We’re staring down the barrel of a gun.
2015 has seen 353 mass shootings in America. To put that in perspective, that’s more attacks than there has been days this year. In addition to this, the total number of gun-related incidents this year is 49,827, resulting in 12,599 deaths. That’s almost one in every four gun-related attacks ending in death.
There’s no denying the public is divided over the gun issue becoming increasingly apparent in the US. While anti-gun supporters continue to plead with government officials to see sense, pro-gun groups have stayed resolute in their motto that, ‘It’s not guns that kill people, it’s people that kill people’. Intensifying debate, Republican frontrunner, Donald Trump, did what he does best and added controversy to the fire by declaring the recent Paris attacks wouldn’t have occurred if civilians had been armed.
Regardless of what side of the fence you fall on, 12,599 lives is 12,599 lives too many, and with shootings taking place in hospitals, outside of churches, at barber shops and birthday parties, it seems there’s nowhere truly ‘safe’ from a gun attack anymore. If you’re not already convinced gun ownership needs to be restricted, here’s seven startling images highlighting just how far the gun issue is spiralling out of control…
1. These hard to ignore figures
With many dealers not requiring background checks and those that do merely requesting details like name, age, race and social security number, it’s easier to get a gun than it is to get a bank loan in America. Ridiculous right? In comparison to the rest of the world, gun ownership and and gun-related violence in America is startlingly high. The United States has 867 guns for every 1,000 people, and 14,000 more retailers selling guns than it does groceries.
2. This powerful message
A recent PSA featuring Hollywood’s elite, including Jennifer Aniston, Amy Schumer, Sofia Vergara, Kevin Bacon and even President Obama, has been released in the wake of the San Bernardino and Colorado shootings calling for an end to loose legislation around gun ownership. The powerful 90-second video was uploaded to YouTube by the Everytown for Gun Safety group and sees the all-star cast repeat the command “We can end gun violence,” along with Obama adding, “When we come together, Americans can do anything.”
3. This vigil for a husband and father of two
Earlier this month, mourners gathered at the University of Colorado to pay their respects to a campus police officer who was killed in a gun attack outside a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood facility. Forty-four year-old Garrett Swasey was a loving husband and father of two who served his community through police work and pastoral duties at his local church. He lost his life along with two other victims during the five hour shooting siege.
Regardless of where you stand in the Planned Parenthood debate, it’s hard not to wonder if this needless loss of lives would have occurred had 57 year-old extremist, Robert Dear, not been able to so easily purchase a gun.
4. This shocking reminder
Just days after the Planned Parenthood shooting, a married couple killed 14 civilians and injured another 22 in an Islamic extremism-inspired terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California. The attack was unprovoked and is the deadliest since the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary shooting.
Hillary Clinton weighed in on the incident via Twitter, “I refuse to accept this as normal. We must take action to stop gun violence now.”
5. This not funny Facebook group
In October, college student Jessica Jin launched a Facebook protest group in reaction to the government’s announcement of a new ‘campus carry law’, allowing license holders to carry concealed handguns onto campus grounds. Jin’s darkly humorous premise, Cocks Not Glocks, calls on students to bring prohibited dildos to class in order to highlight the nonsensical nature of allowing deadly weapons into an educational facility. Despite the backlash from students, the University of Texas has planned to go ahead with its plans to allow students to carry concealed guns.
6. This disturbing mock mass shooting
In retaliation to a University of Texas proposal for ‘gun-free zones’ to be implemented around their campus, pro-gun groups Come and Take It Texas and Don’t Comply, orchestrated a mock mass shooting in order to highlight potential ‘killing zones’ that would remain vulnerable on campus if guns weren’t allowed.
During the mock shooting, six people where ‘shot’ with cardboard guns, and covered in tomato sauce to resemble fake blood, then outlined with chalk to suggest their deaths.
7. This protest
When Obama touched down in Roseberg, Oregon, in October, to meet with the families of the victims of a shooting by 26 year-old student, Christopher Harper-Mercer at Umpqua Community College that tragically took the lives of eight students and an assistant professor, he received a rather surprising welcome – hundreds of locals protesting the President’s anti-gun comments. Some of the signs read, ‘Obama is wrong’, ‘Gun Free Zones Are Kill Zones’ and ‘Gun Free Zones Are For Sitting Ducks,’.
The disturbing protest signs stood as a stark reminder of the level of fear gun-related crimes have incited in communities most touched by them.
Images via usatoday.com, news.yahoo.com, slate.com, youtube.com, theguardian.com, wnd.com, AP Photo/David Zalubowski.