Still No Gun Reforms

As a Canadian, I have to say up front that I don’t understand the American gun culture.

gun poster copyI don’t understand how it is acceptable that in the first 100 days after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre another 3000 people died from gun violence in the United States.

I don’t understand how it is acceptable that in the two-and-a-half years since the Sandy Hook massacre another 142 school shootings have occurred.

I don’t understand how it is acceptable that in the first eight months of 2015 there has been on average at least one mass shooting in the United States each day (247 in 238 days) and nearly 1000 mass shootings in all since Sandy Hook.

Gun Murders-chartI don’t understand how it is acceptable that the gun murder rate in the U.S. is almost 20 times higher than the next 22 richest and most populous nations combined.

I don’t understand how it is acceptable that among the world’s 23 wealthiest countries, 80 percent of all gun deaths are American deaths and 87 percent of all children killed by guns are Americans.

I don’t understand how it is acceptable that in the last 13 years over 400,000 Americans have died from firearms in the U.S. (over 30,000 each year with the total rising each year for the last ten years).

I don’t understand how it is acceptable that every seven weeks nearly as many civilians are killed with guns in the U.S as there were U.S. soldiers killed in the first seven years of the U.S.-Iraq war. There are more civilians killed with guns in the U.S. every two years on average than American soldiers killed during the entire Vietnam War.

I don’t understand how owing a gun makes Americans feel safer when statistics show that for every time a gun in the home is used in self-defense, there are 11 completed and attempted gun suicides, seven domestic criminal assaults and homicides with a gun, and four unintentional shooting deaths or injuries.”

Gun death ratesI don’t understand how open carry laws make Americans feel safer, when states that allow open carry without a permit have the highest incidents of gun violence and those with the tightest gun control laws have the lowest gun-related deaths.

I don’t understand how 91 percent of Americans can support background checks at gun shows, 82 percent be in favour of making illegal gun sales a federal crime; and 57 percent want an assault weapon ban – and yet American gun reform legislation can’t get through congress.

But then, I am a Canadian and I don’t understand the American gun culture.

This post has been updated from an earlier post  in April, 2013. Since then another 80,000 Americans have died from gun violence.

About politspectator
Edward Clayton grew up in the US but has lived in Canada for the last 4 decades. He is a long time peace activist and committed to issues of social justice and good government. He reports on Canadian, American, and global politics from a Canadian perspective.

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