Once again, an individual armed to the teeth performs a massacre at an education center. President Obama makes a call in favor of laws imposing a minimum of control in the acquisition of firearms. Gun rights once again denounce the politicization of a tragedy, claiming that the problem is not guns but mental health. For many sorrowful days the loss of nine lives is mourned… until the cycle repeats itself with another massacre.
The President is right when he says that the prayers for the victims are insufficient. Gun violence is reaching epidemic levels. The website Mass Shooting Tracker, which tracks fire guns incidents day by day, confirmed 294 events involving at least four injured or killed so far this year (that is, 275 days). Figures also indicate that more people died of gunshots in the U.S. in 2015 than the 8,000 U.S. soldiers fallen so far in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
It’s just tragic that the magnitude of the problem of extremely easy access to fire guns is lost in abstract legal discussions, like constitutional arguments or hypothetical situations that rarely occur in real life, such as a legally armed person preventing a shooter from killing.
It is true that there is a serious mental health problem nationally, but that is not an excuse to evade responsibilities for facilitating access to arms. A revolver or a rifle in the hands of an unstable person is much more deadly than any other instrument.
It is also wrong to divide between good and bad gun owners. The difference between one and the other is often a badly managed personal crisis, such a divorce or loss of employment, which turns an honest citizen into a mass killer. The excessive amount of weapons in circulation also makes things easier for criminals who steal them from distracted owners.
More gun control is needed, and hopefully what happened in Oregon will bring on a change. If not, we will have to helplessly wait for the next massacre.