My last blog post was about the horrendous murder/suicides that happened in parts of our country at Christmas time. Shootings don’t take a holiday. I would like to follow up with this article by Christopher Ingraham writing for the Washington Post:
In a grim reminder that violence in America never takes a holiday, 27 people were killed and 63 injured in shooting incidents on Christmas Day this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive. This tally does not include people who shot themselves in suicide.
The number of Americans killed in gun homicides on Christmas Day is comparable to the number of people killed in gun homicides in an entire year in places like Australia or Britain. The 27 people killed by guns in America on Christmas this year is equal to the total number of people killed in gun homicides in an entire year in Austria, New Zealand, Norway, Slovenia, Estonia, Bermuda, Hong Kong and Iceland, combined. (…)
So far this year, we’ve averaged roughly 36 gun fatalities and 73 gun injuries each day, according to the Gun Violence Archive. So the Christmas Day tally represents something of a temporary de-escalation in the violence, but not a huge one.
This year has brought renewed attention to the problem of mass shooting incidents in America. But the spate of Christmas Day violence is a reminder that many more people are killed and injured in a relentless daily drumbeat of gun crime that barely makes the headlines.
Grim. Unnecessary and unacceptable. Senseless. Avoidable.
An American tragedy.
Is this the trend in our country? More gun deaths and injuries? More guns? More people carrying in more public places? More domestic murder/suicides? More suicides? More young black people killed on the streets? More children killing themselves and others?
There are some alarming trends that need to be mentioned. Americans who own guns own an average of more than 8- up from just over four 20 years ago. Thanks to Christopher Ingraham again for doing the data gathering for this one. The obvious question is why anyone needs that many guns? I know there are collectors. But there are also folks with arsenals of weapons stored out of fear and paranoia stoked by the corporate gun lobby. The are ready for the government to try to confiscate those guns which is what the NRA and others screams at them. And they plan to shoot their way out when the “jack booted government thugs” come a callin’.
Where is common sense?
What will it take?
Where are you Congress? What are you waiting for? Why are you not acting? Don’t be afraid of the corporate gun lobby. There are no excuses for this carnage. They have nothing to add to the conversation if all that they want is more guns and more gun sales. Gun safety is a public health problem in America. We need to address it like we address any other public health epidemic- with research, with laws, with resolve to keep our children and our communities safe from devastating gun violence.
President Obama is tired of waiting for you and is ready to act where Congress refuses out of fear of the loudest voices from the gun lobby. We will not be quiet any more. The loudest voices are keeping us from acting in the interest of saving lives. If the President acts, all gun sales will require a Brady background check. And why don’t they now? Because some private sellers doing the same business as licensed firearms dealers are selling their guns to anyone with no background check. Who knows who is buying those guns? No other exceptions for background checks exist when they are used to hire people, screen people who adopt pets, make sure volunteers are not felons or child sex abusers or adjudicated mentally ill. Not so with guns. Exceptions are granted for selling deadly weapons. It’s time for that to change.
I can’t wait for the screaming after this happens. Wayne LaPierre will no doubt be apoplectic. It should be interesting.
Why do we think that the total number of gun deaths in other countries doesn’t even come close to the number of Americans killed in one day? Common sense gun laws and a reasonable gun culture that respects ownership but requires strict regulations. I submit that those folks are not suffering as a result. In fact, they must be pretty happy that 27 of their own citizens were actually not shot to death over the holidays. That’s something to celebrate.
Let’s get to work.
We just must be better than this.
Contribute to a gun violence prevention organization of your choice and raise your voices with us in 2016 to demand change. The American gun culture is out of control.