One day before the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting the NRA tweeted that their facebook page had reached 1.7 million “likes”. To anyone living in the United States, this would not be a surprise. My personal views of outlawing all semi-automatic and automatic weapons, restricting the production of ammunition and insisting upon oversight and regulations that are as strict as other industrialized nations makes me seem like a left-wing freak by comparison to my fellow Americans.
Nearly 30,000 Americans are killed by guns each year
Last week when I Tweeted about the tragedy and wrote a post about the shooting many were quick to point out that if someone wants to commit these crimes gun control would not prevent them. However, I can’t think of a more naive defense. Of course I don’t presume that if we had strict gun control laws we would never have shootings, but there is big difference between “never” and a significant drop in deaths caused by guns. Don’t believe me; look at other democratic, industrialized nations.
The US accounts for 87% of all children killed by guns and 80% of all people killed by guns in the 23 wealthiest nations
Gun control works and it would work here too. If we didn’t believe armament restrictions and regulation was effective, we wouldn’t make it illegal to sell grenades, grenade launchers and bazookas. Its not that far of a stretch in the aftermath of this tragedy to imagine how many more might have been killed if these items were not banned so if it makes sense to restrict these armaments where is the defense for allowing Americans to legally purchase semi-automatic and automatic guns and ammunition with less paperwork than renting a car?
The murder rate in the U.S. is almost 20 times higher than the next 22 richest and most populous nations combined
Maybe if we had gun control the tragedy in Sandy Hook would have still happened, but at least as a nation we could say that we’re working to try to prevent it rather than shrugging our shoulders and shaking our heads at the senseless nature of it all.I recognize that there is a lot of discussion about if the shooter from this tragedy was mentally ill (and my guess is he must have been). While there is much work to be done to help those suffering from mental illness I see these as two separate issues. Without easy access to guns who could say what might have been or if this tragedy would’ve been avoided. I can’t wrap my head around the fact that so many Americans naively assume gun control won’t work; all the data on this suggests otherwise. I find it sickening that a nation with such incredible vision could be so blind on this topic.