Once again we are witnesses to yet another mass shooting by an individual whose twisted mind compelled him to take innocent lives through the use of a gun. And once again our ability to address the elephant in the room that helped lead to this will be overshadowed by fear and ignorance.
No other developed country in this world with a stable government experiences the rate of gun violence that the U.S. does and the primary reason for this is the easy access people have to purchasing these deadly weapons.
The gun industry and their mouthpiece, the NRA, has promoted the baseless claim that the near uninhibited access to guns is our constitutional right. Even the conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia who gave credence to part of this notion stated in District of Columbia vs. Heller that “Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.”
Owning a gun does NOT make you safer. In fact it puts you and your family at greater risk. At least one study showed that merely handling a gun has the propensity to make people more aggressive than normal. Think how this is amplified with people who are already abnormally aggressive.
A recent study found that “nearly 9% of people in the United States have outbursts of anger, break or smash things, or get into physical fights — and have access to a firearm”. That number may seem small until you realize that with a population of over 321 million people, over 28 million are capable of carrying out mass shootings that are becoming commonplace in this country, with an on-average rate of one or more a week this year alone.
Limiting access to guns has proven to be a deterrent in homicides as Australia has demonstrated. Yet 2nd amendment zealots keep trotting out often meaningless data to suggest otherwise. Some often reach a level of absurdity and make claims that are clearly not fact based. After this recent shooting in Roseburg, Oregon one Facebook commentator stated that there were more deaths by stabbing and hammers than with guns.
This really isn’t an argument to ban all guns. It never has been. Our conservative Supreme Court ruled in 2008 that the right to gun ownership is inherent in our Constitution. A view that many dispute because of how the court read the wording in the 2nd amendment. What is at issue here however is the easy access to guns. We can’t stop all homicides but we can reduce the number by lowering the easy access to a murder weapon that is more destructive than any other. One whose sole purpose is to kill or maim.
Those who oppose any and all legislation to limit the sell of guns are fearful that only criminals will then have guns or that jack-booted feds will be knocking on their door to suppress their freedom. Arguments not grounded in reality.
But when such freedom is bathed in fear and ignorance one has to question the sanity of such views. Wrapped in patriotic fervor, the belief that we are the “land of the free and the home of the brave” becomes a joke when people become obsessed to arm themselves.