As I write, the press is reporting yet another mass shooting. This time three adults and three children were murdered at the Covenant School in Nashville. Some 19,000 children are killed or harmed by gun violence every year in our country. As of several days ago, we have suffered more than 130 mass shootings across the U.S. so far this year. As of today, 10,209 people have died from gun violence in the U.S. this year. Each year, some 43,000 Americans are killed by guns.
One of the reasons why is that so many Americans own guns. As I reported earlier, the U.S. population has 393 million guns, more guns per 100 people, 120.5, than any other nation. We have twenty percent more guns than people.
There is some evidence that Americans are turning away from gun ownership. Since 2018, the National Rifle Association (NRA) has lost over a million members. Maybe we’re finally waking up to the fatal violence inherent in owning guns.
On the other hand, we are buying more and more of the weapon so often used in mass killings, the AR-15, a semi-automatic or self-loading rifle that has been called “America’s rifle” by the NRA with well over 15 million sold by 2019. “Semi-automatic,” as opposed to “automatic,” means that the weapon’s operator must pull the trigger to fire each shot. The rifle then automatically reloads. Today, the AR-15 is the best-selling rifle in the United States. About 1 in 20 U.S. adults, roughly 16 million people, own at least one AR-15, according to new polling data from The Washington Post and Ipsos. Ten of the 17 deadliest U.S. mass killings since 2012 have involved AR-15s. And Republican Representative Barry Moore of Alabama has even introduced a bill to declare the AR-15 the “National Gun of America.”
Throughout the world, the ratio between numbers of guns held by the population and the number of people killed by guns is relatively constant—the more guns, the more people killed by guns. The only way to reduce gun deaths is to reduce the number of guns in the hands of our citizens.
What will it take to get Americans to give up their guns? I’m at a loss to know the answer.
3 thoughts on “Guns, Guns, Guns”
Tom, I totally agree with your commentary. The proliferation of guns, & especially the AR-15 has become a national disgrace. No other industrialized country comes anywhere close to the U.S.
I also am at a loss as to what it will take for this country to regain sensible control over the uncontrolled purchases & violent uses of these weapons.
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Thank you for this post. It articulates how I feel and has helped me face how very painful this whole situation is.
I have not idea at this point.