by Kathie MM
Racialopathy and ethnicopathy are intimately related to another form of social pathology —addiction to guns — a topic regularly addressed on Engaging Peace (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017).
A must-read article by David S. Bernstein in the Atlantic argues that despite media furor over mass shootings, “Americans Don’t Really Understand Gun Violence.”
Why? Because they focus only on fatal gun violence — the tip of an enormous, bloody iceberg of untold pain and suffering for victims of nonfatal violence and their families.
Although estimates suggest over a million survivors of gun violence in the US today, “nobody really knows how often people are shot by their intimate partners, how many victims are intended targets or bystanders, how many shootings are in self-defense, how such incidents affect community investment and property values, or how much it costs taxpayers to care for victims.”
Ignorance includes assumptions that nonfatal shootings are generally confined to African American neighborhoods; however, data show that from 2001 to 2013, “nonfatal-assault victimization rates declined among African Americans and increased significantly for whites.”
The reasons we know so little about nonfatal gun violence are largely politically based. For example, in 1996, Congress passed the Dickey Amendment “which, along with accompanying budget cuts to the CDC, effectively took the federal government out of the business of funding gun research. Though it was ostensibly designed to prevent federal backing of biased anti-gun propaganda, the National Rifle Association-backed law has had a huge chilling effect.…”
If we want to reduce the epidemic of gun violence, we need more information about it. Speak out against the suppression of information and in favor of research.For motivation, see this video.