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Don’t want to be shot? Get small!

by Ed Raymond | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Gadfly | October 18th, 2017

God didn’t save six million Jews from the Holocaust either

We have become so used to mass killings by firearms in the “United” States that they are generally ignored, except for the really unusual or big ones like Texas Tower, San Ysidro McDonald’s, Luby’s Cafeteria, Columbine, Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, Aurora Theater, Orlando, and now Las Vegas.

Then the politicians hit the radio and TV with their very old designed talking points starting with “our thoughts and prayers are with the victims.” What are their thoughts? Their prayers have never done any good so we don’t need to cover them.

Do some think about what it would take to get them to vote for gun controls? The Las Vegas sheriff suggested that if his department had not approached the man on the 32nd floor in 12 minutes after the first shot, the shooter had enough bump-stock automatic weapons, large-capacity magazines, and ammunition to kill a thousand persons.

It will be interesting to find out how many magazines and casings were found in the room. They have already estimated he fired over 200 shots through the room door and into the halls to prevent an officer from entering.

How is the best Congress money can buy (TBCMCB) going to make us small when shots are fired?

Some of the thoughts advanced to the victims and the press by members of TCBMCB were weird beyond belief. Republican Senator John Thune of South Dakota probably leads the list of those who say shooting victims have a responsibility to protect themselves from gunfire!

One might think that TBCMCB has some responsibility, but the gun lobby and the National Rifle Association (NRA) have flooded the country with guns with the approval of TBCMCB and has not accepted any responsibility for their actions.

Thune said: “I think people are going to have to take steps in their own lives to take precautions to protect themselves. And in situations like that, you know, try to stay safe. As somebody said—get small.”

Get small?!!! What’s the secret in getting small among 22,000 attending a concert? What the hell does that mean to a victim? Senator Thune, how do you shrink to the six-inch size of Lilliputians who tied Gulliver to the beach? To really protect yourself, why not shrink to the size of a human egg in a petri dish while it is being chased by a sperm? We get this bizarre advice while most of us think King Donald is nuts.

For those handicapped by religion and think that prayer is the answer to mass killings, the lack of evidence of divine intercession in all mass killings is quite clear. You’ll have to get an answer from God himself why He didn’t block the trains going to Auschwitz and dozens of other killing places—or why he didn’t make the people small in that Las Vegas parking lot.

If God isn’t going to do Congress’s work, then it’s up to all the people to rid us of the human sacrifices made to sanctify the Second Amendment.

What will the Las Vegas mass murder cost all of us?

The Las Vegas sheriff says the shooter had in his possession 47 rifles and handguns with accessories. Let’s assume a conservative figure of $1,500 for the rifles and $500 for the handguns, for about $47,000. He had 12 bump stocks that run about $200 each. With tripods, scopes, magazines, and other accoutrements, he certainly had another $5,000 in firearm accessories. Ammo runs at slightly over 50 cents a round, so he probably had $3,000 in ammo. Let’s assume he spent $57,400 on his weapons. He will also spend about $6,000 on his funeral, so the total for the shootout runs $63,400. Let’s get to the costs suffered by all of us.

The shooter killed 58 family members from ages 20 to 67 from 14 states and two Canadian provinces. The average funeral in the U.S. averages about $6,000. Perhaps a third will be cremated so let’s put a total of about $350,000 on burial expenses. Most of the departments in the federal government put a value of $5 million on the human being when they figure cost-benefit ratios. So now we have to add $290 million to the total.

As a politician once famously said: “A billion here, a billion there---pretty soon we are talking real money.” What will be the average cost for the 489 patients who went to Las Vegas hospitals and trauma centers? Some agency should keep track.

Before attempting to come up with an average cost, everyone should read an article about Dr. Amy Goldberg of Temple University Hospital in North Philadelphia. This is a hospital trauma center that treats more gunshot victims than any other hospital in Pennsylvania—and Dr. Goldberg has been assigned to its trauma center for 30 years. Goldberg knows what happens to the human body when struck by bullets of any caliber.

Goldberg says the BCMCB, the NRA, and the gun lobby just don’t care

Dr. Goldberg uses the murder of 20 first graders at Sandy Hook to make a point about physical damages caused by bullets: “If people had been shown the autopsy photos of the kids, the gun debate would have been transformed. Not a single one of those kids was able to be transported to a hospital tells me that they were not just dead, but really, really, really, really dead.

People have to confront the physical reality of gun violence without the polite filters. The country won’t be ready for it, but that’s what needs to happen.” I remember when the shooter fired 157 rounds in about five minutes and one male first grader was hit by 11 bullets from a Bushmaster semi-automatic rifle. The coroner said there wasn’t much left. He looked like hamburger.

Dr. Goldberg sums up her attitude toward TBCMCB and the NRA and the gun lobby without mincing words: “Nobody gives two shits about the black people of North Philadelphia if nobody gives two craps about the white kids at Sandy Hook…I thought white little kids getting shot would make people care. Nope. They didn’t care.” Another trauma surgeon with less experience said: “There’s nothing that can prepare you for what bullets do to human bodies. And that’s true for pro-gun people also.”

The tools used to open chests and to cut off limbs in trauma centers are like tools used in demolishing wood and concrete structures. In many shooting incidents, trauma surgeons do not have the time to give drugs to relieve pain. They have to get into the chest in a hurry to massage the heart or to stop excessive bleeding. They literally chop and saw their way into the body with hammers, saws, and chisels to break the rib cage—without anesthetics.

Perhaps the most interesting patient of Dr. Goldberg was Lamont Adams who was shot 12 times and had a total of 24 entry and exit wounds. He was hit in the abdomen, thighs, arms, and hands. Read about it.

The Las Vegas shooter may have cost us over $541,000,000

Some victims will probably be paralyzed for life, others will lose limbs or wear bags to catch their wastes. Many will suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) for the rest of their lives. Others will heal quickly and will be left with little scars. We will never know the total cost.

Dr. Goldberg had one patient who was shot once in the stomach but had a lot of interior damage from the single round. Eleven months after the shooting her patient left the hospital after 14 surgeries spread over those months. She won’t reveal what his total bill was, but he had lost a kidney, his spleen, and much of his stomach from that one bullet.

Almost 500 people were wounded on that huge Vegas killing field. I bet it will be a conservative figure if we estimate an average lifetime cost of $500,000 per wounded victim, making the total financial damages almost $541,000,000. Stephen Paddock spent about $58,000 on his weapons and about $6,000 for his funeral.

By the way, a recent Rand Corporation study indicated that each firearm homicide in the U.S. costs an average of $8 million for just police, hospital, and court costs. We average about 11,000 homicides a year.

The Japanese know how to reduce firearm deaths

In Nevada the slobbering village idiot can openly carry an AR-15 with a bump stock down the casino streets of Las Vegas without a permit, without ever passing any background check—or IQ test—or any other mental test. Buying a gun in Nevada is like buying a pizza or a quart of milk.

Not so in Japan. If you want a firearm in Japan for hunting or any other reason, the applicant must first go through a one-day training session by the police department. That costs 6,800 yen or $60. They must pass a test based on the session and must study several books on laws concerning firearms. If they pass the test, the next step is go through is training at a shooting range. But before that they must provide a certificate of residency, a photo ID, and a list of past jobs and addresses. They have to be certified as being mentally competent by a mental health professional. After the interview they may go to the next step if they are certified to be competent. They must also be approved by their local police department.

The next step is a national database background check. If they survive this scrutiny, they must have another day of training at a shooting and target range. If they pass these challenges, their fellow workers, neighbors, and friends are interviewed by the police. If they are approved they select a firearm from an approved list and submit a formal request to the National Police Agency to purchase the weapon. If approved, they wait about two months for the license and the weapon. Then the applicant gets his firearm and can go hunting. The process takes about four months.

But the work of following the gun laws never ends. Each time they buy rounds they must present their license and the number is recorded. The shooter is required to keep a log for each round fired. After three months of usage the shooter must take his weapon to have it examined by the police department to make sure it has not been modified. They must also pass a surprise home inspection on the storage of rounds and guns. The guns and ammo have to be kept in separate rooms in wall-mounted lockers.

The system is designed to force the shooter to manage the risks of picking up a firearm. The results of this process are amazing. In the United States we average more than 11,000 homicides, about 22,000 firearm deaths to suicides and stupid accidents, and over 100,000 victims of firearm wounds per year.

Japan averages one death by firearms per year. There is no NRA in Japan. It does not have “Stand Your Ground” laws or “Make My Day” attitudes either. Will the BCMCB finally do something?

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