Kim Jong Un says he has a nuclear button. Donald Trump says, “I do, too, but mine is bigger.”
Pardon the vulgarity, but is this response not the very definition of a “dick-head?”
The thought of a nuclear face-off between two addled, egomaniacal leaders is pretty scary, but let’s be honest…what are the chances?
On the other hand, the mass murder of 17 high school students in Parkland, Florida was, by at least one count, the 18th multiple-victim school shooting in America in the first 8 weeks of 2018.
If that in itself doesn’t suggest to you that America has a serious gun problem, here are some more frightening statistics. According to Gun Policy.org — a well-respected research and data collection organization based at the University of Sydney, Australia, School of Public Health — there are roughly 300 million guns in private hands in the United States. That’s almost one per person. Just under half the families in America have a gun at home.
With the highest per capita number of guns in private hands, it should be no surprise that the United States also has, per capita, the highest rates of gun deaths and gun homicides in the world.
In roughly two-thirds of all murder and manslaughter cases in America, the weapon of choice is a firearm.
So, what kind of fool would look at those numbers and decide, the way to secure a society with too many guns in use is to add more, by arming teachers and school guards?
That will show the “cowards.”
That’s the word President Trump uses to label school-shooters rather than “madmen.” Calling the Nikolas Cruzes of the world “mentally ill” would sound too “soft” and sympathetic.
It would also point to the fallacy of Trump’s school-defense policy, that rational “cowards” will re-calculate the odds of a successful mass murder because someone in a school might be armed.
Maybe Trump makes this foolish assumption based on his own innards. He may know, deep in his heart, that he is either rational or cowardly enough to be deterred from a first-strike against North Korea, because – whether or not they have capable nuclear weapons to respond to the touch of Kim Jong Il’s button – they are still too well armed to mess with.
We greatly out-gun North Korea, and we count on this to restrain Kim. Because we believe he is rational. Both he and Trump are “madmen” only in diplomatic theory. They are not likely school-shooters.
The simple logic of force-counterforce doesn’t reach the mass shooters, many of whom don’t plan to survive. But it does increase the risk of collateral casualties.
There are more than 875 million firearms in the world, 75 per cent of them in the hands of civilians. 10 million new guns are made every year in the US alone. Firearms kill close to 1000 people worldwide every day, more than 90 a day are killed by guns in the United States. More guns in more places will only make those numbers, not public security, grow.