While discussing the pair of gun control measures that recently passed in the House this month on this Sunday's Meet the Press, Republican Sen. Pat Toomey refused to admit that the sheer number of guns in circulation might make the United States a more dangerous place to live.
Toomey declared the House legislation dead on arrival in the Senate, saying there won't be enough support for any legislation that "when a father wants to sell his gun to his son, to have to get a background check," and instead insisted they should "focus on commercial sales" instead.
Host Chuck Todd asked Toomey if he believed we have too many guns circulating in America" and if so, "what is a solution to that problem?"
"I don't think the answer is too many guns," Toomey responded, obviously meaning to say "the problem" is too many guns. "Chuck. if I have four or five guns and I buy two more, did America become a more dangerous place? I don't think so."
Toomey insisted they should instead make it more difficult for violent criminals and the mentally ill to get firearms, and that a "law abiding citizen" owning three or four guns "has absolutely no impact on anybody's safety."
We'll see what the NRA has to say about that. After Toomey said he wanted them to try to speed up the time it takes for background checks, Todd again pressed him on the number of guns in the United States.
"I guess I go back to too many guns. I understand what you're saying on an individual. When you look at our numbers compared to the rest of the world, why do you think we lead by a factor of ten and then some when it comes to just the number of weapons circulating in this country?"
Toomey again insisted the issue didn't need to be addressed. "There's a whole variety of reasons, Chuck," Toomey replied, "but I don't think that's what causes the violence. There are communities that have horrific levels of violence every day. There's criminality and using weapons as part of that. we ought to be asking ourselves why do we have high levels of crime generally."
The United States has the worst rate of gun violence among all developed countries, and is in fact higher than many low-income countries as well, but our legislators that have been bought by the gun lobby refuse to do anything about it.
And as the Wired article discussed:
Unsurprisingly, firearm deaths are correlated with firearm proliferation. American companies manufacture millions of guns each year and import many more. Domestic firearm manufacturing increased dramatically during President Barack Obama's first term, in part because of fears that, after eight years of a Republican White House, a pro-gun-control president would take away citizens' weapons.
That didn't happen. By 2017 the number of handguns, shotguns, and rifles available in the United States was nearly three times higher than it was two decades earlier, according to the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. Today, the US boasts more firearms than residents.