Slog Music

Music, Nightlife,
and Drunks

Monday, February 25, 2013

Gun Nuts and Product Recalls

Posted by on Mon, Feb 25, 2013 at 6:59 AM

One instructive way to think about gun control is to consider it a public health/consumer safety issue. So, to further show how America has lost its mind about this issue, consider the following facts:

Between 2000 and 2010, 32 infants or toddlers were accidentally strangled by drop-side cribs. This grim fact led to government warnings going out nationwide about the proper use of such cribs. Then, between 2005 and 2012, over 7 million cribs were recalled. That's right, the government mandated that unsafe cribs be disposed of or returned to their sellers and not be manufactured or sold any longer. Something was unsafe, and the government did something about it.

Each of these deaths was a tragedy that scarred a family forever, and it's the government's job to try to keep us all safe and to minimize such tragedies.


The United States experiences epidemic levels of gun violence, claiming over 30,000 lives annually, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For every person who dies from a gunshot wound, two others are wounded. Every year, approximately 100,000 Americans are victims of gun violence. In addition to those who are killed or injured, there are countless others whose lives are forever changed by the deaths of and injuries to their loved ones.

A handful of tragic deaths each year in unsafe cribs results in government action; 32 dead children, 7 million cribs recalled. But 30,000 dead from gunfire every year is the acceptable cost of our sacred Constitution in action. America is crazy.

And given the Gun Nuts and their fantasies of protecting themselves from government usurpation of their rights with their stockpiled weapons, I'm kind of surprised that the NRA didn't call on Americans to rise up and defend themselves from tyrannical government seizure of the recalled cribs.


Comments (32) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
Former Lurker 1
Stop making sense. Won't get you anywhere.
Posted by Former Lurker on February 25, 2013 at 8:32 AM · Report this
douchus 2
Crazy? More like Crazy In Love!
Posted by douchus on February 25, 2013 at 9:03 AM · Report this
Tobacco products kill about 400,000 Americans every year. The number of deaths attributed to secondary smoke alone is greater than the number of shooting deaths. Yet we haven't banned cigarettes. Why do you think that is?
Posted by Ken Mehlman on February 25, 2013 at 9:12 AM · Report this
Chicago Fan,

While I agree with the sentiment and implications, I think you're comparing apples (accidental deaths) to oranges (gun violence); it would probably be more interesting to compare accidental gun deaths (still a huge number despite guns never killing people) to other product safety and recall rates.
Posted by And Where Do We Account For Negligence? on February 25, 2013 at 9:13 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 5
@ 3, assuming your unsourced numbers are still accurate today, a few things.

First, tobacco use has been increasingly marginalized over the past few decades. Yes, kids take up the habit every day, but there are many jurisdictions where rules and laws prohibiting where a person may smoke have greatly reduced a nonsmoker's chances of exposure to second hand smoke. Speaking for myself, I have to go way out of my way to be exposed nowadays, whereas 20 years ago it was a fact of going out at night, and 35 years ago it was a fact of going out, period.

Second, most people with tobacco related illnesses used tobacco for decades. It's going to take a while before the deaths they cause reduce to insignificant levels. And again, there are new users taking it up every day.

Third, prohibition doesn't work.

Fourth, your example illustrates the soundness of CF's point - that it ought to be regarded as a public health issue, and that a cultural shift is ultimately the thing that is needed. As your tobacco example demonstrates, it takes decades, even a lifetime or two, for such a thing to happen.

Frankly, that's the path I'd like to see taken, along with common sense things like waiting periods and universal background checks. Treat citizens like adults and ensure their freedom to make their own decisions, but make sure that everyone is informed of things like how often guns bought for home protection are actually used that way, and how often they end up used for criminal purposes.

There also needs to be a real effort to reduce crime. That will probably mean something like a new New Deal (there's a correlation between poverty and crime), and legalization of drugs everywhere, and those will be major shitstorms in of themselves.
Posted by Matt from Denver on February 25, 2013 at 9:32 AM · Report this
DavidG 6
2 more things to add to the secondhand smoke analogy:

Measurements of cotinine have shown how exposure to secondhand smoke has steadily decreased in the United States over time.3,7
During 1988–1991, approximately 87.9% of nonsmokers had measurable levels of cotinine.
During 1999–2000, approximately 52.5% of nonsmokers had measurable levels of cotinine.
During 2007–2008, approximately 40.1% of nonsmokers had measurable levels of cotinine.
The decrease in exposure to secondhand smoke over the last 20 years is due to the growing number of laws that ban smoking in workplaces and public places, the increase in the number of households with smoke-free home rules, and the decreases in adult and youth smoking rates.8,9


AND: The deep pockets of the tobacco lobby.

Even if we haven't banned smoking (personally, I feel like smoking around children is abuse), we HAVE made a TON of progress by allowing the government to regulate cigarettes. Don't know if you remember, but tobacco has eaten up a lot of public discussion over the last 20-30 years. Yet it's nearly impossible to implement any regulations at all about guns. Why do you think that is?
Posted by DavidG on February 25, 2013 at 9:45 AM · Report this
Max Solomon 7
not to mention the removal of diving boards from swimming pools, prompted by kids breaking their necks diving off DOCKS into lakes.

and jarts. no more jarts.

Posted by Max Solomon on February 25, 2013 at 10:13 AM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 8
So, you want guns to be recalled? And then what... put a safety warning on them or something and return them back to their owners?

I don't get it.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on February 25, 2013 at 10:14 AM · Report this
@8 Do not doubt the effectiveness of safety warnings. Seriously though for those who want to ban guns, why not also ban alcohol? Or better yet a background check to buy alcohol. If you have ever done something illegal while drunk you should lose the privilege to ever drink again.
Posted by _db_ on February 25, 2013 at 10:28 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 10
@6: The difference is that big tobacco is roundly reviled by just about all facets of the American public, and gun manufacturers/the gun lobby does not have that universal hatred directed at them. So while there is less than zero public support for anything benefitting the tobacco industry, there is still public support for many things that benefit the gun lobby and gun manufacturers. As you note, it took several decades for the tobacco industry to accrue so much ill will from the public.

Perhaps this past year and the outspoken lunacy of the NRA will mark a turnaround in that fact. If it does, I fully expect the gun lobby to be just as neutered as the tobacco lobby, and lawmakers will actually start to see an upside to supporting gun control measures.
Posted by Theodore Gorath on February 25, 2013 at 10:54 AM · Report this
Max Solomon 11
@8: i think the key word is REGULATED. drop-side cribs were recalled, and the future design of cribs was REGULATED.

we already REGULATE firearms, but tighter REGULATIONS for responsibilities of the keeping and bearing of firearms are possible. of course, not to the point of "infringing" on the right to do so in the 1st place.

after all, you gotta be able to call out the militia to put down those slave rebellions.
Posted by Max Solomon on February 25, 2013 at 11:17 AM · Report this
smade 12
There's a reason why Sheriff Andy made Barney keep his one bullet in his shirt pocket.
Posted by smade on February 25, 2013 at 11:37 AM · Report this
GeneStoner 13
True dat yo. Congresswoman Maxine Waters said the other day that she is a "Free slave." Her shit is off da'chain...

BTW, You don't have a Constitutional right to own a crib. You do have a Constitutional right however to keep and bear arms and say a bunch of stupid shit here on the Slog.
Posted by GeneStoner on February 25, 2013 at 11:41 AM · Report this
@ OP: Can you find any stats about the effectiveness of the government actions regarding cribs (e.g. since the recalls and whatnot only 2 kids per year are being killed)? I think that would really strengthen the argument. Great post, BTW: it's an interesting way to couch the argument.
Posted by Micah on February 25, 2013 at 11:43 AM · Report this
#3,#9 - No one is trying to "ban guns". The minute you use the phrase "ban guns", the rest of us realize you are indulging in a straw man argument, and whatever point you're trying to make will be ignored. Try again!
Posted by catsnbanjos on February 25, 2013 at 12:00 PM · Report this
@15 then you are just not being honest about what you want to see happen. Certainly a lot of people want to ban at least some guns--guns that happen to used in a vanishingly small number of deaths.

If you really want to reduce that 30K a year figure, you're going to have to go after handguns. Every one of the highly publicized murders in Seattle last year was committed with a handgun. The tobacco comparison here is apt, it would take decades and a multi-generational campaign to change the public's attitudes and make handguns illegal.
Posted by Westside forever on February 25, 2013 at 12:22 PM · Report this

Huh? No one is trying to "ban guns?" Really?

What about Diane Feinstein's "Assault Weapons Ban of 2013?"…

That sure sounds like a ban to me. I wonder if the final bill will mirror her similar ban in California, where you're exempt from the ban if you're filming a movie.

No hypocrisy there.
Posted by CPN on February 25, 2013 at 2:07 PM · Report this
But guns are FOR killing people. If they failed to kill a bunch of people every year, ~then we'd have to recall them!
Posted by drewm1980 on February 25, 2013 at 3:39 PM · Report this
Max Solomon 19
does "ban guns" = ?

a. ban ALL firearms, confiscate ALL existing.
b. ban the sale of certain (additional) TYPES of firearms to the general public.

@16: a "vanishingly small number of deaths" that includes 20 first graders, and that would be seen as a major public health crisis in any other developed country.
Posted by Max Solomon on February 25, 2013 at 3:52 PM · Report this
Max Solomon 20
does "ban guns" = ?

a. ban ALL firearms, confiscate ALL existing.
b. ban the sale of certain (additional) TYPES of firearms to the general public.

@16: a "vanishingly small number of deaths" that includes 20 first graders, and that would be seen as a major public health crisis in any other developed country.
Posted by Max Solomon on February 25, 2013 at 3:52 PM · Report this
Max Solomon 21
aug, 1st double post and i don't even know how i did it.
Posted by Max Solomon on February 25, 2013 at 3:53 PM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 22

But the 20 first graders were killed by a handgun, not one of the types of guns that appear on most of today's "ban these guns" lists.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on February 25, 2013 at 4:22 PM · Report this
Why is every person that owns a gun a "gun nut". Is every one that wants guns banned an emotionally driven coward? No and no. The whole thing, both sides, every argument (so far), is fear based, emotional responses, knee jerk reactions. No one is using the data without spinning it. Use the fucking data appropriately and fund a lot more studies (by both sides of the debate and neutral organizations) and study the issue more extensively and make a 10 or 20 year plan to uphold or amend the constitution. We need real solutions, not emotional ones. Homicide was on a downward trend years before the assault weapons ban, and as continued that trend since it expired. What we need is a long-term discussion that isn't based on specific incidents, that transcends emotion and fear, that talks about what we really need in a calm, rational, logical manner. I have yet to hear one person, left or right, engage in such a discussion. All the players in this talk are pushing their own fear based agenda. Let us keep this debate going outside the context of emotion and pain. We can honor victims by making meaningful slow changes, based on hard data and not emotion.
I am ready to be convinced by a good argument, but I need a lecture from someone not emotionally attached to this issue.
Posted by scratchmaster joe on February 25, 2013 at 6:02 PM · Report this

You are fucking rad! I want people like you studying this issue. Your words are without emotion, well thought out, and logical. I agree it is a public health issue. You are the first person that understands that it is a long-term solution that is needed that may involve things that don't seem, but are actually relevant. I fully agree with all your common sense ideas. A New Deal that looks at this from a birds eye view is what is needed. The issue may have little to do with guns. It may have everything to do with guns. I don't know. But I believe the problem is far more complex than banning capacities and assault type weapons. I'm inclined to think the issues are less about guns and more about culture (and no, not gun culture). Our best hope may be in educating our children, extensively, on this issue. Poverty is significant in this discussion. Mental health is not as relevant. Mentally ill people are significantly less likely to behave violently towards another person, but more likely to harm themselves. Demonization of the mentally ill will only harm an already marginalized group of Americans. We need solutions, not emotions. We need Spok.
Posted by scratchmaster joe on February 25, 2013 at 6:17 PM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 25

But surely as an avowed liberal you can think of 50 other reasons why you love Diane Feinstein. Am I right?
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn on February 25, 2013 at 6:56 PM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 26

Most gun owners support universal background checks, trigger locks, liability insurance, research into gun violence, limits on magazine size, and the assault weapons ban. Most gun owners are not gun nuts.

The ones who are nuts are those who follow the NRA's batshit crazy bullshit. Most NRA members don't even agree with the crazy NRA agenda. Which is... nuts. Crazy. Why would you be a member of a crazy organization that advocates things that you think are wrong?

And no, this this debate should never for one second forget the emotion and pain that is behind it. When my child is killed, I care about a hell of a lot more than "honoring" my lost child. I want my fucking child back. Full stop. Does that put you in an awkward position? Too fucking bad, you big baby.

"Honoring" is one of the tactics right wingers use to change the subject when they don't want to pay a bill. Like when a progressive wants to expand veteran's benefits or military family services, and the GOP says, "No fuck that. Too expensive. Now let's go honor our beloved veterans with a couple of cheap yellow ribbons and this crappy Kid Rock song..."

Honor is as honor does. Words don't mean shit. You have to do things that count.

Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn on February 25, 2013 at 7:05 PM · Report this
@23 & @24

You're going to have to stop making sense PDQ, because that shit doesn't fly around here when it comes to guns.

The people you cite as the first you've encountered as ones who make sense is no doubt true, but that's because this 'debate' has been going on ad nauseam since I started actively participating back around November.

I suspect that many of the voices of reason are suffering from gun-control fatigue and are just burned out. I know I am.

It was always going to be a monumental notion, posting anything pro-gun on what is probably the most left-wing utopian hippie blog in the nation.

Still, it has been enlightening. I've learned that my liberal brethren aren't always right about everything and can be just as irrational and obstinate as the poorest, dumbest slack-jawed redneck.

Still, I SLOG on. Because they are my people and they are wrong on this issue.
Posted by CPN on February 25, 2013 at 7:59 PM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 28

Yeaaaaah. Can you give any examples of the liberalism that you so love an admire here on Slog?

I'd really like to know what you think you gain by pretending to be a liberal. Who do you think you're fooling?
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn on February 25, 2013 at 8:09 PM · Report this

(sigh. facepalm.)

I swore I'd never respond to anything you posted ever again, but in this case you are partially right.

I can't think of 50 reasons why I love Diane Feinstein, I can think of 1000. She is on her way to being a liberal lion in the U.S. Senate and will probably be remembered as the female Ted Kennedy when the smoke of history finally clears.

Regarding gun control, she is wrong. And I will continue to oppose it.

Now go away, again.
Posted by CPN on February 25, 2013 at 8:09 PM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 30

I'm all ears. Tell me all about why you love Diane Feinstein. This should be good.

I really want to know who you think you're fooling but for now I'd love to hear you try to convincingly explain what you think is so wonderful about Senator Feinstein. Remember, Jesus is listening.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn on February 25, 2013 at 8:17 PM · Report this

Jesus can blow me.

(sigh. another facepalm, again.)

Here it is, in Dianne Feinsein's own words:…

Everything here I agree with, everything.
Except her ridiculous feel-good positions on 'gun control.'

I agree with all of them.

Now fuck off.
Posted by CPN on February 25, 2013 at 8:34 PM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 32

You did a Google search and came back with one link? That's it?

Gosh, you're soooooo liberal.

Why do you even feel the need to lie like this? Just express yourself without having to use "...and I'm a liberal!" as some kind of rhetorical flourish. Like your pro-NRA beliefs need cover or something. Quit pretending, you big phony.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn on February 25, 2013 at 10:06 PM · Report this

Add a comment


Want great deals and a chance to win tickets to the best shows in Seattle? Join The Stranger Presents email list!

All contents © Index Newspapers, LLC
1535 11th Ave (Third Floor), Seattle, WA 98122
Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Takedown Policy