We are now at a place in America where every year marks a new mass shooting milestone of being the "deadliest" in our nation's history. Last year, it was the Pulse Nightclub tragedy in Florida, today it’s Las Vegas, and who knows where the next "deadliest" shooting will break out. As the body count has tragically risen year after year, the National Rifle Association has invested tens of millions of dollars (if not hundreds of millions) into electing Republicans who won't touch gun safety measures and planting doubt in the minds of Americans that passing gun safety laws will actually make us safer.
It's time to ask the NRA: Where's your proof that loosening gun restrictions, chipping away at background checks, blocking magazine limits and safety mechanisms, and advancing concealed carry, open carry and stand your ground laws has done anything but result in horrific mass shooting after horrific mass shooting?
Ever since Al Gore lost the 2000 election and the conventional wisdom wrongly faulted his stance on gun safety as a contributing factor, the NRA has been pushing federal laws ever closer toward their goal of making gun measures so lax that any person can get any kind of gun at any given time without restriction. Their mantra is: “The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun.”
Where's the proof, NRA? Because our nation has a shit ton of supposed "good guys" with guns (we account for about 4.4 percent of the world's population and 42 percent of the world’s civilian-owned guns) and yet the bad guys keep mowing people down with deadlier results year by year.
Here are the facts: States with more guns have more gun deaths and states with tighter gun safety laws have fewer gun-related deaths.
Vox's German Lopez writes:
Using data from a study in Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Mother Jones put together the chart above that shows states with more guns tend to have far more gun deaths. And it’s not just one study. “Within the United States, a wide array of empirical evidence indicates that more guns in a community leads to more homicide,” David Hemenway, the Harvard Injury Control Research Center’s director, wrote in Private Guns, Public Health.
Enacting gun safety laws at the state level works. In 2015, Slate wrote:
The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence graded and ranked every state on the strength of its gun control laws. In the scatter plot below, each dot is a state. Each state is positioned according to how it was ranked for its gun control laws, from weakest to strongest, and its 2013 gun deaths rate rank, from lowest rate to highest.
Yet, the ghouls at the NRA continue their push to enable the next deadliest shooter to acquire their weapon of choice to murder numerous people at record speed. In pursuit of that ideal, the NRA dumped nearly $15 million
into the 2014 election cycle according to Open Secrets and nearly $20 million
in the 2016 election, almost entirely in support of Republican lawmakers. Their latest creation in Congress is a push toward eliminating restrictions on silencers
because gun owners don’t want to have to wear ear protectors. Can you imagine how many more casualties a silencer in Las Vegas would have resulted in? It would have taken authorities how many more precious minutes to identify where the shots were coming from and, as chaotic as it already was, concert attendees would have had no idea which way to run to get out of range of the bullets.
The NRA is public enemy No. 1 when it comes to America’s gun debate. They offer no evidence to support the policies they champion—they simply buy off politicians to advance their cause. And they have done so and will continue to do so no matter what the body count year after year after year.