Yesterday, on the way home from a district-wide bus tour with TX21 Indivisible, I got the news of the horrific shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas. I express my sorrow and thoughts for moving forward in a video you can find here, but I wanted to share some additional thoughts with you about senseless gun violence in America.
Below is a chart showing the five worst countries for gun murders per 100,000 residents. Can you guess which one represents the United States?
Of course you can guess which bar represents our country. And that's the problem.
We know we have a problem with senseless gun violence in this country, and Congress is too busy taking NRA money to do anything to save the lives of constituents.
Here's the full chart with the country names added back in, courtesy of Everytown for Gun Safety.
The Sutherland Springs shooter, like most mass shooters, had a history of domestic violence, and under the law, should not have been able to own a firearm. Yet, somehow, he was able to purchase a rifle from a sporting goods store in April 2016.
President Trump has tried to make this tragedy about mental health and not about how easy it is for people who should not have guns to obtain them. Yet, one assumes the countries on the charts above also have citizens who struggle with mental health, and they don't face anywhere near the number of gun murders that we do in the United States.
(And by the way, Trump proposed a budget this year that would gut mental health programs, which makes his feigned concern for mental health something of an unfunny joke.)
The real problem is that in this country, it is far, far too easy for people who shouldn't be able to get a gun to own one. Until we face that fact, and until we confront the NRA's hold on our Congress, we will always be waiting for the next Sutherland Springs.