It's a tragedy that every day in the U.S., an average of 87 people die from gun violence — 54 from suicide, 31 from intentional homicide, and 2 from accidents.
We have almost as many civilian firearms as people. Estimates range from 270 million to 320 million firearms. The U.S. comprises only 5% of the world’s population but owns 50% of the world’s civilian guns. And gun ownership is now concentrated in only 34% of U.S. households, down from 50% in the 1970s.
The fact that 65% of the guns are owned by only 20% of U.S. households shows that gun manufacturers are marketing and selling to an ever-shrinking base of repeat customers. Remember that when you hear that gun and ammunition sales are soaring. It’s not that a lot of new people are running out to get a gun for protection. Rather, it’s the same ol’ paranoid crowd stockpiling for “black helicopter” day.
Also shocking is the sheer number of bullets and amount of carnage that an AR-15 military-style weapon and/or an extended magazine or drum can accomplish. Like "miles per hour" speed limits for the road, we need a sensible "shots per minute" speed limit for guns and ammunition. Any gun, gadget or contraption that enables a shooter to exceed that limit should be illegal.
No one needs a military-style weapon or a high-capacity magazine to defend themselves (and you surely don’t need them to hunt). Even the NRA and other gun extremists — hard-pressed to find even one example where such firepower was used or needed — must resort to fanciful hypotheticals. While AR-15s and high-capacity magazines have little redeeming value, they do impose undue risk on the rest of society and are disproportionately the chosen weaponry by those who want to create the most carnage in the shortest amount of time.
Just as support of speed limits and drunk-driving laws does not make one "anti-car," support of limits on such excessive weaponry does not make one "anti-gun." Nor does it lead to a slippery slope. It that were true, we’d all be driving at 1 mile per hour or back in the saddle!