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My Take: Sikh temple shooting is act of terrorism
August 6th, 2012
11:20 AM ET

My Take: Sikh temple shooting is act of terrorism

Editor's note: Arsalan Iftikhar is an international human rights lawyer, founder of TheMuslimGuy.com and author of the book "Islamic Pacifism: Global Muslims in the Post-Osama Era."

By Arsalan Iftikhar, Special to CNN

(CNN)–Imagine that you woke up on a beautiful Sunday morning to hear the news of a brown, bearded, gun-wielding madman who stormed into a Wisconsin church full of blond-haired parishioners and killed six innocent people.

If that scenario did occur, would most Americans have any problem calling that an act of "terrorism"?

Of course not.

Now imagine that the shooter was a white man and the innocent victims were bearded brown men and head-covered women. Suddenly, the discussion of "terrorism" gets a lot more complicated.

Of course, this is exactly what happened in a Milwaukee suburb on Sunday, when six people and the alleged gunman were killed at a Sikh temple.

One of the congregation's members told a local news station, "Nobody's angry here. We're just confused. Was this a random act? Was this directed at us because of the way we look?"

Sadly, it's probably going to be the latter.

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Oak Creek, Wisconsin, Police Chief John Edwards said at a news conference that the case is being treated as domestic terrorism, and the FBI is taking over.

But it's important for our greater American society to also condemn acts of terrorism when the perpetrator happens to be a white guy.

If not, we send millions of people of color around America the message that the term "terrorism" has been co-opted, that it shall apply only when brown bearded men are the shooters and not when they are the tragic victims.

Unless we acknowledge this attack on the Sikh temple as an act of terrorism, we will essentially be relegating brown-skinned Americans to second-class citizenry by perpetuating the myth that "terrorism" is only a Muslim, Arab or South Asian phenomenon and beyond the pale for any white person to commit.

To give another recent example, imagine that a brown Arab Muslim male tried to assassinate a member of Congress by shooting her in the head, killing six innocent people and wounding 13 others outside a grocery store during this assassination attempt.

Would we have any trouble calling this scenario above an act of terrorism? Nope.

Since authorities say the gunman was a white dude named Jared Lee Loughner, he was just a kooky loner whose mental health must have been the triggering factor. But if his name were Ali Akbar Nahasapeemapetilon, nobody in America would care a bit about his mental health issues.

Since observant Sikh men keep a turban (known as dastaar or pagri) and unshorn hair, which often manifests itself into a long beard, many Americans after September 11 wrongfully conflated Sikh Americans with Muslim Americans because of this "turban-and-beard" look. To highlight the sheer tragic irony and stupid human ignorance of bias-motivated hate crimes within America, the first actual tragic victim of a post-9/11 "hate crime" murder in the United States was neither a Muslim nor an Arab.

Four days after 9/11, Balbir Singh Sodhi, a 49-year-old Indian Sikh-American businessman, was brutally shot several times and killed instantly by Frank Roque in a Mesa, Arizona, gas station. According to BBC World News, the county attorney stated that Sodhi was killed for no other apparent reason than that he was dark-skinned and wore a turban.

Just like America has been on high alert for brown-skinned terrorism since September 11, millions of Americans of Arab, Muslim, Sikh and South Asian descent have equally been on high alert about reprisal attacks against brown-skinned Americans that happened immediately after September 11.

On the same day as the Sodhi murder, September 15, 2001, Adel Karas, a 48-year-old Egyptian Orthodox Coptic Christian and father of three, was viciously murdered outside his suburban Los Angeles import shop. In Texas, both the FBI and local police investigated the murder of Waqar Hasan, a Pakistani store owner who was found shot to death outside his grocery store in suburban Dallas.

One day after 9/11, in the early morning hours of September 12, at least six bullets shattered several windows of the Islamic Center of Irving in suburban Dallas. Similarly, on September 12, 2001, 29-year-old Eric Richley of Middleburg Heights, Ohio, decided to drive his white Ford Mustang into the front glass doors of the Grand Mosque at the Islamic Center of Greater Cleveland. Places of worship including Muslim mosques, Hindu temples and Sikh gurdwaras became instant targets for patriotic terrorists seeking to lash out at innocent Americans like the Sikh victims of the terrorist attack in Wisconsin.

Belonging to a five-century-old monotheistic tradition, professor Stephen Prothero writes,

Sikhism emerged out of a culture steeped in both Hinduism and Islam, and early Sikhs attempted to reconcile the two, in part by focusing on heartfelt devotion to God rather than rites and doctrines. "There is no Hindu and no Muslim, so whose path shall I follow?" asked (Sikh founder) Guru Nanak. "I shall follow the path of God." Like Muslims, Sikhs are strict monotheists who emphasize divine sovereignty. They reject the view that God incarnates in human form, believing instead in a formless God that can be known through singing and meditation.

According to professor Gurinder Singh Mann, the "Sikhs lay emphasis on a life of hard work, social commitment, and ethical living. A complex set of doctrinal, historical and sociological reasons made them a very political people and they have kept up that heritage in both the Punjab, the land of their origin, and wherever they have migrated to in the past century."

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Most Americans do not know that the first Sikh American member of Congress was Dalip Singh Saund, who represented California's 29th congressional district in 1957. Since Sikhs have served America as doctors, lawyers and teachers for more than a century, any attack on their house of worship should be considered an attack on all houses of worship.

So, if the mass murder at the Sikh temple is not referred to as an act of "terrorism" by virtually every member of our American media and sociopolitical elite, the only message that this will send to millions of people of color across America is that the term "terrorism" has been co-opted and shall apply only when brown bearded men are the shooters, not when they are the tragic victims.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Arsalan Iftikhar.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Crime • Sikh

soundoff (849 Responses)
  1. rob

    The author is making a case that this is terrorism. He seems to be attempting to prove it. ....That in and of itself shows his bias of those he feels are anti-islam all around him. ......Puke. I am definitely not from the left. I would definitely consider this terrorism. Most would feel the same. Although I'm not the typical bleeding heart CNN'er that would also classify co2 emmissions, calls for the reduction of spending to the arts, etc, etc as terrorism. 😛
    So to the `author of the book "Islamic Pacifism"` I ask..... Do you feel that Nadal Hasan was a terrorist? Or was he merely a disgruntled worker as the Obama followers claim?

    August 6, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • rob

      And most importantly, my thoughts and yes prayers (take that CNN-ers) are with those that fell victim to this idiot.

      August 6, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      The police called it terrorism...domestic terrorism is the phrase they used...it wasn't CNN that started that.

      August 6, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • Khalid

      The politicians and the politicians have a lot of explaining to do! They created this environment of hate against Muslims in general. What have 99.999% of Muslims done to deserve this type of hate? My prayers go out to the Sikh community.

      August 6, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • rob

      Truth...,
      My point exactly. So why then did the author show his hand with the slant...."But it's important for our greater American society to also condemn acts of terrorism when the perpetrator happens to be a white guy.
      If not,..."
      The cops called it that. It very likely was. (But it may end up not being terrorism. The idoit might just be another freak the bleeding hearts support because "the poor guy just stopped taking his meds".)
      Mr. Iftikhar,
      Why call out the `what if it was a white guy` baiting? ....Maybe you are tired of reading the incessant bad press from "brown, bearded, gun-wielding madman" incidents and need to project that on `white guys do it too`?

      August 6, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
  2. ari

    anyway, given what (little) is known about the shooter, i suspect it will be classified as a hate crime rather than terrorism. this is because the legal definition of terrorism is violence to advance a political or religious cause. it doesn't really seem like he had one. he just hated brown people. of course i could be wrong and a motive could be uncovered, but at the moment that's what it looks like.

    August 6, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
  3. R.H. Schwartz

    Once you call it terrorism (and I have no problem doing that), what does it mean? Does it make it less of a murder of innocent people, or more? Does it make the events any less hurtful? Does it reduce the anxiety people feel no matter what their race, religion etc. when they go to a religious service or a movie theater? The person who committed the crime is dead no matter what we call it. 6 other people are dead and many are injured...maybe some for life. The bottom line is that there is no room in our society for these hateful people. If they do not like other people, they simply do not have to deal with them. Why do they feel that they can kill those that are different from them? Why is this a mission that some take on as their own? If the forefathers of this country had thought that way, the borders would have been closed 236 years ago. The statement the rest of us can make is that is not how we feel. People are not hated and we certainly do not kill them because they are different. Although we can turn this into a political statement of some kind regarding how we deal with guns, immigration etc. the problem is not in the stars, but in ourselves. Politicians (in case anyone has not noticed) cannot legislate right and wrong behavior. Fortunately these involve a very small segment of our people, but even one such incident is too many. There is no formula on how to stop it. We are vulnerable no matter what group we are in and whether wthite, brown, beige or whatever; whether Sikh, Islam, Jewish, Catholic, Protestant or whatever. We are all injured even when one of us is injured or killed in this way. So call it terrorism or any "ism" if you want. In my book this is murder and I would not want to soften its impact by giving it another name.

    August 6, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
  4. ari

    i don't know why, but i've noticed that after EVERY SINGLE NATIONAL TRAGEDY in the past 5 or 6 years, some muslim columnist on CNN has written a self-pitying article like this. ENOUGH. stop using violence for political gain, we get that enough from our elected representatives.

    August 6, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • Camty

      Sikhs are NOT MUSLIMS! Try to keep up. This story is only about 24 hours old and people have been saying this all day. What planet did you just land in from?

      August 6, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • kevfromsd

      i would bet my life your jewish.

      August 6, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
  5. Duane - St. Pete FLA

    can just one of you libs please tell me why this is terrorism and the ft.hood shootings were not? Obama refuses to call that shooting terrorism when that's just what it was.......hello???

    August 6, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Duane

      Think about it.

      He was a soldier in uniform

      Declaring a U.S. soldier in uniform a terrorist is a DANGEROUS precedent.

      Sometimes you need to actually think a bit about the BIG picture.

      August 6, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
  6. Surdy

    Call it whatever, this massacre is a HATE CRIME. The murders are a direct result of the US politicians and law officials letting down the ethnic communities of the USA and more so the Sikh community. Even now the US is obsessed with calling a it a domestic terrorism situation'. As if calling it something connected to terrorism somehow justifies this horrific act. Wake up, USA. It is a hate crime! THE USA passed a hate crime law after the 9/11 and over 700, make that 701, incidences of this have been reported by Sikhs and I bet you not many perpetrators, if any, have been charged for those hate crimes by any US law enforcement authorities. I know it first hand, as my family was directly at the receiving end of one such incident. I met the police chief in my town and he did nothing. I called the field officer at the FBI, he did nothing,(did not even bother to return my phone calls) I called the Attorney General of the state I lived in, he did nothing and I even called the Sikh Coalition for help and they did nothing too. If Sikhs think that somehow overnight the USA is going to change, they are mistaken. The US system will kill any such change and hope and after this brouhaha dies down life will be back to the American way of more discrimination and ignorance against minorities. The only salvation out of this is to grab the media attention now and have competent Sikh spokespersons articulate a clear statement that Sikhs are neither Muslims nor Hindus, and the Sikh turban is distinctly their article of faith. We need to change the mindset. To be clear, I am not suggesting that Muslims deserve to be targeted, but certainly Sikhs should not be paying the price with their lives for the misdeeds of those who do commit crimes.

    August 6, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
  7. M

    The flaw of this article is that it attempts to reason with people who cannot be reasoned with. The only difference between the attackers the author describes and members of al-Qaeda is the religion they claim to adhere to. All of these people, whether they claim to be Muslim or Christian, are filled with hatred and rage. They're looking for someone to lash out at, and no amount of persuasion is going to change their warped minds.

    August 6, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
  8. Big Al

    No doubt its terrorism, not clear why they refuse to classify Fort Hood as terrorism, but this is for sure. However, you guys are knuckleheads. What makes a psychotic, racist, murderer "right wing"? What kind of killer would be radical left wing, or is that even possible? has there ever been a left wing killer? probably not – this is CNN huh? he was ex-military, he has to be right wing.....

    August 6, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
    • Camty

      He was a member of a right-wing white-power band. This could explain why people are making this connection? What are your thoughts on this? Did his band perform for a crowd full of tea party republicans or crowd full of liberal democrats? Denial is a powerful drug of choice.

      August 6, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Big Al

      He was a Nazi. Played in a band that sang songs about killing Jews.

      How 'Right" does he have to be before you admit it?

      August 6, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
  9. oldbikerbeatch

    Nope, this wasn't "terrorism," as much as the Muslim apologist would like to portray it. This crime was a hate crime – an ignorant, violent man that happened to be of the caucasian persuasion killing Sikhs, who are largely of Indian ethnicity and heritage. "Terrorism" is an act calculated to cause widespread fear and affects all ethnicities rather than targeting one ethnicity over another.

    August 6, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • Are_Your_Sure

      Technically, it is (I.e., according to the FBI's definition, at least): fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/terrorism-2002-2005/

      August 6, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • LuisCamacho

      Precisely. As horrific as this incident is, it is not terrorism. Terrorism is, at the core, a political act. From the FBI's own definition, terrorism is "The unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a Government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives."
      This is a hate crime perpetuated by a deranged psychopath.

      August 6, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • LuisCamacho

      As example, Al Qaeda commits a variety of terrorist actions with the overall political objective of removing western influence (both diplomatic and military) from the middle east. The IRA's objective was to force the British government to withdraw from Northern Ireland. Individual historical state terror sponsors (such as Libya or Iran) have focused efforts on reducing western public and political support for Israel.
      This is a violent idiot who apparently hates Muslims.

      August 6, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
  10. Duane - St. Pete FLA

    fair enough....if we are all in agreement then why won't Obama call the Ft.Hood shootings terrorism? I don't get it?????

    August 6, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
  11. Snow

    I guess this again proves there is no need for gun control in this country.. eh? No need at all, coz there are No problems with guns being available so easily to every stupid idiot

    August 6, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
    • Duane - St. Pete FLA

      yeah....we should outlaw guns then all the problems will go away right? nope it will not.....I want to keep my guns and sometimes freedom is painful.....no way will guns EVER be taken from the public...nor should they.

      August 6, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
    • Snow

      word of the day to look up.. "Control", which, among other things, does NOT mean "Ban"..

      if you love them so much, would you like your next door neighbor discharging them in their house multiple times every day? you know, since he owns it and just feels like using it?

      August 6, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
    • Duane - St. Pete FLA

      the reason we all have guns is not for protection....although that's a good reason to have one.....the reason we as citizens has weapons is to protect our liberties FROM our goverment if they ever try and take our liberties away.....can you say revolution?

      August 6, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • Snow

      so, at the cost of seeming argumentative, I have to ask duane, do you think in all the european countries where gun control laws are enforced, people do not have "protection of their liberties FROM their goverment"? Do they ALL live in tyrannical regimes with no voice or freedoms?

      August 6, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
  12. EJ in Metro Houston

    what Eric Rudolph did at the Atlanta Olympics was terrorism, when abortion clinics are bombed and people are hurt and killed that is terrorism, groups like the Ku Klux Klan, "new" Black Panthers are domestic terrorist. Call it what it is.

    August 6, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
  13. Alex

    Obviously it was an act of terrorism. However, there is a difference between terrorism happening in the Western World and the Islamic world. In the West, terrorists never receive widespread support, they are tried, convicted and punished. In the Muslim world, they name streets after them and treat them as heroes.

    August 6, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
    • 21k

      so every muslim country does this? every single one? and it's ok that our own country's original domestic terrorists, the confederate army, is memorialized with their flag still flying here?

      August 6, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
    • Khalid

      Your comment is just another example of hate. Hate that has been pushed by the Republicans and the Democrats alike to fulfill their own agendas and profit.
      Just so their is no confusion, results of your comment is the baby version of what has led to the tragedy in Wisconsin.

      August 6, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
    • Swed

      Alex=ignorant
      don't comment unless you know facts
      No one support terrorist as Heroes you dumb,terrorist force the people to follow them or get killed. i want to know which street is named after which terrorist and in which country, hahaha its interesting to read your comment, Alex had a walk on that street may be thats why you know haha.

      August 6, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
  14. Camty

    I will call him a Domestic Terrorist. I'm still trying to figure out why the right wing racists of the GOP are not screaming at the top of their lungs calling this tragedy an act of Domestic Terrorism they way they all did after the Fort Hood Domestic Terror tragedy? Where are you Peter King? Oh yeah–I forgot-they are all on vacation. Imagine that?

    August 6, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
    • 21k

      because it gets ugly if a white terrorist used a legally-bought gun. so it has to be insanity in this case, like aurora and loughner.

      August 6, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
    • joeu0715

      Right Wing Racists???? Really???? Maybe because we should wait for all the facts to come in before labeling something???? NOBODY on the "right wing" was screaming for the Ft. Hood incident to be called a terrorist act until DAYS after the event. The LEFT WING ideolog (idiots) STILL won't let the Ft. Hood incident be called a terrorist act out of fear it will "insult" Islam. So, for you to label and then ignore...shows your double standard. And...for the record...it's all over the news already that many republicans have denounced this tragedy.

      August 6, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
  15. Dl

    My religion = good, yours = bad
    My race = righteous, yours lazy
    My country = best, yours evil

    August 6, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • 21k

      "gawd bress america, an no one else"

      August 6, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
  16. TR

    It's sad how your great Hope and Changer up there in DC refused to call what MAJ Hassan did down in Texas, terrorism. Yet the author of this article says the term has been co-opted to mean only when beared men wearing turbins kill. Perfectly okay to call it terrorism when its a white guy. You libs are probably happy to have a news story to take eveyrone's mind off of how you got a mudhole stomped in you over the Chick-fil-A debacle.

    August 6, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • Snow

      so, all you see is a libs vs consvs debate in this tragedy? Great to know your priorities.

      August 6, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • Duane - St. Pete FLA

      he asks a fair question....why don't you answer it? why was the Ft. Hood shootings not terrorism? Why will Obama not call it that?

      August 6, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

      And who harbored OBL before our President bolstered our national security by sending in Seal Tean Six?

      August 6, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • Duane - St. Pete FLA

      so that's how it is? you and Obama can't seem to answer the simple question so distract and talk about something else....I don't blame you because there is no go reason....Obama was an idiot not calling that terrorism....worried about being offending someone rather than our safety.

      August 6, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • Snow

      It does not matter who did what where.. if innocents are hurt or killed, it is an act of terrorism. So, yes. what happened in ft hood, in my mind is as much an act of terrorism as this incident. If innocents anywhere are hurt for no reason at all other than they being perceived as different from the perpetrator, he is a radical racial terrorist.. be that color of skin or the faith or whatever.

      That being said, how does it matter if obama calls one terrorism or not. does a person whose house gets broken into need to get a seal of approval from the president to file a robbery case? These both are deplorable acts and both should be rightly called acts of terrorism by BOTH the parties..

      So each of the two parties are guilty of calling only one of these acts correctly. Call the shots the way you see and not the way your political leaning is.

      August 6, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
  17. Malcolm Xcrement

    The Sikh community has no more in common with Muslim extremists than the Amish do with the Westboro Baptist Church loons.

    These are good, decent, honest, peaceful people, and right up there with the last people imaginable to deserve this. My heart and my prayers go out to them.

    August 6, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
    • youaresofullofit

      " the last people imaginable to deserve this." As if anyone deserves this? Stupid.

      August 6, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
    • Justi

      Loving, peacuful?????? Look into the history books, bombing of Air India Flight 182, killing of then Indian Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi.
      Do not attempt to generalize any religion, culture or community based on the acts of few 'crazy individuals'
      The highest level where you can make a generalization is as an 'Individual Person'. (either good or bad)

      August 6, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • Swed

      ISLAM IS A GOOD RELIGION, BUT NOT ALL MUSLIMS ARE GOOD.
      similarly
      CHRISTIANITY IS A GOOD RELIGION BUT NOT ALL CHRISTIANS ARE NOT GOOD

      IT IS HUMANS WHO ARE BAD NOT ANY RELIGION, SO STOP SPREADING HATRED YOU MORON

      August 6, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
  18. Adam

    Terrorism, another word to strip us of freedoms. What isn't terrorism now? Threaten someone... Terrorist. Shoot someone... Terrorist. Stab someone... Terrorist. Disagree with someone... Terrorist.

    This was a hate crime and murder. As was the Aurora event. Let's not get carried away with domestic terrorism and the ability for the government to come in and start using the National Defense Act by kidnapping Americans and holding them without trial indefinitely.

    August 6, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
  19. answeringislamphobes

    Here are some additional examples and they weren't flagged as terrorism of course commited by US personnel in afganistan and iraq. The shooting spree of a soldier who killed 16 woman and children, the soldier who chose to throw bombs on children for his amusment.

    August 6, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • answeringislamphobes

      in irqa the group of 4 soldiers who r a p e d and killed an 8 years old then killed her sister , father and mother.

      August 6, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • Adam

      While I agree. Islam is still a violent and hateful religion.

      August 6, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • llatpoh

      You should add the Ft Hood massacre killer Nadal Hasan to your list... "workplace violence", remember??

      August 6, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • Swed

      @Adam: ISLAM ITSELF MEANS PEACE, SO THEIR IS NOT POINT IN CALLING ISLAM AS HATEFUL RELIGION, IT IS FEW MUSLIMS WHO ARE BAD. YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO CALL ISLAM AS HATEFUL RELIGION YOU BETTER GET SOME KNOWLEDGE BEFORE COMMENTING. IF CRUSADERS KILLED MUSLIM OR IRS KILLED OR ANDREAS BRVIK KILLED INNOCENT PEOPLE, ALL THESE STUPIDS HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH CHRISTIANITY EVEN THEY CALL THEMSELVES AS CHRISTIANS. STOP SPREADING HATRED AND SUPPORT UNIVERSAL BROTHERHOOD.

      August 6, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
  20. Mass Debater

    To anyone thinking to themselves as they see this headline and other recent shooting incidents, that if only more people had gun's we would be safer, please reconsider. If for example more people had concealed weapons in the Aurora shooting incident you might claim they could have saved lives, stopped the gunman maybe after only 1 death instead of 12. But think for a moment about the fact that if that model citizen had his gun that day to supposedly save those people, and had the proper training, and avoided hitting anyone else accidently, he would also have to have been carrying it every other day of his life putting that weapon into countless other sittuations where one could hypothesize many other differing outcomes. One of the leading causes of gun death in the US is accident discharge gun deaths as well as home invasion deaths where the invader used the home owners own gun. Is that slim chance that the right well trained upright citizen will be carrying at the right moment worth the much higher chances that a curious child or inebriated homeowner accidently hurts themselves or others the other 99% of the time?

    August 6, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • TheCoolDude

      I have no idea if we would be safer or not and personally I do not care. We have the right to bear arms and that is not going to change. Love it or hate it there will be no change.

      The few people I know who have a concealed carry are the most cautious people I know. They don't have accidents because they take the responsibility seriously.

      Countless situations would be what most of us call "Life" and people carry firearms every day during real events.

      August 6, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • wmcritter

      Every once in a while you should visit reality. You don't have to stay, but at least check in from time to time. There are about 60 accidental deaths from guns ever year in America and over 600 for bicycles. You are 1000 times more likely to die in your bathtub than from a gun accident. That was your yearly dose of reality, you can return to liberal fantasy land now if you like.

      August 6, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • Mass Debater

      @wmcritter "There are about 60 accidental deaths from guns ever year in America"

      Ah, only 60 dead, that should be acceptable losses I guess. Too bad that's a totally made up bogus lie.

      "In 2001 suicides accounted for about 58 percent of gun fatalities, or 17,000 to 18,000 deaths and another 11,000 deaths, or 37 percent, were homicides, and the remaining 800 to 900 gun deaths were accidental." "There were 52,447 deliberate and 23,237 accidental non-fatal gunshot injuries in the United States during 2000" – WISQARS Nonfatal Injury Reports". National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.

      You might want to take your yearly bath along with that yearly dose of truth about guns. If you don't think there are a large number of accidental gun deaths each year or you think the number is something like "60" then please go seek immediate medical help, your brain might just be falling out a large hole in the back of your head.

      August 6, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
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