As Vice-President Joe Biden’s Commission examines ways to prevent another Newtown massacre, the NRA has continued to spew lies about guns. For example, the organization’s leader, Wayne LaPierre, stated that “only answer to a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” He wants us to believe that we should all be armed.
To make the point, gun nuts often cite Switzerland as an example. Since virtually every able-bodied Swiss man is required to serve in the citizen militia, nearly every Swiss household has a gun. This, say the gun nuts, has resulted in the lowest incidence of gun violence in the world.
They couldn’t be more wrong.
As Switzerland’s gun ownership has increased so, too has its gun violence. Not only have gun murders increased, so have gun suicides. In fact, Switzerland’s murder rate from guns now ranks 4th in the world! And the country recently experienced its own mass shooting.
If that’s the NRA’s vision for America, get ready for even more mass murders and an explosion in gun violence. (As if an average of 32 gun murders a day and 34 mass shootings over the past year isn’t bad enough.)
A better example for ending gun violence in America is what has happened in Australia. After a mass shooting, the conservative government of Australia passed laws banning semi-automatic weapons. The government conducted gun buybacks and made it very difficult to purchase ammunition for semi-automatics. Yet Australians still have access to guns for hunting, target shooting and home defense. They simply no longer have access to weapons designed for mass shootings.
Gun violence in Australia has dropped dramatically and it’s still falling. Similar measures could work in the US, too. All we need to do is convince our elected officials to listen to us. Not the NRA.