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It’s the Guns, Stupid. Not Violent Video Games or Mental Health

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There have been more mass shootings in the USA, than days in 2019.  The most recent mass shootings in El Paso and Daton have politicians, again, struggling to find words to explain these tragedies.  They have even fewer words to explain what they are doing to stop it.  As of Aug. 5, which was the 217th day of the year, there have been 255 mass shootings in the U.S., according to data from the nonprofit Gun Violence Archive (GVA).

Over the decades, federal gun control laws have been voted down and buried by congress over and over again.  The NRA has one of the most powerful lobbies in the country, they’re very well funded by the gun manufacturers, (not the hunters & marksmen of America like they want you to believe).  They’ve created such a stranglehold over Congress, that despite the public’s desire for stronger regulation, nothing ever changes.  A recent poll shows 69 percent of Americans, including 85 percent of Democrats and 57 percent of Republicans, want strong or moderate restrictions placed on firearms.

Most recently, the House passed gun control legislation in February to require universal background checks, but the bill has stalled in the Senate, where any gun-related legislation will get dismissed because Republicans have the majority there.  Trump, of course, is useless when it comes to gun control, the NRA controls 5 million votes in Presidential elections, and Trump needs all of them.

Trump & the gun lobby always point to mental health in times of mass killings.  Interestingly, they point to mental illness but refuse to support universal background checks that would prevent customers with violent histories or certain mental health issues from purchasing firearms.  They’ll never support laws that prevent gun sales.  There’s way too much money at stake.

Instead of meaningful legislation, they send out ‘thoughts and prayers,’ or they’ll say something nebulous, like ‘we need to stop violent video games’ or a ‘culture of violence’.  The White-house, Fox & friends, & the Republican Gov of Texas all echoed that sentiment following the El Paso Massacre.

Study after study shows no correlation between video games and gun violence.  China & South Korea play more video games than Americans, yet they don’t have mass shootings.  The UK & France don’t have lower cases of mental illness than America, yet they have far, far fewer mass murders.  I have news for people, ‘mental illness’, ‘violent culture’, ‘white supremacy’.  NONE OF THESE THINGS ARE UNIQUE TO AMERICA.  Every country on earth has xenophobia, schizophrenia, and racist idiots who are ready to commit violence.  The difference is, we are the only one who actively sells them assault rifles.

Shoes are piled outside the scene of a mass shooting Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. (John Minchillo / Associated Press

The mentally deranged guy in Dayton who killed 9 and injured 27 people this past weekend, had a rifle with a 100 round magazine so he could fire without a break.  The guy in Gilroy had an AK-47.  The guy in El Paso had an ‘assault-style rifle’ used to murder 22 people in seconds.  It doesn’t help that our President encourages anti-immigrant sentiment, it doesn’t help that he is a bigot, it doesn’t help that his whole strategy is one of ‘divide and conquer’.  But the truth of the matter is, that the first amendment protects people’s rights to be bigots, it’s the 2nd amendment that protects their right to wield mass murder at a whim.

All the weapons used in these mass shootings were bought legally in the USA.  None of the offenders would have set off mental health ‘red flags’ even if universal background checks did exist (which they don’t).  If we sell everyone who wants one, a mass killing machine…we’re simply going to get more mass killings.  I’m sorry, but no one needs an assault rifle to go hunting or protect their home.  They need them to murder lots of people.  Period.

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Alex Mak - Managing Editor

Alex Mak - Managing Editor

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