Curbing gun violence: Do something | Guest View

 

Last updated 6/29/2022 at 12:09pm



The National League of Women Voters has supported measures to increase public and school safety and decrease gun violence since 1999. The League believes that “the proliferation of handguns and semiautomatic weapons in the United States is a major health and safety threat to its citizens.”

Data from the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta note on its Firearms Violence page that firearm injuries are a serious public health problem. In 2020, there were 45,222 firearm-related deaths in the United States – that’s about 124 people dying of gun injuries daily.

Incidents include parents and siblings accidentally shot by children who obtain loaded weapons and school friends shot intentionally by angry children, as happened Oct.14, 2014, in Marysville.

This does not include victims permanently injured and emotionally traumatized or their families and communities.

Regulating who obtains a gun and who can use a gun need not infringe upon any Constitutional rights for adults who use rifles and guns for sports. As many have observed, we require car and truck owners to meet certain criteria for operating motor vehicles.


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There are ways to support owners of legally obtained weapons while protecting churches, schools, hospitals, and all public spaces.

The League supports:

• Requiring universal background checks;

• Closing the gun show loophole in the current laws;

• Banning assault weapons and placing limits on high-capacity ammunition magazine sizes

• Increasing penalties for “straw” (fake buyer) purchases of guns; and

• Funding research and reporting on gun violence in America.

Such regulation would keep guns in the hands of responsible adult enthusiasts and out of the hands of those who would murder innocent people.

Let’s move from “thoughts and prayers” to action. It is long past time to enact comprehensive gun safety reform that protects our children, schools, and communities. Contact your senators and let them know that you support common sense gun reform legislation and want action taken now.


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Texas LWV President Grace Chimen noted in her May 25 remarks that “Gun violence is not partisan. .... let your candidates know that gun violence prevention is important to you and that all lives, especially children’s, are just as important as the Second Amendment.”

 

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