Posted by: minnow | November 6, 2017

Every. Single. Time.

Another mass shooting. 58 dead, over 500 injured, and thousands more traumatized. Oh, I’m sorry. That was last month. Yesterday, Sunday November 5, 2017, a mere 26 were killed when another white male opened fire in the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, TX. But don’t worry, the President blamed mental illness though he recently made it easier for the mentally ill to acquire guns, the NRA want to put a gun in everyone’s hands so we’ll be ready next time, and GOP has offered their thoughts and prayers and we all know how great a comfort that is.

Predictably citizens are outraged, calling for immediate attention from Congress. Just as predictably, the NRA and frightened gun owners who can only act tough with a gun in their hands are shouting back, “This is not the time. Let the victims grieve. Don’t politicalize their loss.” EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. mass violence occurs in this country, angry citizens who are sick of a do-nothing response on the part of our government are shamed into silence! Personally, I’m done being shamed! I want these senseless killing stopped!

I know you’ve heard the statistics and seen the comparisons before. But, when every other developed country has fewer gun related deaths per capita and experiences less gun violence than the United States the comparisons bare repeating. After World War II when all non-defensive weapons were taken away from Japan, this once proud, strong, militarized nation turned its attention to other endeavors. Manufacturing companies that once produced weapons for war were converted and peacetime technology and innovations grew. Japan’s economy flourished and Japan became a world power. Among its biggest problems today are crippling debt and an aging population. Both of which are also issues the US faces. What Japan does not face is a citizenry intent on killing one another with guns. Despite being one of the most densely populated countries in the world in 2014 Japan had a total of 6 gun related deaths–SIX. The United States, on the other hand, had 33, 599.

Other developed nations have similar stats. In Australia there have been ZERO mass murders since a mandatory gun buyback and ban was enacted in 1996. And while it didn’t eliminate the whole problem it did reduce other gun related violence as well. Australia has seen a 74% decrease in gun related suicides. A similar ban in the UK brought that country’s gun related deaths to POINT 23 per 100,000. By comparison, the United States stands at 10 point 54. In other words, the United States gun homicide rate is 97% higher than Great Britain’s. Our neighbors to the north credit their low homicide rate of 5.1 per million, their near zero mass murder rate, and their low numbers of gun related accidence to a strict background check policy and their mandatory locked and unloaded gun storage laws. And in Germany, the homicide rate of 1.9 per million is even lower than Canada’s.

The Constitution is NOT stopping us from passing reasonable gun regulation. A Congress bought and paid for by gun lobbies is! The Second amendment does not say we cannot regulate the number and type of weapons available to the average citizen.  The Second Amendment does not say all citizens should be allowed to have weapons–including those with  documented mental illness and those with violent criminal pasts. The Second Amendment does not say we cannot have background checks, licensing, and mandatory training.

I am probably preaching to the choir since most Americans agree that stricter and more consistent gun laws are needed in this country. What we seem to not understand is that we do have power to do something since our Congress and President seem content with lip service. If YOUR current Representatives in Washington won’t stand up to the gun lobby, if they don’t back up their prayers with action, if they refuse to  propose and pass the reasonable kinds of gun regulations mentioned above– VOTE THE COWARDS OUT! Period. End of debate.

 

 

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