Guns are killing, not protecting, us

By Robert Mann

My LSU students had barely unpacked their bags in London in early June before the awful news landed that a shooter had killed 50 and wounded another 53 people in Orlando. What had originally been a trip to learn about Europe’s politics became a running discussion with United Kingdom, French and German acquaintances about the deplorable rate of gun violence in the United States.

The students learned much about Europe but spent too much time discussing the corrosive gun culture of the United States. By the end of the trip, as my family and I toured Scotland, we received knowing nods of sympathy when we told various Scots that we were from Baton Rouge.

Deadly news from the United States followed us wherever we went. By the end of our third day in Edinburgh, the lead story on the BCC and Sky News was the tragic deaths of three Baton Rouge law enforcement officers. Earlier, in Prague, my students and I watched as the Baton Rouge police shooting of Alton Sterling became the major news story on the continent.

Too many conversations with people along the way were some variation of this: “Why do people in the United States need so many guns? We have guns here, but only to hunt. No one needs an assault rifle to hunt.”

Not a single European citizen with whom I discussed current events – college students, hotel clerks, bus drivers, university professors and people in pubs – demonstrated the slightest bit of annoyance at being denied the “freedom” of instantaneous access to high-powered firearms. Rather, to a person, they expressed wonder at our enslavement to and acquiescence of a violent gun culture that claims tens of thousands of innocent lives each year.

Try to explain the notion of the Second Amendment to a UK citizen rightfully confused by American gun worshippers asserting the God-given right to own semi-automatic assault weapons while simultaneously (and hypocritically) praising the “right to life” movement.

People in England, Scotland, France, Germany and other European countries accept sensible laws that restrict gun ownership to those who prove they need them for sport or, in rare cases, for self-protection.

For instance, in the UK, potential gun owners must first obtain a shotgun or firearm certificate from local police. That means demonstrating the ability to safely store the gun and no history of criminal convictions, mental illness, depression or alcohol and drug abuse. As a result, England has had only one mass shooting since beefed-up gun control regulations were enacted in 1997. (As the owner of several shotguns, I would happily submit to such scrutiny.)

Continue reading on at this link.

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15 Responses to Guns are killing, not protecting, us

  1. martybankson says:

    Thanks for keeping these numbers out there, Bob. They cannot be repeated often enough. The problem seems to get whisked under the rug almost as soon as a new atrocity happens these days.
    Following the two incidents of multiple police deaths in Baton Rouge and Dallas, the electronic and print media have been eerily quiet on the issue. From the newly self-anointed “law and order” candidate, not a word other than that he is now the law and order candidate.
    One would think there is potentially a very effective voice in favor of increasing restrictions on these killing machines– law enforcement agencies themselves. Occasionally you hear a lone chief of police or sheriff express the problem, but to my knowledge there has been no attempt to form a unified base for creating real change. For those that are elected to their position, is it possible the are also in the pocket of the NRA? For those appointed, are they given gag orders by their bosses? Do the prefer seeing the canonization of their fallen as martyrs over a sensible Second Amendment interpretation? I hate to be cynical, but the paradox needs pointing out.


  2. Stephen Winham says:

    It is unfortunate that we apparently live in a post-factual world where opinion and ideology rule. People tightly hold onto their beliefs and don’t want facts getting in the way of doing so. Look at the many outrageous things Trump says that are easily disproved by readily available facts – The problem is the only people who care are those who would never support him under any circumstances. His supporters dismiss facts as propaganda by the liberal media. On the gun issue, most arguments against even modest gun control are ridiculous and often rise (or sink) to the level of conspiracy theory.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. msternb says:

    Thank goodness the NRA isn’t the IRA, as in International Rifle Association…


  4. NRA says:

    hey theres a bunch off guys killing people with GUNS in germany write up a reason this dont happen in germany with there strict gun laws


  5. Ken Burk says:

    I think that the love of guns is a sickness. I’m not sure if it is like the plague or an addiction like drugs, but it is definitely a sickness. It’s too bad that the CDC is not allowed to study it.


  6. marschalko says:

    If you and I can’t trust our fellow stakeholders with modern individual arms then we do not have a society worth paying taxes to support.
    Only those who can be trusted with arms can be trusted with ballots.


  7. marschalko says:

    The pic of a pistol is a Rech blank firing replica. Was that on purpose?


    • rtmannjr says:

      Nah, I’m just too cheap to pay for anything but free clip art.


    • Stephen Winham says:

      Speaking of symbolism, what’s up with your use of the Arrow Cross Party symbol as your gravatar?


      • martybankson says:

        Give him the benefit of doubt and say WordPress has it in its library of gravatars for posters that don’t supply their own, and no one at WordPress was aware it is Hungarian fascist in its origin.
        Maybe should contact WordPress on this matter; next thing you know they’ll be letting swastikas getting into their file.


  8. Go ahead and outlaw all guns & Only Outlaws Will Have Guns. IT’S MORE THAN A CATCHY PHRASE, THAT’s what will happen. They know how to obtain guns & could care less about anything being illegal. Why are murder rates higher in countries that have the strictest gun laws ?


    • Stephen Winham says:

      “Why are murder rates higher in countries that have the strictest gun laws ?” Proof of my original point above – absolutely false, but presented as fact.


      • Frank A. Campbell says:

        What about Chicago ? But, I digress . If you like, I can send you numerous studies regarding all nations. There are so many that they prove my point . Too numerous to all be from NRA. You insinuate that I’m just talking, but you’re just talking. Just let me know how many you wish to see, so I won’t inundate you with these empirically valid results.


  9. You insinuate that I am just talking with no facts, but it might appear that you are just talking with no facts. Well, there have been too many valid empirical studies to just say that they were influenced by the NRA. See Below:

    Gun Facts | Gun Control and Crime in non-US Countries
    Fact: Many of the countries with the strictest gun control have the highest rates of violent crime. Australia and England, which have virtually banned gun ownership, have the highest rates of robbery, sexual assault, and assault with force of the top 17 industrialized countries.
    Now*********Do you wish for me to inundate you with the rest of the statistically valid empirical studies that say the same thing ?


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