THE PERFECT HOLIDAY GIFT

2 December 2019

You probably haven’t finished your Christmas shopping yet, so here’s an idea.

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   Whether it’s for you or someone else, a gun will probably be a good choice. After all, only 43 percent of American households have one or more firearms, and only 30 percent of American adults have their very own gun. If your giftees are Republican men, it wouldn’t be a sure-fire, first-ever personal gun, because 45 percent are already packing. However, the odds of giving something unique are much better if you are buying for women (only 17 percent already have a weapon), Democrats (16 percent), or Hispanics (15 percent). -- Lydia Saad, The Short Answer, 14 July 2019.

   Even if the recipients already have guns in the house, we can always use more, right? After all, in the civilian population of the United States, there are only about 390 million guns, or a mere  120 guns per 100 people. Not bad compared to other nations, but our closest competitor (the Falkland Islands) is creeping up, with 62 guns per hundred. (Of course, there are only 3,000 people and 2,500 guns in the Falklands.) The largest country that might rival us – Canada – has a paltry 35 guns per hundred. Russia, at only 12.3 guns per hundred, isn’t even a player.

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I know there are some worry-warts out there who feel guns are dangerous, particularly in households where there are children. Rest assured, as gun sellers have been telling us since at least 1900, guns are perfectly safe. Don’t worry.

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   “A toddler found a handgun and fatally shot himself. His case is one of at least 73 accidental child deaths involving a gun in 2018…Children were killed more than once a week last year under similarly tragic circumstances – a loaded gun and an adult's attention lapse.” -- Nick Penzenstadler, USA Today – 19 March 2019

"It is sobering that in 2017, there were 144 police officers who died in the line of duty and about 1,000 active-duty military throughout the world who died, whereas 2,462 school-age children were killed by firearms. " The rate of child death by firearms in the United States is six to nine times higher than in other developed nations. – Charles Hennekens, Schmidt College of Medicine, quoted by Doyle Rice, USA Today, 21 March 2019.

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   Of course, the big reason that anyone should thank you for their Christmas firearm is safety. As the gun seller says: “You may need one only once in your lifetime; buy now, so you will have it at that time.”

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“I believed that there were times when a gun might come in handy for defense, but that wasn’t how guns were generally used. I considered them a tool, and unless you were a cop or a soldier, carrying one around all day was like putting a wrench in your pocket in case one of your nuts came loose. In my experience it seemed that once you started carrying that wrench you started suspecting that everyone’s nuts were loose except your own.”

James Anderson - “Lullaby Road”


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