Pass Gun Violence Prevention Measures
Larry Feldman, Letter to the Editor, 05/31/2022
Photo by Heather Mount on Unsplash
How many more people – children, adolescents, and adults – need to be killed by gun violence before Republican politicians stop blocking common sense gun violence prevention measures?
At the federal level, the House of Representatives has passed bills that would expand criminal background checks to include attempted gun purchases on the internet or at gun shows (which currently do not require a background check) and would lengthen the waiting period for would-be gun buyers who are flagged by the instant background check system, allowing more time for the FBI to investigate. Republicans in the U.S. Senate have repeatedly blocked consideration and passage of these common-sense measures, despite polls showing strong public support for their passage.
In Michigan, Governor Whitmer’s proposed budget for the next fiscal year contains ten million dollars for gun violence prevention programs - five million for research and five million for implementation. The Republican-controlled legislature has eliminated all of that money from their own budget proposals.
Why are Republican legislators so unwilling to pass common-sense gun violence prevention bills? I believe the main reason is that they are terrified of the National Rifle Association and the gun manufacturers lobbies. They are afraid that if they support even the mildest gun violence prevention bill they will lose the financial support of those lobbies and the political support of their followers. These legislators are cowards – they are so afraid of losing political support that they are prioritizing their careers over the lives of their constituents.
What can we the people do to support the passage of gun violence prevention legislation? We can contact our federal and state representatives and express our strong support for such legislation. We can participate in citizen lobbying efforts. We can march and attend rallies. We can write letters to the editor. We can vote for citizen initiatives. And we can make a strong and enduring commitment to only vote for candidates who support measures to prevent gun violence.