How many people must be killed to bring about reasonable gun controls in the US? So routine are shootings—homicidal, suicidal, accidental—that only mass shootings like Las Vegas, or Orlando, or San Bernardino, or Newtown, or Aurora, or Blacksburg, or Columbine (to name a few) attract national attention. All these are far from a complete list of the people killed or injured in gun violence in the United States. We cry about it, tut-tut about it, shake our heads, mourn the senseless deaths, send out thoughts and prayers, express sympathies for the families, speculate over what drove the accused evil gunman/men, and then before long, we move on. WE DO NOTHING ABOUT IT.
The United States loses far more people to gun violence than almost any other country, and there is only one reason: the easy availability of guns. Based on a United Nations Report on Drug and Crime recently published, US civilian gun ownership is the highest worldwide. Gun ownership makes it simple and easy as ready, aim, fire, and with the loose gun laws, everyone becomes vulnerable. Guns make domestic violence situations 12 times more likely to result in violent assault leading to death. Guns contribute to 49% of suicides, and the nation averages 87 gun deaths each day as a function of gun violence. Gun related violence is endemic in the United States.
It is extremely irresponsible to use the 2nd Amendment as argument against tighter gun control measures when the ready availability of guns leaves little space between murderous impulses and actions that result in death. This isn’t about the 2nd Amendment. It is about doing something to lessen the prevalence of gun violence in the nation. Society is paying a high price for the failure of government and lobbyists to take the necessary measures to protect people from gun violence. We have seat belt laws, helmet laws, driving under the influence laws, murder laws, theft laws, crime laws, and while none of these eliminate possible fatalities, they DO LESSEN THE PREVALENCE of fatalities. WE NEED TIGHTER GUN LAWS. It is irresponsible to find a rational justification that explains the ease with which people can buy firearms, including assault rifles, in spite of prior criminal backgrounds, drug use, histories of domestic violence and mental illness, or direct contact with extremists – both domestic and foreign. Why should any civilian anywhere be able to acquire an assault rifle or other high-powered weapon/s designed to kill throngs of people? How many more mass killings will it take before the United States adopts robust gun regulation?
The raw data of mass shootings* listed below speak for themselves.
*Note: A mass shooting involves four or more people injured or killed in a single event at the same time and location. (Source: Gun Violence Archive).
October 1, 2017: 59 killed, nearly 500 injured: Las Vegas, NV
June 5, 2017: 5 killed: Orange County, FL
Jan. 6, 2017: 5 killed, 6 injured: Fort Lauderdale, FL
Sept. 23, 2016: 5 killed: Burlington, WA
June 14, 2017: 3 killed: San Francisco, CA
June 12, 2016: 49 killed, 58 injured in Orlando, FL
Dec. 2, 2015: 14 killed, 22 injured: San Bernardino, CA
Nov. 29, 2015: 3 killed, 9 injured: Colorado Springs, CO
Oct. 1, 2015: 9 killed, 9 injured: Roseburg, OR
July 16, 2015: 5 killed, 3 injured: Chattanooga, TN
June 18, 2015: 9 killed: Charleston, S.C.
May 23, 2014: 6 killed, 7 injured: Isla Vista, CA
April 2, 2014: 3 killed; 16 injured: Ft. Hood, TX
Sept. 16, 2013: 12 killed, 3 injured: Washington, D.C.
June 7, 2013: 5 killed: Santa Monica, CA
Dec. 14, 2012: 27 killed, one injured: Newtown, CT
Oct. 21, 2012: 3 killed, 4 injured: Brookfield, WI
Sept. 28, 2012: 6 killed, 2 injured: Minneapolis, MN
Aug. 5, 2012: 6 killed, 3 injured: Oak Creek, WI
July 20, 2012: 12 killed, 58 injured: Aurora, CO
April 2, 2012: 7 killed, 3 injured: Oakland, CA
Oct. 12, 2011: 8 killed, 1 injured: Seal Beach, CA
Jan. 8, 2011: 6 killed, 11 injured: Tucson, AZ
Aug. 3, 2010: 8 killed, 2 injured: Manchester, CT
Feb. 12, 2010: 3 killed, 3 injured: Huntsville, AL
Nov. 5, 2009: 13 killed, 32 injured: Ft. Hood, TX
April 3, 2009: 13 killed, 4 injured: Binghamton, NY
Feb. 14, 2008: 5 killed, 16 injured: DeKalb, IL
Dec. 5, 2007: 8 killed, 4 injured: Omaha, NE
April 16, 2007: 32 killed, 17 injured: Blacksburg, VA
Feb. 12, 2007: 5 killed, 4 injured: Salt Lake City, UT
Oct. 2, 2006: 5 killed, 5 injured: Nickel Mines, PA
Jan. 30, 2006: 6 killed: Goleta, CA
March 21, 2005: 9 killed, 7 injured: Red Lake Indian Reservation, MN
July 8, 2003: 5 killed, 9 injured: Meridian, MS
Oct. 28, 2002: 3 killed: Tucson, AZ
March 5, 2001: 2 killed, 13 injured: Santee, CA
Dec. 26, 2000: 7 killed: Wakefield, MA.
Nov. 2, 1999: 7 killed: Honolulu, HI
Sept. 15, 1999: 7 killed, 7 injured: Fort Worth, TX
July 29, 1999: 9 killed, 12 injured: Atlanta, GA
April 20, 1999: 13 killed, 24 injured: Columbine, CO
March 24, 1998: 5 killed, 10 injured: Jonesboro, AR
Dec. 7, 1993: 6 killed, 19 injured: Garden City, NY
July 1, 1993: 8 killed, 6 injured: San Francisco, CA
May 1, 1992: 4 killed, 10 injured: Olive Hurst, CA
Nov. 1, 1991: 4 killed, 2 injured: Iowa City, IA
Oct. 16, 1991: 22 killed, 20 injured: Killeen, TX
June 18, 1990: 10 killed, 4 injured: Jacksonville, FL
Jan. 17, 1989: 5 killed, 29 injured: Stockton, CA
Aug. 20, 1986: 14 killed, 6 injured: Edmond, OK
July 18, 1984: 21 killed, 19 injured: San Ysidro, CA
Well said! We all need to SCREAM about this dear Silva.
I AGREE. The frequency of mass shootings is on the rise. The number of victims is on the rise. The civilian ownership of assault weapons is on the rise. SCREAM.
Numbers speak for themselves. You said it all.
Data on weapons used, compiled by the FBI, show that if the failed Assault Weapons Ban of 2013 had been passed, the sale of 48 of these guns (assault weapons) for civilian purposes would have been illegal.
What a grim but powerful picture you have drawn with those numbers Silva. So well said!!!
Americans make up 4.4 percent of the world population and own 42 percent of civilian guns in the world.(UNODC data) Americans, we have a serious social problem.