Look Ma, No Hands!!!!

Posted: January 19, 2011 in Gun Control, Rep. Trent Franks

Rep. Trent Franks had a pissing contest on “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” last night.  I think O’Donnell pwned him but you can be the judge of that.    The host was taking Rep. Franks to task for saying he wished that someone with ‘responsible hands’ had a gun at the tragic shooting last week in Tucson.  What he and most other gun advocates absolutely refuse to deal with (besides their bizarre weapon fetish) are the facts.

Some facts about those “responsible hands” that Mr. Franks has so much faith in:

  • The majority of bullets fired by law enforcement officers miss their intended target.  Studies indicate that only 13% of bullets fired in a gunfight hit their targets.  The average citizen in AZ doesn’t have even a 10th of the training and experience of the average law enforcement officer…..see the next point.
  • Anyone carrying a gun in their job, i.e., a police officer or military recruit, must undergo a minimum of training before they are allowed to carry the weapon around–openly or concealed.  Law enforcement officers in most jurisdictions must undergo a minimum of 8 weeks of officer training and pass certification tests when they are first hired.  Then they must re-certify that they know how to use the weapon periodically (usually a minimum of once or twice a year).
  • They also receive defensive tactics training that teaches them thing like:
    • the difference between cover and concealment, and
    • the likelihood of getting hurt depending on distance and the force match-up
  • Of the top ten causes of death in the U.S., those due to firearms are the only category of purposeful deaths (outside any potential suicides from motor vehicle accidents).  The rest of the categories are all medical related deaths.  Annually according to a 2002 study, over 28,000 people died as a result of firearms.
  • According to a 2004 study, Arizona had the 5th highest number of deaths caused by firearms.
  • In that same 2004 study nationally 57% of those deaths were suicide and 39% were homicide.  It is unclear how many of these suicides were self-inflicted or “suicide by cop”.   Nor is it clear how many homicides resulted incidentally from people seeking to commit “suicide by cop”.
  • The CDC looked at firearm deaths by state and by year.  It shows a pattern of the number peaking in 2005. What happened in 2005?  The state passed 4 new gun laws basically reducing the number of hours of permit training and permit renewal by half.
  • Arizona decided to double down on stupid even given the history of the relaxing of gun laws and the significant increase in firearms deaths in 2005.  As of mid 2010, Arizona residents no longer need to get a permit or be trained on how to use a gun in order to carry that weapon concealed on their person or in a bag.
  • There was an individual at the Tucson shooting who had a gun other than Loughner.  He pulled his gun but when he came upon the scene….he didn’t shoot.  It was too confusing.  He couldn’t tell who was the perp and who were the victims.    The exact same scenario that law enforcement faces in many shootings when they arrive on a scene.  He came close to shooting whoever had a gun in their hand.  It was a split second lucky decision because a victim had already wrestled the gun away from Loughner and it took some time to sort that all out.  This is very typical.   In most situations a person only has second to make a decision about who to shoot and the bad guy doesn’t have a sign pasted on their chest that says “Shoot me!”

These are the “hands” Mr. Franks is relying on–these untrained, inexperienced, “more harm than good” hands of Arizona citizens.  I think I might invest in some body armor just in case.









  1. […] you’ve read my previous posts on Gun Control (here is another post), you know that I feel very strongly about this issue.  But, there is something […]

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