One Nation Under Guns
Beyond the myths of gun control
There are a dozen different reasons we could call for more gun control: the US’s regular mass shootings, the numbers of young children who are shot or have access to unsecured guns every year, the loopholes in the background check process, and the threats to women whose abusers have guns. So while the shooting of Congressman Steve Scalise is fresh in our minds, the impetus for this email isn’t one shocking event but a steady background drumbeat of gun violence that we live with every day.
Some commonplaces about gun control aren’t quite true—Chicago isn’t uniquely dangerous among US cities, and while the CDC is effectively banned from gun violence research, the technical wording of the statute doesn’t prohibit it. Other common assertions, like the frequency with which guns are used against family members, are depressingly true. Read through this fact sheet about gun control from investigative reporters at The Trace
, and discuss something you learned on social media. Tag us @mycivicworkout so we can see how hard you are working.
There are tens of thousands
of gun injuries and deaths
every year. Slate put together an interactive map of all gun violence in the US from December 2014–June 2016. The map distinguishes between fatal and nonfatal shootings and notes when the police were involved. Type in your home address and read about the gun injuries and deaths in your community. Send a quick email (perhaps also forwarding this edition) to family members or friends who would be interested in learning what you found out.
States vary widely in their gun laws, and the Gun Law State Score Card
from the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence
has the details on every state. Find your state’s ranking and look at what can be done to improve its laws. Is there a particular bill in your state assembly you can push for, or a coalition of religious leaders and business owners taking a stand against concealed carry in their buildings? Figure out one action you can take, and get it done.
In the essay “What Bullets Do to Bodies,” Jason Fagone profiles trauma surgeon Amy Goldberg:
“…God and the Devil are with you. You start a case. A young person. Shot. They come in talking. You go upstairs. They have this devastating injury. The Devil. You suck. You’re gonna kill this guy. You call yourself a good trauma surgeon. You’re the worst. And you just plow ahead and plow ahead and plow ahead. You find what’s injured. You control it. God. Oh, you are the best. You’ve done a great job. Then you’re working. You find another injury you didn’t expect. You suck, you suck, you suck.”
Fitness Is Always Easier With a Friend
The majority of gun owners cite self-defense
, and fear of people who could harm them, as a reason for owning guns. Do your part to build a community of people who care for each other, not one that breeds fear. The Day of Dinners
this Sunday, June 25, connects people with their neighbors for potluck dinners. Sign up to host or attend a dinner near you.
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