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Thousands more killed in gun violence than terror attacks (with video) Comment on this post ↓
October 4th, 2015 by Warren Swil

Paralysis over mass

shootings lays bare

power of big money

President Obama is frustrated and angry with his powerlessness over gun safety reform.

President Obama is frustrated and angry with his powerlessness over gun safety reform.

The paralysis of America in the face of an epidemic of mass shootings is shameful and disgraceful.
It was best captured by the president in his reaction to the latest tragedy, Thursday’s fatal shooting at a community college in Oregon.
Here was the most powerful leader in the world expressing frustration and anger at his inability to do anything more than offer sympathy for the victims.
Those who do have the power – the members of Congress – are so thoroughly in hock to the gun lobby and other vested interests their response was perfectly encapsulated by Jeb Bush’s “stuff happens” comment.
The US can and must do better if it wants to continue being considered a “civilized” nation.
Watch the video below the fold.

Speaking at a White House press conference on Friday, the president was visibly dispirited.
“We’ve become numb to this … We talked about this after Columbine and Blacksburg; after Tucson, after Newtown; after Aurora, after Charleston,” he said.
And still nothing has changed.
According to the crowd-sourced web site Mass Shooting Tracker with Thursday’s attack there have now been 994 mass shootings since Obama was reelected in November 2012 (almost 300 this year alone).
No wonder the president says they are becoming routine.

The Guardian’s graphic presentation of data on mass shootings in America. Click image to enlarge.

In a stunning graphic presentation of the Shooting Tracker data, The Guardian tallied the deaths and injuries in 994 mass shootings in 1,004 days.
The total: 1,260 deaths and 3,606 injuries from these almost daily mass shooting incidents.
A broader definition of gun violence, however, reveals an even bleaker picture of American society, like the one painted in The Guardian story Oregon college shooting is 994th mass gun attack in US in three years
Citing statistics from the Centers for Disease control, The Guardian reported that intentional firearm homicides in 2013 claimed the lives of more than 11,000 people. Add in the number of accidental deaths and suicides, and the number triples to 33,000.
“That means guns kill more people in America every six hours than terrorist attacks did in the entire year of 2014,” wrote Nicky Woolf.
In an emotional interview with CNN on Friday, the Oregon shooter’s father Ian Mercer said the tragedy could have been prevented with tougher gun control.

The Oregon shooter’s father Ian Mercer tells CNN that stronger gun control could have avoided the latest mass shooting. Click image to enlarge.

The Oregon shooter’s father Ian Mercer tells CNN that stronger gun control could have avoided the latest mass shooting. Click image to enlarge.

“How on earth could he compile 13 guns?” a stunned Mercer asked. “They talk about gun control – every time something like this happens they talk about it and nothing gets done. If Chris had not been able to get hold of 13 guns it would not have happened.”
Investigators announced on Sunday they had found another gun at the shooter’s home, bringing the total to 14.
“You don’t see these kinds of mass shootings all over the world on a consistent basis like you do in the US,” Ian Mercer said in the interview. “Somebody has to ask the question: how is it so easy to get all these guns? … I had no idea he had any guns. … It has to change. How can it not? Even for people who believe in the right to bear arms, what right do you have to take people’s lives?”
These are important questions, but few in a position to answer them in the US are even asking them.
In his Oct. 1 press statement, the president challenged the news media to compare deaths from gun violence over the past decade to deaths from terrorist attacks, and many took him up on it.
“We’ve spent over a trillion dollars and pass countless laws and devote entire agencies to preventing terrorist attacks on our soil … and rightfully so,” the president said. “And yet we have a Congress that explicitly blocks us from even collecting data on how we can reduce gun deaths. How can that be?”
Obama then went over the heads of Congress with a direct appeal to the American voters to express their views on gun safety legislation in upcoming elections.
A smart ­– if unconvincing ­­– move.
According to the lobbying watchdog Open Secrets, the National Rifle Association has spent upwards of $20 million in the past decade influencing Congress, more than $3.3 million in 2014 alone.
It will take a tidal wave of voter discontent to dislodge such big-money influence over Congress.
It is a sad commentary on the state of US politics that one special interest group can exert such a stranglehold on an issue on which the overwhelming majority of Americans agrees that something urgently needs to be done.
It sadly seems we are doomed to repeat an endless cycle of senseless mass killings until the influence of big money is tamed in Washington and throughout the political system.

Watch President Obama’s statement on the Oregon mass shooting here.

 

 

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One Response  
  • Jim Asher writes:
    October 6th, 2015

    Funny how the American dream seems to include toting around a gun or two. What does that say about our country, or more pointedly, our American dream? Personally, I’ve dreamed of an America where such “rights” were unnecessary. I think the whole gun issue is inextricably woven into a culture of fear which largely centers around this American dream as represented in TV and film; many people believe that this dream is largely out of reach for most people in our country–and maybe it is–and they fear that these “unfortunates” may steal away what little piece of the dream they have been able to enjoy. So what better way to protect that dream than a gun, right? It’s time to reassess the American dream, the way we experience it, the way we share in the wealth of our country. Warren, your blogs always get me thinking.


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