Published On: Fri, Oct 21st, 2016

Hillary Clinton misrepresents gun violence, while ignoring rising suicide rates

Wednesday night Hillary Clinton continued to play politics on guns, using tried-and-true tactics of obfuscation and misrepresentation in pursuit of a political agenda. She focused in on the number “33,000 gun deaths per year.” If the number 33,000 is important to the conversation, we have to make sense of this number. It is an extremely generalized number that fails to address the cause of deaths, only that a gun was involved.

It is important to note that the number 33,000 is an average rounded up.

It includes all gun related deaths in the United States.

This includes officer-involved shootings. If a police officer shoots and kills a man with a knife, that gun death is included. If a police officer shoots an innocent man in the back, such as Michael Slager’s shooting of Walter Scott, that number is included.

It is important to consider that there is no “common sense gun regulation” that takes the department issued guns out of the hands of police officers, so officer involved shootings pad this statistic to make the statement of “33,000 gun deaths per year” seem like we live in a war zone, which we do not. Yet.

But the real number that we should be talking about is what constitutes over half of this statistic anually. Suicides by gun. Let’s look at the real nubers that are important here. Suicides by gun in the United States, from 2010 to 2014.

2014 – 21,334
2013 – 21,175
2012 – 20,666
2011 – 19,990
2010 – 19,392

Michael Chiklis with a handgunYou may notice the size of those numbers, and that they are growing. That doesn’t make me say we have a gun problem and need more gun control. That says to me that we have an America in despair, people so damaged and with such little hope for the future that they are taking their own life.

It doesn’t make me say “We need to get guns out of people’s hands”, it says we need to get hope into people’s hearts.

Interestingly, political campaigns such as the one we’re living through right now, filled with negativity and venom that affects the nation’s psyche and causes widespread depression, play a vital role. The state of our economy also plays a role as people are increasingly being buried in debt and financial hopelessness by simply following the American Dream they were sold on, but having the rug pulled out from under them.

When Presidential candidates call American citizens deplorables or all immigrants rapists, this affects people. This affects our public consciousness and puts people at odds with one another and their own internal dialogue.

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are responsible for increased aggression and hostility in our day-to-day interaction right now by having set people on edge with how they are campaigning. They’re not the first, they’re just the worst. At least, since the time surrounding the Civil War. But we’re not done yet, so I can’t even count that out.

Let’s face reality and deal with the problem that is really in front of us. Life in America has become exceedingly taxing on our mental health. People are increasingly looking toward ending their own life as the only viable option. This isn’t changed by gun laws. This is changed by being better role models and improving our social condition.

If we are truly looking to decrease the number of gun deaths in this country, let’s stop enabling divisive politicians that make people want to shoot themselves in the face.

Author: Greg Bowen

Hillary Clinton won't say if the Second Amendment makes gun ownership a right photo/screenshot

Hillary Clinton won’t say if the Second Amendment makes gun ownership a right photo/screenshot

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