Gun violence is rooted in conditions that extend far beyond gun ownership alone. And it manifests itself in far more ways than just mass killings. We have been living with gun violence for generations but for a variety of reasons, we have resignedly lived with it.
According to Everytown for Gun Safety, 96 Americans are killed with guns on an average day. In an average month, 50 women in the U.S. are shot to death by intimate partners. Yet, politicians in Washington refuse to take action for fear of angering the NRA.
The time has finally come for us to face the issue head on. America is a nation that is more violent than any country of comparable economic, social or political development. Quieting the guns will take much more than simply regulating gun ownership. We will need to understand and address the broader causes of violence in our society, particularly as is relates to the use of guns.
Contrary to the picture painted by the NRA, those of us who want to stop gun violence do not want to take everyone’s gun from them. It is disingenuous and calculatedly provocative of the NRA to demonize those who want to stop gun violence.
That being said, in the absence of a better understanding of why gun violence is so prevalent in our country – research that the NRA has tenaciously resisted – it seems intuitive that we need to keep guns out of the hands of those who might use them irresponsibly. Similarly, it seems reasonable to take weapons that have no purpose other than to kill or wound scores of people off the market.
One thing we do know is that those who use guns to kill or wound others do not live in a vacuum. They give signs of their propensity for safety to friends, colleagues, family members, even in many cases to public officials. Yet, for whatever reason these people do not act.
Yes, we need to address the different socio-economic and cultural roots of gun safety to purge the violence for good, but as a first step we need to address gun ownership to ensure guns do not fall into the wrong hands. For these reasons, I am fully committed to the following:
- To ban the sale or possession of military-style weapons.
- To outlaw “bump stocks” that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire like an automatic weapon.
- To eliminate the sale of high-capacity magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition.
- To pass a universal background check bill
- To pass a bill requiring gun-use licensing involving both certified training, a written test and a practical test.
- To push for funding for the CDC to fulfill its mandate to research the causes of gun violence.
- To push for Federal, state and local agencies to develop internal systems for how to identify and get treatment for potential threats.