The United States has seen a string of recent mass shootings, but support for stiffer gun control has dropped. NRA chief Wayne LaPierre – and most Americans, polls show – say the emphasis should be on the mental health system.
At a memorial service Sunday evening, President Obama will join the loved ones of the 12 people killed in a rampage at the Washington Navy Yard in last week.
“I'll be meeting in mourning with families in this city who now know the same unspeakable grief of families in Newtown and Aurora and Tucson and Chicago and New Orleans and all across the country, people whose loved ones were torn from them without headlines sometimes or public outcry," Mr. Obama said in a keynote speech to the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Saturday night.
Obama also acknowledged his failure to get new gun-control legislation passed.
“That means we've got to get back up and go back at it, because as long as there are those who fight to make it as easy as possible for dangerous people to get their hands on a gun, then we've got to work as hard as possible for the sake of our children,” he said.
Not surprisingly, National Rifle Association (NRA) executive director Wayne LaPierre has a different view.
“The whole country knows the problem is there weren’t enough good guys with guns!” Mr. LaPierre said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press” in reference to the navy yard shooting Monday. “When the good guys with guns got there, it stopped.”
No matter which point of view one chooses to emphasize, statistics gathered by the Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence are grim:
• One in three people in the US knows someone who has been shot.
• On average, 32 Americans are murdered with guns every day, and 140 are treated for a gun assault in an emergency room.
• Every day on average, 51 people kill themselves with a firearm, and 45 people are shot or killed in an accident with a gun.
• The US firearm homicide rate is 20 times higher than the combined rates of 22 countries that are our peers in wealth and population.
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