Back in December, I wrote a blog post about my thoughts on gun control. Since then, nothing has happened. A bill got stalled in congress- again. The NRA, of which my husband is a member, has such a hold on so many people in congress/senate it seems the country will never move further on this issue. I think it’s a shame that a lobby constantly blocks bills without adding anything positive to the discussion. Stop telling the country, “No.” Let’s think of solutions. What will work to stop these insane people/criminals from getting access to the plethora of guns in this country?
First, some questions-
1. How do we better enforce the rules already on the books?
2. How do we keep guns out of the hands of the criminals on the street?
3. How do we keep kids from getting access to guns and a.) shooting someone accidentally and/or b.) bringing them to schools and shooting them up?
Okay, now for some solutions-
1. As per this website: http://www.policymic.com/articles/22802/gun-control-facts-existing-gun-laws-would-reduce-crime-but-these-are-not-enforced, congress has failed to properly fund NICS (National Instant Criminal Background Check System) “NICS is the database checked during gun purchases to ensure individuals with criminal records & mental illness aren’t allowed to purchase guns.” The U.S. Justice Department also has to better prosecute people who falsify background check information. Finally, the government needs to get a handle on straw man purchases and illegal gun trafficking.
2. This question can basically use solutions from #1, but I think we also need to look at a societal issue. The problems we are having in inner-city public schools are the same base problems with guns. We need to address poverty, ensure more supports for healthcare, nutrition, mental health, emotional support, and of course- education. Education is an investment in our future. If we fund it properly, including the supports previously mentioned, then we can work on lowering the gun violence from our streets.
3. Again, the answer is education. Apparently, the NRA has an assembly program that educates children on staying away from guns. It is called the Eddie Eagle GunSafe Program. Living in the Mid-Atlantic and not being a member of the NRA, I had never heard of this program. It’s a good start. We also need to educate gun owners better about locking their guns up and away from the children. Kids are very curious folk and do not understand the totality of death.
I’m sure I’m missing many solutions. I’m just tired of hearing the word, “No.” I hear it too much from my toddler; I don’t need to hear it from my government about some commonsense measures to try to keep us all safe. No more nos.