In a post on the L.A. Times website, Thomas Curwen attempts to make a correlation between “gun-violence” and “gun-control” as if they are in any way related.  Thomas recounts a late-night shooting over the weekend of two boys near Torrance, California.  Based on the information available so far, the boy highlighted in the article was simply minding his own business with a friend when both were shot with a .45 caliber handgun.  The linked article recounts the heroic efforts of the trauma surgeon to save the boy’s life. Curwen goes on to quote various trauma doctors who are all in agreement that “gun violence” should automatically translate into increased “gun control”.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

“Gun violence” is absolutely necessary and useful in a civil society.  To somehow equate the “gun violence” that put two bullets in Osama Bin Laden’s skull to two boys being gunned down on the streets of southern California is ludicrous.  But this is a typical tactic used by those who live with the vision of a utopian society that can never be replicated.  The time to have a discussion about “gun violence” is not when there is blood on an operating room floor and crying parents in a waiting room.  Like many tragedies, it could have been avoided.  If you have ever watched documentaries about airline crashes, you know that one single failure can not knock a plane out of the sky.  It is usually a series of failures, all happening in a specific order, that conspire to cause the accident.  The same thing holds true with the boy who is now recovering from a gunshot wound.  You see, I left out a few facts about our victim that to some are irrelevant.  To others, they explain a lot.

  • He is 16-years-old
  • He has a tattoo of his mother’s name running the length of his forearm.
  • He was shot at approximately 2am.
  • He was walking down a dark alley.

If you read this and are a responsible parent, your head just exploded.  A whole bunch of obvious questions just filled your mind.  No 16-year-old should be on the streets at 2am in Mayberry, North Carolina, much less Torrance.  Change that one fact and that boy is probably not recovering from a gunshot wound today.  All of the gun-control laws in the world are not going to prevent a certain (hopefully very small) portion of our society from making very bad decisions.  Instead, Thomas Curwen gives us brilliant quotes from the doctors like “There are too many guns in our society” or “We don’t do enough to make guns safe”.  Recently, an obviously disturbed individual drove his car down the Venice boardwalk and mowed down a bunch of people.  This must lead that same doctor to believe that we don’t do enough to make cars safe.  Tens of thousands of people die each year at the hands of doctors who improperly treat or misdiagnose their patients.  We obviously don’t do enough to make doctors safe.   You see where I’m going with this.  Absolute safety and security are impossible goals to achieve.  Our society would cease to function if we tried to remove every danger from our lives.  Instead, we need to warn children that there are dangers in the world that must be avoided.  The consequences of ignoring these warnings can be deadly.

Buried in the text of Curwen’s article is this fact:

Firearm-related assaults in California have gone down 74% from 1992 to 2012, according to a recent report by the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development, but no matter the trend, Putnam is baffled by the conversation in this country over the 2nd Amendment.

That’s right, we’re just going to ignore the plummeting firearm assault rate and push a gun-control agenda anyway.  Dr. Putnam is no dummy or he wouldn’t be treating gunshot wounds.  But he is baffled by the conversation over the second amendment.  Maybe he should read it and then read why it exists.  Vicky Rock of Riverview, Florida knows.  She also used a .45 caliber handgun over the weekend in an altercation that included “gun violence”.  But instead of crying parents and hand-wringing trauma surgeons, a very bad man who made some very bad decisions is dead.  The woman who this man was beating with a metal object is alive.  Vicky is being praised.  This is how civilized society works.

There will always be dangers in our society.  Our job is to make it more dangerous for criminals than for us.  Staying out of dark alleys at 2am might be a good start.