How To Fix the Debate over Guns

How To Fix the Debate over Guns

Credit…Illustration by The. New York Times / Photography via Getty In the span of a week, two acts of public violence have stolen the lives of 18 people and provided a stark reminder of the mass gun violence that characterized the pre-Covid United States — and that looms with the end of the pandemic. In the first, a gunman, acting within a broader context of anti-Asian misogyny, went to three Atlanta-area massage businesses, taking the lives of eight people. The second, in Boulder, Colo., occurred at a grocery store — one of the few places people still congregate during the pandemic — as some went about their shopping and others eagerly waited to be vaccinated. Gun violence did not go away during 2020. Gun homicides jumped 25 percent from the year before , apparently fueled in part by a rise in intimate partner violence. Some people have approached the possibility of becoming a victim of violence, including anti-Asian hate crime , with what could be characterized as an act of anticipatory trauma: purchasing a firearm . This isn’t unprecedented. Americans have long turned to firearms as both a last (if not first) resort for addressing uncertainty, precarity, and insecurity in a country that largely lacks a collective social safety net. It is also not uncommon to find victims of gun violence turning to precisely the tool of their victimization — the gun — to cope in the aftermath. In the U.S., people often reach for more guns as a […]

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