Reading isn’t Trump’s greatest strength but in his speech addressing the two-for-one mass shootings inspired by his recent campaign trail red meat, he recited the words like a man with a gun to his head. Which is appropriate since, statistically speaking, as an American, he is likelier than citizens from any other country to be near a gun.
But no amount of banned video games or advances in access to mental health treatment (both initiatives which have been blocked repeatedly by conservatives, including Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia) could make up for the sheer numbers of guns in America. Residents of the old Wild West would be afraid to live with what you and I are facing.
- Americans own nearly half of the entire world’s guns, or approximately 120 firearms for every 100 U.S. residents.
- Our closest competition is Yemen, which has been in civil war since 2015, and which has only 53 firearms per person.
- Private citizens in this country — so we’re excluding our military and police — own nearly 46 percent of the world’s guns.
- Our guns are concentrated in fewer hands. About 40 percent of us live in a household with at least one gun, but almost half of those guns are owned by only 3 percent of the adult population. That 3 percent owns about 17 guns EACH.
- How many total guns are we talking about? Around 393 MILLION. But that was as of 2017 when Trump was still new in office. It’s probably more now.
Go ahead. Blame video games (and some are truly grotesque). Blame mental illness (as Republicans always do when there’s a mass shooting but which they drop before funding meaningful programs). Blame the internet (and sites where white supremacists post hate screeds really should have the plug pulled).
But when you’ve exhausted all the other possibilities and the problem remains, blame guns. And blame those who profit from and hold power over others largely by stoking the fear that keeps so many of us buying more guns.