"We're Number 1!" (We must be so proud...)
I have no doubt that some additional legislation, such as background checks, will help stem the tide of this endless gun violence. But the real answer is in repealing existing legislation -- the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.
You'll find no shortage of articles, liberal and conservative, that claim gun sales are still booming, even after the Newtown, Connecticut shooting. They rarely, if ever, cite gun sales statistics. They note membership in a gun group like the NRA. Or they'll list background check data.
The failure to implement even the most general or common sense reforms in the light of 800 mass shootings is an absolute refusal to lead on the part of Congress. It's a flat out disregard for the safety of American citizens. It's shameful political cowardice.
With the right to bear arms no matter the consequences firmly established in U.S. law and the psyche of our citizens, the NRA has to push new laws to stay viable and keep Congress and state legislatures firmly in its political pocket. One of the newer so-called gun rights the group has cooked up is campus carry.
If there's anything the NRA has been able to accomplish in its quest to be the defining voice in the gun debate, it was taken care of for them by Indiana Governor Mike Pence.
Bernie Sanders' position on gun control is far more complex than these headlines suggest, however, even if his nuances lack a reasonable basis. Both Sanders' supporters and detractors need to be aware of these nuances before blindly praising or criticizing his politics.
Rolling Stone magazine ranked in 2005 Stevie Wonder's "Songs in the Key of Life" number 57 in the top 500 albums of all times. So it is fitting that Wonder announced, with great fanfare, the final leg of his "Songs in the Key of Life Performance" tour in the United States this fall.
The NRA has been pissing and moaning about public health and clinical views on gun violence for more than 20 years, and Wheeler is often quoted whenever relevant research is published and, in time-honored fashion, the media needs a comment from the "other side."
In the two mass gun shootings at movie theaters in Aurora, Colorado, and Lafayette, Louisiana, there were a total of 14 deaths and 79 injuries. At the movie theater attack in Antioch, where a hatchet was used, a total of zero people were killed.
I am a Southern, white, gun-owning male who worries that one day my family will have to pay the price for America's unwillingness to stand up to the gun lobby. Let me be very clear: I am not opposed to personal gun ownership. What I am opposed to is the gun lobby's stranglehold on our elected leaders.
The leading medical organizations plus the American Bar Association believe that "deaths and injuries related to firearms constitute a major public health problem in the United States." This consensus is not going to change because some judge thinks that doctors should avoid the issue of guns.
Florida legislators have lost their way on the issue of guns. There is a constitutional right (both state and federal) to own a gun. I get it! But the Second Amendment doesn't trump the First Amendment: The two are not even in conflict.
We have a problem in this country called gun violence and we're not going to solve it by 'fixing' a registration system that hasn't changed in more than 20 years; it's not going to be solved by putting the discussion off for another day; and it's certainly not going to be solved by asking every law-abiding citizen to walk around with a gun.
Refuse to speak the words gun violence. Call it domestic terrorism. That's what it really is. Like my father, we must have the courage to take a stand. Let's refuse to be bullied by the NRA and the gun industry and their wealthy donors and highly-paid lobbyists.
It's time to be reasonable. It's time to respect each others' lives as much as we respect each others' rights. It's time to require training and screening for all firearms.