March was a banner month for the NRA and gun lobbyists as they got to see their precious product in action.
In Atlanta, eight people were gunned down March 16 in a rampage targeting women of Asian descent. Within days, 10 people were slaughtered in Boulder, Colorado, on a Monday afternoon at a grocery store. During that same time period, 56 people were shot in Chicago in separate incidents; eight of them died.
Not close enough to home for you? How about this: On March 21 and 24 in the Fargo-Moorhead area just up the interstate, one 6-year-old boy was killed when children found a handgun inside an apartment. Days later, another 6-year-old boy was struck in the head in his home while two young men had a shoot-out on the street.
Since 2014, more than 20,000 suicides by gun have happened every year in the United States. Since 2014, between 12,000 and 15,000 willful, malicious or accidental deaths by gun have happened every year (that’s in addition to the suicides). And between 20,000 and 30,000 gun injuries have happened every year.
Clearly laws about safe storage and training on safe usage aren’t enough. Nor are the spotty, inconsistent background checks. We need to scope out solutions to end the carnage.
Requiring annual licensing, registration and insurance like with automobiles is an option. Limiting supply is an option. The Second Amendment affords the right to bear arms, but how many guns does one person actually need? In fact, gun ownership in the United Statesw is highly concentrated; only three percent of Americans own half of all guns in the country, according to a 2015 survey from researchers at Harvard and Northeastern universities. Limiting ammunition also is an option (The Second Amendment doesn’t mention anything about bullets).
Gun safety solutions are only limited by our imagination, and the inability of some elected officials to lead.
Conservative politicians cower in fear at the prospect of an “F” rating from the NRA or an insurgence by overly enthusiastic gun-toting constituents. In fact, we can already predict the bumper-sticker BS that will fill our inbox after this writing. Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.
No kidding. We see it far too often and don’t seem to care.