People in Great Britain, Japan, Australia and many other countries with low murder rates – they have the same human hearts that we do, right? I’m pretty sure the human heart is standard equipment, regardless of national borders. Yet those countries have nowhere near the murder rate that we do. Is Johnson telling us that American hearts are somehow different, that our hearts are more cruel and bloodthirsty than hearts in other countries?
Is that why God hath forsaken us?
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis offers yet another explanation, arguing on the presidential campaign trail that we have a high murder rate “because of liberal, soft-on-crime policies.”
Again, though, we have a problem. If putting more people in prison could solve gun violence, we should be the safest country on the planet, because the United States has the highest incarceration rate on the planet. We put people in prison at 200 times the rate of Japan, four times the rate of Australia, five times the rate of France and nine times the rate of Germany. Yet those countries, with their “liberal, soft-on-crime policies,” have much lower gun fatality rates than we do.
So here’s where we find ourselves:
We pray, but those prayers aren’t working. We look for answers in our hearts, and we find none. We imprison and imprison and imprison, but that too isn’t working. We buy more guns, and allow them in more places, but if anything our sense of safety in public spaces has gotten worse not better.
And now we talk about turning teachers into guns for hire. It’s almost as if we know what the real source of the problem is, but those in power are willing to do anything and say anything, even truly silly and absurd things, to avoid acknowledging it.