As Texas reels from another mass shooting, this time near Odessa, social media is full of calls for legislative action on guns, and critical of “Moscow Mitch” McConnell for doing nothing in the Senate to stem the bloody tide of mass shootings. Trump says he wants to do something with background checks, then says we have a lot of background checks, then goes golfing.
At the same time, social media is also full of right-wing trolls and NRA hacks who whine and whine about the 2nd Amendment and speak about guns with the reverence of a golden calf. Some even say that God and/or Jesus want us to have guns and more guns. So it’s a good time to refresh a few facts.
The United States has more guns per person by far than any of our industrial peers.
It’s estimated that there are now more guns in America than people.
The percentage of Americans who own guns has been steadily dropping for decades, yet the average number of guns per person has been rising. Why? Because a small percentage of our citizens stockpile and own a huge fraction of the guns–and they’re buying more.
As you already know, an enormous number of Americans die each year from gun violence.
And as this chart demonstrates, there’s a clear and causal link between gun ownership and gun deaths (duh).
It’s worth noting that after the ban on assault weapons was allowed to expire during the George W. Bush presidency, mass shooting deaths from assault weapons surged. In the ten years of the ban there were 53 deaths, and in the twelve years after the ban was lifted (’05-’17) there were 309. And of course, in the past two years that number has risen dramatically. Now the LA Times is reporting that “Attacks aren’t just increasing, they’re getting deadlier.”
The only thing that differentiates us from other wealthy nations is the easy availability of firearms and the number of firearms in public hands. It isn’t mental health. It isn’t the video games. It’s the guns.
A huge majority of Americans support common sense gun regulations like universal background checks and a new assault weapons ban. We have to demand that our leaders make progress on gun control and gun violence or we will vote them out. And it begins with dumping the two NRA puppets in control of Washington–Don The Con and Moscow Mitch.
Keep resisting Trump and keep working to “vote his ass out of office.”