The figures are staggering. During this Fourth of July weekend, there were 22 mass shootings in 13 states. Yes, twenty-two mass shootings.
What’s more, twenty Americans were killed and 126 were injured in the five days between last Friday and early Wednesday morning. But that’s just the toll from mass shootings.
Over the last week, there were 384 gun deaths in total and 752 gun injuries. Why?
We have two cultures in America, and they are at war. We have a gun culture and an anti-gun culture.
Those in the anti-gun culture believe that the political moves of the gun culture are killing roughly 40,000 Americans a year. Why blame gun deaths on the political activists who champion guns, not on the men who pull the trigger?
In nations with gun control, far, far fewer people die of gunshots. In France, for example, only 2,098 people are killed by bullets a year. As opposed to our 37,040. Yes, we have 19 times more gun deaths than the land of the French.
And in Australia, where the population grew tired of gun deaths in 1996, the government instituted a mandatory gun buyback program and “collected roughly 650,000 privately held guns.” Australia has been gun-controlled ever since. The result? There were only 229 gun deaths in Australia last year.
Which means that for every Australian killed by a gun last year, guns killed 162 Americans.
Meanwhile, CNN says that the Fourth of July holiday season has become the most dangerous in the American calendar. Why?
Over 60 years of research on the impact of summer heat shows that people grow cross and crabby when the temperature rockets up. They become more ready to snap at others. But some don’t just snap. They shoot.
What’s more, it’s just been discovered that three consecutive days in the last week were the hottest in 100,000 years.
The biggest targets of the summer for a mass shooting are our gatherings for the fourth of July.
But let’s get back to gun culture versus anti-gun culture. Says the Pew Research Center, “In 2021, the states with the highest total rates of gun-related deaths included” Mississippi, Louisiana, New Mexico, Alabama, and Wyoming. Those are all rabidly pro-gun states. On the other hand, anti-gun states were starkly safer from gun deaths. Stunningly safer. They include Massachusetts, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island.
The rates of death by firearm in the gun culture states were over eight times the rates of firearm death in anti-gun culture states. You heard that right.
In some states with a gun culture you are eight times more likely to be shot or to kill yourself with a gun than in states that oppose guns.
But why are mass shootings on the increase? Why have they gone from just one in 1982 to 358 in just the half year up until today? Until recently, we have been kept from knowing.
The villain that blindfolded us is the NRA, the National Rifle Association. In 1996, the NRA pushed for and got what was called the Dickey Amendment. Reports NPR, “The Dickey Amendment, virtually halted all research on gun violence.”
Then, seven years later, in 2003, another congressional amendment “blocked the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives from” revealing its statistics on “guns used in crime.”
Despite that, in 2013, the Gun Violence Archive was started and four years later, in 2017 the Violence Project went into action. They arrived in the neck of time.
In just the five years since 2018, America has had a grand total of 100,810 gun deaths and 195,582 gun injuries. That grand total of gun killings is the equivalent of the population of New York State’s capital, Albany. But why so many gun deaths in the last five years?
The only thing we know for certain is this. The number of guns in America was just 100 million in 1970. Today it’s a whopping 465 million. That’s almost one and a half guns for every American. What’s worse, just three percent of us own 50% of those guns.
And where there are guns, some people will use them.
Rostron A. The Dickey Amendment on Federal Funding for Research on Gun Violence: A Legal Dissection. American Journal of Public Health. 2018 Jul;108(7):865-867. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2018.304450. PMID: 29874513; PMCID: PMC5993413. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5993413/https://www.thetrace.org/2023/03/guns-america-data-atf-total/
Howard Bloom of the Howard Bloom Institute has been called the Einstein, Newton, and Freud of the 21st century by Britain’s Channel 4 TV. One of his seven books–Global Brain—was the subject of a symposium thrown by the Office of the Secretary of Defense including representatives from the State Department, the Energy Department, DARPA, IBM, and MIT. His work has been published in The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Wired, Psychology Today, and the Scientific American. He does news commentary at 1:06 am Eastern Time every Wednesday night on 545 radio stations on Coast to Coast AM. For more, see http://howardbloom.institute.