The gun industry in its divine wisdom has chosen a policy that undermines today’s children. I am talking about how the gun industry is distributing millions of dollars into a campaign that will put guns into the hands of young children.
Is this what today’s youth really need, in light of events that happened at Virginia Tech in 2007 and more recently at Sandy Hook? As a nation, we are better than this and should do more to protect our children. How do we do this? We should pressure our lawmakers into comprehensive gun legislation. Anyone with a smart phone or computer can use the social media site Twitter.
Using 140 characters, you can express your anger and concern toward lawmakers. Here are some talking points you can use:
• 74 percent of Americans support universal background checks on potential gun owners.
• 74 percent of Americans say concealed carrying permits should be granted only after a safety training course.
• 63 percent of Americans say that concealed carrying permits should be granted to adults older than 21 years of age.
• 75 percent of Americans say no concealed weapons permits should be granted to violent misdemeanor perpetrators.
At the same time, Congress can pass laws right now that can curtail gun violence, such as:
• A gun-show loophole act, which would force vendors at gun shows to perform background checks on potential gun purchasers.
• A large-capacity ammunition feeding-device act.
• An online ammunition sales ban.
• A gun-trafficking and enforcement-strengthening act.
Moreover, we need to address the mental health of our young adults and children. More funding is needed to prevent the closure of mental health clinics, the hiring of mental health professionals at high schools and the rehiring of high school guidance counselors.
What we do not need are people like Wayne LaPierre of the NRA saying, “A good guy with a gun will stop a bad guy with a gun” or lawmakers like Louie Gohmert of Texas saying, “Arm the principles and teachers” and TV media personalities like Mike Huckebee stating that “gun violence exists because we have removed God from schools, we have not taught our children responsibility.” This sort of rhetoric is reprehensible and cowardly.
I am a gun owner myself and support most of the legislation that is being proposed. The one I am strongly in agreement with is the assault-weapons ban. These weapons belong in the hands of our military personnel and the law enforcement community, period. I believe in defending yourself against violent offenders but this can be accomplished with a handgun in the hands of a responsible gun owner.
My sister is a former FBI agent and carried a sidearm along with an assault shotgun and an automatic assault weapon. She told me that she was still outgunned because the “bad guys” had more firepower. The answer to gun violence is common sense; it’s not rocket science.
The Second Amendment gives us the right to bear arms, and I agree with this. What I am not in agreement with are individuals who say that gun legislation will not work, and hide behind the Second Amendment as their talking point. How do we know if gun legislation will not work if we will not try? As Frederrick Douglas once said, “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”