Reasonable gun reform is long overdue

By Arlene Violet
Posted 8/15/19

Facts: El Paso and Dayton make 251 mass shootings in 216 days.Total number of gun incidents so far in 2019: 33,499Number of deaths: 8,896 (22,000 annual suicide by gun not included) Source: Gun …

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Reasonable gun reform is long overdue


El Paso and Dayton make 251 mass shootings in 216 days.
Total number of gun incidents so far in 2019: 33,499
Number of deaths: 8,896 (22,000 annual suicide by gun not included)
Source: Gun Violence Archive

It is not rocket science. Something can be done about mass shootings which do not interfere with the Second Amendment. Extremists should not determine gun policy. Politicians, far too many of whom are gun-shy about crossing the NRA, need an infusion of some guts. Here are some reasonable reforms:

Mandatory background checks
What are some people afraid of? There are over 300 million guns in this country. Is there any viable fear that “Uncle Sam” will confiscate firearms if it knows who owns them? Most occupations, including those which use dangerous machinery, require background checks. So should the license for a lethal weapon.

Ban weapons of war
Military–style assault rifles as well as high-capacity magazines should be verboten. This weaponry was contemplated for war zones. Its purpose is to kill as many of the “enemy” as possible and as quickly as possible. No self-respecting sportsman uses these instruments. In fact, it isn’t “sport’ at all to kill animals with them. Bring back the ban of such weapons which expired in 1994.

With constitutional rights come responsibilities
The First Amendment need not be trampled. Leadership, however, as well as any educators, starting with parents, has to instill in their charges that there is no room for racism, intolerance, or incitement of racial violence. An imprimatur will not be given to manifestos of supremacy. Starting right now, the adults among us will act like grown-ups and will welcome and value all Americans no matter where they or their ancestors came from. Immigrants will not be vilified as they seek asylum. This country will stop supporting the despots who drive them out of their Central American or other countries. Processes will be set up to examine in a timely fashion the asylum claims. The Second Amendment will also be honored by respecting folks who wish to have guns once they pass a background check which includes mental health screenings.

Confront hatred in our society
Social media has made it easy to parry hatred and misinformation. All of us need to resist passing on information that vilifies those who have different opinions than we do. Engage in dialogue, not damnification.

Free assembly is cherished
Welcome the gathering of those whose points of view may vary as long as everyone keeps in mind that the operative guide in and for America is "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men (and women) are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

Certainly, the Creator didn’t endow only those in the geography of the United States with these rights. Keeping the reality of the common bonds of humanity, regardless of place of birth, should curb jingoism. As corny as it may sound, it really is all about internalizing our religious upbringing. While some may have stopped going to Church or Temple, the tenets instilled should still be a guide to our actions.

Time to return to our roots.

Arlene Violet is an attorney and former Rhode Island Attorney General.

Arlene Violet

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