Two days ago, Donald Trump backed down on his pledge to legislate background checks for gun owners. Max Boot writes:
What the hell is wrong with us?
After every mass murder, Republicans offer lame excuses and tawdry evasions in lieu of badly needed action. They claim that it’s too soon to talk about political solutions right after a shooting — and then it’s too late. They blame video games and mental illness, even though every other Western country has video games and mental illness and none has the same problem with shootings. The rate of violent gun deaths in the United States is nine times higher than in Canada, 73 times higher than in the United Kingdom, 88 times higher than in South Korea, 110 times higher than in Japan. The rate is even higher in the United States than in Iraq or Afghanistan. This isn’t because the United States has a disproportionate share of the world’s video games. It’s because we have a disproportionate share of the guns: 4.27 percent of the world’s population owns more than 40 percent of all the world’s guns in civilian hands.
The ugly truth is that the Republican Party is owned by the NRA. Republicans are doing what they've been paid to do, despite all the evidence that gun control works -- like the assault weapons ban which was in place between 1994 and 2004:
Louis Klarevas, a researcher at Columbia University, found that during the 10 years when the assault weapon ban was in effect, “the number of gun massacres … fell by 37 percent, and the number of people dying from mass shootings fell by 43 percent.” The effect would have been even greater if the 1994 law had fewer loopholes and if it had banned the possession, not merely the sale, of assault weapons and large-capacity magazines. That’s essentially what Australia did in 1996 after a gunman slaughtered 35 people. Australia has had only one shooting since then that killed more than four people — and that was the slaughter of a single family carried out by a relative.
The slaughter continues. And the Republicans -- led by the Coward In Chief -- sit on their hands.
Image: The Daily Beast