The Supreme Court has just begun its 2021 session. Among the cases it will be hearing is one brought by gun owners against a New York law that requires a person who wants to carry a gun outside the home to get a special license, issued at the discretion of local authorities, after showing that there is “proper cause,” or need for carrying the gun. Meanwhile, gun deaths in the U.S. continue to soar. Some statistics: There were 39,707 deaths from firearms in the U.S. in 2019. So far this year, 2021, the total of gun violence deaths is already 33,918, according to the Gun Violence Archive. We’re killing a hundred people a day by gunfire. We’ve had 535 mass shootings and 22 mass murders. The number of children eleven and under killed by gunfire thus far in 2021 is 236.
Over the years, I’ve posted here several times protesting laws that allow civilians (i.e., non-military and not police) to own firearms. In the U.S., we have more guns than people—120.5 guns for every 100 people. Not counting the military and police, we have more guns per person than any other nation in the world. Little wonder our death rate from firearms is among the highest in the world.
The only way to reduce the number of gun deaths is by reducing the number of firearms in the hands of the people. That would mean new laws restricting gun ownership. Many Americans would object. They would point out that we are a gun culture, going back to the days of the American revolution against the U.K. We are a nation of hunters, they argue.
My answer: far better to change the culture than to allow the slaughter of 40,000 people a year. If the Supreme Court has a conscience—recent evidence suggests that it does not—it will work to do away with laws that encourage gun ownership.
Supreme Court: we’re watching to see what you will do to restore your sullied reputation.