Guns, Guns, and More Guns
Americans civilians possess more guns than the entire rest of the world in total. We also have more civilian gun deaths in America than in any other nation aside from Afghanistan. Could there be some connection? President Trump blames the recent mass murders on mental illness and violent computer games. Is he claiming that more Americans are mentally ill proportionately than in any other nation? Perhaps that would explain how was elected, but unfortunately it is just not true. Mental illness is pretty much at the same levels in all developed nations. And young men in all these countries play violent computer games. So those phony ideas are out the window.
The reason America has so many gun deaths is because we have so many guns. And not just plain guns but a plethora of semi-automatic weapons and high capacity magazines: weapons of war whose only purpose is to kill people. And they do kill. Murders and suicides using guns are higher than in any other country in the world. There is no reason for this.
The vast majority of the country wants to have extended background checks before anyone can purchase a gun. But Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans refuse to allow a bill of this sort to come to the Senate floor. 97 percent of the country favors extended background checks before gun buying as does a majority of Republicans and NRA members. In fact, a majority of Americans favors an assault weapons ban, including Republicans. However, the powers in the NRA who disperse money and approval to politicians do not want any new gun laws at all passed. They see that as a slippery slope that could lead to much stricter gun laws in general. And Mitch McConnell obeys them.
But how many children and innocent civilians have to die before reasonable restrictions on guns are passed. Australia once had a problem with shooting deaths and legislated gun control, cutting the death rate from shootings dramatically. There is no reason that pistols can not be bought for use in the home for self defense and rifles or shotguns for hunting. However, having assault weapons with large magazines in the hands of anyone who wants them to kill is an abomination.
It is way past time that America’s politicians, particularly the Republicans, listened to the public and passed the gun control legislation that the majority wants. How many El Paso’s, Dayton’s Marjory Stoneman Douglass’s, Virginia Techs and Stony Brook school shootings will we have to have before action is taken? Interestingly, President Trump was once in favor of strict gun control but changed his mind on the way to the White House. Maybe he can be convinced to change back if he thinks it will benefit him politically.
Resurrecting Democracy www.robertlevinebooks.com
Political junkie, Vietnam vet, neurologist- three books on aging and dementia. Book on health care reform in 2009- Shock Therapy for the American Health Care System. Book on the need for a centrist third party- Resurrecting Democracy- A Citizen’s Call for a Centrist Third Party published in 2011. Most recent book, Aging Wisely, published in August 2014 by Rowman and Littlefield.