Yes, Guns Kill

William Saletan at Slate demonstrates that ‘the faster the weapon, the higher the body count.’

This morning, a madman attacked more than 20 children at an elementary school in China. As of this writing, there are no reported fatalities.

A few hours later, a madman attacked an elementary school in Connecticut. As of this writing, 20 of those kids are dead.

The difference? The weapon. The madman in China had a knife. The madman in Connecticut had three semi-automatic guns. *

Look up the worst school massacres in history, and you’ll see the pattern. Madmen are everywhere. They strike without regard to gun laws, mental health care, or the national rate of churchgoing. They’ve slaughtered children in every country you’d think might have been spared: Scotland, Germany, Canada, Brazil, Finland, Japan. They’ve falsified every pet political theory about what kind of culture or medical system or firearms legislation prevents mass murder.

But one pattern holds true: The faster the weapon, the higher the body count.

There is no reason for weapons of war to be sold to the American public except profit. As long as there is no accountability the trade in deadly weapons will continue to make our society more dangerous and more fearful. Like the inner city at the mercy of the cheap ‘Saturday night special’ we’re being sold on fear and escalating violence.

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