By Che Ambe
It’s now customary for the U.S.A to go into a dirge once the “blood and tears are still fresh”, following a nonsensical gun-related massacre like the one that happened in Charleston, South Carolina, Thursday, June 18, 2015. Twenty-one year-old, white supremacist, Dylann Roof, unloaded his gun of hatred on nine black worshippers at a historic black church. Again pro and anti-gun control advocates sprang into action with their rhetoric.
The National Rifle Association (NRA) was out as usual with its tactics of “offense as the best sort of defense”. This time, one of its board members, Charles L. Cotton, blamed the massacre on the church pastor Mr. Clementa Pinkney’s opposition to Open Carry Law as a legislator, which according to him would have allowed the congregants to carry weapons into the church to defend themselves. The association and its loyalists have been very tactful in buying time for inactivity when the nation’s attention is squarely focused on guns (massacre), by insisting not to talk about guns, but instead allowing time for the grieving families. The association has equally been very successful in browbeating their political allies in Congress into despising public opinion on tightening background checks for gun buyers. An action overwhelming backed by Americans.
Obama on his part re-ignited his pro-gun credentials saying, “I refused to act as this is the new normal”. Every country in the world the president said has unstable and violent people, but none awashed with guns like the U.S.A.
Statistics back Obama up. According to the agency responsible for reducing firearms violence across the country – Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, 4441 pistols were manufactured in the USA in 2013, 725,282 revolvers, 3979570 rifles, 1203,072 shotguns, and 495,142 of other types of guns. Of this amount, only 393,121 were exported leaving the country with 6,014,386.
These statistics underscore the effect Obama has had on the gun industry. Fortune Magazine describes Obama, as “the best thing that’s happened to gun sales”. Each time Obama resurrects the gun debate, the industry cashes in. Background checks which is an excellent proxy for gain sales have hit the roof under Obama. They moved from 8.9 million per annum in 2008 to almost 15 million in 2013.
In terms of gun-related persecutions, according to the Executive Office of U.S attorneys, federal prosecutors in 2013 handled 5,082 gun violence cases compared to 6,791 in George Bush’s last year as president. Overall, Obama’s justice department has prosecuted 25% less cases referred to it by the ATF. The administration blames budget cuts to low prosecution.
Talk is cheap and Obama as a lame dunk president is simply crying in the rain, as the possibility of any legislation even on the popular background checks is sacrilegious to the GOP-dominated congress. For now, the nation just has to hibernate, while another painful massacre lurks. Daily gun violence on its part seems a new normal American way of life, as few lawmakers discuss it. About 30 people die every day of gun-related violence in the U.S, with some states superseding automobiles.This according to the annual Review of Public Health, causes the U.S economy $164.6 billion(1.1 of GDP).
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