There are so many simple, clear steps that lawmakers can take to reduce the epidemic of gun violence in America. The following policies are actually supported by an overwhelming majority of Americans and even many gun owners:
Universal background checks.
Closing the gun show loophole.
Banning assault weapons such as AR-15s.
Banning bump stocks.
Addressing America’s mental health crisis.
Redoubling our efforts to combat white supremacy and domestic terrorism.
The Democratic U.S. House passed two bills that would accomplish many of these goals earlier this year, but Mitch McConnell and the GOP—at the bidding of the National Rifle Association (NRA) and gun manufacturers—won’t allow the bills to come up for a vote in the Senate. They won’t even allow federal funding for research into gun violence.
The endless gun atrocities are killing as many people as an international war. The word “obscene” is inadequate to describe this situation, made worse by the President’s pathetic response, made, apparently, reluctantly. It seems the United States cannot win a conventional war overseas and won’t lift a finger to halt an extremist pro-gun war at home, indiscriminate but mainly on immigrants and people of colour. There is a moral vacuum among right-wing voters and politicians, many proclaiming their religiosity.
My British father had a sporting gun. It was locked up when not in use, and the lock-up was inspected every three months by the local police. Moreover, if you wanted a gun you had to be 21 (from memory) and had to show that you had been on a gun safety course. When I asked my father whether he thought this onerous he replied, “ No, its common sense”. But then he valued human life, all of it.