Gun violence continues in America

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - In Washington, Vice President Joe Biden got the high profile talks on curbing gun violence going Thursday when he suggested the President could take executive action if necessary.

Although the Vice-President gave no specific details, it was immediately suggested within the gun lobby that the White House was on the edge of starting to take away privately-owned weapons.

Tonight in Tom's Corner, Tom Van Howe says that while he doesn't think the President will do that, something ought to be done, and soon.


The Slate magazine web site has taken on an interesting challenge.

They started collecting data on how many people in the United States have been killed by guns since the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut on December 14.

Those kinds of numbers are hard to keep up on and Slate is pretty much relying on people to send them the information which they at Slate can then easily confirm or deny. So--if anything--the gun death-count will likely be understated rather exaggerated.

But as of Tuesday evening, the number of people who've been gunned down in this country over the past 25 days stands at 695.

That's already 20 times the number of people who were shot to death in all of last year in Great Britain. And if 695 doesn't impress you as a particularly large number, do yourself a favor and count to 695 out loud, one at a time.

Stick with it until you're done. And while you're doing that, realize that six of those people are from Detroit. Seven are from Grand Rapids. Another from Bedford Township--Lansing. On Monday, a man and four women were killed in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

People were killed in Louisiana, in Illinois, all over Florida and Texas and California.

The only states that appear to have been left untouched are North Dakota and Maine.

45 people were killed on New Years Day alone. 32 on the second day of the year.

Meantime gun sales are at record levels--the makers of assault weapons can't keep up with the demand. Ammunition is flying from shelves.

FOX News was very excited this morning to have found an actual story about a woman shooting an intruder to death in the past day or so. They're already making her a hero without knowing details of the case.

And 125,000 people so far have signed a petition circulated by a loud Texas radio talk show host to have Piers Morgan , who took over for Larry King on CNN, departed back to Great Britain.

Morgan has had the temerity to call our incredible tolerance for violence a travesty. The White House has already noted that Morgan has every right to express his opinion on the Second Amendment by the authority of the First Amendment.

Look--even though I've long since grown weary of the expression--I know that guns don't kill people, that people do. But let's not let it end there.

There is simply no reason on earth that people who are prone to anger management problems, who are unstable in a host of different ways, should have access to assault weapons.

Any weapons, for that matter.

But every issue needs a starting point.

I don't know what the white house is going to do, but I hope it is something. Because for a people who like to call themselves civilized to do nothing is unacceptable if not cowardly.

In this corner...I'm Tom Van Howe.