The headline above reflects, perhaps our greatest hope and prayer for change. In other words, please 'do unto us as we have done unto the world.'
Maybe by invoking a plea to friends and allies around the globe for intervention, we might finally tackle the addiction North America is both afflicted with and crippled by: guns.
For generations we have aimed our righteous indignation at countries of every continent and imposed sanctions against nations that commit human rights crimes, violations and abuses against their own citizens. We have inspired, conspired and demanded regime change in all corners of the globe where corruption reigns and people suffer at the hands of dictators. And perhaps, now it is time for the world to reciprocate.
According to the American Bar Association:
The rate of death from firearms in the United States is eight times higher than that in its economic counterparts in other parts of the world.
Kellermann AL and Waeckerle JF.
Preventing Firearm Injuries.
The overall firearm-related death rate among U.S. children younger than 15 years of age is nearly 12 times higher than among children in 25 other industrialized countries combined.
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. Morbidity & Mortality Weekly
The United States has the highest rate of youth homicides and suicides among the 26 wealthiest nations.
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
The citations above are but a sprinkling of revelations after countless, costly studies which repeatedly determine the U.S. experiences astronomically higher rates of violence (and mortality) involving guns when compared with our neighbors around the world.
Yes, we are killing ourselves. And although we can't seem to agree on how to stop this accelerating phenomenon, picking up a daily newspaper confirms that easily accessible firearms are what help keep the US 'on top of the charts' when it comes to violent crime.
But studies and mere facts are no match for those plagued with an unquenchable thirst for delusion. And there is not enough Prozac manufactured to quell the pro-gun anxiety, hysteria and insanity rising with every mass shooting. But we are fooling no one. We are addicted.
Like a late stage alcoholic, many crave weapons so passionatley that vociferous and hysterical attacks on those who disagree have replaced discussion. And the raging battle (disguised as debate) is all that remains. And recently, in a drunken political stupor, gun defenders have taken to blaming victims as responsible in violent shootings--for not carrying weapons themselves.
Many Americans understand how bizarre and irrational all this sounds. But if the definition of 'insanity' is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome, then we are are clearly off our rockers.
While the cacophonous, deafening screams of pro-gun enthusiasts rage on, there are millions of Americans who feel impotent and silenced in the face of the corruption that holds Americans hostage to gun violence. Weapon manufacturers, lobbyists (and those politicians beholden to them) serve as enablers almost goading and luring the thirsty ones with just one more drink. In the South, it's the equivalet of drinks on the house i.e. more guns in bars, parks and public event spaces. Apparently the daily shooting of children in movie theaters, malls and schools isn't enough to compromise our 'freedom'.
Dearest allies, whether it's oil or coffee (or one of our other favorite but less harmful addictions) perhaps by cutting us off--with trade that is--we might be humbled into sobering up long enough to gain clarity. Perhaps by embarrassing us and demanding that we live up to the standards we so willingly impose on others, we will be forced to acknowledge that 'we are the culprit we've been seeking.'
If only the world were willing to hold us accountable and to respond to us with the kind of heavy handedness we've so frequently (and freely) extended to others--under the guise of being good citizens and keeping the world safe.
Yes, the U.S. is in trouble and in desperate need of assistance. The inmates are truly running the asylum and no one seems to have a set of keys.