The tragic shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado has received non-stop coverage. Much of it, however, has been abysmally irresponsible, transforming a potential moment for national reflection and discussion on gun laws, mental illness, and popular culture into frenzied sensationalism. Of course, we must mourn the victims, but in the name of the victims, and to prevent more victims, we need to engage in this conversation. Some see this as an inappropriate politicization of tragedy. I see it as a way to prevent more tragedy, and a matter of life and death. If you care about the victims, you need to care about the policies and politics that shape our realities, lives, and deaths. Here are some things you should know about gun violence that you won’t hear from the so-called mainstream media.
The Brady Campaign against Gun Violence explores the relationship between women and gun violence. “U.S. women’s firearm death rate is 12 times higher than the combined rate of 22 other populous, high-income countries.” You can sign the Brady Campaign’s petition to Congress here.
Mayors Against Illegal Guns documents that 34 Americans are killed everyday with guns. You can sign their petition to Congress calling for background checks here.
As this interactive map demonstrates, the United States is ranked 1 in the world for civilian gun ownership, with 88.8 guns per 100 people. 9,146 homicides, or 60% of all homicides in the last year in the United States were caused by guns. Compare this to England and Wales, where 41 homicides, or 6.6% of all homicides were caused by firearms.
As this care2 infographic (below the jump) points out, abused women are five times more likely to be killed if their partner has a gun.
You can sign Care2′s “No More Massacres: Tell Candidates to Take a Stand on Gun Control” petition here.