Sunday, June 29, 2008

I guess having all these guns does have its advantages.

I don't always agree with Philadelphia Daily News columnist Jill Porter---if I remember correctly, she even ripped family court a time or two when I was an administrator there---.

But her article concerning guns, gun violence, and its disturbing and frightening effects on our community was right on point. And she raises some relevant economic issues that I didn't even consider.

Here is what she wrote:

I DON'T KNOW about you, but I'm going to spend my tax-refund incentive check to buy a gun.
Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that individuals - and not just members of militias - have the right to bear arms, it's the least we can do.

I was going to buy a dining-room rug, but that won't boost the economy nearly as much as having more guns in circulation.

And I'm not just talking about the billions of dollars in profits made by gun manufacturers.
The health-care industry will continue to boom, thanks to the victims of gun violence.
One Philadelphia study estimated, for instance, that one person hospitalized with a serious gunshot wound requires $20,000 in medical care, which pays for everything from ambulance trips to nurses' salaries to IV tubes to heart monitors to those funky little booties they give you to wear.

One local hospital generated $1.1 million in medical care caring for gunshot victims during one year alone - and that study was done 10 years ago. You can imagine how much more is being spent now.

Of course, not everyone survives their gunshot wounds, so the funeral industry will remain robust.

As of yesterday, for instance, 130 of the city's 158 homicide victims were killed with guns.
What with a funeral costing an average of $6,500, according to a KYW report, that would be $1.7 million spent on funerals in our town this year, if fatalities remain steady for the next six months.

Then there are the fat payments to the shrinks who care for: the families of murder victims; the survivors of shootings who need help adapting to permanent disability; the guilt-wracked individuals who use guns for "protection" who accidentally kill or injure innocent victims; and the devastated families whose children accidentally kill themselves while playing with weapons. Would it be petty to mention all the beef and beer sold at fundraisers to help families survive financially - if not emotionally - when the breadwinner is murdered?
All of this money is spent in the aftermath of a shooting, of course.

But preventing gun violence also keeps lots of companies in business: the manufacturers of metal detectors, bullet-proof vests, and Plexiglas shields for banks and cash businesses, to name just a few.

Then there're the incidentals: flowers, sympathy cards and stamps to send them; the balloons, candles and stuffed animals we leave at impromptu memorials, especially when a child - or a police officer - is murdered.

And speaking of law enforcement, guns are a major factor in keeping the law-enforcement economy afloat. Philly cops are so busy, for instance, that they earned $69 million in overtime last year, according to a recent report by my colleague Bob Warner.
And guess who got the most OT?
Homicide detectives.

Then, there's the money spent on keeping shooters in prison. Last year, local prison guards made $30 million in overtime, Warner reported.

Let's not overlook the moving companies, which make a bundle relocating people from our inner city to safer towns outside city limits. More commuters means more gas to get to work or more fares spent on public transportation.

I'm telling you, the financial benefits of flooding the country with guns are endless.
Why, gun violence generates $90 billion to $100 billion in expenditures a year, according to a book published in 2000 called Gun Violence: The Real Costs.

Finally - although I'm sure I've overlooked something - there's the airline industry, which might benefit from yesterday's ruling by selling one-way tickets to Americans fleeing a country being destroyed by the lunatic fringe of an ideologically driven U.S. Supreme Court.

Me, I'm too patriotic for that. I'm going to help my country's economy by buying a gun. I hear the AK-47 comes in pink. "

Come on Jill, the supremes are "ideologically driven"? Noooooo.

Honestly, as someone who has manged to make a pretty good living off of guns and gun violence myself, I sometimes wonder how I even ended up on this side of the debate ( Talk about fighting against your own best interest). Maybe it's ideological with me, and maybe it's because I look at the big picture where others only see their individual condition. But whatever it is, for better or for worse, I am going to keep fighting and hoping that common sense will win out in the end.

Someone asked me in a previous post what I would do to stop it, and I tried answering the person in my own sarcastic way. So let me try to tell that person again in a way that he/she will understand:

In order to stop gun violence we must stop electing politricksters who insist on sucking at the tit of the gun lobby, so that shit like this doesn't happen.

We must allow local governments to make laws that restrict and limit gun purchases, implement serious background checks, and ban the purchase of assault weapons.

The Federal government must get serious about the sham of an assault weapon's ban that's in place now.

We must get serious about this phony ass war on drugs and decriminalize certain drugs.

And we must make sure that we elect a president that will appoint justices to the Supreme Court who will fashion sensible laws and take a practical view of the Constitution -The next prez. might have as much as three appointments.

Those are just some of my plans for these Divided States of America. Now if you want to come to "Fieldville", it will be a whole different set of rules. And I guarantee you that you NRA types won't like them. But hey, we live in A-merry-ca, and your laws rule the day. At least for now.


Jody said...

Listening to the 11 oclock news as I read your post... here in Philly first 2 atories are about men who shot their wives and killed them.. then an unknown killer of a man. Three murders ..... 2 of the 3 by not street thugs, not drug dealers, but by a so-called loved one...relationship gone bad.... probably by someone who had purchased their gun legally... in fact, despite the hype of fear, one is far more likely to be killed by a boyfriend/husband;family member/former friend, not some stranger busting into your house.
For all you who loves your guns... I sure hope that you also have good mental health, are not prone to temper tantrums and that you dont drink excessively... all contributing factors to these murders.

Anonymous said...

How many of the 130 murders were killed by LEGAL guns? I bet most.

Jody said that 2 of 3 murders by so-called loved ones and you "assume" they were legal. I bet youre wrong. There are many studies that say the vast majority of murders are from illegal guns.

If you dont want a gun dont buy one. Its true you probably wont need it. But remember, you only have to need it once for it to be totally worth it.

Anonymous said...

I still havent heard an answer as to what Field would do to take guns from our society. Im convinced I wont. Gotta tell you, cops sure wont go into law abiding peoples homes and take their guns away. No cop is dumb enough to do that. It will be civil war.

That being said some of the guns that are legally available today are just plain crazy. There was an ad in the local paper from a gun shop who was giving out 1/2 price silencers with every high end handgun purchase. A FUCKING SILENCER!
The only purpose of a silencer is to kill a human in one room and not wake the person in the next. These have GOT to be illegal. I will be calling my state rep tomorrow and he better have some clarification.
No need for automatic weapons in society either. I am a hunter and no serious hunter massacres a deer with an AK-47. After you bonnie & Clyde the thing there will be zero usable meat.
I believe people have a right to hunting rifles and registered handguns for those who meet qualifications and pass a safety course. But common sense needs to prevail here. Right to arms doesnt include a M-Fing bazooka.

changeseeker said...

This may sound a little freaky, but I can't help but imagine that an ultra-conservative Supreme Court sanctioning guns could actually help to produce a civil war that would in turn give the "authorities" the ability (excuse?) to clamp down on assorted folks "for the common good."

Please tell me I'm crazy and this is totally NOT possible...

Anonymous said...

I have the right to bear arms.

Forget guns. These Elmer Fudd hunters couldn't shoot the Grand Canyon even if they were standing next to it.

I use a sword. One strike, one kill.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't worry about the half-price silencers. With a little ingenuity you could probably make one out of a FRAM oil filter.

Unknown said...

Jill forgot to mention those schools attacks Columbine, Virginia Tech and the like. I wonder how much money is generated by those.

Woozie said...

I largely cosign with your nonsarcastic answer, but I would like to add in we should stop electing people who suck at the tit of *any* lobby.

Anonymous said...

White folks don't seem to be worried about having guns in the white community.

Black folks worry about guns in the black community.

So why not compromise and make guns illegal for black folks?

It ain't like white folks are shooting little black kids of their front stoops anyway. That is black foolishness.

The Jaded Liberal said...

We should make Guns contraband like we did with Drugs.

Then, the Guns will all disappear, just like the Drugs did!

And then we will ride unicorns to Candy Mountain.

Oh Field, you do bring mirth into our lives.

field negro said...

agent x, I know your tongue was in your cheeks, but you might be on to something. Just what did the founding fathers mean by "arms". I bet they didn't mean AK 47's. :)

And jaded liberal what's wrong with riding "unicorns to Candy Mountain"? In Fieldville that mountain will be made of milk chocolate.

"Oh Field, you do bring mirth into our lives."

I guarantee you that the families of over 300 people won't think that I am too funny by the end of this year :(

Shady_Grady said...

If someone doesn't want a gun in their home, they don't have to get one.

But don't try to prevent other law abiding citizens from having one. That's the essence of the SC ruling. All of this other hyperbole is just that.

The assault and murder rate in DC despite the handgun ban shows that the ban had little to do with fighting the real issues that cause the violence. All it did was prevent people from legally having the ability to defend themselves.

The odds that any particular individual or family in DC may need to use a gun to protect themselves are low but plainly higher than they would be in other areas. If I lived in a crime infested area, you better believe I would have a gun at home to protect myself or my family from break-ins or worse.

I have not heard anyone explain why this ruling makes them less safe. Again, if you don't want a gun don't buy one. Very simple.

Whites have many more guns than Blacks. Yet so far they aren't killing each other at the rate we are. That's the issue we need to confront. It's deeper than the guns. It's self-hate, racism, lack of job opportunities, broken families, etc.

Anonymous said...

No offense to the Jaded Liberal, but I don't think it's a valid comparison to say that prophibiting guns would have the same results as prohibiting drugs. Peolpe use drugs for different reasons; people buy guns for other reasons. The fewer guns available in America, the fewer people will get killed by them. Simple.

Anonymous said...

The government is broken and it is only getting worse. Irreparably? Very possible.

Congress has rolled over and does whatever the lobbyist pay them to do. An X-ray would disclose the total absence of a spine. An MRI would reveal a large cavity where the brain would normally go. And if there were a way of examining the content of their soles, you'd see dollar signs.

Field said "In order to stop gun violence we must stop electing politricksters who insist on sucking at the tit of the gun lobby, so that shit like this doesn't happen."

True that.

Christopher said...


You know these politicians are afraid of the gun lobby and the NRA.

Memba when the Motherfucker from Midland was running for president? He promised the NRA would have an office in the White House.

Even my man Barack, is loathed to speak out too much against guns and the Second Amendment. Ironic, considering he's from Chi-Town and gun violence there is among the nation's highest.

Maybe the solution is to have all these gun nuts gather together in some sparsely populated place like Wyoming and then just start firing at one another -- get it out of their systems. Whoever is left standing can then rejoin civilized society.

Those who didn't survive can be ground up and used to feed the poor?

Ann Brock said...

Field why can't we make the bullets be the issue and not the guns? Why can't we regulate bullets by making them extremely costly to buy?

Anonymous said...

Christopher, my head in the sand friend. Many "gun nuts" ARE concentrated in "red states" and guess what? They ARENT shooting at one another. Their neighborhoods are safe as can be.
The people that are shooting at each other are blacks in the inner city, for the most part.
Why is it that wingnut liberals like yourself cant (or wont) see that? I live in a mostly white city in an ultra red state. Most have guns and there are NO murders. No dumb n***ers shooting like its the wild west.
Why wont people see what is actually happenning? It aint white NRA types that make Killy, Killy. It aint white NRA types that are killing black folk. Its other black folk. I wouldnt expect a pandering white liberal like yourself to spend alot of time actually in the hood.
Urban blacks with illegal guns are the ones firing at each other. Its exasperating that left wing nuts wont see the truth.

Anonymous said...

If bullets were extremely costly then we'd add bullets to the underground economy - everyone collecting their shell casings and re-packing them.

The objects themselves (the guns) have a fascination power. There is an OCD progression which is difficult for little boys to resist.

I often joke with parents about BB guns. "It starts with targets, but pretty soon it has to be the neighbor's cat."

Anonymous said...

I truly think that the level of carnage could only happen in the black community. We go crazy when some white guy mistreats or disrespects us yet we ignore it when a brother does the same.
Whites have indeed spoken out about the violence in black hoods and are met with cries of "racist", "mind your own biz", dont air our dirty laundry", we ALL aint killin". If the violence level was even close in the white community they would demand cops on every corner and be glad to pay for it. WE on the other hand make excuses, deny, minimize, blame others. When cops come to help we protect the brothers from BIG brother and , as always, cry racism. When black youth are terrorizing our community it is the fault of the po-po for not protecting us. When the jackals are locked up, the mean white power structure is pickin on po black men.
Im sorry, we cant point the finger at others on this one. As others have said, other groups have the same access to guns and they dont kill like we do. Cant blame the NRA, they aint killin black kids on the way to school.
Nope, other racial groups would have taken steps to stop the violence in their communities. It is us who wont.

Admiral Komack said...

"I wouldn't worry about the half-price silencers. With a little ingenuity you could probably make one out of a FRAM oil filter."

"You can pay me now, or...
"Oops, my bad."

Anonymous said...


I think it's within human nature to violent, unfortunately a very dark side within us. What I do not understand if you that way about black community how they are killing one another that would want to them access to guns if I am following your logic.

The United States is a violent society it doesn't matter if the person is black or white. You seem to think that white people do not kill one another and to the contrary they do. People are more likely to crime against others who look at them. However, I do not deny that there is a problem within the black community when it comes to black on black crime., and no question that we need to find solutions to eradicate the problem.

Yesterday, you mentioned that you are not trying to be a prick, I like the wanker myself. Typically, when someone usually begins with saying I do not mean or I am not trying to be usually doing exactly what they intend not to do. I think being a wanker comes very easy for you because you believe it's the only way to get attention and bring your point across. I know I am smart ass and it's working for me now.

You sit at your computer and throw insults to everyone in the room when no one agrees with you. I appreciate when a person disagrees and he or she can put forth a good argument, and like solutions to problem. I can go along with people owning guns as long as you have regulations concerning public safety. Urban areas are different that of rural areas, but as Field said before I do not think anyone needs a AK47 to hunt.

I also recall Dick Chaney shooting a friend while out hunting and believed he been drinking as well. Drinking beer and guns do not mixed, and if you cannot drink and drive then the same applies when using a gun.

öblio said...

I was working by myself, late one night, when someone started kicking in the rear door. I yelled but the fellow started kicking harder. I called the police, who were not too concerned. I told them that I was black and the perp was white so they would not shoot me. The cop did not like that and started arguing with me. The guy kicked in the door and an alarm went off. He booked. The cops showed up twenty minutes later.

I bought my self the shortest legal shotgun available and keep it with me at night. My gun is my friend :-)

Anonymous said...

There was an ad in the local paper from a gun shop who was giving out 1/2 price silencers with every high end handgun purchase. A FUCKING SILENCER!
there is a very extensive federal background check by ATF you have to go through to purchase a "suppressor" and pay $200. so any joe blow off the street cant go in and buy one.

Just what did the founding fathers mean by "arms". I bet they didn't mean AK 47's. :)
and maybe by "free speech" the founding fathers they didnt mean someone typing a blog on a computer.

Maybe the solution is to have all these gun nuts gather together in some sparsely populated place like Wyoming and then just start firing at one another
the "gun nuts" arent the ones killing each other a ridiculous rates. there are vast amounds of guns and gun owners in Virginia and the rest of PA outside of philly yet they dont see the murders rates of Philly and DC.

Why can't we regulate bullets by making them extremely costly to buy?
just plain dumb...and youve watched that Chris Rock stand up routine one too many times...smh

Hathor said...

Is is easy to point the finger and offer no solution. If all the effort that is used to define the 2nd amendment and individual rights, to solve social problems or put some time on the ground; our society might become a peaceful and respectful, one with individual rights not being in conflict with liberty.

field negro said...

Jjbrock that comment wasn't as dumb as the NRA person suggested.The problem is that the NRA would sue and get their fancy lawyers to argue that the bullets are an extension of the gun and therefore should be considered "arms" under the second amendment definition.

Hmmm let me see now, a musket and an AK47...yeah I can see the similarities there... Typing on a computer keyboard,free speech is that such a stretch? Well I guess if you are a member of the NRA it is.

Woozie said...

And then we will ride unicorns to Candy Mountain.


Anonymous said...

I don't think we'll ever see eye to eye on this issue. What we can all agree on is America has a violence problem unlike any other country in the developed world and we need to do something about it.

Anonymous said...

Black on Black Crime...i honestly dont get how these hardcore black republican thinks.

field negro said...

"So why not compromise and make guns illegal for black folks?

It ain't like white folks are shooting little black kids of their front stoops anyway. That is black foolishness"

"Black foolishness"? Really? I guess Columbine, Lancaster, Va.Tech, Kentucky,Idaho,UT Austin,and on and on were all black folks shooting black folks. Shhhhsh 0:

Yes the punk ass drug dealers shoot for turf and money, and the middle aged white man shoots when he looses his job, or his wife thinks about leaving him...only in A-merry-ca.

Anonymous said...

post this story about a man who refused to be a victim, if more people in inner cities stopped relying on the police/govt to protect them, punks/thugs wouldnt have so much control.

Anonymous said...

Oh Field. Again, disappointing. You pull out a handful of incidents, some happenning over 10 yrs ago to point a finger at white folk (try again w/ Va. Tech). There arent enough fingers in congress to count the black on black killings in this nation THIS YEAR! 158 in your town alone and I bet over 150 involved a fatherless black youth.
I think your glasses need a good polish. We need people to take an honest look at our community. Forget what white folk will think. Forget how it will make black men look. Forget how ashamed you will feel. We are in crisis mode here. You have talked forcefully and honestly about this in the past.

WHO THE FUCK CARES WHAT WHITE PEOPLE DO! We are in trouble. Our families are broken for Gods sake. Many of our men have let us down.

None of you have offered solutions. Your bathwater shit was embarassing. Made you look like the howling finger pointers who scream foul and expect some smart white dude to fix it for you. I DONT WANT NO WHITE DUDE TO FIX IT. I WANT BLACK MEN TO STAND UP AND SAY THIS IS WRONG.

Ive got a solution. Lock the bastards up. Remove them from around our collective necks. They are weights dragging us down. SHIT.Who the fuck can expect to succeed when you live in a war zone. Who the fuck can make it out of the ghetto when you have to strap up just to get through the fucking day! How can we compete with whites and others when weve got these leeches destroying our lives, killing our people, poisioning our men and women, threatening our very existence.

This 2nd amendment stuff is BULLSHIT.
How do we fix our families?
How do we instill pride in our youth when they look around and all they see is disfunction?
How do we instill love for others when all they see is self-hate?
How do we tell our kids WE CAN compete with other races when all we see around us is failure?


field negro said...


Well, a nice start would be getting the guns off the streets and out of our neighborhoods now wouldn't it? I am standing up and saying it's wrong, but no one will stand up with me. Everyone seems to be putting the blame in the wrong place. You can't save some of these thugs out here, that horse has already left the barn. You better try to find ways to limit their access to certain weapons, and to save the next generation of kids coming up, or we will be right back to square one.

And Moses, you have got to work on your reading comprehension my man. I was simply answering someone who commented about guns being an only black problem. I am the LAST person that will look to folks in the majority population to solve my problems. I know I joke about the racialist shit at times and the sad state of race in this country. But that's not even where I am in terms of what I do on a daily basis, and who I am.

But you have to keep my comments in their proper context. The person commented about blacks and guns, as if the carnage and the killings that they bring only effects us. They don't. They effect every citizen in this country, whether they know it or not.

Anonymous said...

I get upset because we are at a critical crossroads here. Our people could very well drop of into an abyss we wont get out of for a long long time. You have written wonderful things in the past. THAT is why I was drawn to your blog. There are so many "blame others" type of blogs full of whiners that refuse to look honestly at our situation. You are an exception.I dont think anybody said that this ONLY effects blacks. You said the person commented "AS IF" it only effected us. To use the "whites do it too" play will get you a negative review from the NRB. I believe you are above that.

I do indeed believe removing guns from our society will help the problem. The problem with that is you havent given any explanation as to how that will be brought about.

Anonymous said...

And, Moses... Removing guns from our society - putting Humpty-Dumpty back together again - might help our problem. We can ill afford the luxury of cynicism. Many of us simply want concrete,'feet-on-the-ground', tangible actions that we can see and do tomorrow; actions that demonstrate that something(s) are being done to protect our families, friends, and neighbors from the domestic-terrorist jackals who prey on our communities everyday. Perhaps we need to demand the construction of more prisons; locking up for a VERY, VERY LONG TIME any/all who choose to use guns/deadly force during the commission of a crime might also help our problem. In the meantime, however, an actively vigilant; well-armed and trained citizenry seems to be working in some communities.
Thanks again for your forum. Thanks for keeping it honest.

Georgia 'Flash'

Shady_Grady said...

Why is it that the Black homicide rate is 6 or 7 times that of the white rate?

It's not the guns. It's other factors.

Yes, this society needs to do a better job restricting criminal access to weapons. However that has to be done in congruence with an individual's right to protect himself or herself.

For better or for worse the individual right to keep arms has been formally recognized. I think this is a good thing. As I mentioned earlier the same doom and gloom naysayers were claiming that the Michigan CCW law would result in more shootings. It DIDN'T happen.

So the problem is not the gun. It's the criminal. It's self-hate, lack of respect, broken families, discrimination, etc.

But you can't solve that problem by disarming the law abiding people.

The Court ruling didn't invalidate licensing, CCW laws, or laws against carrying weapons in certain areas. All it said was that DC could not prevent Heller from keeping a gun in his home. That's a pretty limited ruling. It's not Heller's responsibility to disarm himself because some people in the District commit a lot of crimes.

Anonymous said...

Somehow, building more prisons isn't the answer. There is an idea gnawing at the back of my skull, and it's not fully realized so forgive the raw meat.
Prison culture has taken over the ghetto, and the kids have developed an immunity to threats of incarceration.
We have overused prison as a consequence in too many cases. As a reward, we have prison gangs ruling neighborhoods.

Anonymous said...

Dude, I would love to live in Fieldville!! Can I be your scientific advisor?

Constructive Feedback said...


Do you notice how the newspaper reporter that you have quoted above focuses on the GUNS.....rather than the KNEEGROWS who used them?

Does this make some sort of implict statement regarding her (and your) assumptions about the chances that you have by directly engaging these "Kneegrows doing the shooting" and get THEM to make measure of all of the damage they are doing and the COSTS that someone else must bear for their deeds?

I am convinced that certain people (ie: YOU) have central to their thesis - the ASSUMED INFERIORITY of certain segments of our population. Thus just as a 3 year old having been given a pair of scissors and told to go play on the stairs is a sure recipe for disaster - in your mind - allowing certain segments of the population to acutally make use of their RIGHTS to own a weapon is asking for trouble as well.

Thus you abandon your condemnation of BLANKET PREEMPTION that was registered when Evil Bush tried to do it and you apply it upon Americans simply because a few folks decided to shoot into the bodies of people who LOOK JUST LIKE THEY DO as a sign of their self hatred. Instead of considering THEIR mental disorder that is perpetuated - you instead seek to control the inanimate object.

Way to go Field-Negro. This is how all totalitarian regimes start off with - the best of intentions.

Thank goodness that YOU have no power over me or my 3 handguns.