On the first five months of 2021, more than 7,500 Americans died from gun violence. Why?
What’s causing the pandemic on gun violence? Gun control advocates say that background checks are not effective. Gun ownership advocates insist that guns don’t kill; it’s the people that kill people, which is convoluted logic. But according to a gun control advocacy group, the number of gun sales along with the disruption to normal life by the covid-19 pandemic has contributed to a 25% surge in homicides and non-suicide-related shootings in 2020. The group also found there were nearly 4,000 more firearm deaths and more than 9,000 firearm-related injuries in 2020 than in 2019. Some experts say that “stress levels were high, opportunities for employment were lower,” which makes sense. However, could it be that fear has contributed to the rise in gun violence? Fear of whom?
But what I noticed is that while gun violence is on the rise, the National Rifle Association (NRA) keeps on defending gun ownership based on the Second Amendment, which says: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” But there are no militias in cities. A shooter in a supermarket is not a militia. A militia is an organized group; and those who committed homicides are mostly the “lone wolf” types who oftentimes are mentally unbalanced. Records show that a good number of mass murderers bought their firearms as recent as a day or few days before committing the crime without the statutory waiting period.
Last May 26, a man went on the rampage in San Jose, California killing eight people. He then shot himself to death. The gunman, a 57-year-old man was an employee of the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) and his victims were also employees of VTA. A search of the man’s house revealed an arsenal of assault rifles, handguns, magazines, and thousands of ammunition.
The massacre in San Jose signifies the seriousness of gun violence in the U.S., which has claimed thousands of lives of Americans. And this brings to the fore the issue of gun ownership in the country. While, it is true that the Second Amendment gives citizens the right to keep and bear arms, there should be a law that regulates gun ownership, such as a “universal background check,” and a legal requirement that any gun sale require the buyer to undergo a background check. New federal law also mandates that anyone who sells guns for a living has to have a license to sell and has to undergo a background check.
The day before, in a twist of irony, the Texas Legislature – in a lightning speed — gave final approval to a bill that would allow residents to carry handguns in public without a permit, and Gov. Abbott is expected to sign what many referred to as a “constitutional carry” proposal.
Under the new law, residents over the age of 21 could carry a handgun in public without a license, background check, or training. Currently, the law requires gun owners to be trained and undergo a criminal background check before they are licensed to carry a gun. They might as well put a sign at the border that says: “Welcome to Texas where everybody is a fair target.”
Some lawmakers hailed the bill as a victory for proponents of the Second Amendment. One legislator said, “This is a simple restoration of Texans’ constitutional right under the Second Amendment, a right of the people to keep and bear arms.” But this right applies only to a “well regulated militia,” not deranged “lone wolves” who massacre people like what the San Jose mass murderer did. In my opinion, it does not apply to the new Texas law. Does it seem like the Texas Legislature has turned the calendar back 150 years during the days of the Wild Wild West? Or the Roaring Twenties when Bonnie and Clyde, Baby Face Nelson, Pretty Boy Floyd, Ma Barker, John Dillinger, Al Capone and their ilk roared in the Midwest and the South?
And to show how sickening the NRA’s reaction to the spate of killings is, the NRA tweeted that it had cause for celebrating a Boulder, Colorado judge who ruled that a city’s ban on AR-15 rifles was pre-empted by state law and struck it down. That’s cold and cruel. Didn’t the judge know that it was only recently that 10 people, including a police officer, were killed when a gunman opened fire at a grocery store, where residents had gathered to shop and receive COVID-19 vaccines?
It is interesting to note that former president Barack Obama tried to implement gun control through executive action but Donald Trump, who succeeded him, reversed the regulation that made it more difficult to buy a gun or transfer ownership. Sad to say, the powerful gun lobby is stopping Congress from enacting gun control legislation.
President Biden recently unveiled six executive actions to address the current “gun violence public health epidemic.” Foremost is the regulation on so-called “ghost guns,” makeshift weapons that can be assembled at home or lack a serial number.
In another action, Biden directed the Justice Department to publish model “red flag” legislation, which allows a family member, friend, or law enforcement officer to petition a court to temporarily ban a troubled or dangerous individual from accessing a gun. Meanwhile, the Biden administration will submit legislation to pass permanent red flag legislation.
But these actions are not enough to address the proliferation of guns and assault rifles, which are the main cause for gun violence. The U.S. has the highest civilian gun ownership at 101 per 100 Americans. That’s almost double that of the second highest country, Serbia.
Surmise it to say, gun advocates have gone berserk! With NRA-backed legislators and judges — who have a twisted interpretation of the Second Amendment — pushing for loosening gun control, the country is way too dangerous for the American people to exercise their freedom of movement for fear of getting killed by deranged citizens. As California Gov. Gavin Newsomsaid during a press conference in the aftermath of the San Jose mass murder, “What the hell is going on in the country?”