As abhorrent as it was to allow hungry children in Utah to watch as their lunches were trashed, rather than let them eat, at least it was not as cowardly as our Congress's unwillingness to strengthen gun restrictions after the Sandy Hook tragedy.
Even the murder of our children doesn't give American politicians enough backbone to fight the gun lobby in this country. Shame on them!
In the place of rational and civilized gun restrictions we have pithy sayings like, "the best defense from a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun" and my favorite, "guns don't kill people, people kill people."
"In 1996 the NRA successfully lobbied Congress to pull millions of dollars out of government-funded firearms research. This has resulted in essentially a 17 year moratorium on major studies about gun injuries..."
Even though the NRA wants to keep us in the dark, that facts is that violence in America is far more lethal because we have so many guns.
For example in the United States we have 88.8 guns per 100 people and 10.2 deaths per 100,000. Other Western countries' statistics run from Switzerland at the high end with 45.7 guns per 100 people and 3.84 deaths per 100,000 to the low with the Netherlands at 3.9 guns per hundred people with .46 deaths per 100,000.
And whether you consider Japan a western country or not it's worth noting that they have 0.6 guns per 100 people and only .06 deaths per 100,000. That's about 1 death every twenty years.
So in my mind, these stats give credence to the sentiment held by Michael Moore when after the shooting at LAX he said, "I think the NRA, they've got it half right when they say 'Guns don't kill people, people kill people.' But I change it to guns don't kill people, Americans kill people, cause we're really the only ones that do it on this level and this scale."
We can't even have a civil conversation about this problem without someone's overwrought, knee jerk reaction, "they're coming to get our guns."
I don't propose taking guns away from hunters and sports enthusiasts. I have no illusions about getting rid of almost 300 million guns in America. But I do have confidence that if we were to simply agree that the statistics point to something real and decide to do something productive about them, I believe we can come up with a solution that would honor our 2nd amendment rights and protect innocent people from lethal gun violence.
Replacing clear thought with mind-numbing slogans has allowed a gun culture to grow to the point where we are getting almost daily news reports of public shootings.
Why? Because it has been shown that carrying a weapon increases feelings of aggression. Two good examples happened in Florida recently: A retired cop carrying a pistol into a theater kills another man for texting during the previews and a man returning from a wedding shoots into a car full of teenagers killing a 17 year old because their music was too loud.
Neither shooter could have killed innocent people without their guns ready to hand. Nor would they probably have even thought about taking lethal actions.
I've experienced the same situations as these men. I wasn't carrying and walked away from them feeling irritated but I didn't kill anyone. Sorry folks, the world has a few people who do irritating things but the vast majority in a healthy society are going to shrug shoulders and move on.
With this year's implementation of concealed carry in Illinois, we can now carry a concealed weapon in every state. And I fear that more of those irritating situations are going to end in shootings and more fatalities than we already have.
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