Japan’s Warning! US ‘A Gun Society…Potential for Gunfire Incidents Everywhere’

August 6, 2019

Overcast-gray this Tuesday evening on California’s north coast, with no sun appearance at all today — also a dog run to Little River State Beach this morning was the same, except for a chilled ocean breeze.
Showers maybe on Saturday, and supposedly remain ash-like all week.

Best illustration I’d seen yet on mass shootings, America is killing it (h/t Tom Sullivan yesterday at Digby‘s):

As stated, of course, the chart doesn’t include Dayton, Ohio.
In response, some in the world acknowledged the gun play — Venezuela and Uruguay issued stern warnings for citizens visiting the US, as did Japan: ‘“Japanese residents should be aware of the potential for gunfire incidents everywhere in the United States, a gun society, and continue to pay close attention to safety measures,” the statement read.’

Guns and laws on guns is the point. Obvious scenario on gun laws at Wired this afternoon:

And like other forms of gun violence — including homicide, suicide, and unintended accidents — researchers are finding that mass shooting events happen more often in states with looser gun laws.

When they compared those scores to mass shootings per million residents, they found that for every 10-point relaxation in a state’s gun laws, the rates of mass shootings in that state increased by 11.5 percent.

It’s worth noting here that while living in a state with strict gun laws does appear to confer some significant public health advantages — fewer gun-related suicides and homicides; one recent study found it cut rates of premature deaths in half — those laws only go so far.
Motivated individuals will find ways around them, either over the internet or across porous state borders.
The gunman who killed three people in Gilroy, California, in July, for example, traveled to Nevada to buy a military-style rifle configured in a way that was illegal in his home state.

Most Americans want stricter gun laws, and the reality even of Republicans — apparently it’s the party, stupid! Via the opinion-poll analysis site FiveThirtyEight this morning:

Polls show that Republican voters prioritize gun rights over gun control but aren’t universally opposed to restrictions on firearms.
In fact, most Republicans support expanding background checks.
Most back “red flag” provisions allowing the police to take guns away from people deemed dangerous by a judge. A majority support requiring a license to purchase a gun.

And indeed, Republicans in Congress have blocked every recent attempt to pass major new gun control laws.
Don’t be surprised if that happens again.
It’s not that Republican voters are adamantly opposed to gun control, as the data above shows.
But the Republican Party as an institution is hostile to gun control measures.

None of this is to say that some kind of gun control measure won’t pass.
But a more comprehensive measure or group of measures (like expanding background checks, banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines and adopting red flag laws) faces huge barriers with a Republican-controlled Senate and a GOP president — even though a majority of voters overall and a sizable bloc of GOP voters would likely support all of that.
In 1994, when the U.S. adopted an assault weapons ban, 38 House Republicans and 10 GOP senators voted in favor of it.
Twenty-five years and many mass shootings later, only eight Republicans backed the background checks bill that passed the House earlier this year.
Republican voters may be moving, along with the rest of the country, in embracing gun control measures — but don’t expect the Republican Party to move too much anytime soon.

The way-best way to reverse that situation comes in the words of former Republican Rep. David Jolly of Florida: ‘“If this is the issue that informs your ideology as a voter, the strength to draw in this moment is to commit to beating Republicans. Beat ’em. Beat every single one of them. Even the safe ones in the House, beat ’em. Beat ’em in the Senate. Take back the Senate.”
First impeach the motherfucker…

(Pablo Picasso’s ‘Self Portrait Facing Death‘ (June 30, 1972), was originally found here).

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