As the carnage continues—American is running out of reasons – By Yvonne Sam

  By Yvonne Sam

The truth America can no longer shun- her undying affinity with the gun.

Reasons range from untreated madness to sheer badness, as once more America is thrown into a state of mourning— a condition that she has found herself in more often than she cares to recall due to the regularity. The latest mass shooting in El Paso,Texas and Dayton, Ohio is in no way an anomaly, just history repeating itself.

America is running out of excuses, while the murderers are gaining easier access to weapons. The truth be told the problem is dire. Each new event brings with a demand for new laws and regulations.           

Excuses run the gamut from the current mass shooting being a symptom of Trump’s embrace of white nationalism, his incendiary language about immigrants, a call for the banning of assault weapons, imposition of rigorous background checks, a profusion of mental illness, along with what can be termed a plethora ad infinitum of inane silliness.

The irony lies in the fact that while among developed countries America has the weakest gun laws, yet it has the most firearms out of any country in the world—thanks to the combination of the Second Amendment and America’s gun culture. A 2017 survey estimated that there are three hundred and ninety-three million civilian-owned firearms in the United States, a rate of 120.5 guns for every hundred residents, twice that of the second-highest nation, Yemen. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2018/06/19/there-are-more-guns-than-people-in-the-united-states-according-to-a-new-study-of-global-firearm-ownership/.

Plainly and sanely viewed, someone hell bent or evil sent will always be able to find a gun to help him accomplish his goal. Black Friday 2015 was touted as the biggest gun sales day in American history https://fortune.com/2015/12/01/gun-sales-black-friday/. A 2018 study reported in the Journal of American Medical Association found that the civilian death rate in America is nearly four times that of Switzerland, five times that of Canada, 35 times that of the United Kingdom, and 53 times that of Japan. https://vox.com/2018/8/29/17792776/us-gun-deaths-global. Research has consistently demonstrated that places with the most guns have the most deaths.

Excuses have become the post-shooting focal point, with politics and inflammatory rhetorics currently taking the lead. What about the other mass killings where the perpetrator repeatedly pulled the trigger for no detectable political reason at all.  Every country has among its citizens, its own share of mentally ill individuals, nevertheless only America has almost near-daily mass shootings.

Simply because in America victims of violent forms of psychopathology have far too easy access to an incredibly wide range of weapons with which they can act out their murderous fantasies. Hence, talking about mental illness without bringing guns into the discussion is nothing short of a conspicuous dodge. Sad but nonetheless true, is the fact that the gun industry, the recipient of America’s infatuation remains a powerful; but mostly unseeable presence, sheltered from public scrutiny and protected by laws that prevent lawsuits  from the families of mass shooting victims  attempting to hold gun and ammunition makers responsible for crimes committed with their products. Congress has protected the gun makers from liability.

In 2012, after the Sandy Hook massacre that killed 26people, 20 of them children, Congress briefly considered legislation that would have strengthened the requirement of background checks for gun buyers. The measure died in the Senate. After that (and subsequent mass shootings), it became hard to imagine what might end the paralysis. Congress enacted the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) in 2005, an unprecedented decree that swamps state tort law and rules out most claims that might otherwise be brought against gun manufacturers and retailers.

A few courts had permitted cities to sue gun sellers under a theory of public nuisance, the foundation of which was that the defendants had pumped guns into the city via aggressive and deceptive marketing, and had then increased the danger through irresponsible sales to unqualified purchasers. Congress eventually kowtowed to the NRA, and not only did the law rule out most future claims, but additionally ordered all pending claims dismissed. https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/03/18/lawsuit-mass-shootings-225812.   In the aftermath of the mass shootings, America should refrain from turning it into a politically motivated sensation and collectively work towards a long -lasting solution that is beneficial to the nation.

Why is America acting as if the solution to mass shootings is outside her range of view?  What are the political powers that be failing to see? Speaking on the back-to-back mass shootings in Texas and Ohio, President Trump laid the blame for the spate of violence on the Internet and video games, while at the selfsame time urging an overhaul of mental health laws, talking points long advocated by the NRA.  Come on America!—Address the truth- It’s time to give the gun the boot. Viewed through sociological and historical lens—that is– favoring tighter controls and restrictions on gun ownership is a right-wing position, an authoritarian one that favors those with power at the expense of the poor, vulnerable and powerless

The NRA a powerful gun lobby that has been known to oppose any gun control measure, no matter how small is currently facing its own in-house woes, and this may be the moment to strike.

In addition the American voters should begin punishing their elected officials for slothfulness on legislation that would make mass shootings less likely or less frequent. Immediate action must be taken to end the gun violence epidemic. Failing to do would only mean a continuance of the regular drumbeat of death.

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