CNN reports that more Marines have died over the last year in motorcycle accidents than in Iraq.
Motorcycle accidents have killed more Marines in the past 12 months than enemy fire in Iraq, a rate that's so alarming it has prompted top brass to call a meeting to address the issue, officials say.
Twenty-five Marines have died in motorcycle crashes since last November -- all but one of them involving sport bikes that can reach speeds of well over 100 mph, according to Marine officials. In that same period, 20 Marines have been killed in action in Iraq.
So, does that mean the Iraq number is very low or the motorcycle number is very high, or both? It sure caught my attention; I'll tell you that. I can easily identify with the young Marines who drive too fast and engage in other risky behaviors that 20-year-olds often engage in.
What really caught my attention, though, was at the end of the video when Barbara Starr, the Pentagon Correspondent, said the Marine Corps had considered "banning Marines from owning these types of sports bikes."
Bob S. has often asked me to compare my ideas about guns to problems with other things, cars for example. He would say things like, so many people are killed in car accidents, why not ban cars? I'm paraphrasing there, but that's more or less the question. I've always resisted going into those types of comparisons because I don't believe in gun control or gun bans. But just for argument's sake, if the Marine Corps banned motorcycles, most or maybe even all of these 25 guys would still be alive. Does that mean it's the motorcycle's fault? No, of course not. Does that mean it's the fault of the availability of the motorcycle? Yes, indeed.
How does this apply to guns? If someone wants to do harm with a gun and none is available, he might grab a knife or club, something less lethal and do less damage. If a young Marine wants to ride fast and feel that freedom that riding a fast bike gives, and none is available, he might get in a car, drive fast and if an accident happens, possibly survive.
This is not to say let's have gun bans and motorcycle bans as a solution. It's simply to say, just like the availability of those powerful motorbikes is the problem, gun availability is a big part of the gun violence problem. Can we all agree on that?