Saturday, February 17, 2018

Guns 102: Why the Florida students cannot prevail against the numbers

The problem, you Florida kids protesting inaction on gun control and school safety, lies in the numbers.

When I was a year or two younger than you, my father sent me to learn gun safety at a police shooting range under a program, as I recall by the NRA. His intent was that I should learn to shoot safely so that I could join him in the field on his hunting trips. In the intervening years, something awful happened: every American, on average, acquired one or more firearms never meant for hunting or target practice. CBS news reports on Gun ownership and gun violence in America, by the numbers.

Wednesday’s shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkland, Florida claimed 17 lives and injured more than a dozen others. It was not the first mass shooting - or even the first shooting at a school - in 2018. Below are some statistics on gun ownership and gun violence in America.

Below is the short version.

357 Million - That was the number of guns in the United States in 2013 …

3 percent - That’s the percentage of people who own over half of the nation’s guns …

400,000 - That’s the number of firearms stolen every year …

18 - That’s the number of times a weapon has been fired on school grounds in 2018 …

Over 150,000 - That’s the number of students attending primary or secondary schools in the U.S. who have experienced a shooting on their campus …

30 - That’s the number of mass shootings that have occurred thus far in 2018 …

11,564 - That’s the average number of Americans murdered every year by gun violence …

114,994 - That’s the average number of Americans annually “shot in murders, assaults, suicides & suicide attempts, unintentional shootings, or by police intervention,” …

So, Florida kids, that is what my generation has bequeathed to you: guns, fear, and death.

And because of my generation’s actions and inactions, I wrote the third part of this series a while back but I will resurrect it in today’s edition of the blog.

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