Are you questioning the Republican theory that the more guns out there, the safer we are? I sure am. It seems like the more guns, the more deaths and injuries. Take the 50 gunshots inside a party of 200 folks, most underage, in a Pittsburgh Airbnb. Some escaped by jumping out of windows, but two kids died and eight people were wounded. Since not all of us are able to jump out of windows, maybe we should control our gun mania by passing gun safety legislation.
Gun mania means that the Pittsburgh shooting was just one of several at Airbnb parties. There were three in a nine-day period. And there were two mass shootings in South Carolina over two days, including at a shopping mall. In the first four months of 2022, more than 12,000 Americans died from guns.
Last year, handguns killed 611 people in Canada, 50 in Great Britain, 10 in Japan. Compare that to 38,658 gun deaths in America. And no other country even comes close to America's gun ownership: 120 guns for every 100 American civilians.
Yet, as Republicans reshape gun violence as a public safety question, they get their answers from gun lobbyists. Claiming universal rights to "constitutional carry," the GOP and NRA boast about getting 25 states to stop requiring gun owners to have a permit to carry a concealed weapon in public. Yet, they ignore how permitless carry laws that allow people who shouldn't have guns to get them.
This drive for a gun-toting country also envisions making gun permits unnecessary and lowering the age limit for gun ownership. Supposedly this saves responsible gun owners. Just how that works is a mystery, but it does get Republicans elected.
Maybe that's why the GOP is silent about ghost guns, a do-it-yourself option that produces untraceable firearms. Rather than address the number of ghost guns confiscated by law enforcement investigating crimes, Republicans would rather belittle President Joe Biden for even bringing up such a trivial issue. Right. Look the other way when New Orleans recently reported its bloodiest weekend in 10 years. Nothing to see here.
But turning a blind eye is hardly an answer to public safety in this era of turmoil. Times like these produce more desperation, more rage and more crime. Add more guns to the mix and you get more violence, suicides and mass murder.
There is a growing impatience with the repeated rejection of action and a redirection of public safety to more guns, not less. As the mayor of New York City said, "Public safety is my administration's highest priority, which is why we will remove guns from our streets, protect our communities, and create a safe, prosperous and just city ..."
In California, lawmakers are considering a bill that would allow state citizens to sue gun manufacturers for negligent practices with one sponsor saying, "... it's unfair that the toy industry has a lot more liability than the gun industry."
Republicans in Congress are dead set against gun safety laws, but the impatience of young activist groups like March for Our Lives may eventually change the tide.. They dropped body bags outside Sen. Chuck Schumer's office to protest his slowness in bringing gun safety legislation to the Senate floor for a vote. The next generation isn't subtle or easily silenced.
We should pay close attention to these young folks. They're signaling the future; they are our future. If we don't want a future dictated by gun mania run wild, we need to vote, lobby and speak out.
Contact Deborah Levine, an author, trainer/coach and editor of the American Diversity Report, at email@example.com.