If there seems to be one constant on this country in recent years it is the outbursts of gun violence that is totally senseless. What is just as senseless is Republican politicians who refuse to take any of a number of common sense, simple approaches that could greatly decrease the senseless deaths caused by gun violence not every year in America, but every day.
Every day in this country an average of 100 people die of gun violence. For each of these persons who die there are survivors who will be traumatized to some degree for the rest of their lives. Some will be greatly scarred. Even the family of the perpetrator will be traumatized for the rest of their lives.
Think if you were shot dead tomorrow, how would the people you left behind react. What about Grandma and Grandpa if they are still living? News of your sudden death might kill them in their old age. What about your parents and your in-laws? Here again it may cause health problems among them. There would possibly be much grieving and a loss of belief in most anything.
What about your spouse? Besides being traumatized, your spouse will now have to figure how to live with a huge loss of income to the family. You are very fortunate if you have some form of life insurance, most folks don’t. Even if you do have life insurance will it replace your income?
What about children? Your senseless death will haunt them for years. Will their plans and goals need to change drastically when they have lost a parent? Will they become withdrawn and sullen?
And then there are extended family such as brothers, sisters, nephews and nieces. There are also friends and social networks that you exist in. Most folks are involved in some form of volunteer work including church work to little league to political action or book clubs. Everywhere there will be a hole that will never quite be filled.
That previous exercise is to show just what repercussions one unexpected, senseless death has. Multiply that by 100 a day for 365 days and you have an idea of the scope of the situation.
And yet The Republican Party for at least the last 40 years has stood in the way of even the simplest, most sensible fixes that could easily be implemented. While they give all sorts excuses the bottom line is that guns are a huge business in this country and for a Republican dollars are much more sacred than lives.
For many years Republican politicians have papered over the grief and loss that families and friends are faced with by making some really useless public statement that usually includes a phrase such as “Thoughts and Prayers.” Thoughts and prayers are little more than empty air. They do nothing.
What Americans need are solid laws that restrict who can get guns, what kind of guns can be bought, how quickly can they be delivered and ways to engineer in safety features. There should also be some form of insurance or funding for victims of shootings.
We have had laws in the past specifying that folks with felonies can’t buy or own a gun. That was accomplished with background checks. Even in these computerized times, background checks should take a few days. Thus, the delivery of the gun should take a few days. If someone is in a huge hurry to get a gun, that is probably an indication that the intention of owning a gun is not a good one.
The next question is why do we sell weapons of war (AR15s and their ilk) to the average American who is supposedly living in a civil society? There should be no reason that any civilian should own an AR15.
Industry and engineers have always looked to ways to make their products safer, less likely to kill or maim. The great example of that is the automobile. When safety became a top goal in the 70s and 80s it was amazing how cars have been redesigned in such a way that even in some of the worst crashes people are able to survive. Seat belts, collapsable steering wheels and air bags are a few of the changes that have been incorporated.
As has been suggested many times, why do guns not have a fingerprint scanner or an eyeball scanner to validate that the person shooting the gun has been authorized for that gun? To be authorized a person will need to have a background check. There are many variations on this theme.
What about insurance to cover a victim’s losses? Or a victim’s fund that is funded with a large tax on gun purchases.
One suggestion that comes up all the time is to tax the bullets. If each bullet actually cost $10 someone would think a while before shooting.
Here is one suggestion that melds voter suppression with gun laws: