The Unabated Onslaught of Gun Violence in America, Enabled by Easy Access to Guns
By Gerry Hopkin JD
Brooklyn, NYC; Mon., Aug. 5, 2019 – On the heels of the El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio mass shootings and in indirect defense of the National Rifle Association (NRA) and their gun manufacturers and retailers, who financed President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign to a tune of 30.3 million dollars, the president today, blamed the U.S. national state of affairs with spiraling gun violence, purely on mental illness, hatred and violent content in media – movies, video games, etc. “Mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger, not the gun,” said the president in his escapist, shallow “verbatics” around the issue of gun violence in America.
Unfortunately, however, the president placed no blame on the need for more restrictions on access to guns (especially automatic assault rifles that were made for battlefields, and are not meant for hunting); on the need for uniform national background checks; on the need for better mental health services across the nation; and on the need for more thorough mental health screening for gun-buyers.
According to The Gun Violence Archive, which tracks shootings in America, there have been 33,028 total shooting incidents in 2019 as of Sunday, resulting in 8,734 deaths and 17,308 injuries. Per capita, no other country in the world, not even war torn countries, come close to the civilian gun violence homicide rate of the U.S.
Enough is enough. Commonsense comprehensive, uniform, federal gun reform laws are needed in the U.S. today, not tomorrow. Reform, which should come in the form of:
1. Needed background checks on the criminal and mental health history of every wanna-be gun owner;
2. Heightened criteria to rationalize, justify and determine the need for ownership of a gun;
3. Needed training and certification for gun-buyers, in the use and safe handling/storage of guns;
4. Recommendations that elected officials and mass influencers should be held to higher standards, given the research which shows how such individuals, such as a popular president, can legitimize and actually encourage and/or embolden acts of their followers (some of whom are bigots and racists), who may fatally utilize, as they repeatedly have, easily available guns.
There are mentally ill individuals, common criminals, racists, terrorists and white supremacists present in Europe and elsewhere, no less than they are present in the U.S. However, research shows that these countries, which all have tougher gun control laws than the U.S. (because they all make it very difficult to privately own a gun), all have much lower gun-related homicides, per capita, than the U.S.
May commonsense and research-based best practices prevail in the passage of laws which are intended to improve, not worsen quality of life with respect to preventing the liklihood of having more victims of gun violence in our democratic society – one which we must work to preserve, if we are truly appreciative of it.
In closing, please see the attached graphics which help to illustrate the state of affairs regarding America’s easy access to guns and her reality of high gun-related homicide rates, compared to other countries’ tougher gun control laws and their correspondingly, much lower homicide rates.
May commonsense and respect for life prevail over the blindness of the adulterous marriage between corporate greed and an insatiable appetite for power, which has apparantly cast a spell on too many American politicians, including our president whose campaign was “bigly” paid for by the NRA. And may we not ever forget who comprise the NRA – America’s biggest advocates for the unrestricted sale and lassaire faire ownership of guns, especially those deadly battlefield-ready, automatic assault rifles, which are readily available for use by those with bad intentions or those who are are simply mentally ill.
May we each do our part to reverse the spate of gun violence across this beautiful land we call America. The massacres must end. The trigger fingers must be denied access to guns, which are designed to kill.
Enough is enough!