This weekend, as kids across the country did a March for Our Lives to demand action on gun violence, Republicans and Democrats in the Senate actually talked and came up with a plan.
The framework they agreed to would help states create red flag laws to keep guns away from people who are a danger to themselves or others. It would invest in mental health—although the truth is, most mentally ill people aren’t violent. It would close the boyfriend loophole, keeping guns away from anyone convicted of domestic violence, not just those who are married. It would also make more gun dealers register with the feds so they’d have to do background checks. It would make it harder for those under 21 to buy guns, and enhance school security.
They left out the big stuff–expanded background checks, an assault weapons ban, and raising the age for gun purchases to 21. Which means you still have to be 21 to buy 40 ounces in a bottle, but you don’t have to be 21 to buy 30 bullets in a clip.
So, excuse me if I seem a little skeptical. Republicans don’t want to lose the millions in contributions they get from the National Rifle Association, so they’re only gonna go so far. Democrats can’t pass gun control without Republican support, so they won’t go far enough.
Meanwhile, mass shootings are happening in all kinds of places, for all kinds of reasons, and to all kinds of people. A school shooting in Texas killed 19 Latino students and 2 teachers. A racist attack in Buffalo killed 10 Black people at a grocery store. A fight in Philadelphia led to a mass shooting on South Street. And this weekend, 5 died and 27 were injured during mass shootings in Detroit, Chicago, Louisville and elsewhere.We can no longer afford to half step on gun violence, ‘cause if we do, gun violence will step on us.
Photo: Protesters calling for stricter gun control laws By. Fibonacci Blue