Santorum’s Shameful Response To Gun Violence
A day after more than 1 million people across the United States, led by high school students, demonstrated against gun violence, former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania helpfully demonstrated what they’re up against. “How about kids instead of looking to someone else to solve their problem, do something about maybe taking CPR classes or trying to deal with situations that when there is a violent shooter, that you can actually respond to that,” Santorum said. Thus Santorum carries water with the gun lobby. The NRA, supported by the gun industry, wants to normalize ownership of even military-style semiautomatic weapons. The objective is not to stop the proliferation and use of such weapons, but to use gun violence as an incubator for even more gun ownership. Shooting at school? Arm the teacher. Wounded students? Learn combat-level triage. And, according to the former lawmaker, “phony gun laws don’t solve these problems.” Perhaps so. But real gun laws work. Massachusetts, for example, has the nation’s toughest law for securing guns in homes. There, the suicide rate among young people is 38 percent below the national average. Those youth who commit suicide use guns in 9 percent of those tragedies. The national average is 42 percent. And globally, no other advanced country has gun deaths and death rates anywhere near that of the United States, and they all have stricter controls. Apparently, their laws aren’t “phony.” Santorum’s response was shameful but illustrative of the problem.