I wish it were so simple.
It’s far more complicated than a mere partisan bias. As far as I am concerned, we are all guilty of this perpetual atrocity. It is hard to point my fingers just at Republicans, when Democrats here in my home state have once again passed bizarre gun laws that won’t put a dent in our homicide rate. If we look back, they never have. The same with Illinois and Maryland.
It is not just politics.
Guns themselves are not the problem. Often enough, they are merely the manifestations of other problems. 22 vets a day commit suicide. Taking away guns won’t stop that. And in many cases of the main driving force behind fatal shootings, which is violent crime, the guns were already illegal, the users were not legally authorized to carry a weapon, much less use it to commit crimes and kill people.
What would I do to reduce gun violence?
I would bring the hammer down on illicit gun sales. I would treat the sale of illegal firearms with the same severity as the use of the contraband. Target the source, before it gets to the fatal end users. And to that end, i would halt the recycling of confiscated weapons. A gun that killed once on the mean streets should not be given a second chance. Or a third. Or a fourth. Or a fifth. Once a gun is impounded and the user is found guilty, scrap the weapon, instead of putting it up for auction. Curb the supply chain.
That alone won’t end American gun violence.
But I believe it will dramatically reduce the numbers in urban warzones. As the old stock is no longer recycled, it will make tracing the newer ones entering the streets to replace them, easier back to the distributors.
There are many, many more contributors to gun deaths in America. But I would start with the above. It’s just the tip of the iceberg, but it should save more lives than useless gun control laws or pointless political debates.
Me pointing out politicians won’t save a single life in 2017. But keeping the discussion alive about responsible gunmanship might. Convincing one more kid to get out off the streets and into college might. Promoting bipartisan discussions over partisan rhetoric might make one less angry shooter. We can all try to lower the kill rate, in our own ways.