Thursday, October 01, 2015

Another Mass Shooting - Thanks to the GOP and America's Insane Gun Laws

Mike Sullivan/Roseburg News-Review via AP)
Since the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in December, 2012, there have been at least 986 mass shootings (i.e., shootings where more than 4 people were shot), with shooters killing at least 1,234 people and wounding 3,565 more.  74 of the mass shootings have involved school settings.  In some of the most horrific cases, the shooter lawfully purchased the guns used to commit mass violence and murder.  As Vox notes, the US had 29.7 firearm homicides per 1 million people in 2012, while Switzerland had 7.7, Canada had 5.1, and Germany had 1.9.  Even more frightening is the reality that the America makes up about 4.4 percent of the global population, but owns 42 percent of the world’s civilian-owned guns.  Proponents of a misreading of the 2nd Amendment time and time again argue that more guns make one safer.  The data says the exact opposite.  And today, because of the failure of members of Congress, particularly Republicans who prostitute themselves to the NRA which has been documented to be funded by gun manufacturers.  Today, as a result, 10 people in Oregon lost their lives and more than a half dozen others were seriously wounded. The New York Times looks at today's carnage that is ultimately thanks to the NRA and the GOP:
A 26-year-old man opened fire on a community college campus here in this southern Oregon city on Thursday morning in a rampage that left 10 people dead and wounded seven others, the authorities said.

Students described scenes of carnage concentrated in a public speaking class that was underway in a college humanities building, and people fleeing in panic from classrooms as they heard shots ring out nearby.

The police responded as the school, Umpqua Community College, went into lockdown, and the gunman died in an exchange of gunfire, law enforcement officials said.

Law enforcement officials Thursday night identified the gunman as Chris Harper Mercer, and said he had three weapons, at least one of them a long gun and the other ones handguns. It was not clear whether he fired them all. The officials said the man lived in the Roseburg area.

Oregon is one of seven states, either from state legislation or court rulings, with provisions allowing the carrying of concealed weapons on public postsecondary campuses, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The other states are Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Utah, and Wisconsin.

One family member ironically noted "Saddened to hear about the Oregon shooting. It actually crossed my mind while we were in Italy that I felt safer in a foreign country than in the US because of the guns and the violence in this country."  I had the same feeling in Paris back in May of this year -  even when the husband and I walked alone on nearly deserted streets late at night returning from local gay clubs.  There is something exceptional about America alright, and it is something exceptionally bad.  Every legislator who has voted against sensible gun control had an indirect hand in pulling the trigger in these murders today.

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