Monday March 19, 2018
An epidemic demands a robust response.
The prerequisite facts for gun rights discussions are:
The Supreme Court has upheld lower federal court rulings that state laws requiring universal background checks and bans on assault-type weapons do not violate the Second Amendment.
The U.S. has 5 percent of the world's population, 50 percent of the world's civilian gun ownership, and seven times the homicide rate and 25 times the gun homicide rate of its socioeconomic peers.
Guns and cars are the instruments of many preventable deaths, with guns significantly less regulated than cars.
All major medical organizations label gun violence a national public health epidemic.
President Donald Trump and the majority in Congress disregard these facts and callously accept the National Rifle Association's spiel that innocent human beings lying in pools of blood with irreparably shattered organs caused by devastatingly lethal high-velocity bullets are really the victims of too many gun-free zones and the failure to arm everyone, not relatively unhampered civilian access to guns capable of firing 100 rounds per minute without bump stocks.
In any epidemic, reducing the population's exposure to the causative agents is paramount. We need federal laws that ban assault-type weapons and high-capacity magazines, require universal background checks and require the criteria for gun ownership to mirror car ownership standards. Those politicians opposed to these minimum regulations should be voted from office.
Ward G. Becker
Firearms causing a U.S. health crisis