- In the wake of yet another mass shooting, gun control laws are once again a hot point of discussion.
- Previously, other shootings have led to little or no progress in terms of crafting new gun control legislation.
- Why are we so ineffective at curbing gun-related violence through legislation? Follow the money.
On the heels of the deadliest mass shooting in American history in Las Vegas, gun control is again a hot topic of discussion. Although incidents, such as the one in Las Vegas, clearly act as catalysts for arguments around gun violence and potential remedies, little ever seems to happen. And this is far from the first time. Think back to San Bernardino, Orlando, or Sandy Hook, and you come to the quick realization that mass shootings don’t typically translate into congressional action.
When it comes to gun control, the majority of Americans are on board with some type of reform. That doesn’t mean Americans support an Australia-like purge of firearms, in which the government literally disarmed the public. But rather, most people support universal background checks or limits on magazine sizes. But there’s no guarantee that stricter gun laws would translate to a safer America. Those who have looked into it have come away unconvinced that clamping down on gun sales or implementing other measures would have a noticeable effect.
But the most remarkable thing is we don’t even try. Our politicians appear to be unwilling to even attempt to craft legislation to stop gun violence. Without fail, the debate seems to get shut down almost immediately by calls to not “politicize” the tragedy.
Why is that? Who’s behind it? There is a lot of economic and business might pushing back. And when you dig into the numbers, it becomes increasingly clear that might is stronger than the push for change.
This isn’t meant to be an argument for tougher gun control laws or even an attempt to convince those on the fence that the need for stricter gun control is nigh. But rather, it’s a look at the economic power of the gun industry and its lobbyists and how they influence our government’s approach to gun violence. These businesses and organizations hold an enormous amount of power, and it more or less buys them what they want. What they want is to sell more guns.
The following numbers go a long way toward explaining why our national gun control laws remain so lax. Our first number: $13.5 billion, a figure that’s hard to ignore.