By Nathan Barton
… and maybe killed.
A Baker’s Dozen ™ How not to die by shooting.
There are some very common sense ways to avoid dying (or just getting wounded) with guns, especially here in the Fifty States. Here are just a few, which you can do without any agreement with anyone else, without permission from anyone else – especially the government.
I think they are a whole lot more useful than tweeting or posting Facebook messages, marching in rallies, or writing to newspapers or politicians. None of those will help much, if at all – and may lead to a greater potential risk.
Keep in mind, that 99% of Americans – and virtually ALL of us who live in rural and frontier areas – are at very low risk of dying by gunshot. We are much more likely to die in a car accident or by falls or drowning or in winter storms.
So here are thirteen ideas:
- Don’t live in big cities or on an Indian reservation. When you take a few big cities out of the equation, the Fifty States drops to a very low rate of death by guns per 100,000 people, well below virtually all civilized lands. Many reservations, however, are much like the gang-infested inner city neighborhoods in Chicago, DC, New York, St. Louis, and elsewhere. Don’t live in states or cities where it is hard for honest, peaceful people to get guns.
- Don’t go into areas at greater risk of violence. First, don’t go out especially late at night/early morning predawn in inhabited areas. (Implement a personal curfew. The safest place anyone can be at 2am is at home in bed. Roaming the streets in the middle of the night exposes you to all manner of dangerous people. Second, stay away from Gun Free Zones. A study discussed in The Blaze showed 98% of all mass shootings happen in these zones. Gun Free Zone signs tell violent people this is a spot where there are easy pickings. Everywhere else, predators may be deterred since they don’t know if there’s already someone armed on the property.
- Don’t let down your guard. Be aware of your surroundings. Make it a habit to look around and assess any situation you are in. Most victims of violence have no warning of the impending danger: often because they were not being observant.
- Don’t violate common sense gun safety rules, at any time. Practice good gun safety. (Thanks to “A Girl and A Gun.”)
- Don’t commit suicide. This is the most common gun-related death. Suicides are 64% of all firearm deaths in the US (2012 data from Wikipedia).
- Don’t escalate road rage situations. Think and plan in advance: If someone does something offensive on the highways, react by de-escalating the situation. Refrain from responding in kind and back off to allow the heat of the moment to cool.
- Don’t join a gang. Gangs accept violence as normal, so many become victims of gun violence. (Closely related, avoid family members and so-called friends who are in gangs.)
- Don’t buy or sell illegal drugs. We know that it’s the drug laws more than the drugs themselves that leads to violence among drug buyers and sellers. But people already outlaws are more likely to commit violence, than the law-abiding population.
- Don’t get involved with abusive people. Someone who has physically abused a partner, children, or elders, is likely to do so again, and more violently, including using a gun.
- Don’t associate with convicted violent criminals. Like the abuser, violent criminals out of prison are likely to continue their habits.
- Don’t hang around people who handle guns irresponsibly and unsafely. Anyone who casually or even unknowingly points a gun at another person or does other stupid things is someone to be avoided.
- Don’t be a predator. A significant number of gun deaths (around 700 annually) are justifiable homicides. Usually, this is when a victim successfully defends themselves from criminal assault.
- Don’t expect the authorities – especially the police or social services or child protection services – to solve personal, family, or neighbor problems. Anytime you involve government in disputes, there is a greatly increased risk the agents of government will use deadly force, whether justified or not.
All of these things are fairly simple to do, but too many Americans (and people around the world) do not do these, and thereby they greatly increase the potential for them to be shot (and killed).
There will always be tragedies involving someone using or misusing a gun. Just as there are with automobiles, with airplanes, and with bathtubs. But the media and hoplophobic hysteria about guns in houses, guns in businesses, and guns on the streets is far from the real world.