Combating gun violence calls for multiple approaches, not one or two. Measures that do not include effectively regulating access to firearms are not serious responses. The fact that President Trump signed an order (HJ Resolution 40) that nullified a measure restricting individuals with certain mental health histories from obtaining firearms betrays his lack of seriousness when he focuses on improving mental health services.
The Supreme Court has affirmed that the 2nd amendment confers a right for citizens to possess guns. Most people agree that is not an absolute right. Most people agree we don’t want unstable individuals or people with violent backgrounds to have guns. Until someone comes up with a better way than background checks to achieve that, we need background checks. I support no exceptions for background checks except for exchanges between family members.
Everyone draws a line somewhere as to what weapons a person can have access to. No one accepts people parking a tank in the driveway or hanging grenade launchers in the garage. So where is that line? People should not have unrestricted access to highly lethal guns. The metrics for that determination comes down to firing speed, firing capacity, and caliber. It is a very, very technical matter when you try to nail it down.
Sales of guns that are very lethal and have no use in sportsmanship, that are designed to effectively kill people rapidly, should be restricted. From 1994 until 2004 sales of these types of guns were restricted in this country. I support returning to those restrictions.
The fact that we did nothing with gun control after the Newtown shootings speaks volumes about the politics involved in this. Something no one should object to is ending the prohibition on the CDC collecting and maintaining data on gun violence so that we can at least have a more informed discussion about gun violence.