cars encircled hers and then gunshots rang out. She was hit, crashed her car and died. The gunmen were in a small red car with tinted windows and also a larger green sedan. The shooters are described as light-skinned blacks or Latino. Later, on August 14, 1999 the same newspaper reported two separate incidents where women were raped by black men, one incident occurred in a Food Lion grocery store!
Those of you who are connected to the Internet can access large and small home-town papers across the USA. Just read the local sections and you’ll find a never-ending stream of violence. Many of the incidents are phenomenal when you compare them to what is covered on national TV.
While there have always been a few psychopathic killers in all societies, the fact is that we felt much safer back in the 1950’s. Doors only had light-duty locks and most front doors were left unlocked during the day. So, what’s happened? The answer is simple. The entry-level factory jobs that paid good wages to unskilled workers have moved overseas. Everyday people have less hope and in most "middle-class" families both Mom and Dad have to work. Some kids now see Mom and Dad locked in an endless struggle to survive and wonder if there isn’t an easier way.
In the population sectors that "need a hand-up instead of a hand-out" we see all hope gone. Our welfare system rewards unmarried mothers and there are no factories left to hire their boyfriends so they can be fathers and form a family. Indeed, a welfare "Mom" better not get caught with a man around the house or she loses benefits! Welfare and no jobs or hope causes the breakdown of our families and children who are then left alone to drift amid a sea of bloodshed portrayed by an endless stream of TV sewage. And as they say, "As the twig is bent, so grows the tree."
Some experts say that gun-deaths are going down in proportion to the increase in population. Yet these and other similar facts are ignored during a national media "gun-death" event. Instead the subliminal message is "take away the guns and we will all be safe." That isn’t true as you’ll learn later in this article.
It is my opinion that the media is careful to pick what crimes to whip into a national media frenzy. Most of them selected for continuous TV coverage will involve a white "nut case" who shoots people with an automatic weapon. Perhaps there is a racial angle or maybe they want to showcase that white people who look normal are dangerous if they have guns? The message delivered to the masses is that the man next door who owns a gun might snap and kill you someday - so take his gun away now. As your local TV news is already saturated with black on black crime (amid all the other horrors), there is no reason to showcase blacks. The message of "blacks and minorities being dangerous" has already been delivered to the masses.
Back to the TV media circus. You can almost predict the timing. First the shooting, then the TV trucks arrive and soon a network person does a "stand-up" in front of the crime scene. It won’t be long after that and the "Amen chorus" of Handgun Control, Dianne Feinstein, Charlie Schumer and others will be on TV with their never-ending clamor to "crack-down" on those deadly guns. Just for "balance," the media will allow a spokesman from the NRA to get in a "sound bite" - but compared to the anti-gun coverage and comments by the on-camera hosts and the other guests it will have minimal impact and be overshadowed by "bad gun" reporting and interviews. The arrogant "disconnected-from-reality media-elite" are strutting their stuff.
The next step is a few hours away when the TV networks interview past victims of shootings on-camera to tell their sincere but sad tales. The coverage will go on for days until another major story breaks. Until then, it will be wall-to-wall "guns are bad" coverage. Although the carnage of auto deaths is massive in comparison we don’t see days of coverage of a major accident pile-up on a super-highway with multiple deaths - those events get 20 seconds at best on the nightly news. The radio and TV industry gets big money from the auto and truck companies but gunmakers don’t buy ads. Thus there’s no financial risk in being "anti-gun."
I happen to be alive today because I own a gun. Had Diane Feinstein, Charlie Schumer, and Sarah and Jim Brady had their way I would be dead. Twice I was in situations where just waving a gun apparently saved my life. Once in a race-riot in Tampa, Florida and another time when two goons attempted to run me off the road and car-jack me in the middle of nowhere in the panhandle of Florida. I didn’t have to fire a shot - the bad guys saw that I had a gun and bugged out.
(By the way, John Hinkley who shot Jim Brady is now allowed out of the mental hospital for "day trips." Why are the Brady’s not complaining in public about that fact? Buford Furrow was also in a mental hospital and then served jail time for assault while there. Believe it or not, he was let out on parole and not supervised properly. Result - he went nuts and shot people - just as he had told many people that he planned to do! So, where were Clinton’s 100,000 new cops on the street to stop him? Why wasn’t his home searched and why was he not supervised? Nothing was done to stop him. Why?)
If the gun-grabbers get their way we will see the market for body-bags increase to "gold-rush" status. A good example is the state of Maryland. The "grabbers" were able to get small handguns they lovingly called "Saturday night specials" banned as illegal. Homicide rates in Maryland have climbed by 20% and stayed that way while the national average climbed 8% back then for a time and has since dropped.
From 1988 to 1994 the number of gun-related homicides in Maryland grew nearly 30% after small handguns were banned. Investors Business Daily of February 06, 1996 carried an article by Charles Oliver that included this quote from Vinnie De Marco of Handgun Control, Inc. - "The law accomplished what we wanted. We never said that it would be a panacea for gun violence. But it was a step in the right direction." Easy for him to say, he’s still alive and not a victim!
Vinnie doesn’t tell you that low-income law-abiding people in Maryland had relied on owning inexpensive handguns for protection. Now, thanks to him and his kind they can call 911 and die if they are victimized by a killer and can’t fight back! Professor Gary Kleck of Florida State University and others have done diligent studies of guns in our society. Kleck says that guns are used by honest people over 2.5 million times each year to stop crime. The "gun-grabbers" never report these kinds of statistics. Instead they will pound the table and scream about the few that are killed by nuts with guns. Indeed, the recent Atlanta shooter killed his wife and kids by bludgeoning them to death with a hammer. The media made little comment about that as the hammer he used as the "instrument of death" wasn’t a gun.
THE BIG STORY THE MEDIA DOES NOT COVER
Gun deaths are a "drop in the bucket" compared to the flood of other causes of death that are hardly ever reported. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, here are the leading causes of death that they list for 1997.
Heart Disease -- 725,790
Cancer - - 537,390
Stroke -- 159,877
Lung Diseases - - 110,637
Accidents -- 92,191
Pneumonia and influenza -- 88,383
Diabetes -- 62,332
Suicide -- 29,725
Kidney disease -- 25,570
Liver disease -- 24,765
Blood poisoning -- 22,604
Alzheimer’s disease -- 22,527
Homicide -- 18,774
HIV and AIDS -- 16,685
Hardening of the arteries -- 15,884
All other causes -- 361,635
Then Wednesday April 15, 1998 THE JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION reluctantly reported that adverse prescription drug reactions are responsible for more than 100,000 deaths annually nationwide. That number puts prescription drug reaction-deaths at 4.6 percent of all recorded deaths in 1994 and making drug-reaction deaths the fifth leading cause for death! Gosh, those are big numbers but I don’t remember the TV news trucks or crews covering this story - do you?
LEARN BY DOING
Perhaps Dianne Feinstein and Charles Schumer, the Brady’s and all other gun-grabbers need to learn from others who are ahead of them. If they were honest about what they really know they would just hide in the closet. Some time ago in Australia a white "nut case" opened fire with an automatic weapon on a number of innocent people. Result, the Australian gun-grabbers were able to push though a law about a year ago banning personal ownership of weapons. Gun-control advocates were so excited about their victory that they said, "Just wait, we’ll be safer, you’ll see."
So, Australian gun owners were forced to surrender 640,381 personal firearms of all types. This has made the Australian criminal much safer and the results are now in after just one year:
Armed Robberies are up 44% !
Assaults are up by 8.6% !
Homicides are up 3.2% !
In the Australian state of Victoria, homicides with firearms are up 300% !
The elderly in Australia are also now the targets of crooks who have the illegal weapons. Retired folks have to now just sit there and be victims. Naturally the gun-grabbers can’t face facts and won’t confront the current reality but now instead promise that it will take a little longer to see a turn-around. Really? What will change? The guns are gone!
History will show that many countries where the guns were grabbed went down the slippery-slope into dictatorship. And in the island-paradise of Jamaica it is illegal for anyone to own ammunition or a gun. Yet the crime and murder rate from guns in Jamaica is soaring. And yes, the guns are all illegal but the bad guys can get them and the honest people have been disarmed! And don’t forget Nazi Germany and Cuba which are just two dictatorships that got power when the guns were taken from the people! Our forefathers anticipated all this and thus built the second-amendment into the constitution to protect us. When will we learn?
Earlier in the article I reported that university researchers have stated that guns are used over 2.5 million times a year to stop crimes. If we take away the guns then how will these numbers change? Do you feel lucky, will your number come up?
Author Roger Rosenblatt wrote a column in a recent edition of TIME MAGAZINE where he stated that he feels that it’s time to ban all guns. "Get rid of the damn things," he said? Perhaps he has been reading nationally-syndicated columnist Carl Rowan who has been writing opinion columns for years saying the same thing. Yet when Rowan’s house was broken-into in the DC area he took his illegal hand-gun out of the drawer from his bedside table and shot the intruder. Is Rowan like all the other pro-abortion elite who scream, "Don’t do as I do, do as I say - you just call 911 and die - I’ll still have a gun!"
While some 28 people were killed in school shootings over the past three years, the statistics show that over 500 people are killed yearly just riding a bicycle. Should we also ban bicycles? And yes, the latest national USA statistics say that there were 1,529,000 fetus-deaths in America by abortion. But think about it - those who want abortions scream that it is their personal decision and a basic freedom! Yet, their decision caused a death! Rather than argue who’s right, let’s consider that neither group wants to lose their personal freedom!
Motor-Vehicle accidents kill over 42,000 yearly according to the latest statistics. A car makes you "free" and nobody is about to give-up their car or truck. Thus all forms of freedom have risks attached to it. But when you realize that 2.5 million crimes were stopped last year by people who had a gun then I must tell you that I would rather be one of those folks than the contrasting few who die by gunfire. And don’t forget that a large percentage of gun deaths are suicides!
Those who know me understand that I’m a realist. And by the way, I really don’t like guns and wish I didn’t have to own them. Yet, we live in a dangerous world. Our elected "protectors" have allowed the America I grew up in to decay and slowly die. The factories are gone, lives have been ruined, morals and ethics are absent and TV is an open sewer. Kids are messed-up, can’t read or spell and have little hope for the future. To stop violence we will have to turn the country around. Until then we need personal firearms now to be safe and later in order to be free. Thus, I’ll keep my guns and won’t hesitate to protect my family.
Al Gore, Bill Bradley, Dianne Feinstein, Charles Schumer and the likes of Sarah and Jim Brady want it both ways. They want "their people" to be able to kill unborn children but at the same time want to restrict me and my family from being able to protect ourselves. They silently stand by while 31 million unborn children have been killed but scream "grab the guns," when a few nuts misuse them. Somebody needs to suggest they confront reality and admit they are wrong - if not, they should just shut up.
Guns are more dangerous...
No, a stupid illegal immigrant mother holding an infant in her lap in a brand new car. I see it every damn day.
On second thought, that isn't a bad thing. Once the anchor baby dies in the accident, being HAMMERED to death between the airbag and its mother, we can send the POS brain dead family back to the shithole the illegally immigrated from.
both of the things you mentioned save far more innocent lives than they take.
but guns are designed to KILL..... they have no other purpose
Supposedly there was a patent application filed for using air bags as an execution device, but I wasn't able to find much of use with google besides this:
One of my coworkers set off her air bags going over a large bump. Insurance totaled the car cause it cost more to reset them then the car was worth, and it was a newer Hyundai (maybe that explains why...).