4th Mass Shooting Since January 1st…Can We Have The Honest Conversation About Guns In The U.S. Now?

There has been ANOTHER shooting at a school, this one at Lone Star College outside Houston.

Can we have the honest conversation that needs to happen about guns in the U.S. now?

Here are a few numbers…..in 2011:

32,163 people died because of guns

11,101 people died through gun homicide

19,766 people died through gun suicide

Now…to put this into a broader conversation….

India…a country of 1.1 billion people had a little over 6,000 total gun deaths in 2011, 3,200 of those were homicide

The only countries that had more gun homicides than the U.S. were Mexico (11,309), Brazil (34,678), Columbia (12,539), and Venezuela (11,115).

I think there is a component of this that is not discussed enough; every country that has a high gun homicide rate is somehow involved in the U.S. drug war (yes, Brazil is involved in the drug war, it’s just not talked about much). And if you added in the numbers for Guatemala (5,009) and Honduras (5,201), there is definitely a pattern.

So while Newtown “changed everything”, nothing changed. We continue to talk around guns (and drugs, to a lesser extent)  and focus on everything else.

Can we have the honest conversation about guns now?

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3 thoughts on “4th Mass Shooting Since January 1st…Can We Have The Honest Conversation About Guns In The U.S. Now?

  1. In Vermont, one of the most liberal states, a state representative withdrew his bill banning assault weapons for lack of support.
    Did he succumb to NRA pressure? Surely he did not do it because of ethical reasons.

    • A conversation about guns is more than a debate about banning assault weapons. It is a conversation that talks about the fact that the US has more gun deaths than all of Western Europe combined, a few times over. It is a conversation that does include mental health, if for no other reason than the fact that there are almost 20,000 gun suicides in this country every year (which again, is more than the number of gun suicides in Western Europe combined, a few times over). It is a conversation that includes a discussion of the fact that all of the countries that have high gun homicide numbers are all involved, in some way, with the US drug war.

      But as long as we keep it to narrow policy questions, nothing will change.

  2. It’s gun homicide rates, not numbers, I think that we should compare. But if little contries have as high a number than ours, that’s amazingly awful. The drug connection is interesting…… do you suppose it’s that both homicide and drug use are indicators of disfunction? Or Is it that drug crime reaches it’s effects into so many other crimes? Is there a connection between suicide and substance abuse too? Too many questions, all in areas no one wants to explore.

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