It’s time to act on gun safety
In the United States, more than 85 people are killed at the hands of gun violence every day. More than twice as many people are injured. Over the past few years, we’ve seen mass shooting after mass shooting. Most recently, 20 elementary school students and 6 of their teachers died at the hands of a troubled young man in Newtown, Conn.
The time to discuss what to do with guns in America is not the future. It’s in the past, before we had to mourn the deaths of children. We can’t wait until “it’s the right time.” The right time was yesterday. We have to work toward safe gun policy today.
President Obama laid out his plan for a safer gun culture, but here’s what the KSU College Democrats and I believe is more important:
1. A Federal Background Check System encompassing all 50 states, with mandatory reporting for all gun sales, including those at gun shows.
2. A re-instatement of the Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act of 1994, known colloquially as the “Assault Weapons Ban.”
3. A national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign including statistics about gun injuries and deaths in the U.S., safe gun storage and gun ownership liability.
4. An examination of our violent American culture.
5. A discussion of the actual rights granted by the Second Amendment.
We also realize that our health-care system needs to be a central focus of the national gun debate. Through the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act and the Affordable Care Act, many more Americans will soon have mental health coverage the same as their physical health coverage.
We need to fix this problem. We need to have the right conversations. One more day of bloodshed is too many.
Jake Green, Kent
The writer is president of the Kent State University College Democrats.