Maine Voices: It’s time for a gun abolition movement

Press Herald | 3/23/2018 | Staff
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MONROE — As students under fire in Florida speak out to end mass shootings, many hope this time it’s different. Indeed, their demand is compelling: Our representatives in Washington must act less like politicians and more like parents. Most of them have children; they should act like it.

But a fuzzy demand for “gun control” will likely squander this opportunity to save lives. To end gun deaths, we need to ban all civilian guns.

Greg - Bates - Resident - Monroe - Freelance

Greg Bates is a resident of Monroe and a freelance editor and publisher at Common Courage Press.

WHERE TO LAY BLAME?

Americans - Year - Gunfire - Half - Deaths

Over 30,000 Americans are killed each year by gunfire. Since more than half of these deaths are suicides, it’s tempting to blame some of the victims. But every suicide is a tragedy. Many would be alive today if guns were less readily available. Blame the gun, not the person who took their own life with it.

It’s also tempting to blame mass shootings on an intractable American culture of violence. But as Max Fisher and Josh Keller reported in The New York Times last November, a 2016 study by University of Alabama criminologist Adam Lankford shows that the most compelling cause of mass shootings is the prevalence of guns. More guns equals more deaths.

Shootings - Places - Victims - Lankford - US

Reviewing shootings that occurred in public places and killed at least four victims, Lankford found that the U.S. had 90 mass shooters between 1966 and 2012, and we have some 300 million guns. No other country had more than 40 million guns and 18 mass shooters in that period. To put this in perspective, according to the reporters, the only country with more mass shooters per capita than the United States is Yemen. The U.S. has more mass shooters per capita – and more guns – than Afghanistan.

Switzerland shows that gun control can go only so far....
(Excerpt) Read more at: Press Herald
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