Saturday, June 17, 2017

Huffington Post -- The Solution To America’s Gun Violence Isn’t More Guns

“For a few hours after a gunman shot a member of Congress and four other people at baseball practice in the Northern Virginia suburbs on Wednesday, lawmakers were unified against the political vitriol that seemed to drive the attack.

“But when questions inevitably shifted to how lawmakers would respond to the bloodshed of yet another mass shooting, it became clear that the brief display of agreement was more symbolism than substance.

“Democrats and Republicans both were quick to stake out their standard positions in the seemingly intractable debate over gun violence. At a press conference shortly after the shooting, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) expressed concern that ‘there are too many guns on the street,’ and called for legislative action ‘to protect all of our citizens.

“For some Republicans, however, the immediate answer to the violence ― the 153rd mass shooting of this year, but the first of 2017 to involve lawmakers ― was more guns.”

Considering the money made from increasing gun ownership, whether legal or not, and the windfall profits made from exploiting crimes committed at the hands of someone with a gun, it’s clear why we can’t solve the gun problem.

Congress, dominated by Republicans, somehow cannot find the right reasons to make laws to adequately regulate guns. Despite many right reasons -- the Colorado theater massacre of 12, the mass murder of 20 children and six teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the murder in Tennessee of five Marines by a civilian with a gun . . . and now the gunning down of Republican Congressmen at a baseball practice in Virginia -- Republicans still consider violence committed by a gun is the risk one takes to live in a free society and is an insufficient reason to make laws that would reduce these tragedies.

The reason for Congress’ reluctance is simple. Republicans support free markets, so it’s completely understandable why they object to laws that would impede gun ownership. But capitalism and free markets do not function in the best interest of society or people. It functions to serve the self-interest of capitalist.

Under capitalism, if someone wants or needs a gun they must have the money to pay for one. The freedom you have to buy a gun is impeded by your ability to pay for it. This leaves ownership of a gun to those who can afford one. Those who live in poor neighborhoods, where there are high crime rates and where there is a real need for a gun to defend themselves, will acquire a gun illegally.

Lax gun laws make it easier to purchase guns. Laxity leads to gun proliferation, and that makes it easier to steal one.

Gun proliferation also makes it necessary for law enforcement officers to defend themselves against the probability that every encounter with a citizen may involve a gun. With more guns and more highly powered guns and ammunition, law enforcement finds it necessary to bolster their arsenal of guns. Police departments today are more like paramilitary units than units designed to serve and protect.

Moreover, higher rates of gun ownership lead to higher rates of gun homicide, gun suicide and when there are more guns, there are more crimes committed with a gun.

In those facts lie the real reason why there are insufficient regulations. High levels of gun crime are good for capitalist who manufacture guns because as a result of increases in gun crime, the public and law enforcement buy more guns.

And Gun stocks jumped after the shooting at Wednesday's congressional baseball practice.

The Solution To America’s Gun Violence Isn’t More Guns

By Nick Wing