Gun Violence In America

Guns in America: 16 Charts You Need to See

I came across this article from the Reader’s Digest the other day. It is a fairly quick read chock full of statistics that make it very clear just how pervasive guns and violence are in America. An article like this quickly cuts through the crap and gets straight to the point. 

Fair use policies allow us to only use a few excerpts. This is an article I am sure you will want to read and possibly bookmark.  As noted in the subtitle, there are also several charts that really bring the problem of guns in America out in stark glaring light:

“June 3, 2022, was National Gun Violence Awareness Day. By then, there were already 235 mass shootings in the United States since the start of the year. If that pace continues, there will be 586 mass shootings in America by New Year’s Eve. As shocking as those gun violence statistics are, they would be an improvement over the prior two years. According to the Gun Violence Archive, there were 692 mass shootings in 2021, and 610 in 2020. And these numbers don’t include the roughly 20,000 other gun homicides, 25,000 gun suicides and 115,000 non-fatal gun injuries—including the 18,000 children shot and killed or wounded every year.

Gun violence doesn’t just affect the victims. The trauma also impacts survivors, their families and their communities, as well as society at large. Too often we can develop “trauma fatigue”—even as we’re trying to help the victims and families of shootings and do our part to prevent school shootings and gun violence in general—which makes us feel helpless in the face of the relentless violence. While the American Psychological Association recommends that we acknowledge our feelings, it’s also important to try to understand what’s happening and why it’s so hard to stop gun violence in America. After all, while gun violence isn’t a uniquely American phenomenon, what does seem particular to this country is the dizzying rate at which it happens and the lack of action by legislators, which is in stark contrast to how other countries respond to mass shootings.

As noted in that excerpt, victims are not the only ones affected. The family suffers, friends and loved ones suffer from gun violence and communities suffer. The suffering may last a lifetime. In the case of communities, do they ever fully recover?

“Does having more guns make us safer?

If the gun lobby is correct, more guns in society makes for a safer society. But gun violence statistics tell a different story. Researchers at Stanford University found states that adopted right-to-carry concealed handgun laws saw their violent crime rates increase by 13% to 15% within 10 years. And according to the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, states with stricter gun regulations have fewer gun deaths per capita, while states with looser gun laws have much higher rates of gun deaths.”

Most every one has heard the statistic that people who have guns in their homes are more likely to experience gun violence via a family member that they are to use the gun for protection. People living together get in fights and in times of such passion pull out the gun. Or a child finds a gun not properly stored and pulls the trigger. Or a loaded gun is dropped. On and on it goes.

“Is mental illness the problem?

Many gun control opponents say that the key factor in gun violence in America is mental illness. In the wake of the Uvalde school shooting in May 2022, Texas Governor Greg Abbott said, “Anybody who shoots somebody else has a mental health challenge.” Mental health experts and criminologists who research mass murderers condemned Abbott’s claim as false and unjustly scapegoating people who suffer from mental illness.

A 2021 Rand Corporation study found that people with mental health problems are no more likely to engage in gun violence than others, and in fact are more likely to be victims of violence than perpetrators. It’s worth noting that other countries have similar rates of mental illness but nowhere near the same level of gun deaths.”

Scapegoating gun violence onto mental illness is yet another dodge perpetrated by the Gun Lobby. The simple truth is that our access to guns fuels the violence. The other simple truth is that the second amendment does not guarantee everybody aa right to a gun. It is tied to a well regulated militia.

Once again, I recommend you click over to this very thought provoking piece.  

About Dave Bradley

retired in West Liberty
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