After listening to the valiant children who faced down a killing machine on Wednesday, and listening to their pleas for immediate action, my thoughts turn to the fact that there already millions and millions of assault weapons everywhere in our country. According to the Congressional Research Service, there are roughly twice as many guns per capita in the United States as there were in 1968: more than 300 million guns in all.
After each mass shooting, gun sales increase dramatically. According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, U.S. gun-makers produced nearly 11 million guns in 2013, the year after the Sandy Hook elementary school massacre. That’s twice as many as they made in 2010.
“There’s a gun for every man, woman, and child, more or less,” says Deborah Azrael of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center, but that doesn’t mean every man, woman and child has a gun. The number of armed households has actually declined to about 1 in 3. An ever larger number of guns is concentrated in a shrinking number of homes. NPR
It is nice to think that we could do something today to limit the flow of weapons into the hands of those who wish to kill us, but would that make any difference at this point? I’m almost certain the cat is out of the bag on this one. I personally support gun control of all kinds, but even if laws were passed today to limit gun ownership, there are so many already out there and so many gun owners who are militant about their right to own lots of guns, that I fear there is little we can do to de-militarize our country.
I’m afraid we will now reap what we have sown, with millions of assault weapons in the hands of one-third of Americans.