At least 14 people were killed and 18 others injured when two shooters opened fire on at the Inland Regional Center, a social services provider for people with disabilities, in San Bernardino Wednesday, December 2. The shooters have been identified as Syed Farook, 28, and Tashfeen Malik, 27, who were in a relationship with each other. Motives are still unclear.
Every shooting is its own private tragedy for the victims and their families. But events like this are also part of a much bigger problem. The United States has far more gun violence than the rest of the developed world. To Americans, that can seem like a regrettable but unavoidable fact of life. But to much of the rest of the world, the US attitude toward gun control seems absolutely crazy.
Australian comedian Jim Jefferies was the victim of a home invasion once. He was tied up and beaten, and his girlfriend was threatened with rape. So you might think he'd sympathize with the idea that Americans want guns to protect their families. Quite the opposite — he does an excellent job of summing up why so many foreigners are baffled by America's gun culture:
In Australia, we had the biggest massacre on Earth, and the Australian government went: "That's it! NO MORE GUNS." And we all went, "Yeah, all right then, that seems fair enough, really."
Now in America, you had the Sandy Hook massacre, where little tiny children died. And your government went, "Maybe ... we'll get rid of the big guns?" And 50 percent of you went, "FUCK YOU, DON'T TAKE MY GUNS."
He continues with a blistering smackdown of the idea that Americans seek guns to keep their families safe:
You have guns because you like guns! That's why you go to gun conventions; that's why you read gun magazines! None of you give a shit about home security. None of you go to home security conventions. None of you read Padlock Monthly. None of you have a Facebook picture of you behind a secure door.
He doesn't see at all how a gun would have helped him when his home was broken into. "I was naked at the time. I wasn't wearing my holster." How exactly would a gun have protected him? he asks. Was he supposed to be crouched at his windowsill, gun cocked, waiting on high alert for intruders?
By the way. Most people who are breaking into your house just want your fucking TV! You think that people are coming to murder your family? How many fucking enemies do you have?