What’s up?

Hunter Thompson shootingWhat’s up with all the mass shootings in America?

At the lowest level, it’s embarrassing that nothing gets done about something that’s really a public health issue. I’ve had non- Americans tell me they’re afraid to visit the US. The likelihood they might be shot is low, but that sounds hollow.

There’re other weird ideas in America concerning guns.

Things change. In 1975 the term “active shooter” wasn’t around because the idea of someone walking into a building and shooting people was an alien idea, but in 1975 people also thought glaciers were permanent.

With less than 5% of the world’s population, America has almost half of the world’s civilian-owned guns. Countries with more guns have more gun homicides, and it turns out that Americans with guns at home are likelier to be killed or to kill themselves with guns.

Nowadays, overall shootings and murders are way down, but nearly two-thirds of gun deaths in the US are suicides.

Connecticut passed a law requiring gun purchasers to first obtain a license and gun homicides fell by 40% and suicides fell by 15%. Missouri repealed a similar law and gun homicides increased by 23% and suicides increased by 16%.

Freeing people from chains they revere is hard. We tend to explain our successes and failures in ways that allow us to live with ourselves afterward. Consider the 2nd amendment guaranteeing our right to own guns, back when it was written it was also legal to own another human being. Things can change.

Some people say, “Everything happens for a reason.”  What they’re really saying is, “I neither recognize nor accept that my actions have consequences I’m ultimately accountable for.” Albert Einstein said, “He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would fully suffice.”

It’s hard for someone to learn what he thinks he already knows, but if you find yourself digging a hole you don’t need – stop digging.