President Trump delivered a short speech on Monday in which he blamed the internet, video games, mental illness, and the fact that the state does not execute enough people for the two mass shootings that killed more than two dozen people this weekend.
The one thing Trump refused to blame was the actual weapons used to murder these individuals.
“Mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger,” Trump said, “not the gun.”
It’s a new spin on an old anti-gun control slogan — “guns don’t kill people, people do” — but it’s just wrong. Every nation has people with mental illnesses. Every one of our peer nations have video games and access to the internet. What sets the United States apart from countries that do not have the same epidemic of gun violence is guns, plain and simple.
This close correlation between the number of guns and the rate of gun violence also exists within the United States. As the percentage of gun-owning households within a state increases, the number of gun deaths also tends to rise.
Similarly, a 2013 report by the Center for American Progress found that “the 10 states with the weakest gun laws collectively have a level of gun violence that is more than twice as high — 104 percent higher — than the 10 states with the strongest gun laws.” (ThinkProgress is an editorially independent newsroom housed at the Center for American Progress Action Fund.)
Simply put, guns kill people. The way to prevent gun violence is to get rid of guns.