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Op-ed on gun control shows we’re mostly just screaming at each other

Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

Univ of Georgia college student Walker Smith asks for reasoned and effective gun control and mental health policies. Read the comments and understand why this is unlikely to happen. The comments are mostly a flamefest with gun owners mocking him as a useless hippie. This is what passes for reasoned discourse in this country now. Don’t listen to what the other side says. Attack and ridicule instead.

All of this to say: mourn and be ready to mourn again. Nothing that will do any good has gained traction in the public consciousness or in politics. There will be another Sandy Hook and the same bad ideas will surface, asking for gun control that ignores effective solutions or public health policies that jail the wrong people.

  • DJ

    Not only are we screaming at each other, but we’re missing the point. In 2009, according to CDC, Homicide was the #15 cause of death in the U.S., causing a whopping 0.7% of all deaths. The flu killed three times more people. In 2011, Homicide didn’t make the Top 15.

    Are we concerned about preventable American deaths? Heart disease was #1 both years, accounting for more than 25% of U.S. deaths. It killed far more, cost our government more, and left more innocent children without a parent. Yet there’s no serious discussion about outlawing fast food. Nor would I care to live in a society with that level of government intrusion.

    FBI data shows that crime has dropped significantly since 2007. This despite there being no major new gun laws, one tough gun law struck down, and (usually an indicator of increasing crime) a dismal economy.

    Yes, there have been mass shootings. That is a phenomenon we can’t explain (thought Bob has a good hypothesis). I have also skipped over suicide, because people who want to kill themselves will find a way, guns or no guns. In Sri Lanka, where I lived for two years, and which has one of the highest rates of suicide in the world, the preferred method was to drink pesticide. It’s a hideous way to go. My God, please make guns available to those people!

    In the statistical world of what we Americans die from, guns are hardly the area that deserves the most focus, contributing a truly miniscule amount to our mortality. Yet they are the cause of death we spend the most time on. Why?

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