#IVITEB – I’m voting in this election because…

#5 – Guns Are Killing U.S.

Columbine should have been enough. Virginia Tech should have done it. Above all, Sandy Hook should have caused every citizen to call for reasonable gun-control measures and spur Congress to action.

Twenty first-graders cut down just as their lives were getting started. Massacred.

Six-year-olds.

Yet nothing happened.

Nothing continues to happen.

Kids are still getting slaughtered in schools (there were 45 school shootings in 10½ months of 2019 alone).

Instead, in what certainly qualifies as tragic irony, rather than leading to gun control laws, school shootings increase gun sales.

Sadly, as I’ve written on IV Words before, the innocence we enjoyed as children is a fairy tale to our own kids.

We Don’t Need More Guns Than People

Nearly eight years after Sandy Hook, with dozens more deadly school shootings under our collective belt, the National Rifle Association still holds sway over enough people in Congress to keep it from passing gun-control measures that are desperately needed in the United States. 

Meanwhile, year after year, thousands of people are dying of gun-related injuries on our streets, not to mention in our homes, theaters and houses of worship. 

However, instead of reasonable gun control legislation, the United States keeps gaining guns. We now have more guns than people in this country – around 400 million guns for approximately 330 million citizens. 

In 2018, nearly 40,000 people died of gun violence. As of today (Oct. 19), there have been 34,222 gun deaths, which puts 2020 on track to set a new record. 

Gun Control Laws Work

No-one wants to take guns away from people who are not a threat to anyone else. Instead, we want people to have to wait a few days before gun purchases can be finalized, to limit the types of guns that are available to people who are not in the U.S. military or state National Guard companies, and to do everything in the government’s power to protect victims from gun violence when there is an obvious danger.

"NRA? NO WAY!" graphic

The fact is that gun control laws work; stricter restrictions save lives.

According to researchers who studied gun-control laws and firearm-related deaths in multiple countries, “‘the simultaneous implementation of laws targeting multiple elements of firearms regulations reduced firearm-related deaths in certain countries,’ and ‘some specific restrictions on purchase, access, and use of firearms are associated with reductions in firearm deaths.’”

Most U.S. Citizens Want Stricter Gun Control

On this issue, the United States definitely needs a good dose of majority rule.

According to a survey by the Pew Research Center in 2019, a majority of U.S. citizens want stricter gun-control measures. “The share of Americans who say gun laws in the U.S. should be made stricter has increased from 52% in 2017 to 60% this year,” Pew reported.

Misinterpretation of the 2nd Amendment

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

The 2nd Amendment to the Constitution discusses the right to bear arms in the narrow context of maintaining a “well regulated militia.”

While a highly vocal minority is adamant that it protects Uncle Harry’s right to own an AR-style .223 semi-automatic assault rifle, which can easily be converted to fully automatic, that weapon is not necessary for the maintenance of those well-regulated militia. In fact, this country and each of the states already has a well-regulated militia, paid for with our tax dollars. So, thanks, but we’re covered vis-a-vis well-regulated militias. 

Automatic assault weapons are damn sure not necessary for hunting or home protection, either. They’re only necessary to someone’s need – not a right – to get off by shooting off hundreds of rounds per second.

And, please, don’t give me that “good guy with a gun” argument, either. In an active-shooter situation, how are police supposed to know him from the bad guy with a gun?

Finally, based on gun deaths – likely more than 42,000 this year – and domestic terrorist activities and threats, the regulation of individuals with guns clearly is not doing an adequate job of protecting the citizenry. More must be done.

Enough Already with the Guns

So, yeah, I am voting in this election because… Trump encourages domestic terrorists, tells governors and mayors they need to crack down on protesters, using violence if necessary, and will not take any action to limit the availability of firearms or the types that can be purchased by everyday citizens. He’s an NRA guy, and we must get rid of him.

Fortunately, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have a plan to take on the gun lobby and do some positive things to address the problem.

Guns are killing our citizens, our culture and our nation. That’s why I hope you’ll join me as I #VoteBidenHarris and #VoteBlueDownBallot.

Please support these and other organizations that are working to reduce gun violence in the USA:

Everytown for Gun Safety

Students Demand Action

Sandy Hook Promise

The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence

Brady: United Against Gun Violence

Team Enough

Orange Generation

Newtown Action

Youth Over Guns

Giffords

* Be sure to read the other posts in the #IVITEB series on IV Words. Despite the numbering system, they are not in any particular order.

#1 – The Climate Crisis
#2 – Women’s Rights
#3 – Policing, Criminal Justice & Incarceration Reform
#4 – I Am a Progressive
#6 – Workers’ Rights & Protections
#7 – Voting IS Our Duty
#8 – Attacks on Press Must Stop
#9 – Not Better Off. Not By a Long Shot.

Black outlined graphic indicating copyright 2020 Martin C. Fredricks IV

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PLEASE VOTE!

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