Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Killing for Sale

"More American civilians have died by gunfire in the past decade than all the Americans who were killed in combat in the Second World War."  (In other words, more than 418,000.)

This statement is one of several that stunned me in an article by Evan Osnos in the New Yorker (June 27), whose topic, the making of money from the sale of firearms,will probably surprise few readers. But the accumulation of facts he presents is unforgettable, especially about the way a massacre, such as happened near me in Orlando earlier this month, will send stock prices of outfits like Smith & Wesson up.

After the attack in Orlando, the CEO of Smith & Wesson, the leading maker of firearms, said, he was "very pleased with the results that we got."  Surprised? Sickened?

Experts like Osnos tell us that sales of weapons, once purchased for sport, are now mostly purchased for protection. Out of fear. Gun sales continue to break records, this article states.

The mass shootings that horrify us result in just two percent of gun deaths. Most of the time, Osnos says, Americans shoot each other impulsively, up close, without political motivation.  Handguns in the wrong hands remain a major problem that our Congress is unwilling to deal with, as are assault weapons, which have no place in American homes.

How can people who consider themselves pro-life be opposed to strict laws on the sale of weapons?  The answers are complex and involve the American myth of freedom and independence; they also involve good old-fashioned capitalism and greed.

No comments: