OP ED: Hopes and Prayers

By Bill Britton

Abstracted from The Guardian:

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) was attending a vigil for the victims of the Robb Elementary School shooting when he was grilled by Sky News reporter Mark Stone about overhauling gun laws in the U.S. The senator began by dismissing calls for reform by saying “It’s easy to go to politics.” He added: “The proposals the Democrats have? None of them would have stopped this.”

When Stone asked why there was an “American exceptionalism” when it comes to mass shootings, Cruz decided to wrap things up in a hurry. “I’m sorry you think American exceptionalism is awful,” he said, patting the reporter on the chest, adding: “You know what? You’ve got your political agenda, God love you,” before walking away from the TV crew. 

Stone went after Cruz, saying he “can’t answer” why mass shootings are a uniquely American problem.

Visibly angry, Cruz replied: “Why is it that people come from all over the world to America? ‘Cause it’s the freest, most prosperous, safest country on earth. Stop being a propagandist,” before heading for the exit once again.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021, on the fifth day of the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

America is the “safest” country in the world? Far from it. According to the Global Peace Index, these are the safest countries in the world:

  1. Iceland
  2. New Zealand
  3. Portugal
  4. Austria
  5. Denmark
  6. Canada
  7. Singapore
  8. Czech Republic
  9. Japan
  10. Switzerland

And these are the countries with Highest Gun Ownership (Civilian guns owned per 100 people):

  1. United States – 120.5
  2. Falkland Islands – 62.1
  3. Yemen – 52.8
  4. New Caledonia – 42.5
  5. Serbia – 39.1 (tie)
  6. Montenegro – 39.1 (tie)
  7. Uruguay – 34.7 (tie)
  8. Canada – 34.7 (tie)
  9. Cyprus – 34
  10. Finland – 32.4

The chorus of “Hopes and Prayers” from officials has become an empty appeal used to gloss over the inaction that has plagued Congress for decades.

There are now about 400 million guns in private hands in the U.S. A few states regulate their sale, but most allow assault weapons especially to flow into the hands of buyers with little attention paid to their personal histories.

Meanwhile, Cruz and many others in Congress will continue to fatten their war chests with blood money from the NRA.

Bill Britton is a freelance writer and formerly an editor for John Hopkins University Press, ABI Research, and Elsevier Science.  He is a frequent contributor to Vero Communiqué.

We strive to encourage a free and open exchange of opinions and welcome yours. Through discussions like these we can all learn more about the topics themselves and the perspectives of others.

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