June 14, 2016 by David K. Sutton
Guns Are The X Factor In American-Style Mass Murder
Car accidents kill people. Construction accidents kill people. Even a slip and fall in the shower has been known to occasionally kill a person. There is a limitless list of things that can kill a person, but we accept life has risks. We accept the convenience and commerce offered by automobiles all while acknowledging the negative side effect of vehicle fatalities, although regulations have made cars safer than decades ago. We accept building roads, bridges, and other infrastructure also comes with a negative side effect, although in this area we have done a lot to decrease construction fatalities through safety regulations. And yes, we accept that even the most mundane of things, taking a shower, could lead to death.
But must we accept the teachings of our twisted American gun culture? Do we really believe guns are not the problem? We’ve all heard the tired refrain, “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” Who can argue with that? After all, as they tell us, guns are tools, and a gun never killed anyone on its own, someone has to pull the trigger. In what other areas of the human experience do we accept this rationale? Do we accept cars don’t kill people, people behind the wheel kill people, therefore no automobile regulations? Why do we believe we should only focus on the 30,000 reasons people are killed each year and not focus on the one reason it was so easy to take a life?
Hatred, anger, xenophobia, racism, or any other intolerance you can think of are all potential factors in a mass shooting, but there is an X factor that links all American-style mass murders.
Guns. Lots of guns. All too easy access to military-style weaponry, and a gun culture that spits out intellectually empty melodies about people killing people, and good guys with guns.
It is true a gun will not kill unless someone pulls the trigger, but it is also true that a gun made it possible for one person to injure and kill over 100 people in Orlando, Florida. It was not the capacity of his hatred that made it possible. No, what made it so quick and easy to end the lives of so many innocent people was the capacity of his legally purchased gun.