Hustler USA - May 2016
English | 128 pages | PDF
In the last year we have been horrified by an endless stream of mass murders and questionable police shootings, tothepointthatit'salmostthenewrlOfmal-tune in for Shooting Tragedy of the Week. While American homicide rates had been falling steadily since the 1990s, the trendisnowstartingtoreverse. The greater availability and sheer number of private guns in America is surely part of the story-we account for over 50% of the world's privately owned guns, just as we account for almost half of global military spending. No other country spends so large a share of its GOP on weapons. One of the few American industries that still leads the worid is the manufacture of armaments, and those huge profits ensure a vested interest in keeping the bullets flying. Some countries have high private gun ownership rates without our high gun homicide rates-Switzerland, for example, where the idea of -a well-regulated militian began and is still in force. The Swiss experieflce inspired our Second Amendment, and they've got it righ~ with much stricter regulations. Another part ol the problem is that we are a younger nation than the Europeans, not so far from the violent Irontier days that we still romanticize-and even closer to WWII. Social scientists need to research exactly why we behave the way we do with respect to these shootings, but I suspect that the gluttonous diet of gun violence we're fed by Hollywood and the media plays a role. You are what you eat~r what you watch. A majority of gun owners actually support extended background checks and clOsing off the straw-buyer loopholes, but the unhinged NRA has made any regulation to reduce the mayhem a heresy and encroachment on private rights. The nation must bleed endlessly before, God forbid, anyone suffers a mioor inconvenience at a gun show. We can still have our guns without worshiping them as an idol. And we can reduce, if not eliminate, the carnage in our homes, schools and businesses without losing our.