how utterly astonishing, pointless, and embarrassing a report like this was before putting it on the air4? In 2010, 15,576 children and teenagers were injured by firearms — three times more than the number of U.S. soldiers injured in the war in Afghanistan, according to the [Children’s] Defense Fund. Nationally, guns still kill twice as many children and young people than cancer, five times as many than heart disease and 15 times more than infection, according to the New England Journal of Medicine. Apparently not.
Nationally, guns still kill twice as many children and young people than cancer, ﬁve times as many than heart disease and 15 times more than infection… Not one word about the 194 children 12 and younger who died5 from guns since Sandy Hook, not one word about the Oklahoma representative who invited a gun manufacturer to Oklahoma6 so it could be free to peddle its wares without the heavy burden of regulation, and not one word about legislative action to allow even more7 guns into Oklahoma schools. Instead, we’re going to talk about, as former NBA legend Allen Iverson8 might spit it out, backpacks. We interrupt this program9: Oklahoma City police said they are investigating an accidental shooting at Bass Pro Shops in Bricktown … that’s when, according to police, the boy grabbed the gun, shooting himself in the hand and his dad in the leg. Both victims were transported to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. And we’re talking about … backpacks. Child-counseling services calling, line three: We talked to licensed counselor Claudia Arthrell about the potential dangers of giving your child a bulletproof backpack. She fears the product could give a child the illusion of being 100 percent protected, THE TULSA VOICE // Mar. 19 – Apr. 1, 2014
which they are not. That’s what she fears — that the child might have the illusion he or she is protected? We could tell the kids about the 300 million10 firearms already in America and how we’re still not safe. We could tell them about the more than 30 Americans who die every day due to guns (or the 530 Oklahomans11 who died from them in 2010). We could tell them about the little girl who hid12 in her friend’s blood and played dead at Sandy Hook Elementary. We could tell them about Sandy Hook. We could tell them how we’ve surrendered the narrative to those who shill for gun manufacturers, insist on “Stand Your Ground” laws, and make laws according to a convoluted reading13 of the 2nd Amendment one former Chief Justice Warren Burger called, " … one of the greatest pieces of fraud, I repeat the word fraud, on the American public." Or we could tell them about these new, pretty, pink, bulletproof backpacks and, in so doing, tell them how we failed them.
youtube.com: Allen Iverson: Practice kjrh.com: INVESTIGATION: “Bulletproof backpacks, can they stop a bullet? Kevlar shield and insert tested” 3 tenthamendmentcenter.com:” House committee passes ﬁrearms, freedom act” 4 newsok.com “Okla. bill: No punishment for school kids brandishing pastries chewed into gun shapes” 5 usatoday.com: “Epidemic: Guns kill twice as many kids as cancer does” 6 tampabay.com “194 children have been shot to death since Sandy Hook”. 7 kfor.com: “Lawmakers lure gun maker to Okla.” 8 newsok.com: “Bill to arm teachers, administrators wins Oklahoma House panel’s approval” 9 youtube.com: “Allen Iverson: Practice” 10 koco.com:” Police say young boy accidentally shoots father, self at Bass Pro Shops” 11 gunfaq.org: “How many guns in United States 12 oklahomawatch.org: “Firearm Deaths in Oklahoma and US” 13 abcnews.go.com: “Sandy Hook Classroom Survivor Played Dead” 1 2
“News from the Plains” appears each issue and covers Oklahoma politics and culture—the disastrous, the unseemly, the incomprehensible … you know, the day to day stuff. Barry Friedman is a touring stand-up comedian, author and general rabble-rouser.
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NEWS & COMMENTARY // 11
Published on Mar 18, 2014