On Wednesday June 17, 2015 nine human beings were massacred by a young White gunman at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church during a bible study. Though this mass murder received much press coverage, gun killings are all too common in the United States.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are approximately 81,300 nonfatal injuries and 31,672 deaths every year from guns. 112,972 people are shot in this country every year with a 28% fatality rate. That boils down to 310 people shot every day of the year of which 87 die daily. That makes the 9 killed last Wednesday pale in comparison.
Society seems all too callous about most other shootings as long as it doesn’t involve them or their family members. The number of people shot and killed by guns is similar to that in a major war. Yet this happens every day on our soil. That is almost one 9/11 worth of killings occurring every month due to guns. No other nation on the planet interprets their constitution as saying that guns are a Right of ownership, and for very good reason. The number of people shot and killed here is the highest among nations where the general population is not in a state of unrest. Strong arguments can be made that the 2nd Amendment does not give all citizens the Right to own guns but we and our courts choose to go against conventional wisdom (Post: The Right to Bear Arms – Did Founding Fathers Intend it for All?).
So we pay the price for that Right with our lives. Life is apparently cheaper and gun violence more tolerated in American than it is in other nations. What does that say about our level of civilized development? We seem to have a fetish for killing people even in other countries such as the Middle East. We are the largest manufacturer of weapon of all kinds in the world. It seem a cultural thing that ‘killing by guns solves problems’. Criminals do it, gangs do it, police do it, soldiers do it, ordinary citizens do it, road rage people do it, and even kids take cues from adults and do it. So gun manufactures simply make more guns and ammunition to feed the insatiable appetites we Americans have for their products: death and mayhem.
Let us stop fooling ourselves that gun ownership is a Right. This Right is killing use which is not a right. Guns terrorize anyone staring down the barrel of a loaded gun. They are weapons of terror and all those using them are instruments of terror. Though those using guns to frighten and terrorize people are not legally terrorists they are in effect terrorist to their victims, especially those using assault like weapons.
Let us stop fooling ourselves that gun will protect us. More guns kill us often indiscriminately. If we cannot reverse gun ownership in the 2nd Amendment then we need far better gun control law. The problem with the 2nd Amendment as it stands is that it make gun control laws extremely difficult to become effective so wartime like gun killings will continue. That is America and the American way.