The NRA’s anti-American narrative

According to the NRA parrots, the causes of gun violence are Americans who are evil, mentally ill and socially maladjusted, and who just happen to use guns rather than knives or fists to perpetrate their mass killings. “Guns don’t kill, people do,” according to this mantra. If this were true, then it would follow, from the indisputable fact that the United States is among the world’s leaders in gun-related violence and deaths, that we must also lead the world in people who are evil, mentally ill and socially maladjusted. But the NRA, which boasts of its patriotism, would never come out directly and level such an un-American and demonstrably false accusation against the American people.

The truth, of course, is that Americans are not different enough as a people from the citizens of other democracies to explain why they have so many fewer gun crimes. There are evil people in all countries, but in our country, these evil people are much more likely to use their easily available guns to do evil things to good people. The rates of mental illness and social maladjustment are not significantly different in this country than in Sweden, Canada or most of the rest of the world. Yet, in our country, more of these people use their easily available guns to commit mayhem against innocent victims.

There is only one variable that explains the dramatically higher rate of gun violence in the United States than in any comparable country. That variable is the easy availability of guns. No one has ever successfully challenged the direct correlation between gun availability and gun violence, and no one ever will.

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