On February 11, the New York Times reported that during the 40 years between 1975 and 2015 not a single American was killed by a person from one the seven nations that the Trump administration has named in the travel ban. None. Not a single one. However, during that same 40-year period, 1.34 million Americans were killed by guns in murders and accidents and by suicide. That astronomical number is almost equal to the number of Americans killed in all the wars since the Revolutionary War. The NYT noted that, because they have such unrestricted access to firearms in America, husbands are far more deadly than Islamic terrorists.
Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives voted along party lines that veterans who have been deemed too mentally ill to handle their own finances still should be allowed to purchase guns. This is despite the fact that 20 veterans a day commit suicide, many with firearms. This legislation makes absolutely no sense to anyone anywhere else in the world, but Americans weren’t surprised. We simply have accepted that politicians are bought and paid for by lobbyists like the National Rifle Association.
People have genuine differences when it comes to gun control, and it would be nice if we could have civil conversations until we find common ground. Ultimately, we all want to live in a world that is more secure, but we have very different visions of how that world can and should be born. Perhaps we can reach common ground if gun owners stop being manipulated so easily into thinking every progressive wants to take away their guns, and if progressives can take a breath and believe that gun owners simply want to protect their families.
There are many causes of violence in America, and the availability of guns certainly exacerbates it. Perhaps, instead of repeating the same fights, we should seek a path to living together in peace.
Rev. Michael Piazza