Gun violence demands solution

Daily Editorial Board

For Minnesotans, last week’s gun violence proved to be exceptionally brutal. Authorities found five family members dead in their mansion on Lake Minnetonka, an act described as a murder-suicide committed by the father. Additionally, in Maplewood on Saturday, a 90-year-old man fatally shot his son, called police and waited to be arrested. We offer our condolences to friends and families of the victims in this difficult time.
 
Juxtaposing these instances of violence with the 885 mass shootings that have taken place since the Sandy Hook tragedy in 2012, it’s clear that gun violence continues to flare up all too often. 
 
As recent statistics from Vox point out, overall gun-related homicide rates are lower than in previous years, as are homicide rates in general. But there is evidence suggesting that a higher prevalence of guns in society leads to higher rates of gun-related homicide and suicide. 
 
There is little to no evidence that suggests increased “concealed carry permit” rates have led to a decrease in overall crime. It may even be counterproductive. Although, in Minnesota, some studies suggest that increasing permit ownership leads to less violence among permit owners. 
 
In the wake of the continuous stream of tragedies, a serious national debate regarding our relationship with guns must occur. This cannot be stifled with the misleading and thoroughly debunked phrases “this isn’t the time” or “guns don’t kill people; people kill people.” If we continue to put off this issue, we will only postpone a conversation that we desperately need to have.