Stuff I Don’t get: Guns in the USA

I’ve just been trawling the internet and read this: https://www.sbs.com.au/news/doctors-revolt-after-nra-tells-them-to-stay-in-their-lane-on-gun-policy and I have experienced some outrage. Actually a shit tonne of outrage.

Now here in Australia there were some big changes in gun laws. This report: https://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/Publications_Archive/CIB/cib9596/96cib16 describes what the Government was thinking about it all and the Port Arthur massacre that left 35 people dead spurred our government into doing something about it. Prime Minister John Howard and a group of politicians from both sides of the aisle fought to bring in tougher gun laws.

Compare this to the United States where they apparently do not give a crap about having a couple of massacres (defined as more than three dead in a single incident) a week and have very lax gun control laws. The difference:

gun violence
This is from: https://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/compare/194/rate_of_all_gun_deaths_per_100_000_people/10

That’s a pretty sizeable difference. GunPolicy.org is a Sydney University research effort and one can compare many different countries together to see what the differences are. For a great summary of the changes made in Australia after Port Arthur, check out this Herald Sun Article: Australian gun laws changed after Port Arthur, so why won’t USA change its gun laws? One of the key differences is that no semiautomatics in Australia, but OK to go in the USA.

In the first article I referenced on the SBS News site is a particularly disturbing note about the role of the NRA gun lobby with relation to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (the CDC). Here is the excerpt that made my blood boil the most:

Under intense lobbying from the NRA, Congress in 1996 effectively barred the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention from researching the public health effects of gun violence. That measure, which still exists, came three years after a landmark CDC study undercut a key NRA mantra with its finding: A gun in a home does not make everyone safer.

WHAT THE FUCK? What is wrong with these people? Again according to Gun Policy, there were 38,000 people killed by guns in the US in 2016! Source: United States – Total Number of Gun Deaths

What the hell? But it’s not a public safety issue? Are these people insane? Guns aren’t keeping them safe – they’re killing more and more people every year. Click on that link and look at the curve in the chart! It’s going ever upwards with no sign of stopping! I wish my shares rose like that! And I note another mass killing in the USA has just happened – November 13 4 people were killed. Look at this: https://www.gunviolencearchive.org/reports/mass-shooting – it’s a daily happening in the USA! And the CDC are prevented from investigating it because of the NRA’s effective lobbyists. I wonder, therefore, why the hell the average American is putting up with this? Or have I misread it so badly that they’re OK with this? Is that right?

I’m often critical of the Australian Government, but I am very thankful for the gun control laws we enjoy. Otherwise, our little 1 death per 100,000 could jump up to the level of those crazy Yankees. I can only hope that public pressure forces some sort of rationality to the United States. I get that having a gun is enshrined in the Constitution – but it’s an Amendment so can’t that be amended to reflect more modern times? At least to lower the death toll a little bit? Do they really need semi-autos?

Thoughts and prayers for the victims seems to be doing fuck all. How about some actual action?

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