Tag Archives: gun violence

Gun Violence and Health Care

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As everyone in America knows by now, this last weekend we had the worst mass killing in modern history (the slaughter of women and children by US soldiers at Wounded Knee was the worst). Was this an act of ‘terrorism’?  We are all a little more terrorized right now. And while we may be in shock, we are not surprised. We are not surprised because we have become all too used to this happening in our country. We are not surprised by the lack of empathy on the part of Republican politicians. And we are not surprised by their lack of response: “now is not the time to talk about guns in this country”—is their only response. Followed by silence and prayer.

There are two things that we know for certain about this weekend’s mass murder: it will happen again, and Republican politicians will do nothing about it. They did nothing after Sandy Hook, when 26 children and their teachers were murdered. They do nothing every day in America when an average of 42 people are gunned down.  They will do nothing now. They are beholden to the gun lobby, in the same way they are beholden to Big Oil, Big Pharma, Big Banks, Big Tobacco, and other corporate donors who line their pockets with blood money.

But here is my question: do these Republican politicians think that those 500 people wounded by a hail of bullets from the sky have a right to health care? This is important. Because they all showed up at the emergency rooms, where they weren’t turned away. Who is going to pay for their health care? The gun lobby? Are these innocent victims going to get stuck with thousands of dollars of medical bills? Or, is now not the time to talk about this either?

Here is my point: innocent victims should have their medical expenses covered—by a national insurance program. These people did not choose to be shot. But, nor do people choose to get cancer. Millions of people suffer from diseases, traffic accidents, and other health care related issues through no fault of their own. Some of them can afford insurance, some of them cannot.

Imagine the callousness of a politician saying to those wounded in the massacre last weekend: “we are sorry that you were in the wrong place at the wrong time, but here is a bill for tens of thousands of dollars for your medical expenses”.  But this is the same callousness which is implied every day. Take the logic of this massacre of innocent people, and apply it to what is happening every day in America.

Innocent people are dying, or declaring bankruptcy, because they cannot afford health insurance—through no fault of their own.

When Anti-Gun Control Activists Overlook The Obvious

Gun Show

It’s time to put a bad argument to bed. Many in the anti-gun control camp point to cities like Washington D.C. in order to show, they claim, that gun control doesn’t work. Their argument is:

(1) Washington D.C. has some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation.
(2) Washington D.C. still has gun crime.
Therefore, (3) Gun control does not work; if it did, D.C. would be one the safest city in the country.

The problem with this argument is that it overlooks one very important fact – guns are easily transportable. If handguns are illegal in D.C., for example, then people who want a handgun only need to drive outside of D.C. to procure one.

This is the major obstacle to piece-meal gun regulations. The problem is that, whatever measures we put in place (such as required background checks and waiting periods) only work insofar as these measures cover a large enough area to makes skirting the law too difficult to pursue.

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