When it comes to shootings, mass or otherwise, America is an outlier among first-world nations.
The U.S. has 3.96 deaths from gun violence per 100,000 people in 2019. That was more than eight times as high as the rate in Canada, which had 0.47 deaths per 100,000 people — and nearly 100 times higher than in the United Kingdom, which had 0.04 deaths per 100,000.
The numbers come from a massive database maintained by the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, which tracks lives lost in every country, in every year, by every possible cause of death.
Here are some Republican ideas for stopping the slaughter
Limiting access to school buildings to a single locked door.
Expanding research into school violence.
Creating a federal task force to recommend how communities can make schools safe. Improving mental health care.
Republicans have offered up seemingly every potential solution to stop mass gun violence except restricting access to the weapons themselves.
Here’s a classic:
“What about getting a department that’s looking at young men that’s looking at women that’s looking at their social media?”
That brilliant comment came from the choice of Republican voters and Donald Trump to be a Senator from Georgia, Herschel Walker, in a Fox News interview.
Walker’s ex-wife said he had pointed a gun at her head, and “talked about having a shoot-out with police.” His own therapist said, “He threatened to kill her, myself, and himself. I called 911, and the police came.”
Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick touted his state’s existing program that allows teachers to be armed, which did not prevent the massacre and called for more security around schools.
Republicans are open to legislation that would “harden” school buildings to make them more difficult to attack, although Democrats have criticized the idea of making campuses into jail-like fortresses.
YOUR CHILDREN’S SCHOOL IF GOVERNOR DAN PATRICK RULES
Why is the United States so unusual in the number of gun-related deaths, and why are Republicans making such strange, impossible suggestions to “cure” the problem?
The answer, which every honest person knows, is quite obvious: America is unique. It has way too many guns and way too many people carrying them. That is the problem.
The symptom of that problem is too many gun deaths. Mass murders, individual murders, suicides, crimes involving guns, woundings — way too many.
Attempts to solve a problem by addressing a symptom cannot work. To solve a problem we must address the problem.
The politicians and their voters who claim that “guns don’t kill; people kill” are liars; they know they are liars, and they’ll keep lying until enough voters stand up to them.
Guns are meant for shooting. When masses of people carry guns, masses of people will be shot. Period.
The problem begins with the Supreme Court Justices who claimed the 2nd Amendment really says, “Any damn fool can have a gun of any kind, and wave it around like the damn fool he is” — well those Justice were liars too.
The first 13 words of the 2nd Amendment are: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State . . . The lying Justices, who claim they are “originalists” (people who obey how something would have been understood or was intended to be understood at the time it was written) — those right-wing Justices are damn liars, if they totally ignore those first 13 words.
Where is the Militia? Where is the “well-regulation”?
And then there’s, “. . . the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
As for the “arms,” are they swords and flintlock pistols? Are they automatic rifles? Are they hand grenades, flame throwers? Or are “arms” something like this:
Question for the Supreme Court: Should every American be allowed to own and carry AA12s? If not, why not? They are today’s “arms.”
Then there is the question of which “people”? Two-year-olds are people. Criminals are people. All those in jails and prisons are people? Aliens are people. Witnesses testifying in court are people. Should they all be allowed to pack guns? If not, why not?
Back in the 1700s, anyone of any age could carry a gun. Is that what the phony “originalists” now want in the 2000s?
Or should we merely wait for the next shooting, then offer our “thoughts and prayers”?
If so, you don’t have long to wait. Mass shootings in the United States are far more common than you have imagined:
U.S. marks Memorial Day weekend with at least 12 mass shootings
Since the Uvalde, Tex., elementary school tragedy, there have been at least 15 other shootings that had at least four victims By Annabelle Timsit Updated May 31, 2022
This Memorial Day weekend alone — spanning Saturday, Sunday and the federal holiday on Monday — there have been at least 12 mass shootings.
The Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit research organization, defines a mass shooting as one in which “four or more people are shot or killed, not including the shooter.”
So is the situation hopeless? Are we doomed to keep repeating the same mistake over and over again? Will children and adults keep dying, because we are not smart enough to make necessary changes?
Will we continue to insist that everyone should have the right to own and carry a killing machine, while we simultaneously pray the killing and wounding will stop?
Are we really that stupid?
Do we sincerely want a solution?
What can Australia teach us about guns and gun control?
A (mass gun) massacre rocked Australia.
So, the then-prime minister, a conservative politician and close friend of George W. Bush, pushed through sweeping gun control legislation just 12 days after the shooting.
“The hardest things to do in politics often involve taking away rights and privileges from your own supporters,” Howard said.
The tough new laws banned the sale and importation of all automatic and semi-automatic rifles and shotguns; forced people to present a legitimate reason, and wait 28 days, to buy a firearm; and – perhaps most significantly – called for a massive, mandatory gun-buyback.
Australia’s government confiscated and destroyed nearly 700,000 firearms, reducing the number of gun-owning households by half.
Howard told Doane, “People used to say to me, ‘You violated my human rights by taking away my gun.’ And I’d tell them, ‘I understand that. Will you please understand the argument, the greatest human right of all is to live a safe life without fear of random murder?'”
If we tally mass shootings that have killed four or more people, in the United States there have been well over 100 since the 1996 Port Arthur tragedy. But in Australia, there has been just one in the 26 years since their gun laws were passed. Plus, gun homicides have decreased by 60%.
Perhaps, Australians simply are smarter than we are.
Or is it just that their High Court is smarter and more honest than our Supreme Court?
Or is it that Australian media don’t include a “guns-for-everyone” medium like Fox News. (Murdoch’s news channel in Australia has celebrated the country’s gun control laws — and expressed hope that the U.S. would adopt similar ones.)
Or do Australians care more about life than we do?
The problem: America has more guns per capita than any first-world nation on earth.
The symptom: America has more gun-related deaths, woundings, and crimes than any first-world nation on earth.
To cure the symptom, we must cure the problem. Australia has shown us one way to begin.
Are we too stubborn or simply too stupid to learn?Rodger Malcolm Mitchell Monetary Sovereignty Twitter: @rodgermitchell Search #monetarysovereignty Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
THE SOLE PURPOSE OF GOVERNMENT IS TO IMPROVE AND PROTECT THE LIVES OF THE PEOPLE.The most important problems in economics involve:
- Monetary Sovereignty describes money creation and destruction.
- Gap Psychology describes the common desire to distance oneself from those “below” in any socio-economic ranking, and to come nearer those “above.” The socio-economic distance is referred to as “The Gap.”
- Eliminate FICA
- Federally funded Medicare — parts A, B & D, plus long-term care — for everyone
- Social Security for all
- Free education (including post-grad) for everyone
- Salary for attending school
- Eliminate federal taxes on business
- Increase the standard income tax deduction, annually.
- Tax the very rich (the “.1%”) more, with higher progressive tax rates on all forms of income.
- Federal ownership of all banks
- Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99.9%
4 thoughts on “A tried-and-true solution to shootings. Are we smart enough to learn?”
Good article: The Supreme Court and the Originalist Fallacy
As the Court’s conservative majority readies opinions on abortion and guns, they cling to the idea that we can know what the Founders meant. It’s not that simple.
Canada vows to ‘freeze’ handgun sales, buy back assault-style weapons
By Amanda Coletta
TORONTO — Canada on Monday introduced new gun-control legislation that, if passed, would implement a “national freeze” on buying, importing, transferring and selling handguns, effectively capping the number of such weapons already in the country.
The bill, which officials here cast as “the most significant action on gun violence in a generation,” also includes “red flag” laws that would allow judges to temporarily remove firearms from people deemed to be a danger to themselves or others and stiffer penalties for gun smuggling and trafficking.
“We recognize that the vast majority of gun owners in this country are responsible and follow all necessary laws,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters in Ottawa. “We are, however, facing a level of gun violence in our communities that is unacceptable.”
“Unfortunately, the reality is in our country [gun violence] is getting worse and has been getting worse over the past years,” Trudeau said. “We need only look south of the border to know that if we do not take action, firmly and rapidly, it gets worse and worse and more difficult to counter.”
The “freeze” envisioned by the proposed legislation is not a ban because people who already own them could continue to possess and use them. But they could only transfer them to businesses, and chief firearms officers would be barred from approving the transfer of handguns to individuals.
The measures unveiled Monday come after the government banned 1,500 makes and models of “military-style assault weapons” in 2020, after a gunman posing as a police officer charged across rural Nova Scotia, killing 22 people, including a Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer, in the country’s deadliest mass shooting.
The government said Monday that it plans to introduce a mandatory buyback program that would offer compensation to owners of the banned firearms. Details on the program are expected this summer, and the government hopes to begin buying back the guns, including AR-15s, the kind used in the school attack in Texas, by the end of the year.
How to Prevent Gun Massacres? Look Around the World
Australia, Britain, Canada, and other countries have enacted reforms that turned mass shootings into rare, aberrational events rather than everyday occurrences.
By John Cassidy
The evidence couldn’t be more plain. Other countries haven’t entirely eliminated mass shootings, but they have enacted reforms that helped turn them into rare, aberrational events rather than the everyday occurrences they are in this country. Is it any wonder that much of the rest of the world considers us mad? From afar, the evidence suggests that we are. Up close, however, the real problem isn’t mass insanity. It’s political capture and a system that, aided by the filibuster, entrenches the status quo and prevents desperately needed reforms. Until we tackle these systemic problems, nothing will change.
See a list of mass shootings in 2022. There have been 223 so far, and it’s only June 2nd: https://www.gunviolencearchive.org/reports/mass-shooting?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter_axiosam&stream=top
When will the cowardly Republicans stand up to the gun lobby?