Remember Gun Violence When You Vote
Most of us were saddened to learn about another mass shooting. And now a bit later, many will also say to themselves, “nothing I can do about it”. And while they go back to day to day lives, the families and friends of those killed are never the same. Nor are the lives of the survivors along with their families and friends. The communities including school systems have a tragedy which will never go away.
Awhile back, after a previous mass shooting, one of my granddaughters told her mother she did not want to go school because she did not want to be shot. Children all over the country have said this to their parents. Kids are smart, they know that gun violence is the leading cause of death of children ages 1-19 in 2020 and 2021 in the US. [CDC]. According to the Kaiser Foundation, the gun violence mortality rate for children in the US is 6.0 per 100,000. The next closest country is Canada at 0.6 per 100,000. Yes, kids are smart and afraid.
Again, many will say there is “nothing I can do”. But that is not true, there is one thing each of us can and must do. We can for vote for Democrat candidates. This is especially Moderate Independent voters like myself. Here’s why on this issue.
Following is a link to a report entitled “The Cost of Gun Violence” prepared by the nonprofit Everytown for Gun Safety. Though I would highly recommend reading the Report, following is a summary from the Report.
“In an average year, gun violence in America kills 40,000 people, wounds twice as many, and has an economic consequence to our nation of $557 billion.”
“This $557 billion problem represents the lifetime costs associated with gun violence, including three types of costs: immediate costs starting at the scene of a shooting, such as police investigations and medical treatment; subsequent costs, such as treatment, long-term physical and mental health care, earnings lost to disability or death, and criminal justice costs; and cost estimates of quality of life lost over a victim’s life span for pain and suffering of victims and their families.”
Republicans received over $19 Million dollars of support from the NRA in 2022. [Open Secrets – Following the Money in Politics.] This amount includes Contributions, Lobbying, and Outside Spending. [Outside spending’ refers to political expenditures made by groups or individuals independently of, and not coordinated with, candidates’ committees.]
The book “Gunfight” written by Ryan Busse, a former executive in the gun industry, discusses his perspective regarding the problems in the gun industry and the damage the culture is doing to America. He is a lifetime gun owner and a powerful voice against gun violence.
Currently non-gun owners are subsidizing gun owners. The above costs are gun violence are real and being paid for by non-gun owners which is the majority . The gun industry often tries to scare gun owners by saying he government will come for you guns. That will never happen. What can happen and is a pretty easy fix is to establish an additional tax on the sales of all guns and ammunition. In addition, all gun owners would need to register their guns and pay an annual registration fee. The actual fee would be dependent on the type of gun owned. The combination of sales taxes and registrations would equal the total costs of gun violence. Refusal to comply with the new laws would result in substantial penalties along with the possibility of jail time.
According to a September/2023 study by Pew Research, about 40% of US households have a at least one gun in the household. A different study found that there are significantly more guns in the US than people. The estimate was close to 400 million guns so many households have multiple guns while the majority have none. We need to end this massive subsidy paid for by non-owners.
Some will quote the 2nd Amendment in opposition of gun control. But rarely if ever do they state the whole amendment which in total states:
“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”.
I would suggest any understanding of totality of this amendment starts with an understanding of the English Bill of Rights of 1689 and why this amendment came into being. Then comes a detailed understanding of the time period before, during and after the Revolutionary War, not just with England, but on the Frontier which for years had been a place of conflict with the various Native American tribes who lived there.
One thing is for sure, the Founding Fathers would never have allowed a system where anyone anytime can walk into a school or community and kill others with automatic weapons.
Republicans will not regulate or tax guns until they get the message that ending gun violence is a National priority. One way to do this is to vote for Democrats and/or Republicans who do not receive financial benefits from the NRA and will vote to tax and regulate the gun industry.