America’s Senseless Gun Violence

I’ve tried to stray away from commenting on the Internet shitstorm over the CT shooting, yet my pro-gun friends on Facebook seem to be incapable of critical thinking skills. Their argument has always been — and in all likelihood, will always be — that more guns will solve America’s violent mass murder sprees. It’s like saying more nuclear power plants will lead to fewer Fukushimas. Seriously?

The Bushmaster .223 was used in Newtown and was legally purchased.

There is zero evidence that more guns will make the public safer. In fact, there hasn’t been a single documented case where a civilian gun owner has stopped a mass shooting. On the contrary, it enables them. Here in the U.S. we have nearly 10,000 gun murders per year. Meanwhile, the strict gun laws of Europe actually work. In Slovenia and Norway they had 2 gun murders. 2! Before you say “Well, that’s because they’re so small”, Norway only has .05 gun murders per 100,000 people compared to nearly 3 per 100,000 in the U.S.

And it’s not a difference due to culture, except perhaps gun culture. In England and Wales, they have only 41 gun murders per year at a rate of .07 per 100,000 people. They have the same movies, music and video games that we play in the United States so don’t go blaming media. There’s only one logical conclusion: our obsession with firearms and lax gun laws enable mass shootings and an inextricably high murder rate to take place in the United States.

So where does that leave us? We have a Congress that seems unlikely to act given their NRA-backed makeup but one that could succumb to political pressure. President Obama is in a position to lead the charge. He has young children of his own and no longer has to seek re-election. Call, write and visit the local offices of your representatives. Tell them to pass an assault weapons ban immediately and limit the size of ammo clips to no more than ten bullets. These are commonsense solutions yet will undoubtedly receive stiff resistance. If we put the pressure on Congress, we can stop the violence and protect our kids.

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