A Broken System: Why Gun Violence Is An Epidemic In America Now
Nothing shocks the rest of the world other than the super relaxed gun laws and the complete disregard for the amount of deaths due to gun violence that the United States has neglected to address. It begs the question that no matter how gruesome a crime may be would lead to more restrictions on gun use, right ? Seventeen staff members and students gunned down in Parkland ,Florida . Twenty first graders murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut. A gunman killing 58 people and wounding hundreds at a Country music country in Las Vegas- the list unfortunately goes on.
Now with the most recent mass shootings that killed over 30 people the reaction is the same: prayers and condolences. Too- familiar -for-comfort news stories. And when it comes to an end, things remain the same.
Conversely, in 1996 when a gunman shot and killed up to 17 people at the Dunblane Primary School in Scotland, the British public was relentless in their call for action. The government promptly introduced sweeping gun control legislation. There was only one mass shooting since.
The Republicans on Fox News claim that video games are to blame for this epidemic ( which is a tired excuse tbh). President Trump said it was all about mental health . Both explanations are ridiculous. The video game revenues between the United States and Britain are about the same. And despite video game revenues being substantially higher per capita in Japan than in the United States, there are roughly A little over 100 Americans killed in gun homicides for every Japanese homicide victim even after adjusting for population.
The United States ( who is only home to four percent of the world’s population at that ), accounts for nearly half the civilian-owned guns in this world.
It’s not just about the guns; it’s also about what ammunition and guns are legal to possess and how you can purchase them. The Dayton, Ohio shooter who killed nine people in less than a minute, legally purchased his AR-15-style assault rifle online. He also bought a “double drum” magazine, allowing him to fire over 100 rounds without having to reload it. In most other developed countries, the semi-automatic machine weaponry is banned.
And yet, the relentless deaths in movie theaters, food festivals, Walmarts, and schools, the Republican-controlled Senate refuses even to vote on a common-sense measure: requiring universal background checks before all weapon purchases, without any loopholes. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is blocking the vote on the bill, even though 92% of Americans support the reform, including 89% of Republicans.
Will this measure discourage gun violence in the United States? It's clearly not. But that reform, along with others — such as reintroducing the assault-style arms ban, prohibiting high-capacity magazines like the one used in Dayton, and requiring gun security training — would go a long way toward decreasing fatalities. We should also consider requiring permits from those wishing to own a firearm as well as some type of reference system (such as personality references used in Canada or some type of mental health assessment used in Germany, Austria, India, Brazil, Israel and Japan). A recent international study, which examined the entire body of research on gun legislation, found convincing evidence that gun safety legislation reduces gun-related deaths.
Unfortunately, it’s no surprise that the United States has a gun related epidemic. When you gather all the U.S. soldiers who have died in every war in our nation’s history — the number is still significantly lower than the number of civilians who have died in gun-related incidents in the United States. All the other rich countries on this planet have figured out how to lower the gun violence related deaths. It’s only fair that we learned from these past mistakes, hopefully.
Cover image via Insider