Over the course of recent years we have sat back and wrung our hands in despair at the repeated reports of mass-murder by guns in the USA. We Brits really don’t get the U.S. obsession with guns. Our gun controls are moderately strict and there are rigorous background checks by the Police before a gun licence is issued.
Certain guns, assault rifles and the like are beyond licensing. We in the U.K. have some gun crime of course, there have even been a couple of mass shootings but what goes on in the U.S. on a weekly basis both shocks and appalls us in the UK.
According to the BBC there have been 353 mass shootings in the U.S. in 2015, up to December 3rd, thats slightly more than one a day. 12,223 people have been killed in gun violence and a further 24,722 have been injured by guns. Think about that for a second four times more people have been killed by gun violence in the U.S. in a single year than died in the 9/11 attacks. Even more worryingly a huge percentage of gun violence in the U.S. is as the result of legally held weapons.
The awful attacks this week in Oregon and San Bernadino means that Obamas second term in office has seen 994th mass shootings. It is estimated that there are at least 285 million guns in circulation in the U.S., that is pretty close to one for every man woman and child. It is no exaggeration to say that gun violence is “routine” an acceptable fact of life.
Every time there is an atrocity the NRA and some in the U.S. government trot out the same tired old platitudes. It boils down to the argument that the way to tackle gun violence is for more people to have more guns. This kind of skewed and warped thinking is madness almost beyond belief. Since 9/11 (up to 2013) over 400,000 Americans have died by gun violence. The U.S. has spent trillions of dollars pursuing the “so called” war on terror as it ignores the slaughter of its citizens by its citizens.
During the same 2001 – 2013 517 people died as a result of gun violence in the UK. Put simply you are 712 times more likely to die by gun violence in the U.S. than you are in the UK. Even allowing for the fact that the U.S. population is five times larger than the UK these figures are horrifying.
The lack of gun control in the U.S. is insane. Earlier this week it was reported that the federal authorities have seized nearly 2300 guns from passengers hand luggage at airports this year.
Newsweek reported earlier this week that authorities in South Carolina have seized an arsenal of 5,000 guns from one man! A later report on CNN suggests that the true total of guns seized is more likely to be closer to 10,000.
Earlier this week it was revealed that people who are on terrorist watch lists and no-fly lists can still legally buy guns. Obama himself has declared that this defies any kind of logic. Seriously a person who is under suspicion of being a terrorist can walk into a shop and quite legally buy a gun! It beggars belief. It is insanity of the very highest order.
Obama said in his radio address that the use of military-style assault weapons in the latest mass shooting was “another tragic reminder that here in America it’s way too easy for dangerous people to get their hands on a gun.”
Can it be that these latest atrocities mean that the U.S. is finally waking up to the Insanity of their gun laws. We can but hope.