There is a commonsense reason why the countries in the world with strict gun ownership laws have the lowest number of fatalities caused by gun violence, while the USA, the nation with the most relaxed gun ownership laws, thanks to an obsolete 2nd Amendment, is the nation with the highest per capita number of gun related homicides.
Enough is enough. The corporate greed of the gun manufacturers and sellers of the NRA, their lobbyists and the Republican politicians who are financed by the NRA and their lobbyists, must be overcome by commonsense activism, boycotts and the power of our votes.
There are conversations and movements around many pieces of legislation affecting gun safety, especially in light of the spate of mass killings by licensed gun owners, some of whom may have been mentally ill, albeit undiagnosed. However, decisive action by elected officials at both the state and the federal levels are lacking, unfortunately.
As I pen this commentary, there are two major control measures which were passed by the House last year: The Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2021 and the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021(H.R. 8 and H.R. 1446). Unfortunately however, due to the callous greed for money and political power of a few in corporate America and in The Capitol, these two bills are stalled in the Senate.
Yes, the deciding votes about what becomes national law in the USA, are cast in the Senate and in the House in Washington DC, but all politics is still local. As such, local politicians must find effective ways to agitate, educate and proactively mobilize local voters, so that we would stop electing and re-electing representatives who are on the wrong side of issues in The Capitol.
Further, we need representatives who can effectively shame and humiliate those others in Congress who sustain the gun violence we see in our homes, on our streets, in the schools, in our churches, in our malls and in the supermarkets of America.
Here are some of my recommendations for a stricter regimen or criteria for gun ownership:
1) Expand background checks;
2) Stop the sale of assault weapons/riffles;
3) Make the sale of large-capacity gun magazines illegal;
4) Pass extreme risk protection orders, which can temporarily separate an individual from a firearm if they are at risk of harming themselves or others;
5) To own a gun, an individual must: a) first be 21 or older; b) pass a mental health examination; c) prepare for and pass a gun handling, safety and storage test; d) complete a conflict resolution workshop; e) unless authorized by law enforcement, never be allowed to carry guns anywhere close to a public place that accommodates gatherings. Included are schools, churches, malls, supermarkets, cinemas, playing fields, stadiums, swimming pool, recreational center, park, etc.
Why these strict requirements?
1) Because we are no longer living in a period wherein guns were muskets and a man armed with a gun was no more dangerous than one armed with a knife. The guns of today, unlike the ones of the past, are weapons of mass destruction.
2) We now have armed police departments; there’s no need for armed militias and vigilantes carrying battlefield automatic riffles for self or community protection or for planned public massacres (as did the 18-year old in Texas, who owned two which he legally purchased and used to kill 21 innocent persons).
3) Because of the inconsiderate ways of people who often can’t manage their anger, who all have easy access to guns, situations that need not end with a killing or killings often easily escalate into that, given the easy access to guns, which should have never been available to begin with.
4) Because the right to own a gun, is not more important than the right to life of the victims (often innocent) of gun violence. Often these crimes/shootings/killings are completed with legally owned guns and guns that were stolen from legal owners who didn’t know how to properly secure them from burglars and their children.
May those who are truly pro-life, stand up in defense of the innocent lives that are being taking away each day, thanks to the silence and the reactionary, self-regarding interest of politicians who want to maintain the status quo, so they may be re-elected — so their comfortable and exorbitant lifestyles can be maintained while the killers continue their unabated killings, using the early accessed tools (battlefield guns) which these politicians and their gun manufacturing friends provide and allow, so the massacres may continue.
The attached photo, extracted from the Instagram page of the 18-year old gun-slinging killer from Texas, shows the two legally purchased battlefield riffles that are believed to be the ones used by the youth who bought them along with 200 rounds of ammunition, from an unquestioning gun seller. Of course we now know that those automatic riffles were used to easily and quickly kill 21 innocent human beings in an elementary school in a small community Uvalde, Texas.
May the souls of the departed rest in peace and may those who continue to enable and to argue for the easy availability of weapons of mass destruction, be haunted by the souls of these innocent human beings. I wrote this commentary with tears in my eyes and I mean every word I said above.