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Raging Pencils by Mike "Lefty" Stanfill

The Acme Toaster Oven Company is saved

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start rant

80 Americans A Day? Really?

have fun storming the castleYes, 80 Americans die every day as a result of firearm use or abuse. That's almost 30,000 people per year. Another 65,000 are injured from firearm use.

The surprising thing is that about half that number of people are suicides, by white males, of all ages. Even more surprising is that black males seldom shoot themselves. Kudos for that, dudes.

This information comes from a story by the New York Times. You can check it out for yourself here.

I don't personally begrudge anyone who decides to manage his or her own departure off this mortal coil (women rarely shoot themselves, BTW, unless you're a Washington madam or a war protester <cough>) but I doubt every suicide was accomplished in a state of total sobriety. I don't say that with any statistical data to back me up but I've read enough stories about Darwin Award nominees to satisfy any nagging, personal doubts.

One observation I'd like to make about the data offered is that of those 80 deaths only five are the result of, as the Times puts it, "accident or police action".

This vividly illustrates the lie that more guns keep us safer. By far the vast majority of gun deaths, as you'll see from the story, come from suicide or murder or accident. There isn't even a category for "self-defense".

To sum up, if there was a consumer device responsible for as many deaths as guns they'd have been swept out of the marketplace years ago. Unfortunately, it's been driven into the American psyche, as a result of popular media, that guns in and of themselves are the answer, that there's no solution to a situation that can't be improved with a little gunplay.

But think about it... would you really want an anonymous vigilante meting out justice in your neighborhood? You may be thinking Charles Bronson but what you get is John Allen Muhammad.

Americans are, so the myth goes, rugged individualists.

We are, in reality, little children who love things that go boom.


end rant

Raging Pencils salutes the Mystery Reader of
Oaxaca, Mexico
Whoever you are, thanks for reading my spunky little 'toon.

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Today's Google Chow.

Corporate boardroom.
Boss: "Gentlemen, we're in trouble. I've been told that our product is killing over 80 people a day. I am open to any suggestion."
Suck-up: "How about we change the name to 'firearms', sir?"

Caption: And thus, in an instant, the Acme Toaster Oven Company was saved.