Two stories in the Washington Post caught my attention. The first describes Gun Homicides and Gun Ownership by Country and reveals, not surprisingly, that “The United States has the highest gun ownership rate in the world and the highest per capita rate of firearm-related murders of all developed countries.” When ranked by rate of ownership, Yemen is second and Switzerland third. The US falls to 18th place when ranked by % of homicides that involved guns. In the comments that followed, the point was often made that the underlying issue is mental health. However, as one contributor noted, “Correct it is a mental health issue however the opportunity for people with mental health issues to gain possession of an automatic assault rifle in the USA is in itself an insanity actively promoted and encouraged by the NRA”. Whatever your views, the chart is worth checking out. Here is the link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/nation/gun-homicides-ownership/table/
The other, more recent Washington Post article, appeared on Jan 5 and describes the start of President Obama’s efforts to respond to the gun massacres. Essentially the point is made that his response is likely to be ‘far broader and more comprehensive’ than simply resurrecting the ban on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition. Also under consideration are universal background checks for would-be gun purchasers. This is truly encouraging and we will be following with great interest.