It’s easy to target guns after a sick, heart-wrenching tragedy like Newtown and more recently in Oregon. Especially, when you read articles from, The Huffington Post, that share that 270,000 people were killed by guns in the U.S. from 2001 to 2010 (source: Huffington Post article).
That averages about 27,000 people a year. The number includes all manner of gun deaths like accidents, homicides and suicides.
A second stat from the article, that stood out, was that from 2007 to 2009 there were 10, 987 homicides caused by firearms. Tragedies where someone pulled the trigger to take a life.
Should there be discussions, with debate, about future gun laws and protocols? If gun ownership, and access, is as easy as the media says it is – sure. I would hope American gun owners (and Canadian gun owners for that matter) are willing to learn from the lack of preventive measures that enabled a sick (and hurting) school shooter to forever change young lives in Newton, Connecticut.
At the same time, the the public should be as equally shocked to learn that in, 2010, there were 211 kids (ages 0 to 14 years) killed in alcohol impaired crashes (source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).
In 2010, there were 10,228 Americans killed in alcohol impaired crashes (source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). MSNBC reports that alcohol kills some 75,000 Americans every year (source: 2005 MSNBC article).
That total puts the 27,000 gun deaths in perspective.
Yet, few people are screaming about how easy it is to get alcohol. Nobody, is demanding registration numbers and records for every bottle sold. I have not heard heated debates on why some people need to drink ‘hard’ liquor products instead of, perceived, less dangerous brews. Why does nobody call for a ban on alcohol in North America? For the record – I am not suggesting that.
Are we ignoring, or forgetting, other scourges exist to potentially shorten our human lifespans – unexpectedly?
Before we over-react on both sides of the gun debate, let’s make time for authorities to look at the recent school shootings and release their findings.
Let’s debate. Educate and, possibly, legislate (although legislation has never stopped criminals, terrorists or school shooters).
As global citizens, we to look for balanced solutions and move forward to create a safer a society that targets, equally, all (like bullets or bottles) manner of unnecessary violence against it’s citizens.
Guns are easy targets (and worthy of debate) but they are not the only lethal bane in society.