e_legs

Guns

In Children and Youth, Laws & Regulation, US Politics on October 5, 2006 at 10:24 am

The Independent published an article yesterday on gun violence in America, which is a topic that deserves some attention in the wake of the recent school shootings.

Some figures and interesting points from the article:

Is it about the guns?

There’s no question that the gun culture – stemming back to the frontier spirit of the 19th century and justified, at least by gun-ownership advocates, by the Second Amendment of the Constitution – plays a major role in perpetuating the high numbers of violent deaths.

In the US, there are roughly 17,000 murders a year, of which about 15,000 are committed with firearms. By contrast, Britain, Australia and Canada combined see fewer than 350 gun-related murders each year. And it’s not just about murder. The non-gun-related suicide rate in the US is consistent with the rest of the developed world. Factor in firearms, and the rate is suddenly twice as high as the rest of the developed world.

Children are affected particularly hard. An American youth is murdered with a firearm every four and a half hours on average. And an American youth commits suicide with a firearm every eight hours. It’s worth remembering that many of the most spectacular mass murders of recent years were really suicides, with the perpetrators choosing to take a few other people with them while they were at it. Gun-control advocates argue they manage to carry out their murderous fantasies only because firearms give them the means to do so…

Is there hope for an end to America’s gun violence?

Yes…

* With every high-profile mass murder, victims’ advocates and gun-control lobbyists gain more visibility, and more influence

* Someone, eventually, will make the link to homeland security: why make it so easy for al-Qa’ida to acquire assault weapons?

* The numbers of American children who die in gun violence means sooner or later, the madness will stop

No…

* Congress is in thrall to the NRA, and is too scared to act

* The burst of reformist energy that followed Columbine has subsided, and the most recent mass murders have been greeted with resigned indifference

* The US media is too addicted to its regular, real-life horror show to want it to stop

I suggest that people read the entire article and reflect on America’s gun situation, because it sure doesn’t seem to be getting any better.

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  1. Don’t even talk about banning guns while we are sitting on a pile of nuclear weapons.

  2. Or rather, you can talk about anything you want, but it isn’t really very useful.

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