Wired Says We Have a Gun Addiction

There are other ways to look at the numbers.

Handgun lying on American flag

Yesterday, Wired magazine published an article called “America’s Got a Gun Addition. These Numbers Prove It.” I bet you can think of other ways to interpret these numbers, as I did. Here goes.

1. More than 11 million firearms are manufactured in the US each year. Our interpretation: That translates to a lot of jobs. We researched some other numbers related to guns and jobs and found that the gun industry added 24,763 jobs in 2015 for a nationwide total of 287,986. Those numbers represent a 10% increase from the manufacturing and retail jobs in the gun industry for the previous year.

2. Another five million guns are imported. Our interpretation: Americans own more guns than anyone else in the world. Americans support the world’s gun economy. Critics say that American guns end up in foreign countries. We don’t doubt that this is true, but those countries are responsible for policing their own borders and putting limits on guns.

3. The rate of gun violence has held steady in recent years. Our interpretation: As the amount of guns being privately owned in the United States has greatly increased over the past 10 years, the fact that there are more gun owners in the US than ever and the same amount of crime clearly shows that responsible gun ownership is not the problem.

4. More than 33,000 people die from a gunshot each year. Our interpretation: We feel saddened by gun violence as we know that everyone with a conscience also does. But, the number has not changed over recent years. Since we know the rate of gun ownership in the US has skyrocketed in recent years, see number 3 above. Responsible gun ownership is not the problem. If you must find blame…look at the lack of comprehensive mental health care in this country. Look at issues of poverty. Look at issues related to the lack of good paying jobs, which correlates to crime. There are a number deep issues that need to be addressed, but the common response is “blame the NRA.” Nearly 22,000 of those gun deaths were suicides. Perhaps a greater emphasis on mental health would help those gun death numbers go way down.

5. Voters in several states will consider November ballot initiatives to improve gun safety and expand background checks. Our interpretation: Good. We support gun safety and background checks. Research shows that background checks do curb gun violence. However, a criminal will not apply for a background check.