As we mourn the tragic loss of 49 innocent people who were gunned down in a gay nightclub in Orlando, it’s important to remember that America’s gun problem continues to rage on.
Since the early morning massacre roughly 72 hours ago, there have been another 196 shootings in the United States, claiming the lives of 57 more Americans and wounding another 137.
If you can somehow admit, with a straight face, that gun violence isn’t a problem in this country – or shout in anger that “guns aren’t the problem!” – then you’re either not paying attention or you simply care more about a precious firearm than you do about actual lives.
We keep hearing the same stale argument from pro-gun fanatics that any attempt to stop the carnage will lead to tyranny, but it’s nothing but baseless nonsense.
In countries with smarter gun laws, gun violence is greatly reduced – this is a fact that cannot be debated.
The New York Times reported today about just how uncommon firearm-related deaths are in other advanced democracies. According to the report, the odds of gun deaths in Japan are as likely as lightning strike fatalities in the United States.
If we look within our borders, the same trend is clear: States with tougher gun laws see fewer deaths by a firearm. States with loose laws see more gun deaths. Also, if you were wondering, 1+1=2.
The same applies to households with guns. In these homes, the risk of dying from a gunshot increases, despite the widespread myth that having an AR-15 in your closet will keep you more secure.
The notion that more guns and fewer regulations will make people safer is an utter and complete fabrication. The idea that any attempt to stop this violent epidemic would be a step toward a 21st-century version of Nazi Germany is a paranoid fantasy.
In the face of such horrific carnage and clear-cut evidence, it is despicable that so many Americans still won’t act to encourage government policy that can both preserve the Second Amendment and reduce the odds that your loved one will be robbed of their right to life.
There have been nearly 200 shootings in America since the tragedy in Orlando – probably more by the time I’m done writing this – and social media is still a wasteland of gun fanatics promising that any attempt to enact smarter gun laws will be met by their fierce and ignorant opposition.
No one will take their guns from their cold and heartless hands, they proudly proclaim. Newsflash: No one is trying to.
To those who currently care more about purporting pro-gun falsehoods on Facebook than they do about protecting actual human life, how many more innocent lives will be taken before you decide that weapons of war shouldn’t be in the hands of deranged civilians? When will the phony prayers and crocodile tears of right-wing politicians finally translate to a real effort to do something meaningful to help prevent the next mass shooting? When will the death toll be high enough for these people to justify doing something about it?
The inaction we see following every killing spree in this country is based solely on the loud and irrational fears of a minority of people. As Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”
In 2016, in the United States of America, it is sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity that is literally costing innocent Americans their lives.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.