Australia, Canada, and the UK managed to prevent mass shootings in the aftermath of horrible crimes. And as The Onion reminded people again this week—for the 21st time since 2014—the United States is the only place where this happens.
You know how they do it? How other free, English-speaking democracies keep their citizens alive? How every other civilized country in the world does? They ban the fucking guns.
Civilians do not need assault rifles. They do not need large-capacity magazines. They do not need guns of any kind before they prove they're capable of using them properly.
By civilians, I'm including civilian police forces in most places, who only think they need them right now because other civilians have them.
To be clear: I don't want to ban all guns. In the dense urban core of Chicago where I live, no one needs a gun. But at my colleague's father-in-law's place in Montana, 50 kilometers from the nearest town, you'd be stupid not to leave the cabin without a high-powered hunting rifle at hand. The Chicago Police Department has a response time of around 30 seconds to my neighborhood. No one will save you from a bear in rural Montana.
For fuck's sake, what kind of societal insanity does a country have when you can buy a military-grade weapon easier than you can adopt a dog?
Commonsense rules already exist to mitigate the worst risks: limit magazine sizes, raise the minimum age to own a gun, close the gun-show loophole, license gun owners and guns, and end the product-liability protections for gun manufacturers.
So why haven't we adopted these rules? After 27 mass shootings this year alone? Because we can't get 50 US Senators to retrieve their testicles from the NRA.
The next time a Republican politician offers "thoughts and prayers" for the families of murdered children while voting against even the least intrusive gun regulation, I hope someone punches him in the head. My thoughts and prayers will follow.