According to Slate Magazine since the Newtown shooting there have been approximately 1,774 gun related casualties in the United States, 37 of those have happen here in Arizona.
Lynn Kartchner owner of Allsafe gun store in Douglas holding a M1 Garand. When asked what he thought of gun control he said it's not going to work. I won't allow anyone to come in here and take my guns without enforceable authority. Trisha Maldonado/Douglas Dispatch
Slate states on their website, they have partnered with the Twitter feed @GunDeaths and are collecting data for their crowd-sourced interactive.
The website states data is necessarily incomplete. But the more people who are paying attention, the better the data will be.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) has received approximately four million firearm background checks to date since Dec. 17, 2012 according to the website.
There have been 90,238 background checks from the state of Arizona, 64 here in Douglas from Dec. 17 – Jan 31.
“We haven’t seen a change in gun sales,” said Lynn Kartchner, general manager of Allsafe Security. “Some months they are low some high nothing has really changed here.”
In October, Smith and Wesson reported a record $136 million in sales, a 48 percent increase from a year ago. Sturm Rugger’s sales had a 50 percent increase ending the year at $118 million in sales.
“People are buying guns thinking the government will no longer allow us to sell them,” Kartchner added.
On January 16 President Obama released a plan on how to reduce gun violence.
The President’s plan includes:
· Closing background check loopholes to keep guns out of dangerous hands;
· Banning military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and taking other common-sense steps to reduce gun violence;
· Making schools safer; and
· Increasing access to mental health services.
· While no law or set of laws will end gun violence, it is clear that the
“We won’t be able to stop every violent act,” President Obama said following the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy. “But if there is even one thing that we can do to prevent any of these events, we have a deep obligation, all of us, to try.”
Many have argued that passing gun control laws are against our Second Amendment rights.
The Utah Sheriff Association wrote to the President a day after he released his plan.
The letter stated “we respect the office of the President of the United States of America. But, make no mistake, as the duly-elected sheriffs of our respective counties; we will enforce the rights guaranteed to our citizens by the Constitution. No federal official will be permitted to descend upon our constituents and take from them what the Bill of Rights in particular Amendment II has given them. We, like you, swore a solemn oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, and we are prepared to trade our lives for the preservation of its traditional interpretation.”
Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels issued a statement on his position on our Second Amendment rights and gun control.
“As Sheriff, I was elected by the citizens of Cochise County to represent them and their interest. I and my Deputies shall not be used as a surrogate of any government entity to violate the civil rights of the citizens of this great Nation,” Sheriff Dannels said. “My loyalty lies within the oath of the Sheriff’s Office, which reads, in part, as follows: ‘I solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the laws of the State of Arizona; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same and defend them against all enemies whatsoever, and that I will faithfully and impartially perform the duties of the office of Sheriff, according to the best of my ability so help me God.”
“While I respect our Nation’s elected Offices, as the duly elected Sheriff for the citizens of Cochise County, I and my Office will ensure the Constitutional Rights of the citizens of Cochise County are not infringed upon and will not permit any official, federal or otherwise, to attempt to do so,” the Sheriff added.
Recently former Representative Gabrielle Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly have set out for a stronger push for gun control legislation.
Giffords was shot in the head, on January 8, 2011, outside a Safeway grocery store in Tucson, during her first "Congress on Your Corner" gathering of the year. A man ran up to the crowd and began firing, hitting 19 people and killing six.
Giffords and Kelly presented a fundraiser in Washington for her super PAC, American for Responsible Solutions group, a lobby focused on gun control issues.
In a 30 second ad, Giffords urges her former colleagues to take an immediate action to control gun violence. "We have a problem where we shop, where we pray, where our children go to school," Giffords says in the ad. "But there are solutions we can agree on, even gun owners like us. Take it from me: Congress must act. Let's get this done."
Not all agree that firmer gun control will prevent any more killings.
In a press release on the National Rifle Association’s website, NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action Executive Director Chris Cox wrote “The last thing America needs is more failed solutions to our nation’s most pressing problems. Congress should instead focus its energies on the things that will actually keep our families and communities safer – prosecuting criminals who misuse firearms; securing our schools; and fixing the broken mental health system that keeps dangerously ill people on the street.”
“Anyone who has a mental illness, PTSD or has been dishonorable discharge will be denied,” Kartchner said. “The ex-Navy SEAL who was shot, the guy who killed him (Eddie Ray Routh) was diagnosed with PTSD but it hadn’t been reported. This has to be reported we can’t just ask them if they have a mental illness.”
During the President’s State of the Union address on Feb. 12, he urged Congress to hold votes on measures to expand background checks, prevent gun trafficking, ban assault weapons and limit the size of magazines. The President said victims deserve to have their elected officials vote on the proposals.
"They deserve a vote," President Obama said, calling out the names of communities effected by gun violence, Newtown, Aurora, Oak Creek, Tucson and Blacksburg. "They deserve a vote."