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When fear and money rule gun control, lives don’t matter much

By Dian Vujovich

After the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School that killed 20 children and six adults, I like thousands of others thought for sure something would be done to enforce stricter gun laws in America but that didn’t happen. So if that horrific massacre of innocent children wasn’t enough to get those in power to move the gun control needle into stricter restrictions what could?

For all of the grieving parents, friends and relatives who have lost loved ones in mass shootings over the past few decades, there will be no forgetting the name of the person who shot their loved one.

There will also be no understanding why so little has actually been done to curb gun violence in America. We are, after all, the only country on the planet Earth where the number of guns pretty much equals our number of residents. And the one where about 10,000 Americans are murdered every year by guns. And the one where millions upon millions of dollars are spent each year to both help elect and then lobby pro-gun government officials. So one might think that in this day and age we, as a nation, would be ashamed of our archaic gung-ho gun thinking particularly when study after study show that more guns in the hands of citizens does not equal less killings but more.

But facts don’t matter much when people are running scared. And they are running because each day on streets around this country guns are being used to shoot and kill innocent people. It’s that fear of being killed— because our nation’s leaders have chosen to promote gun ownership rather than limit it— that has stoked this gotta-have-a-gun-to-protect-yourself and the Second Amendment thinking.

Throw in the millions of dollars gun and ammunition manufacturers make each year, right along with all the money spent and received with respect to the training and education of police, teachers and gun owners in our trigger-happy society and it’s easy to see that shooting is big business. And as such, it’s hard to fight.

Some for instances from a CNBC.com story, “America’s Gun Business, By The Numbers”, October 2, 2015:

•$13.5 billion is the annual revenue of gun and ammunition manufacturing industry, with a $1.5 billion profit. (IBIS World)

•$3.1 billion is the annual revenue of gun and ammunition stores, with a $478.4 million profit. (IBIS World)

•10,847,792 is the number of pistols, revolvers, rifles, shotguns and miscellaneous firearms manufactured in the U.S. in 2013, the latest full year available. (ATF)

•263,223 is the number of full-time jobs related to the firearm industry, up from 209,750 in 2012. (NSSF)

•$42.9 billion is the estimated overall economic impact of the firearms and ammo industry in the U.S. (NSSF)

And from a Marketwatch.com piece, “The NRAs profit soars as deaths from gun massacres mount”, dated October 2, 22105: “NRA membership dues skyrocketed by a staggering 62% in the year after Sandy Hook, from $108 million to $176 million. Total revenue in 2013 hit a third of a billion dollars.”

If I were in charge, we’d live in a gun-free society. It is 2015 after all and killing each other for no other reason than the simple fact that pretty much anyone can buy a gun and bullets is simply no way to live.

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