In the midst of the horrific tragedy in London, the President tweeted a rhetorical question about how there wasn’t a gun debate following that terror attack unlike those in San Bernadino or Orlando. Trump simplistically explains the answer to his rhetorical: “That’s because they used knives and a truck!”
So the next question should be – Mr. President, if you really want to venture into the policy debate about guns – why did the London terrorists use a far less lethal means of attack? Perhaps because handguns were banned in the UK since a school shooting in 1996, the firearm homicide rate in the UK is vastly lower than in the US. In fact, the US firearm homicide rate is about 70 times greater than that in England.
Now, onto something which the current administration abhors…the facts. We have a great listing of articles that discuss evidence-based ways to reduce gun deaths in the United States. Here a few things that will work:
- universal background checks for firearm purchase, background checks for ammunition, and ballistic fingerprinting
- permits, licensing, and registration for firearms
Several studies have demonstrated the relationship between gun ownership and firearm-related homicides. It seems like common sense that access to guns will lead to people being killed by them.
- there is a strong relationship between higher levels of gun ownership and higher firearm-related homicide rates
- there is a positive association between gun ownership and firearm-related assault, robbery, and homicide
But as my mother would say, common sense isn’t common any more. So, Mr. President, we are not having the debate over gun control for a very important reason. Perhaps it was because terrorists there find it harder to obtain firearms. Whatever their reason, you have an obligation to defend America from all enemies foreign and domestic. A good start would be some proven strategies to reduce firearm deaths (both homicides and suicides) such as universal background checks, permits to purchase, and registration of all firearms.