Editorial: Let’s stop killing each other

Published: 8/8/2019 11:48:06 AM

The United States of America continues to be the world’s battleground, a nation theoretically at peace but a nation where war-like violence occurs on a near-daily basis. After this weekend’s pair of mass shootings by young white men, there were plenty of thoughts and prayers tossed around and a lot of fingers pointed; on Monday morning, we’re no closer to a solution to our nation’s deadly, unique problem.

Let’s take a look at where the blame was placed after the shooting in El Paso and Dayton.

President Donald Trump started the day Monday by blaming the “fake news media” for increasing the level of anger in our country to the point where we regularly have mass shootings. He’s both right and wrong. In typical Trumpian fashion, this is an example of gaslighting. If you look at the El Paso shooter’s manifesto, he clearly parrots talking points espoused by both Trump and Fox News regarding a so-called Mexican invasion at our border.

Several Republican lawmakers took to Fox News to point fingers at another scapegoat – violent video games. If the El Paso shooter hadn’t played Call of Duty, he would value human life more and would never have gone on a violent spree to kill as many Mexicans as he could.

Does this make sense? It’s inarguable that the U.S. leads the world in mass shootings, with (depending on your definition) dozens to hundreds each year, compared to somewhere like Japan, which has between zero and one mass shootings per year. Does Japan have video games? We have to believe they do.

Another thing that Japan definitely has is strict gun regulations, rigorous background checks, a limit on magazine and ammunition and a culture that does not prioritize lining the pockets of fat cats over children’s lives.

It’s time for the U.S. to follow in the world’s footsteps and do something about this. In the ten years following President Bill Clinton’s assault rifle ban, mass shootings were down significantly. In the 15 years since President George W. Bush let that ban lapse, they are up to the point that they are routine parts of our daily life.

Let’s start by bringing back that assault rifle ban. That would at least be a start. Otherwise, it’s only a matter of time before it happens here, before some of our friends and neighbors are gunned down. Who will you point a finger at then?


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