We still are mourning the death of three people at the Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs which took place on Black Friday. Now we have to mourn the death of another 14 innocent people in City of San Bernardino, California. Of course we should not forget the nine people who got injured in Colorado Springs shooting and the twenty one individuals getting hurt in City of San Bernardino shooting.
As usual the focus is why did it happen and what the motive. Then some ceremonies held for the lost ones and then everyone gets on with his/her life. That should stop. The focus on the motive is not important. We should focus rather on why is it so easy to buy guns in this country. Why should average person be able to buy assault rifles? Why should anyone have assault rifles? These weapons are made for battle fields when soldiers are in actual war, not for normal citizens having them on the streets.
The politicians start making some statements about how vicious the attack was and fell sorry for the family of the dead and wishing speedy recovery for the injured one and bringing the perpetrators to justice. Then they move on and as soon as anyone make any comments about gun control he or she is silenced with the statement “it is not a time to discuss politics. Let’s focus on the tragedy and share the victims’ sorrow”. It is a very convenient way of shutting people up, because they do not want to have any discussion about any meaningful gun control. That is betrayal of their office and the people whom they are supposed to serve.
Each year about 30,000 people are killed due to gun violence, not including the ones who are injured. That equals to 11 events of 9/11 in which 2,850 people died. After the tragedy of 9/11 United States invaded two countries and in the process killed off few hundred thousand people and injured much more. Also destroying these two countries. Of course over 5,000 US soldiers were killed and over 50,000 have been injured or maimed for life. These numbers are still increasing. The economic costs have been around 2 trillion dollars and rising.
But yet nothing is done when every year 30,000 people lose their lives to gun violence, not even a minor change in the law or increasing expenditure on gun violence prevention. The gun lobbyists have solid hold on the politicians and if anyone of them makes any noise, they shut them down or try to get rid of them through elections. Further, through massive misinformation campaign they lie and muddy the issues and confuse the heck out of the populations. Not to mention using scare tactics to frighten the population as if the terrorists, rapist, criminals are right behind their doors and trying to get in and having a gun is the only means of protection and defense against these phantom criminals.
National Rifle Association (NRA) is not working for the gun owners, but instead for the gun manufacturers. They receive substantial financial support from the gun manufacturers and as the result NRA defend the gun ownership with vigor. Given the vast financial power, they can buy out the politicians, set up misinformation campaign, and create very misleading and scary advertisements
Listening to the Republican Candidates about their views of the San Bernardino mass shooting, one could understand the power of NRA and gun lobbyists. Senator Leslie Graham made statement that it is not about gun control, it is about two people acting crazy. Others candidate making as much of ridiculous statement as Senator Graham.
Another tactic to defuse the issue of gun control is to branding the attackers as crazy, insane, mental unstable individuals. This is what they said about the Colorado Spring shooting. Some are making the same statement about these two shooters too, while others trying to scare the people by accusing these two shooters as being terrorists and justifying for public to have guns for protection.
The argument that people having gun can protect themselves have been proven to be false, as studies after studies have shown that more people die by their own guns at home than defending themselves and their loved ones. In fact more people are being killed and injured by their own guns. Just few days ago a young boy accidentally killed his younger brother by getting hold of his father’s hand gun.
Also what is not mentioned by these gun loving group is that if the potential criminal/burglar who is breaking into a house knows that the person inside has a gun, then criminal he makes sure that person is dead, as he would not want to be shot at. Therefore, gun invites more violence, not less.
The gun lobbyists and the politicians fail to take into account the costs of gun violence. First the emotional cost to the family and the community which is immeasurable. Second the economic costs, which is every person who is killed or wounded means loss of productivity. The ones that are wounded need to be treated and the cost of hospitalization, medical care and treatment could be hundreds of thousands of dollars that either the health insurance companies have to pay which they in turn increase every one’s premium so to recover the additional expenses. Or the public pays through public insurance such as Medi-Cal, Medic-Aid, etc. Then there is a cost of law enforcement and judicial system. The amount of resources that have been utilized since Wednesday December 2, 2015 for the San Bernardino shooting have been unbelievable and the actual financial costs would be into millions by the time the investigation is completed. Given the suspects were killed in the shootout with the police, there will not be any judicial proceeding expenses. Had they been captured alive, the cost of judicial proceeding could have easily totaled into millions, not including the cost of incarceration which is about $45,000 per year for each of them. Had they been sentenced to imprisonment for life, then it would be around $1.8 million for each assuming lasting for 40 years in prison each which would be over $3.6 million for both of them not including the other costs for keeping them in special cells under surveillance. Of course there is cost of appeals which would be substantial.
Then we need to include the cost of life and habit adjustments. That is people out of fear and concern start changing their life styles and limit their social conducts which would have economic ramification. If public decides to stay more in than going out, then the businesses suffer and they would have to lay off workers. The economic impact in Paris has been into hundreds of millions of dollars as people changed their life style and decided to stay in rather than going out. The same could happen in the US if these mass shooting keep happening. Public out of concerns will change their life style and socialization will be limited and businesses will suffer.
It has always been said that America is land of Freedom. People should be free to bear arms and have weapons, but what is been lost in this freedom speech, how about the right of the masses who are in danger of losing their lives because of a few who want to have guns
There are more guns in the USA than the population. That does not mean that everyone has a gun, it is a percentage of the populations who own so much guns. It is not fair and just for the sake of a few who love to have guns we ignore and endanger the lives of so many. What happened to the freedom from being in fear and being shot or killed by the guns owned by the few? Why should the majority lose their rights for the sake of a minority who wants to bear arms?