Roy Exum: Always Know The Facts

Monday, April 23, 2018 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

I adore the fact so many of America’s high school and college students are very active in our battle against violence in our schools but bemoan the fact that when you combine youth and ‘lack of experience’ they often are misguided and ill-informed. The best example came on Saturday when a reporter for Campus Reform walked around the Cal State-Santa Barbara campus asking the students what they thought of Trump sending troops to Mexico.

"I feel like it is not justified … it’s like a totally-uncalled for act of power," said one. Another asked "Where do we draw the line on who can be here or not?" One of the best lines in a story that appeared on the DailyWire website was, "I don’t believe it’s okay to send militarized troops to people who are coming in unarmed.

"

As the cameras kept rolling, interviewer Cabot Phillips then asked each, "Did you know that President Obama did the same thing when he was president? (July 2010-June 2011)" The pie-in-the-face reactions were priceless. The kid who said it was an "uncalled for act of power" replied, "Like …" before a long pause to gather his thought and then came out with, "I don’t know anything about that personally. So the difference is definitely with publicity and … false information."

Other students said to learn that Obama and that George W. Bush had also done it was "surprising" and admitted they "weren’t up to date on politics."

One child looked at the reporter like a-deer-in-the-headlights and said, "When President Obama did it, I felt there was, I suppose, different coverage as to what the intentions were. So I guess I would have to read up more about the intentions behind Trump’s versus the intentions behind Obama’s."

Then yesterday, just hours after a naked crazy opened up with an assault rifle just outside Nashville in Antioch, Parkland anti-gun activist Emma Gonzalez tweeted "removing assault rifles and semi-automatic guns from our civilian society, instituting thorough background checks and mandatory waiting periods and raising the buying age and banning high-capacity magazines, are the ways to stop shootings in America."

She said mass shootings don’t happen in other countries when the truth is the six largest mass shootings in the world all occurred on foreign soil in the last five years.

The top-6 deadliest mass shootings in world history:

1. 2017 Egyptian Mosque Attack, 305+ deaths

2. 2015 Kenya College Attack, 148 deaths

3. 2014 Pakistan School Massacre, 141 deaths

4. 2015 Paris Attacks, 130 deaths

5. 2011 Norway Attacks, 67 deaths

6. 2013 Kenya Shopping Mall Attack, 67 deaths

What is mystifying is why people are blaming guns instead of the naked guy who used one in the same way anybody else would an inanimate tool. Car wrecks are caused by those who drive the car, not the car itself. Axe murderers get put in prison – never the axe. How can millions of children in the most wonderful country that has ever been continue to blame a gun or a knife?

The anti-gun crowd took a huge hit over the weekend when a new study by Florida State professor and criminologist Gary Keck used statistics that had been withheld from the public by the Centers from Disease Control that conclusively prove guns are indeed necessary in today’s society.

As part of the CDC’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, which conducts huge surveys of the American people, Keck spent days poring over the yearly results from 1984 through 2016. As he did, he stumbled across some DGU findings that were included only on the 1996, 1997 and 1998 surveys.

A "DGU" means "Defensive Gun Use" and the exact wording on the survey was, "During the last 12 months, have you confronted another person with a firearm, even if you did not fire it, to protect yourself, your property, or someone else?"

Kleck analyzed as many factors as he could, omitting law enforcement officers, professional security people, the fact that at the time to carry a pistol was largely illegal and other data. It is important to know that Kleck was part of a similar survey in 1995 where the DGU prevalence was found to be 1.326 percent.

But the CDC survey in the late 1990s dwarfed Kleck’s survey and, as the criminologist dissected the CDC findings, he was amazed to find the CDC’s result of DGU was 1.35 percent – almost identical to his findings some five years before.

The adult (18+) population in 1997 was 198,108,000 people and using an adjusted prevalence of 1.24 percent, which shows an average of 2.46 million adult Americans used a firearm for self-defense each year between 1996-1998. During that same time period, the National Crime Victimization Survey reported to the United States Department of Justice that there were 680,391 violent crimes by offenders possessing (though not necessarily using) firearms in 1997.

What does all of this mean? According to the Centers for Disease Control – not a high school kid in Parkland, Fla. -- guns were used defensively about 3.6 times more each year as they were used offensively by criminals.

Any student or activist who would like to read Prof. Gary Kleck’s abstract can go to the research website, SSRN.com, and request his paper of February 14, 2018: "What Do CDC’s Surveys Say About the Frequency of Defensive Gun Uses?" And here’s another tip: If any student has a term paper due on anything under the sun, SSRN´s eLibrary provides 793,248 research papers from 372,726 researchers across 30 disciplines.

Get the true facts. Or, as they used to tell a young Davy Crockett back in the day, "Never leave home half-cocked."

* * *

* -- "Growing up is losing some illusions, in order to acquire others." — Virginia Woolf

* -- The invention of the teenager was a mistake. Once you identify a period of life in which people get to stay out late but don’t have to pay taxes — naturally, no one wants to live any other way." — Judith Martin

* -- "Youth was the time for happiness, its only season; young people, leading a lazy, carefree life, partially occupied by scarcely absorbing studies, were able to devote themselves unlimitedly to the liberated exultation of their bodies. They could play, dance, love, and multiply their pleasures. They could leave a party, in the early hours of the morning, in the company of sexual partners they had chosen, and contemplate the dreary line of employees going to work. They were the salt of the earth, and everything was given to them, everything was permitted for them, everything was possible. Later on, having started a family, having entered the adult world, they would be introduced to worry, work, responsibility, and the difficulties of existence."— Michel Houellebecq

* -- "You don’t stop laughing when you grow old, you grow old when you stop laughing." — George Bernard Shaw

* -- "Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person’s character lies in their own hands." — Anne Frank

* -- "I walked over to the hill where we used to go and sled. There were a lot of little kids there. I watched them flying. Doing jumps and having races. And I thought that all those little kids are going to grow up someday. And all of those little kids are going to do the things that we do. And they will all kiss someone someday. But for now, sledding is enough. I think it would be great if sledding were always enough, but it isn’t." — Stephen Chbosky

Royexum@aol.com


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