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We have a gun violence problem in the United States and one of the pieces to this destructive equation is Republican greed.
There were 10 mass shootings across the United States last week in which three were high profile.
Over the Easter weekend, nine teens were shot and two were killed while attending a party with over 200 people in attendance at an AirBnB in Pittsburgh. No suspects are in custody.
There was also a shooting at a mall in Columbia, South Carolina where 12 people were injured. And finally, the mass shooting in New York City orchestrated by 62 year old Frank James victimized nearly two dozen people who were riding the subway where the assault took place.
The interesting thing is, when you research rising gun violence in America, there’s ample data on how many shootings occur but not much discussion on the why.
Nonetheless, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to identify some key factors fueling the surge, such as: a growing mental health crisis with inadequate resources, inflation and rising costs of living pushing people to the brink of despair, and inflamed racial tension. It’s truly a public health crisis.
But I’m here to tell you another “why” lie in politics.
Republicans continue to block gun reform legislation
After the shooting in New York City, Mayor Eric Adams said gun violence isn’t a red or blue state issue, it’s a national issue–which is true. This year alone we’ve seen a total of 139 mass shootings, a 66% increase since 2019.
However, with red states leading with higher murder rates and Republicans blocking meaningful gun reform, we certainly have right-wing politicians to point a finger at in why we can’t get a grip on this problem. Just follow the money and power.
These elected officials sit in their ivory towers and watch the turmoil amongst us peasants play out all while lining their pockets with dollars from gun lobbyists for the National Rifle Association.
According to The Brady Campaign, 50 Senators have received campaign donations from the NRA. Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell alone has collected more than $1.2 million dollars from them over the course of his career and has a lengthy resume of blocking weapons reform. When Democrats called for legislative action after 2019 shootings in El Paso and Dayton, McConnell called for prayer.
Recently, Georgia Governor, Brian Kemp, signed off on a bill allowing people to carry guns in public without a concealed carry permit. The NRA spent over four million dollars in 2020 runoff races to make that happen.
American gun violence won’t end as long as Republicans keep getting their way
Republicans blame Democrats for rising crime but they’re to blame for rising gun violence. Overprotectiveness of the “right to bear arms” isn’t rooted in freedom–it’s rooted in greed and currently supersedes other people’s right to live in peace.
So at what point do we consider changing the laws? Perhaps it will be when these politicians fall from their ivory towers and are faced with the same dangers as the average American. But for now, money and power make legislation go round and gun violence will remain at the top of our public health crises list.