There are a lot of ways to spend Christmas Day. You can spend it with family opening gifts. You can use it as excuse to have a nice peaceful meal at a Chinese restaurant. If the weather is nice, maybe you can go for a hike. The one thing that would never occur to me is to shoot somebody. But 63 people got shot and 27 people were killed on Christmas Day. There were even mass shootings, one in Jacksonville, Florida, and another in Mobile, Alabama.

You’d think that maybe we could have a day off from this mayhem, but we can’t.

The number of Americans killed in gun homicides on Christmas Day is comparable to the number of people killed in gun homicides in an entire year in places like Australia or Britain. The 27 people killed by guns in America on Christmas this year is equal to the total number of people killed in gun homicides in an entire year in Austria, New Zealand, Norway, Slovenia, Estonia, Bermuda, Hong Kong and Iceland, combined.

Maybe we can relax more gun laws in response. This seems like the only response we’re capable of making.

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Martin Longman

Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly. See all his writing at