C.J. Grisham, a nearly-retired Army Master Sgt (E8), is leading the charge to promote and expand “open carry” rights in the state of Texas. Grisham has been crusading across the state since a camping trip where he was arrested for carrying a rifle to protect he and his 16 year old son from wildlife.
Since that moment Grisham, who is ineligible to conceal carry due to a criminal conviction, has been trumpeting around the state as a gun rights activist, educating the public on the laws currently on the books in his home state that pertain to firearms. He is also pushing to expand open-carry be allowed for handguns, as there is currently a statewide ban.
His arguments and reasoning for doing so boil down to the concept that most people just don’t understand guns and that there are myths about their inherent dangers. Interestingly, the facts don’t match up with his preconceived position. Gun deaths are on the rise, and alarmingly so! In the United States in 2010 there were 9,595 deaths due to gun related incidents. Since January 1, 2013 America has already managed to eclipse the number of gun deaths in the first six months than what transpired in 2010.
To date there have been 11,419 gun deaths in the United States – And we have not yet even made it to the year’s halfway point! Here is an interesting and thoroughly scary graphic to show what that is like. There is a disclaimer to be made with this, however. The data for the year 2013 is inaccurate and not an official report as is the 2010 report (2010 was the last year the FBI released official shooting statistics).
Detractors may state that the report is inaccurate, but the problem with the inaccuracy stems from the fact that it is missing data and does not represent the total number of shootings in the year 2013. 11,419 deaths is a conservative estimate. A very conservative estimate.
As of 2010, 69% of homicides in America are the result of handgun shootings, yet Master Sgt Grisham wants to push for decreased regulations in his state of Texas in order to open-carry with handguns – without proper training, without ensuring those who open carry are mentally competent, and without proper background checks to ensure they aren’t violent criminals or people with a violent history.
Much of his activism stems from his experience during that arrest in which he was traumatized. He openly speaks about that and other events which took place in his combat tours overseas, regularly referencing his PTSD.
I can literally picture every single person I had to shoot at, and I can picture exactly how that person fell, how that person limped off, or tried to get away
It is understandable after living and surviving through such ordeals as the torments of battle and war that one would be on edge, defensive, and prepared to survive again. The question to ask here, though, would be “is that appropriate in our society?” The solution to the gun problem, and yes THERE IS A PROBLEM, in the United States is not simply – “More guns, less regulations” as even the NRA of the 1990’s would agree.
It is also not the “good guy with a gun” will stop a bad guy with a gun myth, either. There are currently around 310,000,000 guns in the United States in a population of around 317,000,000 people.
While that might seem like every citizen owns a gun nothing could be farther from the truth. Only 35% of American households own guns, the lowest in American history. So by all appearances the “good guys” and the “bad guys” seem to be stocking up while the rest of the citizenry are content to go off not killing each other. And by all appearances and statistics the “bad guys” appear to be winning the fight. h/t ABCNews