The sadness and mourning in Charleston are being felt throughout this great country. I fervently pray that racism will finally be eradicated in our nation. I pray for the victims, their families and all affected by this horrible tragedy.
Columbine, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, Killeen, University of Texas, Aurora, and now add Charleston to the tragic litany of massacres by disturbed people who had easy access to guns. The horror of the Emanuel A.M.E. Church massacre is exacerbated by the fact that it occurred in a place of sanctuary as did so many of the others.
Of course, we will hear the mantra, “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” Yes, people kill people, but in each of the massacres I mentioned, they did it with a gun. Had they not been able to obtain a weapon, they could not have perpetrated their crimes.
America is the most “gun crazy” society in the world. The gun death rate of 13.47 per 100,000 in the United States is more than double that of the next highest country and gun ownership far surpasses other countries. Almost 90 out of every 100 people own a gun.
In 2011 only 6 percent of the U.S. population 16 or older went hunting, according to the 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife Associated Recreation. Opponents of gun control will tell us that the gap between hunters and gun owners is because people need weapons to protect themselves. But, are more guns really the answer?
As in so many other instances, gun safety and the common good have been sacrificed for Americans’ demand for individual freedom. Sadly, the lawmakers in our state have decided that the answer to the gun problem is indeed more guns in more places.
When will we ever learn?
Image Credit: Mourners cast shadows on the wall of a makeshift memorial at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., June 18. Nine people were murdered the day before during a Bible study session at the church. (CNS photo/Brian Snyder, Reuters)