A few weeks back, I wrote a satirical article titled “11 Ways to Educate Your Liberal Friends About the Second Amendment” in an attempt to highlight and bring the ridiculous excuses you hear on TV or read in a newspaper to light. Other than just contributing to group-think, I did also hope to cause some people to reconsider, if not just for a few moments, their stance on the use of guns in our country. Considering the vast audience that my articles tend to reach (a whole fifteen to thirty people), you can probably guess how successful I am at starting a nation-wide dialogue.
The answer is very.
But then I hear stories like this, where a 17-year-old man, on a train in Germany, injured several people with an ax. This man was clearly emotionally and mentally unstable, and while it was a tragedy that even one other person was hurt because of it, think of the damage he could have done with a gun. Now, if you read the first few words of the article, it will be revealed that the man was from Afghanistan and initially thought to be involved with ISIS, though police believe it is doubtful. However, if you feel that this disqualifies this as a case for America, you could not be further from the truth. According to Mother Jones, a database that collects data on mass shootings in the United States, a disproportionate amount of the most devastating shootings is committed at the hands of our white population and not some secret Muslim organization. In fact, Germany has one of the strictest gun laws in all of Europe, making the acquisition of such a weapon difficult.
Let’s then address the idea that the United States is different from Germany, as if that truly has any value in this discussion, and look to Australia. But Daniel, we are so different than they are! Well, as John Oliver so succinctly put it, “Australia is a former British colony with a wild frontier that was tamed by brave men who also wiped out almost an entire indigenous population.” Yeah, different. Australia, with a rich gun-filled history, had several mass shootings during a small portion of time, decided to put an end to it and enacted quick legislation. There were protestors at the time, but since then, there has not been a single mass shooting. You know who has an average of two every month? America. You know who doesn’t? Australia. Do you know the difference between the two? One has legislation in place designed to protect their population and the other has a mentality of “We can’t stop every single act of violence ever, so why bother?”
What bothers me most of all, is that no matter how many unsuspecting people are killed and injured at schools, grocery stores, and public gathering places, someone or something keeps getting in the way. Misinformation is spread around like a disease, and the voting population is always further from the truth. And still, rather than outrage or deep sorrow that a shooting has taken place, we respond with apathy because it is more surprising that one has not occurred. I leave you with this article from the Onion because it accurately sums up American mentality.