Fat People With Guns

August 28, 2007 · Posted in Culture 

According to the Trust for America’s Health, obesity levels continued to rise in 31 states last year. The word epidemic is being thrown around. We are having an obesity epidemic.

Mississippi is the fattest state, Colorado the slimmest. Good job Colorado; drop down and give twenty Mississippi.

Another group, that is underwritten by the Geneva-based Graduate Institute of International Studies, smallarmssurvey.org, is troubled by the fact that we have too many guns in the U.S. The United States has 90 guns for every 100 citizens, making it the most heavily armed society in the world. Yemen had the second most heavily armed citizenry behind the United States, with 61 guns per 100 people, followed by Finland with 56, Switzerland with 46, Iraq with 39 and Serbia with 38.

“Firearms are very unevenly distributed around the world. The image we have of certain regions such as Africa or Latin America being awash with weapons — these images are certainly misleading,” Small Arms Survey director Keith Krause said.

Nigeria has only one gun per 100 people.

This is from the Survey mission statement.

The proliferation of small arms and light weapons represents a grave threat to human security. The unchecked spread of these weapons has exacerbated inter- and intra-state conflicts, contributed to human rights violations, undermined political and economic development, destabilized communities, and devastated the lives of millions of people. The future success of efforts to deal with small arms and light weapons depends in large part on the development of accurate information concerning the global flow of these weapons and on reliable analyses of the causes and consequences of their proliferation.

Effective governmental or non-governmental action depends on a correct diagnosis of the problem, yet policy-makers, analysts, and activists often lack basic information concerning the production, transfer, stockpiling, and use of small arms and light weapons around the world. The strengths and weaknesses of various policy instruments (such as gun buy-back schemes, strengthening of export controls, codes of conduct, firearms, or ammunition marking) also need to be assessed on an ongoing basis so that best practices can be spread from region to region.

What is unclear about the Small Arms Survey folks is how they attain the data. It would be fairly easy to put a number on legally registered guns but how does anybody know the number of illegal guns here or, some place like Nigeria.

Studies and surveys don’t just happen they are driven by agenda. Someone wants us to eat less or own less guns. Sometimes they have the best intentions, other times they don’t.

If you stopped eating so much and destroyed all of your guns, the results of the surveys and studies would not change. One person isn’t going to effect the overall numbers with personal decisions. In the end, the surveys/studies are designed to influence public perception or induce legislation.

Another way of looking at it: As a country we are no different than we were yesterday but now that we have accurate information, it is clear that we are a bunch of fat people with guns. Now, what are we going to do about it?

[tags] Trust for America’s Health, Small Arms Survey [tags]

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