December 4, 2022

Is a Big Tech Overhaul Just Around the Corner?

From Opinion

On an average day in the United States, more than 100 people are killed by guns. Most Americans want Congress to do something about this crisis, but for years, their representatives have offered them only political theater.

Why? It’s not for lack of understanding of the problem, the cause of which is actually quite simple: The United States has a staggering number of guns. Over 393 million, to be precise, which is more than one per person and about 46 percent of all civilian-owned firearms in the world. As researchers at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health have put it, “more guns = more homicide” and “more guns = more suicide.”

But when it comes to understanding the causes of America’s political inertia on the issue, the lines of thought become a little more tangled. Some of them are easy to follow: There’s the line about the Senate, of course, which gives large states that favor gun regulation the same number of representatives as small states that don’t. There’s also the line about the National Rifle Association, which some gun control proponents have cast — arguably incorrectly — as the sine qua non of our national deadlock.

But there may be a psychological thread, too. Research has found that after a mass shooting, people who don’t own guns tend to identify the general availability of guns as the culprit. Gun owners, on the other hand, are more likely to blame other factors, such as popular culture or parenting.

Americans who support gun regulations also don’t prioritize the issue at the polls as much as Americans who oppose them, so gun rights advocates tend to win out. Or, in the words of Robert Gebelhoff of The Washington Post, “Gun reform doesn’t happen because Americans don’t want it enough.”

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/25/us/politics/zuckerberg-dorsey-big-tech-congress.html

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