As I was driving home the other day, I noticed a flag at half mast, which made me wonder: Who was it honoring?
Was it for the two officers gunned down during a traffic stop in western Wisconsin? Was it for the Minnesota sheriff’s deputy who was shot and killed while responding to a domestic assault? Was it for the Wisconsin officer gunned down by a suspected drunk driver? Or was it honoring the victims of the latest mass shooting?
But, if it was for the latter, which one?
The shootings are coming at such a furious rate, it’s increasingly difficult to know which shooting victims the flags are honoring. In fact, as of midday May 23, 2023, GunViolenceArchive.org had counted 237 mass shootings and 175 law enforcement officers killed or wounded. That works out to 1.66 mass shootings per day and 1.23 law enforcement officers shot per day!
Of course, gun advocates will use that information to support their belief that even more people need to be armed. Really? The USA already has more guns in the hands of civilians than our civilians have hands, yet the number of shootings continues to increase.
Gun advocates also claim that the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. But in a life-or-death situation, experts tell us that it’s seldom possible to distinguish between the two.
Moreover, if you still believe it’s necessary to carry a gun for self-defense, you might want to consider this: So far this year, there have been 436 defensive uses of a gun. Over the same period of time, there have been 604 unintentional shootings. So, you’re far more likely to shoot yourself with your own gun than use it to respond to a crime!
And that’s not even considering suicide by gun. With so many guns so readily available, it’s all too easy for people to kill themselves in a moment of anger or despair. Indeed, out of the total of 16,671 gun deaths this year, 9,438 have been from suicide leaving families and loved ones to clean blood and body parts off the walls of their family homes.
In addition, 13,566 people have been wounded, many sustaining life-changing debilitating physical injuries. And that doesn’t include the psychological damage done to the victims, the first responders, the ER teams, and the witnesses. (If you doubt that, look at the body camera footage of the officers involved at the Uvalde elementary school, which shows officers vomiting and sobbing after they finally entered the classrooms.) Many of these people will require physical or mental therapy for the rest of their lives.
The long-term costs are simply unimaginable.