Since the US launched its invasion in March 2003, the war in Iraq
has been controversial to say the least. Politicos, pundits, and average
American citizens have debated both its advisability and morality
in the media and on the internet. Yet one particular aspect has received
very little coverage: how the war affects gun owners.
At first glance, the two issues seem utterly unrelated. Yet research
reveals a sobering fact: soldiers from rural America are dying in
the Iraq war at a much higher rate than their urban brethren. In fact,
nearly _half_ of the military fatalities in Iraq have come
from towns with a population of under 25,000, and one in five have
hometowns of less than 5,000 ( http://tinyurl.com/2kqzbb
What's the connection, you ask?
Rural residents are far more likely to be gun owners. One study in
the medical journal _Pediatrics_ showed that rural households
are nearly three times more likely to have firearms than urban households
). The 2004
National Firearms Survey backs this up, stating that "(f)irearms
are most likely to be owned by white men who live in a rural area"
If this information is accurate -- and we have no reason to believe
otherwise -- then statistically speaking, it is probable that more
gun owners than non-gun owners are dying in the war.
That means there are that many fewer Americans who actively support
firearms ownership. That many fewer Americans who understand the necessity
of these useful tools. That many fewer Americans who know about their
right to keep and bear arms. And -- given the average age of these
war casualities -- than many fewer Americans who will in turn have
children of their own to whom they will teach the value of firearms
We mourn not only the loss of our fellow Americans, but the loss
of their influence on one of our most important, fundamental rights.
If you belong to a gun club or range group, or simply wish to help
honor these brave men and women who have sacrificed themselves for
their country, consider perhaps teaching a class, giving a talk, or
otherwise educating a youth group on the importance and value of the
Bill of Rights and the Second Amendment. In doing so, perhaps in some
small way we can make up for the loss of an American who can no longer
do this for his own children or community.
- The Liberty Crew
Forgotten American Dead: Rural America Pays the President's Price
Hispanic Soldiers Dying at Higher Rate: Iraq Toll Falls Unevenly on
Latinos, Rural Whites