The death toll is rising from an endless string of mass shootings in America.
As we know from historical data, when there are stronger gun restrictions on the books, the number of gun murders and mass shootings tends to go down. As those restrictions are loosened, mass shootings go up, and more people die.
But some would rather ignore that this country has too many guns and military-grade weapons on the street and say that this problem is solely due to mental health issues. Yes, the US could do a lot more on mental health. Some governors who are now saying that mass shootings are a mental health crisis recently cut funding to programs aimed at helping. I’m looking at you, Governor Abbott.
Some go back to the tried and true culprit: violent video games.
But here are some facts.
Other nations have people with mental health issues. Other nations have violent video games. But they don’t have a never-ending stream of mass shootings. They don’t have more than 40,000 people dying every year from gun violence. So it seems to me this problem has a solution. And it would seem that these nations have found it.
We have made a conscious choice not to.
So far, there have been more mass shootings than days in 2022 in America. And it’s not even June. There have been over a dozen mass shootings in two weeks.
According to the Switzerland-based Small Arms Survey, there are 120 guns for every 100 Americans. No other nation has more civilian guns than people.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that the rate of gun deaths of children 14 and younger rose by roughly 50 percent from 2019 to the end of 2020.
The US has the highest firearm homicide rate in the developed world. In 2019, the number of US deaths from gun violence was about 4 per 100,000 people. That’s 18 times the average rate in other developed countries. Multiple studies show access to guns contributes to higher firearm-related homicide rates.
No other developed nation has mass shootings at the same scale or frequency as the US. Half of the world’s developed countries had at least one public mass shooting between 1998 and 2019. No other nation saw more than eight incidents over 22 years, while the US had over 100 — with almost 2,000 people killed or injured.
After a while, there’s nothing left in your heart than can break anymore.