I don’t understand this country. I don’t stand how someone’s right to shoot high-powered assault rifles at pumpkins in their backyard outweighs the need for public safety. Cigarettes kill people, and that industry has been regulated. A man tried to blow up a plane with a shoe bomb, and now shoes are part of airport security. You could make a bomb with liquids, so now we have rules on how much toothpaste we can carry on. Blue Bell Ice Cream led to the death of three people, and they got shut down. A single wreck in California led to a massive recall of Toyota vehicles and a loss of tens of millions of dollars. None of these changes involved “Well, we just need to hold people responsible. The car/bomb/cigarettes/liquids/ice cream weren’t to blame! No need for changes!”
Thousands of people die by firearm each year, and that seems to not be a problem for us. Or, as The Onion so eloquently stated, “At press time, Americans nationwide agreed that years of taking no measures whatsoever to prevent mass shootings may finally be paying off.” One person got killed by lawn darts, and now there are NO MORE LAWN DARTS.
I’m in a deep hole of rage and sadness about this country right now. I am so angry that people went to a concert and were murdered. Why are we not willing to demand something better than this? How can we just shrug and act like it’s okay that they went to enjoy music with loved ones and friends, then died there.
On a side note, it has been amazing watching Jimmy Kimmel over the past year. I have always enjoyed him, but he has brought a truly sharp commentary to many of the issues lately. He has expressed things in a way that are personal, emotional, and easy to understand. I frequently see people complain that “everything is political now,” but what do you expect when our Congress can’t seem to accomplish anything and the President is temperamental fascist asshat? Their shitty politics are actively ruining lives.
Back to guns. I am not here to tell people they shouldn’t have access to guns at all, but I absolutely believe that there are steps we can take to better regulate them. The second amendment describes firearms for the use of a militia. Our military seems to be doing just fine and we aren’t planning to mutiny against them, so why do people need guns again? Oh right, just because you can. I know people are sick of talking about it and don’t want hear anymore about gun control, but I don’t care. I can’t think about anything else. And don’t come at me with “If bad people want to kill, then they will use knives or other weapons.” I know that terrible people murder with other weapons frequently, but when they stab over 500 people in a very short time frame, then we can chat knife control.
I deeply believe that the only way to effectively argue is with reliable data and statistics. There are a lot of things I think are true, but I try only to make points that can be backed with information and examples. Several people I know have responded to that effort with “I don’t care about statistics” and “Your numbers don’t matter.” Well, they do. Information matters. You don’t get to decide that it’s safer in places where people have more guns because you feel like it should be. It’s not. So, if you’re interested in learning more or better equipping yourself with information on this topic, then here are some links about firearms and gun safety that inform my beliefs:
- EVERYTOWN USA is an overall wealth of knowledge.
- Australia enacted legislation after a mass shooting, and they have seen a dramatic decrease in gun crimes.
- Firearms are now the third leading cause of death for children in the United States. (source of data). Also scary – one study found that one third of the male participants aged 8 to 12 pulled the trigger when they found a handgun in a safe environment.
- More Americans have been killed by firearms than have died at war.
- The Pew Research Center found that ONLY 2% of surveyed Americans believe that gun violence is “Not a problem at all.” They also found that when they separated the data into those who own guns and those who don’t, the number only rose to 3% of gun owners who believed that gun violence was not a problem. Over 50% of participants reported it as a “very big problem” with that number rising to 59% among the gun owners surveyed.
- Hold your government officials responsible for accepting funding from the NRA.
- Earlier this year, Donald signed a bill that allows people with mental illness to purchase a gun. The NRA “applauded” the action. So Paul Ryan’s recent squawking regarding mental health and shootings is RICH.
- You can still buy a gun if you’re on the no-fly list.
- A graph on mass shootings in the U.S. and the actual human toll.
- The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence has a really helpful scorecard on gun laws by state.
- The American Journal of Public Health found in 2013 that for every percentage point increase in gun ownership in a state there was a .9% increase in the homicide rate.
- There have been ZERO mass shootings stopped by armed civilians in the past 33 years. ZERO.
- For women, the American Journal of Public Health found that women are five times more likely to be shot by a former or current partner than a male stranger.
- The Violence Policy center reported that a woman’s chances of being murdered by her abuser increases more than five times if he has access to a gun.