amongst books

amongst books

Monday, April 20, 2020

Ottawa, April 20, 2020 – Guns are a pandemic

Dr Mohsen Naghavi

Last night’s news of the murders of 16 people in Nova Scotia by yet another white guy with a gun is harrowing to hear. I feel terrible about it, angry for the senseless killings and sad, a word bigger than sad, for families and friends of the dead. I feel terrible for the communities who had to spend hours in fear followed by the horror of this and now the unremitting grief.

We’ve been so focused on Covid-19 that it comes as a shock to see the world in all of its horror goes on. This is the worst mass shooting in Canadian history. What a time we are in. I don’t understand how these guys get guns, why guns are available and why life is so fucking cruel.

Portapique is described as a community in the woods by the shore. It comes from the French word for porcupine. According to Wikipedia its population in winter is 100 people and in summer it increases to 250. It was an Acadian settlement. Now it will be forever known as a place of violence and death.

Covid-19 is a pandemic, but there is no greater pandemic than gun violence in this world. According to the World Economic Forum, the most recent statistic I can find, there were 251,000 deaths by firearms in 2016. This is from a study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association entitled “Global Mortality From Firearms, 1990-2016”.

What is being done about this pandemic?

Not. One. Fucking. Thing.

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