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In the wake of Thursday's movie theater shooting in Lafayette, Louisiana, many pleas have been made regarding the necessity for increased gun control in the United States. With the massacres carried out by domestic terrorist and proud white supremacist Dylann Roof in Charleston, South Carolina and Mohammad Abdulazeez at a Navy building in Chattanooga, Tennessee still saturating the minds and hearts of many Americans, the theater shooting instigated by neo-Nazi supporter John Russel Houser tragically reaffirmed a stark reality — America has a serious gun problem.
In fact, the recent batch of mass shootings are merely indicative of a much broader issue here in the States — when compared with every other developed nation, the average rate of gun-related homicides is profoundly high. Vox's chart, pictured below, used data collected by Guardian's Simon Rogers to illustrate just how much of an epidemic American gun violence truly is. And the map above plots all the mass shootings since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in December 2012.
As frequent empirical research has proven, the "Why?" of this disparity practically answers itself when viewed alongside America's share of the global gun inventory. Currently responsible for just under 5% of the world's population (7.13 billion as of 2012), the United States possesses at least 42% of the world's 644 million guns. Of course, this is the (unfortunately) logical result of a culture which regularly promotes gun ownership as some sort of perverted god-given right.
So, where do we go from here? Certainly not further in the direction of a system that will continue giving us more Dylann Roofs and John Russel Housers. Your move, America.