We as a society have accepted mass gun violence.
It’s a hard truth but how else to explain the continued inaction to pass gun laws that puts going to school, a nightclub, a concert, a grocery store or getting your nails done placing you in danger.
Yet we do nothing.
The U.S. stopped the Johnson & Johnson vaccine from being administered because six people of the 6.8 million that received the vaccine developed serious blood clots. But the thought of placing further restrictions on guns after nine people were shot dead at a FedEx building in Indianapolis recently is considered an overreaction.
So we do nothing.
Gov. Phil Murphy this month offered a package focused on “gun safety” measures including requiring firearm safety training, mandating safe storage of firearms, raising the minimum age to purchase long guns to 21 and establishing electronic ammunition sales recordkeeping. These common sense reforms were predictably attacked as being an overreach that impedes on the Constitutional rights by 2nd Amendment advocates.
So they fight to do nothing.
There are statistics that show gun control saves lives. According to U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), gun massacres dropped by 37% during the 10 years that the federal assault ban was in effect. After lapsing in 2004, mass shootings increased by 183%, with deaths rising 239% from gun violence. This year alone, the U.S. has reported 126 mass shootings in 33 different states resulting in 142 of our fellow citizens being laid to rest as well as 485 friends and neighbors having to live with the afteracts of being wounded both physically and mentally.
But there are still those believing the way to solve the problem is just by arresting more people, with the familiar refrain that “people kill people.”
So nothing gets done.
President Joe Biden’s recently announced executive actions to curb gun violence including the U.S. Department of Justice will propose rules targeting “ghost guns” and his administration will write legislation to help states and Congress pass measures aimed at keeping guns out of hands of people who pose “red flags.” Additionally, he nominated David Chapman to serve as director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to “work to advance common-sense gun safety laws.”
But North Jersey lawmakers such as State Sen. Steve Oroho, Assemblymen Parker Space and Harold Wirths disparaged the nominee because of his work with the gun control organization run by the former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, who was shot while meeting voters in her Arizona district in 2011.
We have a gun fetish problem in America. The truth is those believing the right to own a rifle whose use was intended for the battle field is more guaranteed by the Constitution that efforts to regulate it are blocking actions to save lives. Even the most common sense efforts to make the country we live in safer become a litmus test for an overwhelmingly majority of Republican politicians who reflectively say “no,” helping to fan the flames in the conspiracy theory a government led by Democrats are coming for all of their guns.
The time to do nothing has ended. Support your state and federal officials who are fighting to save lives and affected by the damage gun violence does. Become involved with groups such as Moms Demand Action or Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Make this a voting issue that is as equally important as healthcare, infrastructure and taxes.
The time for you to do something starts now.