As a type of person whose general way of thinking is to live and let live, I typically don’t have a problem with people exercising their rights as long as their “rights exercising” does not affect me.
Yes, yes I know that according to the Constitution, you have a right to own a gun. I'll be honest and say that I wish it weren't so; the fantasies of the most extreme gun advocates notwithstanding, our liberty is protected by our laws and institutions, not by our ability to wage war on our government.
But I also have the right to say that there are limits to how far your exercising that right should be allowed to change the rest of my life, and if necessary the law should enforce those limits.
I would suppose it is possible that on my next visit to the local coffee shop, a madman might come and shoot the place up? Yes, of course anything is possible, it’s also possible I could win the next Powerball, and is it possible that if half the patrons were armed, one of them might be able to take him down and limit the number of people he killed, but it is also possible I could get killed because of the ensuing gun battle. But if holding out that infinitesimal possibility means that every time I go down for a coffee, I'm entering a place full of guns, I will not be visiting said coffee shop. That’s the decision I’ve made.
It does seem to me that gun advocates want to create a society that is governed by fear, they want to make sure that everyone feels the same fear and for some odd reason they actually believe “An armed society is a polite society,” really no, I’m polite because I am terrified that some gun advocate may pull a gun on me if I don’t say please and thank you enough.
The gun advocates genuinely believe every member of society should live in fear of each other, they want you to embody the fear and violence they embody, everywhere you go, in your home, in your kids’ school, at the supermarket, at the local coffee shop.
Fear sells but many of us refuse to buy into that fear and most of us are tired of living for a society that is governed by fear. We are spending hundreds of millions of dollars each year to care for the victims of gun violence because we live in a society that is governed by fear.
According to a report from the Urban Institute released 9/13/2013 about 80 percent of the cost of treating victims of gun violence in 2010 was borne in part by taxpayers. We taxpayers paid for victims' care either through government programs like Medicaid or through publicly-funded programs that subsidize hospital care for those who don't have insurance and can’t afford to pay.
Hospitals in the U.S. spent $630 million in 2010 treating the victims of gun violence, everything from minor gunshot wounds to injuries that required days-long stays and our tax dollars paid for that. The Medicaid costs of gun violence alone that year amounted to approximately $327 million.
The average cost of a hospital visit for a gun violence victim is $14,000 more than that of the average hospital stay, due to the severity of the injuries often involved.
The true economic cost of gun violence is much larger than what hospitals are spending on care. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that gun violence deaths cost the U.S. economy $37 billion and gun injuries $3.7 billion in 2005, the last year the public health agency conducted an analysis. In addition, taxpayers often end up footing the bill for social services for gun violence victims, as well as building the expensive hospital trauma units needed for their treatment.
So yes your “rights exercising” is affecting me and my pocket book and I am growing tired of living in a society governed by fear. Why should my tax dollars be spent on enabling your fears?
A society that is governed by fear is not a society; it is a prison, where we are all held prisoners by gun advocates unfounded fears, and we are all paying for that fear with our tax dollars and our lives....