It’s been a while since I posted anything about Jesus and/or Virgin Mary sightings on my blog. There are dozens, maybe hundreds, of such “holy sightings” around the world each year and most of them make the news somewhere. Personally, I’ve grown tired of all these religious weirdoes who claim to see the Virgin Mary on a turtle’s belly or Jesus on their grilled cheese sandwich. Just shut up.But I was watching the local news last week and I saw that a man from Saugus, MA, which is not too far from Worcester, found Jesus on his drop cloth. The guy had last used the drop cloth four years earlier to spray paint his shudders, but when he unfolded it this time and threw it on the floor, there was Jesus all sprawled out on the drop cloth.
The owner of the holy drop cloth plans to frame and hang it on the wall in his home while he takes time to figure out what it means. His girlfriend said that “Everybody needs some hope in life. And I hope that this is something that will give him hope.” I think he hopes to be able to charge admission for people to see Jesus’ image on his drop cloth.
Speaking about crazy...
Have you seen the claim circulating the internet that baseball bats kill more Americans every year than firearms? Yup, just go to any site that is promoted by right wing gun nuts (or the NRA...same thing) to read statistics like 11,000 Americans were killed by baseball bats in 2010 compared with only 8,775 gun deaths. “Don’t ban guns,” they say, “ban baseball bats!”
Never mind that the FBI keeps no
specific statistics for baseball bat homicides. This is just another myth being
passed around on the internet and social media by those who claim to be true American patriots defending the Second Amendment.
That statistic on more hammer (and other blunt objects) deaths than rifle deaths is interesting...and true. But take a closer look at how the NRA spins things. According to the FBI, there were, in fact, “only” 323 deaths by assault rifles in 2011. But what about the other 8,240 deaths by handguns and other firearms? Are those victims any less dead because they were killed by handguns rather than by rifles?
What the eye-catching, clever graphic above doesn’t tell you is that, while 496 people were killed by blunt objects, such as hammers and baseball bats, 8,583 were killed by firearms in the same year, firearms including rifles and handguns.
The FBI’s data on homicides shows quite clearly that firearms account for more than two-thirds of the homicides in the US. The same FBI database reports that only slightly more than 13% of homicides were committed with knives or other cutting instruments, while under 4% were done with blunt objects, including baseball bats, clubs, and hammers!
As was noted in snopes.com, in any debate about gun control, someone will inevitably
make the argument that “X
kills more people than guns do,” where X
is anything other than guns. Sure people die from cancer, heart disease,
and all kinds of health matters, and even from medical malpractice. People die in car accidents, plane crashes, from poisoning, and choking. They die from old age.
But when it comes to homicides, the fact is that in America, the probability of being murdered by a gun is more than double that of being killed by all other weapons combined. And “all other weapons” includes knives, baseball bats, hammers, poison, fire, pushing someone out of a window, cars, hands and feet, explosives, drowning, narcotics, strangulation, asphyxiation, and “other” causes or method.
And these gun death statistics don’t include the more than 19,000 Americans who committed suicide with firearms in 2011. Half of all suicides in the US are committed with guns.
So before you publicly quote and pass along “statistics” claiming that more people die from hammers, baseball bats, and knives than from guns, check your sources. Stop being a tool for the NRA. Or better yet, just shut up.