Somebody please send Sen. Bill Jackson a calculator
Yesterday on the floor of the Senate, in the midst of a discussion concerning a mental health bill, State Senator Bill Jackson of Augusta, Ga., said something incredibly dumb.
“They killin’ people with frying pans. They killin’ people with hammers. There’s more murders with hammers last year than there was shotguns, pistols and AK-47s.”
Don’t believe me? Watch the video.
In the wake of repeated and preventable mass shootings across the U.S. in recent years a national discussion has arisen about what we as a society can do to prevent these tragedies from happening.
And that’s a good thing.
We’re long overdue for an honest conversation about how we balance our 2nd Amendment rights against public safety.
But in order to have that honest discussion, we need to get the facts straight.
In case you were wondering: No, there were not more deaths last year from hammers and frying pans than there were from guns. Not in Sen. Bill Jackson’s district. Not in Georgia. Not in the nation.
In fact, according to the FBI, of all murders committed in 2011 only 3.9 percent were committed by blunt force trauma – that would include all types of construction equipment and cookware.
In comparison, a whopping 67.7 percent of all murders were committed using firearms.
Sen. Jackson: 68 is more than 4.
A lot more.
We couldn’t find records of a single mass murder using cookware.
It’s time to have that honest discussion.
And during this discussion let’s allow facts, not nonsense, to guide our efforts.
We owe a lot more than that to the victims and families who have suffered through these terrible tragedies, but it’s a good start.