Gun Violence in the US
This week, we lost 49 Americans to a senseless act of gun violence. The shooter’s motives are hard to fathom. He was an ISIS sympathizer and a homophobe. He was also a domestic abuser, a roid-head and an asshat. He could have gone on his shooting spree for any number of reasons. Indeed, the night before, a promising young musical artist was shot by someone for no apparent reason at all. The issue is not that these men were crazy, or evil, or just deluded. The problem is that they were lethal. We made it WAY too easy for them to walk into a gun store, buy a weapon and play angel of death. We don’t have to keep repeating these mistakes. I assure you, that if the Orlando club shooter had to pay a significant tax to get his assault weapon, if he had to have a special license for the weapon that took time and energy to obtain, if he had to be bonded and insured for the weapon, if he had to wait two months to get the weapon, if he was preclude from buying it because he was on a watch-list, if he couldn’t afford the ammunition and if he had to be drug tested before buying it, the shooting spree would have been far less likely to happen. If he had to use a handgun instead of an AR-15, the death toll would have been much smaller. The math is very simple, the more guns in a country, the more gun deaths. Our neighbors to the north prove this, as Canada has a small fraction of the gun deaths per capita that we do. It’s not because Canadians are more sane, or balanced, or mentally healthy or good. Canada has the same elements as we do. It just makes it much harder for those people to obtain guns. We can and should learn from that. Our politics on this issue have been dominated by the NRA, an entity that has devolved into henchman for gun manufacturers, ensuring that no amount of DEAD AMERICANS ever interfere with gun manufacturer profits. The NRA does not scare me, and I will never cow before them. I will relentlessly pursue creative and impactful measures that can reduce the number of Americans who die due to gun violence.