Sunday, June 30, 2013

Why We Will Not Fix Gun Violence Anytime Soon...

I do not wish to write another stock column on the issue of gun violence. Click here to read several of my previous columns relating to gun violence and gun reform legislation.

After reading this horrific story about how two brothers, who live about ninety minutes from me here in Ohio, were together sometime this past Tuesday. Ages 9 and 12, the older boy somehow got a hold of his father's .44 caliber handgun. I don't know if it was was already loaded with ammunition or if one of the boys loaded it himself. The older boy wound up shooting his little brother in the head, killing him almost instantly. Then, the older boy put the gun under his own chin and pulled the trigger, resulting in the second fatality due to guns in that house in a matter of seconds.

I posted this story last night to my facebook page and the comments began to flow. One person, (h/t SF) commented that Ohio (and many other States) are woefully lax in terms of gun owner liability for negligent storage, liability for children having access to this often deadly combination of guns and ammo, as well as no laws regulating the provision (intentional or otherwise) of firearms to children. The Children's Defense Fund has a great write-up on this issue within the State of Ohio. Read it here...

I am tired of hearing the pushback from the NRA and too many gun owners saying that these type instances, while tragic, don't provide sufficient reason for we as a Country to establish any meaningful regulations and laws that would universally, from coast to coast, address this sort of gun violence. We're having a lot of trouble beefing up adult firearm ownership regulations, as witnessed by the recent debacle in the House where a pretty tame and reasonable proposal was rejected.

We're seeing stories similar to the one I referenced above all too often. Think about it. How often do you hear about an accidental shooting? Way too often. It can be greatly reduced, but it would take legislation. Gun Legislation has a very low likelihood of getting passed in today's Congress.

We've done a pretty good job fighting other epidemics in this Country. Smallpox is mostly a thing of the past because we identified a health risk, put experts on it and followed their recommendations. Polio is another example. Working together does good things, especially in matters of public policy and public health.

I can't imagine the grief of the parents that lost those two young boys. As parents, we need to find common ground at least on this issue. Tighter ownership and liability laws will mean fewer deaths like these, not less liberty or freedom. Why can't we seem to do anything meaningful on this issue with out being extreme about it? Our kids, the future of this country are paying a high price for our inflexibility and foolishness on this issue. And for that, we will pay a high price as well.


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