Sadly, the big story of the day is yet another mass shooting. As I write, we know a 46-year-old white man (I won’t write his name) with a long history of antisemitic posting online shot at least 12 people in a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania synagogue.Currently, reports are saying four of the 12 victims have died. Six victims are injured. Four of the injured are police officers. Two of the injured are dealing with serious injuries. Obviously, this is a fluid situation. What we know will update and change.
In times like this, people say we shouldn’t discuss politics: I strongly disagree. Hate isn’t a uniquely American problem. Frequent mass shootings are a uniquely American problem. We absolutely must morn the deceased. We absolutely must care for the injured. We absolutely must comfort those whose loved ones and/or friends have been killed or injured. We absolutely must discuss why it’s acceptable In America for this kind of senseless loss of life and serious injuries to keep occurring.
In response to this latest example of an uniquely American tragedy, Donald Trump is once again calling to further arm the population. That idea is incredibly stupid.
Shooting at a deer or a paper target is nothing like shooting at someone whose trying to kill you during an active shooter situation. While it’s true there are situations where an armed citizen has stopped violence, it’s just as true that many more people die from guns than are saved by guns. Even if you don’t agree with that, I ask you to think about this: in almost every incidence of mass murder the victims are killed by guns. Even if you accept the argument that a heavily-armed population can reduce violence–you can’t avoid the reality that in almost every instance of mass murder people are being killed by guns. Considering Trump’s stupid idea, only one question really matters: do guns kill more people than they save?
For several years, the number of Americans killed by guns has been at least 30,000. Anyone remotely connected to reality knows guns aren’t saving 30,000 lives every year. For the last several years, gun homicides have been around 11,000 on an annual basis. Again, there is no way guns are saving 11,000 lives every year. If you don’t believe me, look at right-wing sites that attempt to demonstrate how often guns save lives. their efforts are an exercise in futility.
America leads the world in guns. America leads the world in mass shootings. It’s not complicated.
The Second Amendment does give you the right to bear arms. It also believes a militia is necessary for America’s defense, but we will set that aside for now. The Second Amendment does give you the right to bare arms. The sanctitity of life should give people the right to worship and go to school without wondering if they will be murdered.
On days like this, I’m left wondering how so many can oppose abortion based on their commitment to the sanctity of life can insist on a tortured reading of the Second Amendment that regularly leads to lives being sensely lost.