Another week, another mass shooting in America. Ho-hum. Children killed, that is unfortunate, but the right to shoot someone supercedes the right to life, even a child’s life, in some folks’ minds. Another day, more suicides by impetuous acts and more homicides by uncivil arguers. Boring. And, of course, we have the inevitable accidental shooting by a curious child and discovered weapon. This does not seem to bother anyone, either.
The following is a repeat of post from three (and also one) years ago. It is a variation of a post I have written countless times. Yet, we do not seem to care. I am glad the president is going after ghost guns, but that is only part of the problem and we passed some watered-down language last year after this post was last made. But more is needed, much more. When the leading US gun death cause is suicide, by far, you would think legislators, especially Republican ones, will stop counting the NRA donations and do something about this obvious problem.
From an article called “Polls find Americans mostly are supportive of stricter laws on guns” by Dawn Baumgartner Vaughn of the Raleigh News and Observer, please note the following cited survey results. Note these results have been fact checked by the paper’s Fact Checking Project.
– Gallup’s poll from August, 2019 noted “61% would support a ban on semi-automatic guns known as assault rifles.”
– The Civitas Institute (a conservative policy group) poll from September, 2019 showed “58% of respondents saying gun laws were not strict enough.” Note of the Civitas poll respondents, “48% either owned a gun or had someone in their home who owned a gun.”
– A Quinnipac University poll from May, 2019 showed “61% of Americans support stricter gun laws. The same poll showed 94% of Americans support required background checks for gun buyers. And, 77% of those polled support ‘requiring individuals to obtain a license before being able to purchase a gun.’”
– In 2017, Politifact Wisconsin “found multiple previous polls citing support for background checks ranging from 84% to 94%.”
The numbers 58% and 61% are meaningful, but let’s focus on the 94% (or even 84% to 94%) of respondents who want required background checks and the 77% who want a license before hand.
These are consequential majorities. Earlier this week, the Houston Chief of Police challenged his two Texas Senators (Ted Cruz and John Cornyn) and Senate Leader Mitch McConnell to act after yet another police officer was killed.
The NRA has spoken. Now, we need to set their ardent, sales focused rhetoric aside and act sensibly. Just the two items highlighted above will help – background checks and pre-buy licensing. No loopholes. Cars require ownership and driving licenses to operate. Yet, they are not designed to kill.
I am long-ago tired of the standard “thoughts and prayers” line offered by legislators followed by “now is not the time to discuss changes.” Since people are dying everyday by suicide and other reasons, waiting for a time with no deaths will not happen. Further, the mass shootings of more than a few victims are happening with alarming frequency.
To be brutally frank, Democrats should push this issue to the nth degree. Although, the Senate and president acted last year, we are not addressing the issues in a holistic and dramatic manner. It matters not who pats themselves on the back – JUST DO SOMETHING that will address the problems. And, these legislators are in my “thoughts and prayers” to actually act like the parents and grandparents we hope they would be.
And, if this were not enough lack of better gun governance is just one of several issues that causes UNICEF to rank the US as 37th on children well-being. By my count, that places 36 countries ahead of us and means we are barely in the top 20% of all countries. That is not exceptionalism. That is beyond poor stewardship.
Well said as always, my friend. I have to wonder what it takes for our elected legislators to take their hands out of their pockets and act with courage and conscience … does it take their own children becoming the victims of gun violence? Guns and nukes — the two worst inventions of humankind.
Jill, many thanks. The failure to act exposes all of us. It is a causal relationship that a home with a gun has a greater likelihood of suicide than one without. Suicide is by far the number one gun death. All it takes is an impulsive act and Susie or Joey are dead. You quoted Republican Rep. Steve Scalise after the recent Nashville shooting who offered the usual “thoughts and prayers” but a few years ago was shot along with others because of a gun owning Democrat. Guns are an equal opportunity killer. Keith
I am still enraged by some of the comments from our not-so-illustrious representatives who absolutely refuse to listen to the voices of the people. You’re right … how many people have at one point or another thought about killing themselves? A gun not 5 feet away … bang … no need to think twice. Another human life snuffed out. And it could be stopped! Even the majority of gun owners want stronger legislation, most would support a ban on assault weapons. A representative government??? Representing who?
Jill, they are representing the funders and a very active base of some gun owners who can be brought forward to defeat a non-compliant Republican in a gerrymandered primary. Since so few vote in those primaries, it is easy for the NRA funded crowd to defeat someone as they will vote en masse. Keith
It’s sad how so much of what was written and said after the Sandy Hook shooting could easily be reprinted and reposted, because it still applies and so little has changed. You would think elementary school kids getting shot would prompt some action, but I guess gun industry lobbyists are indeed more important in this country.
Eurobrat, so true on both counts. If you want to see something inane, refer to my latest post about what the state of North Carolina just passed to override the governor’s veto. Keith
Note to Readers:
In the United States, the rate of gun deaths increased by 39%, death by suicide increased 19% and death by gun homicide increased 73% from 2012 to 2021, respectively.
The 4 year average of gun deaths through 2021 is just under 44,000 per annum in the US with 57% being suicide deaths. Homes with a gun have 3X the suicide rate versus homes without.
The rate of gun violence in America is staggering: The US gun homicide rate is 26 times that of other high-income countries. And, the rate of US suicide is 12 times that of high-income countries.