There have been 31 school shootings in the US since Columbine in 1999. After the shootings at Columbine, background check applications and gun sales surged. After the shooting in Tuscon, Arizona, background checks and gun sales surged. After the shooting in Aurora, Colorado– background checks and gun sales surged.
In 2009, gun sales and firearms manufacturing had a $27.8 billion dollar impact on the American economy. Last year, gun sales and firearms manufacturing-related business had a $31.8 billion dollar impact on our economy. The firearms share of the economy is growing. Killing is a racket.
These numbers don’t account for hundreds of millions in backlog, or sales at gun shows, where background checks are exempt, or private transfers– which means firearms sales in America is why we have more guns per capita(We’re #1) than Yemen. Yemen, that place in the world where anti-government zealots and religious extremists rule the streets and draw the world’s attention as a safe haven for terrorists.
With the election of Barack Obama in 2008, gun dealers have been experiencing “boon times,” even through the recession, despite the fact that president Obama has actually expanded gun rights during his term.
Irrational fear and panic-inducing hyperbole on the part of the NRA and Republicans in congress have been outstanding for the mass murder business.
But what do we do as a country when right wing conservatives’ interpretation of the 2nd Amendment means more kids are going to have to die because… freedom?
A majority of Americans — including gun-owning Americans and National Rifle Association (NRA) members — back sensible gun regulation. In fact,new research released in July by Republican pollster Frank Luntz for Mayors against Illegal Guns, finds that gun advocates overwhelmingly support common-sense measures typically described as “gun control.” These include:
1. Requiring criminal background checks on gun owners and gun shop employees.
2. Prohibiting terrorist watch list members from acquiring guns.
3. Mandating that gun-owners tell the police when their gun is stolen.
4. Concealed carry permits should only be restricted to individuals who have completed a safety training course and are 21 and older.
5.Concealed carry permits shouldn’t be given to perpetrators of violent misdemeanors or individuals arrested for domestic violence.
These are all great common sense ideas, but we’re never going to prevent more school shootings if we can’t even say the words, “gun control” without right wing conservatives and the NRA whipping up more panic and irrational fears which will directly lead to more gun sales and subsequently more mass shootings. That’s quite a cycle. It’s as though we’re being terrorized into silence and inaction as we continue to bury and mourn the loss of our children.
A study from The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) concludes:
The United States has far higher rates of firearm deaths-firearm homicides, firearm suicides, and unintentional firearm deaths compared with other high-income countries. The US overall suicide rate is not out of line with these countries, but the United States is an outlier in terms of our overall homicide rate.
The 2nd Amendment is rooted in the spirit of the Common defense. We must be doing it wrong.