Jared Loughner was considered too mentally unstable to attend community college. He was rejected by the Army. Yet buy a Glock handgun and a 33-round magazine? No problem.Read the rest here.
To protect the public, we regulate cars and toys, medicines and mutual funds. So, simply as a public health matter, shouldn’t we take steps to reduce the toll from our domestic arms industry?
Look, I’m an Oregon farm boy who was given a .22 rifle for my 12th birthday. I still shoot occasionally when visiting the family farm, and I understand one appeal of guns: they’re fun.
It’s also true that city slickers sometimes exaggerate the risk of any one gun. The authors of Freakonomics noted that a home with a swimming pool is considerably more dangerous for small children than a home with a gun. They said that 1 child drowns annually for every 11,000 residential pools, but 1 child is shot dead for every 1 million-plus guns.
All that said, guns are far more deadly in America, not least because there are so many of them. There are about 85 guns per 100 people in the United States, and we are particularly awash in handguns.
(The only country I’ve seen that is more armed than America is Yemen. Near the town of Sadah, I dropped by a gun market where I was offered grenade launchers, machine guns, antitank mines, and even an anti-aircraft weapon. Yep, an N.R.A. dream! No pesky regulators. Just terrorism and a minor civil war.)
Just since the killings in Tucson, another 320 or so Americans have been killed by guns — anonymously, with barely a whisker of attention. By tomorrow it’ll be 400 deaths. Every day, about 80 people die from guns, and several times as many are injured.