Everything about America’s gun debate is wrong – here’s why

Everything about America’s gun debate is wrong – here’s why

We write about gun violence in America as our full-time jobs. Between the two of us, we’ve been doing that for over a decade. We see that America’s endless gun debate does not treat shooting victims and their families equitably. It is not driven by a focus on what actually works to save lives. It rarely includes the voices of the majority of the victims or any of the people who have a track record of successfully preventing shootings. It is not just biased; it is actively harmful and racist. And it will never make us safer. We are sad, frustrated and angry. Here’s why: We focus on “mass shootings ”, but that obscures the violence that really drives America’s gun violence crisis. Last year, gun violence in the US killed an estimated 4,000 more people than it did in 2019. More than 500 people died in shootings that included multiple casualties or injuries. And yet, for a full year, there was not a single major news cycle about an American mass shooting. Labels matter. They inform how we see victims, our level of focus, what we consider as solutions. Between less than 1 and 3% of America’s gun homicide victims die in what we generally consider “mass shootings”. But none of the community shootings last year prompted national debates over what we should do to prevent this kind of violence, and rarely do people dig into the reasons behind a community shooting or the motivation of the shooter […]

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