it's preventable

“Another Senseless Mass Shooting” by Rick McKee licensed by LikeTheDew.com at Daryl Cagle’s PoliticalCartoon.com Store

Guns were the cause of three recent tragedies in the South, in Lafayette this week, Chattanooga last week, and recently in Charleston, S.C. You wonder where it will happen next. For it will.

What we can’t understand is the continual gun violence all across the country, almost every day in big cities, while the American public nonchalantly goes about its routine activities with little effort to curb these unfortunate incidents.

Does the American public not recognize what is causing all these problems?

Pure and simple, it’s the prevalence of guns, plus our nation’s inability to curtail the power of the National Rifle Association.

(We realize that by now we have upset the Big Gun culture. We also recognize that we may never convert these individuals to understand that it is possible for our nation to thrive without guns everywhere.)

Many gun-lovers just won’t listen to the facts. They start talking about the Second Amendment and their right to defend the country. That’s a smokescreen. They just don’t want to listen to sound reasoning, and harsh statistics. Not only that, but the right for owning guns was for these early Americans to maintain “a well regulated militia.” Today we have all sorts of officers to maintain laws, plus the military to defend our country.

The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence reports:

  • On average, 31 Americans are murdered with guns every day and 151 are treated for a gun assault in an emergency room.
  • Every day on average, 55 people kill themselves with a firearm, and 46 people are shot or killed in an accident with a gun.
  • The U.S. firearm homicide rate is 20 times higher than the combined rates of 22 countries that are our peers in wealth and population.
  • A gun in the home is 22 times more likely to be used to kill or injure in a domestic homicide, suicide, or unintentional shooting than to be used in self-defense.

Realize, too, that not only are guns deadly, but the use of firearms is getting into the pocketbook of each everyday American. Medical treatment, criminal justice proceedings, new security precautions, and reductions in quality of life are estimated to cost U.S. citizens $100 billion annually in governmental spending.

Know, too, that the lifetime medical cost for all gun violence victims in the United States is estimated at $2.3 billion, with almost half the costs borne by taxpayers.

A real problem is the 50 million handguns. Putting more teeth in the background checks (which failed in the Charleston shooting) would be a first step.

Other civilized countries find that they have less violence where guns are more controlled. In Japan, for instance, they have only 50 homicides a year from guns; in Germany, Italy and France, there are less than 150 homicides a year. Canada counts 200.

In the United States, there are more than 10,000 deaths each year to guns. Can you imagine! Over 30 a day!

And for some reason, that doesn’t upset the average American to demand more restraint on the ownership of guns. Meanwhile, the Congress, which needs to act on gun control, is muzzled by the campaign contributions and the uproar of the NRA and other gun lobbyists if they even attempt to bring up the subject. The NRA may be the most detrimental lobbying organization there is on Capitol Hill (and at the Georgia State Capitol)! They control the conversation.

Look for another outbreak of massive gun violence… any day now.

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Editor's Note: This story first appeared at the Gwinnett Forum. Image: “Another Senseless Mass Shooting” by Rick McKee licensed by LikeTheDew.com at Daryl Cagle’s PoliticalCartoon.com Store.
Elliott Brack

Elliott Brack

Elliott Brack is a native Georgian and veteran newspaperman. He published the weekly Wayne County Press for 12 years; was for 13 years the vice president and general manager of Gwinnett Daily News, and for 13 years was associate publisher of the Gwinnett section of The Atlanta Journal and Constitution. He now publishes, in retirement, Web sites on Gwinnett County, http://www.gwinnettforum.com, and Georgia news, http://www.georgiaclips.com.