Is It The Gun Or Is It Us?

Brad Bowswell

      Where do we begin a conversation with someone so entrenched against what appears to just be a simple question of common sense? The two sides in this colossal epic struggle of life and death seem to be propelling towards an apocalyptic conclusion.  I admittedly stand in a corner in this regard, but not as it would be described initially. What I mean to say is I believe this issue isn't a matter of politics , it's not even just about a country.
     I'll share some information which sure may get dismissed by those who no longer adhere to the essentials of knowledge  since we see "Bizarro world" as an primary accepted reality but I digress.
The US has the 31st highest rate in the world 3.85 due to gun violence per 100,000 people in 2016. This is 8 times higher than Canada, which had .48 deaths per 100,000 , Denmark was 27 times higher.
Global violent gun deaths per 100,000 people in 2016 in ranking most violent are:
1. El Salvador
2. Venezuela
3. Guatemala
6. Brazil
7. US Virgin Islands
9. Bahamas
10 .Trinidad and Tobago.
Washington University Institute for Health Metric Evaluation. 
An absolutely insane amount of human lives are being taken worldwide, do they matter any less?

Meanwhile here in the US, american's own (48% of an estimated 650 m. civilian owned guns worldwide. Source:
Congressional Research Service 2012 small arms survey.
The US is less than 5% of the world's population but hold's 31% of global mass shooters. Source:
Lankford University of Alabama. 
Most recent being the Parkland, Florida tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglass that left 17 promising valuable lives dead. Forever silenced.  Last year in October a gunman killed 58 and injured more than 500 souls at the Harvest Music Festival. It is the deadliest mass shooting in modern history. In 2016 49 dead in Orlando at the Pulse Nightclub. Newtown Connecticut in 2012 saw 27 killed including the slaughter of 26 staff and small children, students at Sandy Hook Elementary.
The Virginia Tech massacre claimed 32 people in 2007, yet more aspiring futures disturbingly stopped! President Trump signed measures into law to get rid of the previous administrations efforts designed to create regulations to prevent severely  mentally ill people from unbarred access to guns legally.
Contrary to opposing arguments globally restrictive gun laws and policies have had a real viable impact in reduction of massacres.  The Australian Parliament passed stricter gun laws after experiencing 4 mass shootings between 1987-1996.  US homicide rates are 25.2 times higher than other higher income westernized countries according to OECD.
WHO American Journal of Medicine.
In Aug. 2016 Donald Trump tweeted "Inner-city crime is reaching record levels. African Americans will vote for Trump because they know I will stop the slaughter going on!"  Well this is an inaccurate statement ,"Go figure". He is actually way off the mark, according to crime data the FBI collects is for cities of over 250,000 populations. This data shows all violent crimes including homicides ,rapes, robberies and aggravated assaults declined since the early to mid 1990's. The homicide rate for the country as a whole and cities followed the same subsequent patterns also declining since the early 1990's.  Although the nations largest cities saw declining rates I must ask ''Is this a consolation prize?. Since any life is too many, I myself am a survivor of gun violence and likewise lost numerous loved ones to gun violence. The number of murders in New York City for instance dropped from 2,262 in 1990 to 1,927 in 1993, 629 in 1998 and 352 in 2015. In Chicago (Chi-Raq) 925 were recorded in 1991, there were 468 in 2015. 
There is an uptick in the numbers since the election of President Trump which makes sense to me seeing how he is appealing to, promoting and essentially carrying the "Fear Pom Pom''  daily for the NRA. Daily decrying commonality, brotherhood and hope.

The climate of this country is definitely feverish but maybe that's a good sign in disguise. In sickness and in pain it is often the case that usually we feel  worst just before the breakthrough to our healing and resolution. We can't demonize one another because that doesn't allow for the miracle to happen despite and because of the passions lambasting, scarring each side in this overheated oven we call united.  Lets take a collective breath, pause, each of us are beholden to our own conscious and hearts for sure still we can not ignore others.especially those who disagree. This must lead us through to discover ultimately 
together Americas truest convictions then we will all be judged according to the recesses of this country's soul...and I say ''Reform!''

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