Fandango’s Flashback Friday — March 26

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of your earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember? Each Friday I will publish a post I wrote on this exact date in a previous year.

How about you? Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year? You can repost your Friday Flashback post on your blog and pingback to this post. Or you can just write a comment below with a link to the post you selected.

If you’ve been blogging for less than a year, go ahead and choose a post that you previously published on this day (the 26th) of any month within the past year and link to that post in a comment.

This was originally posted on March 26, 2013 on my old blog.

Better Yet, Just Shut Up

Have you seen the claim circulating the internet that baseball bats kill more Americans every year than firearms? Yup, just go to any site that is promoted by right-wing gun nuts (or the NRA) to read statistics like 11,000 Americans were killed by baseball bats in 2010 compared with only 8,775 gun deaths. “Don’t ban guns,” they say, “ban baseball bats!”

Never mind that the FBI keeps no specific statistics for baseball bat homicides. This is just another myth being passed around on the internet and social media by those who claim to be true American patriots defending the Second Amendment.

Have you seen the statistic being touted by right-wing sources and the NRA about how hammers and knives kill more Americans than guns? Or that hammers kill half again as many Americans each year as rifles and that knives kill twice as many.

That statistic on more hammer (and other blunt objects) deaths than rifle deaths is interesting — and technically accurate. But you need to take a closer look at how the NRA spins things.

According to the FBI, there were, in fact, “only” 323 deaths by assault rifles in 2011. But what about the other 8,240 deaths by handguns and other firearms? Are those victims any less dead because they were killed by handguns rather than by rifles?

What the eye-catching, clever graphic above doesn’t tell you is that, while 496 people were killed by blunt objects, such as hammers and baseball bats, 8,583 were killed by firearms in the same year, firearms including rifles and handguns.

The FBI’s data on homicides shows quite clearly that firearms account for more than two-thirds of the homicides in the U.S. The same FBI database reports that only slightly more than 13% of homicides were committed with knives or other cutting instruments, while under 4% were done with blunt objects, including baseball bats, clubs, and hammers!

As was noted in, in any debate about gun control, someone will inevitably make the argument that “kills more people than guns do,” where X is anything other than guns. Sure people die from cancer, heart disease, and all kinds of health matters, and even from medical malpractice. People die in car accidents, plane crashes, from poisoning, and choking. They die from old age.

But when it comes to homicides, the fact is that in America, the probability of being murdered by a gun is more than double that of being killed by all other weapons combined. And “all other weapons” includes knives, baseball bats, hammers, poison, fire, pushing someone out of a window, cars, hands and feet, explosives, drownings, narcotics, strangulation, asphyxiation, and “other” causes or method.

And these gun death statistics don’t include the more than 19,000 Americans who committed suicide with firearms in 2011. Half of all suicides in the U.S. are committed with guns.

So before you publicly quote and pass along “statistics” claiming that more people die from hammers, baseball bats, and knives than from guns, check your sources. Stop being a tool for the NRA.

Or better yet, just shut up.

The Raid

“So did the, uh, merchandise arrive?” Vito asked as he walked into the warehouse.

“Yeah, boss,” Vinnie said. “I checked the order and it’s all here and laid out on that table over there.”

“Good. There was some speculation about Jimmy’s loyalty,” Vito said.

“Oh no, boss,” Vinnie said. “I can vouch for Jimmy. He is in awe of you. There’s no way he’d do anything that could topple your empire. He knows that you’re the big boss of a wide swath of the city.”

“I’m glad that allegation is baseless. I wouldn’t have wanted to, you know, fire him,” Vito said.

Suddenly the large door to the warehouse opened up and a dozen or so G-men rushed in. “Nobody move,” the lead FBI agent shouted. He walked up to Vito and said, “Well, Vito, it looks like we got you red-handed with the goods. I knew that if we stalked you and your gang of miscreants long enough, we’d nail you.”

Vito looked around and saw Jimmy, Vito’s arms supplier, standing behind the federal agents. “Jimmy, you snitch, you’re a dead man,” Vito yelled. “I shoulda known that those allegations about you being a stool pigeon where true.”

The lead FBI agent laughed as he put the handcuffs around Vito’s wrists. “Oh come on, Vito,” he said. “I heard you love happy endings.”

Written for these two days worth of daily prompts: Fandango’s One-Word Daily Prompt (merchandise/allegation), Word of the Day Challenge (order/stalk), The Daily Spur (order/endings), Ragtag Daily Prompt (topple/swath), and Your Daily Word Prompt (speculation/awe).n

Share You World — Of Guns, Respect, Ego, and Death

Share Your World

As Melanie, at Sparks From a Combustible Mind, pointed out, it’s almost the end of fourth month of 2020, and what an “interesting” year it’s been so far. Here’s Melanie’s Share Your World prompt for this week.

Do guns protect people or kill people? Or both?

Both. But first, let’s be real. Guns are designed to kill. Sure, they can also be used to protect and/or defend people. But in the United States there are more guns than there are men, women, and children. More gun deaths, including suicides, than any other nation (close to 40,000 a year) and more mass shootings than any other nation. And then there are the types of guns available to citizens in America: high capacity, military-style, semiautomatic weapons. These types of weapons aren’t used for protection. So, my bottom line is that guns do kill people…far more than they protect people.

Is it more important to be respected or liked?

It would be nice to be both liked and respected, but if I had to choose one, it would be to be respected.

Is having a big ego a negative or positive trait?

Ego is essentially a sense of self, a person’s self-esteem, self-opinion, and self-confidence. We all have egos, and there’s nothing wrong with having a positive sense of self. But when someone’s ego is oversized or blown out of proportion to the point of narcissism, it becomes a negative trait.

Depending on your point of view, is death a new beginning?

Death is the end, not a beginning, new or otherwise.

Who Won The Week? 03/22/2020

10CC3057-4EEA-4C80-B8C1-700C0FC6C906It’s time for another Who Won the Week prompt. The idea behind Who Won the Week is for you to select who (or what) you think “won” this past week. Your selection can be anyone or anything — politicians, celebrities, athletes, authors, bloggers, your friends or family members, books, movies, TV shows, businesses, organizations, whatever.

I will be posting this prompt on Sunday mornings (my time). If you want to participate, write your own post designating who you think won the week and why you think they deserve your nod. Then link back to this post and tag you post with FWWTW.

This week I am choosing guns.E9DB73AF-C8DA-4068-8FC7-4F6CE96A1E95Gun sellers across the country are reporting major spikes in firearm and bullet purchases as many Americans are flocking to local gun stores to stock up on firearms and ammunition in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. Gun dealers report that they are scrambling to keep up with demand.

Nonessential stores across the country are closing in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, but gun stores are still open. Apparently in America, licensed firearms retailers are essential businesses.

I’m not happy about this. As it is, the United States has, by far, the most heavily armed civilian population in the world, with more guns (120 firearms per 100 citizens).

Coincidentally, perhaps, there has been an uptick recently in grocery store and pharmacy parking lot gun point hold ups since this pandemic has taken hold.

So, it is with great reluctance and anxiety that I declare guns, gun manufacturers, and gun shops to have won the week.

And now it’s your turn, folks. Who (or what) do you think won the week?