Liam Neeson Has Some Strong Words about Gun Violence

January 15th 2015

When asked about the attack in Paris last week, Liam Neeson shook his head about gun violence and the amount of guns on the street.

“There’s too many fucking guns out there,” the actor told gulfnews.com

Neeson then steered the conversation toward the US.

“Especially in America," Neeson continued. "I think the population is like, 320 million? There’s over 300 million guns. Privately owned, in America. I think it’s a fucking disgrace. Every week now we’re picking up a newspaper and seeing, ‘Yet another few kids have been killed in schools.’”

There are between 270 million and 310 million guns in the US, according to Pew. The US Census Bureau says the country has a population of just over 320 million.

Neeson also dismissed the notion that gun violence depicted in movies contributes to gun violence in real life.

"I grew up watching cowboy movies, loved doing that [gun gesture] with my fingers, 'Bang, bang, you're dead!' I didn't end up a killer. I think that's something the power of cinema can be," Neeson said.

Is gun violence a health epidemic?

In the US, 88 people die each day as a result of gun violence. The American College of Physicians thinks we should treat this as a health epidemic.


"To remain silent as this threat to public health continues unabated would be no different than for an oncologist or a cardiologist to stay mum on the dangers of smoking," said Dr. David H. Newman, Director of Clinical Research at the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine.

The nation's new surgeon general, Dr. Vivek Murthy, subscribes to the idea that gun violence is a health issue. He tweeted in 2012: "Tired of politicians playing politics w/guns, putting lives at risk b/c they're scared of NRA. Guns are a health care issue." That tweet nearly derailed his nomination for surgeon general as the NRA (National Rifle Association) and its allies in the Senate blocked Murthy for months before he finally was confirmed in December.

A middle ground

There is likely a middle position where you can simultaneously see gun violence as a health crisis that must be addressed while also disagreeing with Neeson that we need to get rid of guns. Some advocate for smarter rules around gun ownership -- like preventing the mentally ill and convicted felons from owning a firearm -- as well as more awareness about gun safety.

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