Sunday, June 12, 2016
With the news of the mass shooting in Orlando in the headlines -- which is being called the worst in U.S. history -- it's hard to think of much else today. It's also hard to know what to say when it's so painfully obvious what needs to be done. As pretty much everyone agrees -- including the majority of gun owners in the country - we need to pass reasonable gun safety laws. The approach needs to be similar to how we approached car safety, not using one single approach, but a variety of things (seat belts, speed limits, air bags, etc). Doing all of these will of course not eliminate gun violence (just as there are still car accidents), but it would significantly reduce it.
However, our lawmakers are not passing these safety laws. They are blocking them. They are lifting the restrictions and making things even less safe. The reason they are doing this is also very clear, these lawmakers are in the pockets of the NRA.
This is all, frankly, pretty devastating and discouraging. So let me end with one small ray of hope that was put forward in the recent investigative documentary Under the Gun produced and hosted by Katie Couric. They reported on how citizens were finding a way to bypass these do-nothing lawmakers, letting the people vote directly on ballot measures promoting gun safety laws. It was lots of work, but when the people actually got to vote themselves, the gun safety measures were passing in many States.