Thoughts and prayers are not doing a damn thing

The headlines read, “17 killed in mass shooting at high school.” It doesn’t matter which community this happened in: it is a national disgrace. This does not happen in any other country in the world with the regularity that it happens here in America. We are No. 1 in school shootings. Of all the things we could lead the world in, it is the taking of innocent lives. Seven weeks into 2018 and this is the eighth time (at the time of this writing) there has been a school shooting with fatalities.

Immediately after this most recent shooting at a Florida high school, arguments were made that we need to arm the teachers. Great idea—let’s put the kids in the crossfire. The answer to gun violence is not more damn guns. The problem is not mental illness, nor is it the firearm itself. The problem is that we live in a culture that glorifies violence, and firearms policy is being driven by a vocal minority.

In 2014, 31 percent of American households reported owning a firearm, down from 47 percent in 1973, according to a report from National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago.

Gun ownership has become more concentrated as a result, with a small sliver of gun owners owning a growing segment of America’s firearms inventory, according to the Harvard Injury Control Research Center. These gun buyers have come to be known as “super owners” and one study, conducted by Harvard and Northeastern universities, concluded that about half the guns in America are owned by only 3 percent of the adult population, with an average of 17 firearms each. (Emphasis added)