All of our gun reform efforts will be a Nothingburger, until we face our addiction

Over the last few days there were two massacres in California. (“At least 18 dead in 3 days after mass shootings in California devastate 2 communities.”) One of them was in two different locations, and that one seemed to be motivated by grievances with a former employer. The other one may initially have been motivated by a grievance against an ex-spouse.

Two things were unusual about these massacres: both of them were perpetrated by older men (72 and 67) and both of them were perpetrated by men of Asian descent.

And really, it doesn’t matter what the grievances were. What matters is that our country is awash in guns, and there is nothing that anybody can do about it.

Back in June, when lawmakers passed, and the President signed, the “bi-partisan” gun reform, I said it was a complete nothingburger.

And I stand by that assessment.

Nothing is going to change in America until we kick our addiction to firearms — an addiction as strong as cocaine is for some — and stop equating guns with “freedom.”

Guns don’t represent freedom.

Guns represent violence.

In the United States we have more guns per capita (393 million guns in a nation of 326 million people) than any nation on earth. We are the only nation that has more guns than people. Second in line are Saudi Arabia and Yemen, and the latter nation is currently in a civil war.

Compare that to Japan, where 0.3% of people own handguns.

Or compare that to the Netherlands, where about 2.6% of the people own guns.

In the Netherlands, there were 76 gun deaths in the entire country in 2018. By contrast, the city of Memphis TN accounted for 306 homicide deaths in 2021 by itself.

All of our efforts at gun “reform” are a nothingburger until we stop sanctifying (and misreading) the 2nd Amendment and until we start taking assault rifles off of the street.

About a1skeptic

A disturbed citizen and skeptic. I should stop reading the newspaper. Or watching TV. I should turn off NPR and disconnect from the Internet. We’d all be better off.
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