Depressing guns

The entire guns-in-America debate depresses me. We Americans have more guns than anyone and use them with greater frequency than citizens of other countries. Not even close. Take this chart from Vox:

gun homicides developed countries

Yet, despite the shootings and killings and even mind-numbing massacres, our legislatures at all levels stop far short of common sense, choosing over and over again to do the collective bidding of gun nuts and the NRA.

Today, President Obama took some small steps to curtail gun purchases.

The research shows tightening existing gun control measures in the US would help. But as Harvard’s David Hemenway told Vox’s Dylan Matthews, it would likely take decades for the mild gun control measures proposed in the US to have a significant impact. “It’s all speculation,” Hemenway said. “I suspect it would take a while (decades) for the US to get down to gun violence levels of other developed countries because a) we have so many guns which are durable, and b) we have a gun culture — we tend to use guns more often in more situations than citizens of other developed countries.”

Meanwhile, Americans rush to the gun shops and resolve disputes by pistols and rifles, overwhelming the modest efforts by Obama and some states to restrict sales.

But reducing the number of guns does reduce the number of homicides. Australia discovered this big time, dramatically cutting homicides by sharply curtailing gun purchases.

If Australia did it, why not the U.S.? Well, according to researchers, we have a very strong “gun culture” in America combined with a very strong and active gun lobby led by the NRA.

Writing about guns does little to affect either. (Search “guns” on this site.) But I feel compelled to write, nonetheless.