We are number one

We are number one. The United States has more gun deaths than all the other top 23 civilized nations in the world COMBINED. Our rate of gun deaths is three times that of Canada, where they also like their guns. Three times the rate.

Let me say this loudly, once again – we will NEVER solve this problem until our legislators act like parents and grandparents and stop acting like people scared of the NRA focused base. What is further troubling is most gun owners do not belong to the NRA and want change. Too bad. “It is a slippery slope” we hear from the NRA funded politicians. Well, burying your child is also a slippery slope into a rectangular hole.

Quite sadly, this is no longer news in America. It has become routine. Oh-hum, more people are shot in America. What shooting will come next week? How many more teens, young adults and college students will commit suicide due to access to guns (the number one gun death in the US)? How many more adults or kids will be shot, because a four or six year old found a loaded weapon? How many more people will be shot in an argument because someone had access to a gun? How many more people will be shot in a mass shooting because someone with a cause, a beef, or a fantasy got access to a gun?

Thoughts and prayers will not solve this problem. They have become a trite way for a legislator to say I am sorry your loved one is dead but watch me dribble the basketball to stall out the game clock until this week’s episode of gun death has subsided. In other words, the politician is saying “I won’t do anything, but you have my thoughts and prayers.” God must be tired of this lack of courage. He is probably thinking “I gave you a brain and a backbone – please act.” Or, another one of God’s children, some guy named Einstein said “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result.”

The majority of the people want better gun governance

From an article called “Polls find Americans mostly are supportive of stricter laws on guns” by Dawn Baumgartner Vaughn of the Raleigh News and Observer, please note the following cited survey results. Note these results have been fact checked by the paper’s Fact Checking Project.

– Gallup’s poll from August, 2019 noted “61% would support a ban on semi-automatic guns known as assault rifles.”

– The Civitas Institute (a conservative policy group) poll from September, 2019 showed “58% of respondents saying gun laws were not strict enough.” Note of the Civitas poll respondents, “48% either owned a gun or had someone in their home who owned a gun.”

– A Quinnipac University poll from May, 2019 showed “61% of Americans support stricter gun laws. The same poll showed 94% of Americans support required background checks for gun buyers. And, 77% of those polled support ‘requiring individuals to obtain a license before being able to purchase a gun.'”

– In 2017, Politifact Wisconsin “found multiple previous polls citing support for background checks ranging from 84% to 94%.”

The numbers 58% and 61% are meaningful, but let’s focus on the 94% (or even 84% to 94%) of respondents who want required background checks and the 77% who want a license before hand.

These are consequential majorities. Earlier this week, the Houston Chief of Police challenged his two Texas Senators (Ted Cruz and John Cornyn) and Senate Leader Mitch McConnell to act after yet another police officer was killed.

The NRA has spoken. Now, we need to set their ardent, sales focused rhetoric aside and act sensibly. Just the two items highlighted above will help – background checks and pre-buy licensing. No loopholes. Cars require ownership and driving licenses to operate. Yet, they are not designed to kill.

I am long-ago tired of the standard “thoughts and prayers” line offered by legislators followed by “now is not the time to discuss changes.” Since people are dying everyday by suicide and other reasons, waiting for a time with no deaths will not happen. Further, the mass shootings of more than a few victims are happening with alarming frequency.

To be brutally frank, Democrats should push this issue to the nth degree. Maybe, the Senate and president will act. It matters not who pats themselves on the back – JUST DO SOMETHING!