Politics Magazine

It Is An Epidemic - And Much Of It Is Preventable

Posted on the 12 June 2014 by Jobsanger
It Is An Epidemic - And Much Of It Is Preventable
“We’re the only developed country on Earth where this happens. And it happens now once a week. And it’s a one-day story. There’s no place else like this.” 
Those are the words of President Obama, addressing the epidemic of school shooting we have in this country. And he's right. No other developed country has this kind of continuing problem. The map above shows the school shootings that have happened since the Sandy Hook tragedy 18 months ago. There have been 74 separate school shooting incidents (see the map above for the locations of those school shootings) -- or about one every week. And that's just the school shootings.
Far more happen (like the Las Vegas shooting where two policemen and a civilian were killed a few days ago), and most of them never make it to the front page of any newspaper or the TV news (because the shootings have become too common an occurrence). More than 30,000 people will die from being shot with a firearm this year. And that is not an anomaly. It happens every year in the United States.
Where do the guns used in these shooting come from? Three-fourths of all the weapons used in mass killings in this country were purchased legally. And far too often these guns were bought legally by criminals or people known to be dangerous -- people that should have been denied the right to purchase those weapons. But they were able to purchase the weapons because there are gaping holes in our federal background check law. Guns can be purchased from individuals, over the internet, or at gun shows without going through any background check -- and 40% of the guns sold each year in this country are sold without a background check.
That is inexcusable, and over 80% of the American people know that. That's the percentage that poll after poll shows that want the loopholes in the background check law closed. These Americans don't want criminals and the dangerously mentally ill to have easy access to firearms. Unfortunately, the leadership at the NRA has decided that providing criminals and other dangerous people the ability to easily purchase a gun is more important than saving American lives -- and they have paid off and/or intimidated enough members of Congress to prevent their closing those background check loopholes.
The NRA has told Americans this is a Second Amendment issue -- and they have even suggested it is the first step toward confiscating the guns of law-abiding Americans. That is an outrageous lie! All this law would do is keep criminals and the dangerously mentally ill from easily purchasing a gun. It would NOT prevent any law-abiding American from buying as many guns as they want, and it would not take any gun away from those law-abiding citizens.
Some will tell you that it won't prevent criminals from getting a gun, and that they would just go underground and buy it illegally. That is partially true. Some will be able to do that, but others won't. If we stop them from being able to purchase guns from legal sources, it will drive up the price of illegal guns (because stricter controls on who can buy and sell guns will make it more dangerous to sell them illegally) -- and it would make it easier for the police to crack down on those selling guns illegally (because simply not doing a background check would be a crime).
The fact is that many of the gun deaths in this country are preventable -- and they can be prevented without violating the Second Amendment. The background check law has already been found to be constitutional. Now we need to close the loopholes in that law. And to do that, we need to vote out of office any politician (from any party) that opposes closing those loopholes. The lives of many of our fellow citizens depends on it (including many children).
It Is An Epidemic - And Much Of It Is Preventable

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