Gun control isn’t an issue I focus on much, as I view the issues of gun control, abortion, and parts of religion as the types of topics discussed too often already. They’re issues that much of the corporate mass media focuses on a lot, to keep a lot of people fighting amongst themselves while the corrupt few with concentrated power keep exploiting them.
It gets trickier from there, especially considering how threatened some Americans feel by even mentioning gun control. Beyond theoretical considerations, I arrived at my own findings by looking at the statistics on the issue. Australia hasn’t had any mass shootings in the 20 years since its gun reforms, for example. The vast majority of civilian homicides aren’t from gun usage in self defense either, which is an interesting take given that there are at least over 275 million guns in the U.S., or about a gun per person there. As there are also about 33,000 deaths related to guns annually and roughly 15,000 street homicides annually in the U.S., it’s a significant note that only a small fraction of them occur from self defense. It’s also significant to note the several hundred vulnerable children that are killed every year in accidental gun firings.
Even if there were gun control measures such as background checks, bans on the sale of guns for the legitimately mentally ill, Canadian-style gun licensing requirements, and a ban on semiautomatic weapons, it doesn’t seem to me as though it’s really solving the core problem. Much of criminality is really a result of poverty, after all. Gun control laws alone aren’t going to solve the major undercurrent of a mental health problem in the U.S. either, and that’s amidst other recurring problems, such as ongoing racism. There’s also the militarization of police forces, which — considering the amount of people killed or injured by U.S. police — is itself an issue that receives too little attention.
Guns made from 3D printers are also set to become more common, and the often mistaken regulatory activity of the U.S. federal government in the last 20 years makes it seem probable that 3D-printed guns won’t be addressed well. The U.S. Congress deregulated Wall Street by (among other measures) repealing the Glass-Steagall Act (which separated decently enough depository banking and investment banking) and the disastrous economic crash happened globally less than a decade later. As it has been largely under plutocratic control since the 1980s especially, the U.S. Congress has also failed to regulate the pharmaceutical industry and fossil fuels industry. The Congress doesn’t have to operate that terribly, but it will continue to do so until people representing the general public’s interests force it to operate otherwise.
There will be another debate when the next mass shooting happens, as unfortunate as that event will be to hear about. As should be the case now, it would be a beneficial development to have strong organization for positive change and a real discussion on the core problems in society, so that more of these tragedies may be minimized or even eliminated.