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A Nation Under the Gun: Nearly 47,000 Gun Incidents in 2017 Alone

Gun Incidents in America in 2017

As Americans mourn Sunday’s tragic mass shooting in Las Vegas where 59 people lost their lives and over 520 were hurt, it is important to know that the incident was just a fraction of the number of gun related violence registered in the U.S. in 2017.

So far this year, 46,695 gun related incidents have been recorded in United States. Of that number, a staggering 11,686 incidents resulted in at least one death according to statistics compiled by Gun Violence Archive, a comprehensive database of gun related incidents in the U.S.

Gun Incidents in United States in 2017

Americans do not agree on just about anything – immigration, social welfare, race, religion and even the presidency – but the high rate of incidents involving guns is something we should all agree on. Sadly, we’ve managed to disagree even about that.

RELATED: Congressional Progressives Slam GOP: 2nd Amendment is not an Alibi for Senseless Gun Violence.

Why is that? Sure the National Rifle Association (NRA) has done a tremendous job making sure that America will never be able to honestly discuss guns and gun violence without appearing to soften on gun ownership.

How many deaths and injuries will it take for Americans to finally reach a point where it becomes acceptable to discuss guns and gun violence? Perhaps a few more deaths and injuries? Or a few more mass shootings?

I was reminded of an article I read this week where a musician, Caleb Keeter, the lead guitarist of a country music band playing the Route 91 Harvest festival in Las Vegas wrote that he changed his mind on gun control as a result of the violence and carnage he witnessed in Las Vegas.

I confess I was not sympathetic to his change of heart. My initial reaction was ‘good for you so you changed your mind because it happened to you’? Where is your empathy? Did it have to hit close to home for you to see the sufferings other American families endure daily as a result of gun violence?

“I’ve been a proponent of the [second] amendment my entire life,” Caleb Keeter posted on Twitter. “Until the events of last night. I cannot express how wrong I was.”

“I’ll never unhear those gunshots; and our band [and] crew will never forget how that moment made them feel,” singer Josh Abbott wrote on Twitter. “Our hearts are with all the victims.”

Glad you feel empathetic today because you almost died from gun violence. I may come across as heartless but consider this – if Keeter and Abbott were not in Las Vegas – if they were, say, in New Mexico or California or somewhere far away from Las Vegas when the incident of last weekend happened – would they have felt the same way?

The answer is probably a resounding ‘No.’

“Action to save lives is the only acceptable moral course for our country. Without action, we are asking one person to be the next person to die because of our weakness to address this evil. And then another. And then another. And then another,” said Kelly.

I understand there are those reading this article who may not agree with my sentiment and I respect your right to disagree, but does it really have to take someone close to you being murdered or maimed for you to see the dangers of gun violence and a reason to regulate who can own military-style assault weapons?

Sure the founding fathers added the 2nd amendment to the U.S Constitution but can you honestly say they envisioned a time when a person, for whatever reason, would kill 59 fellow Americans in under two minutes, for no apparent reason, using automatic or semi-automatic weapons? Can you honestly say you believe that?

I am personally not against gun ownership but at what point does it become unbearable for us as Americans to say it is unacceptable for someone to commit these heinous gun crimes?

As Americans we can agree to disagree. Just this week, this was on full display in how most Americans reacted to the Lass Vegas incident. Democrats called for stricter gun control while Republicans yawned, then called Democrats weak for daring to advocate stricter gun control.

Earlier this year, Louisiana Republican House Whip Steve Scalise was shot by a gunman while practicing with his colleagues for the annual congressional baseball game in Virginia. In 2011 while speaking to her constituents in Tucson, Arizona Democratic congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was also shot. This week, you would not have known that they both suffered the same fate by the way they reacted to the Las Vegas incident.

Giffords and her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly went to Capitol Hill to urge lawmakers to enact stricter gun control laws while Scalise, without any mention of gun violence, like his GOP colleagues, simply asked for blood donation.

“The left will ask for too much and the right will view anything as capitulation,” said one House GOP lawmaker who backs stronger background checks for gun buyers.

“Action to save lives is the only acceptable moral course for our country. Without action, we are asking one person to be the next person to die because of our weakness to address this evil. And then another. And then another. And then another,” said Kelly.

What is the difference? Party affiliation, and the NRA.

Both lawmakers read the same accounts of the horror in Las Vegas and saw the same pictures of the incident on Television but came away with vastly different solutions for the gun violence destroying American lives. Even the President of United States, Donald Trump, who made his political career demonizing everyone he considers against him managed to find a villain he could not demonize. He couldn’t call the incident terrorism or the shooter a terrorist.

Like Trump, Scalise called it an act of unspeakable evil. “In this tragic moment, I encourage people across America to stand together in solidarity, and to support the Las Vegas community and all of those affected, especially by giving blood and encouraging others to do the same. In the face of unspeakable evil, our whole nation must respond with countless acts of kindness, warmth and generosity,” Scalise said.

SEE ALSO: Democrat Leaders Express Outrage – Sen. Murphy Tells Congress to ‘Get Off Its Ass’ on Gun Control.

I agree but you know and congressman Scalise knows, that won’t do anything to end or even lessen mass shootings in America.

His spokesperson declined to respond when asked if the congressman’s views on gun control measures have changed as a result of the incident in Las Vegas.

How is that possible? At what point do we as Americans say enough? After we’ve had a few more massacres? Never? What is the right number of deaths and injuries? 10,000, 30,000 or 100,000 dead and wounded Americans?

Gun Violence Archive reports that in 2017 alone, 23,717 Americans have so far been injured by guns, 545 children (0-11 year olds) and 2,439 teenagers have either died or been hurt by someone wielding a gun. So far this year, we’ve had 273 mass shootings.

As we rightfully grieve for the lives lost in Las Vegas, let’s remember that as tragic as that was, it was just a fraction of the horror visited on American families this year alone by fellow Americans with guns and let’s rise up and say enough.

Perhaps, Trump who has so far proven inept at his job can get this one thing right. Don’t hold your breath. I won’t hold mine. His fear of the NRA and the gun lobby won’t let him speak the truth.



Editor, The Liberal Advocate News




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