It's clear something needs to be done to help stop similar attacks from happening in the future, but the path forward continues to be a major source of contention between those who want to expand government's power in our lives and those who oppose such assaults on freedom. Congress should match that bravery by finally tightening gun control. But, as Benjamin Franklin once rightfully observed, "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety".
According to this year's Gun Trace Report, 40% of "crime guns" are from parts of IL outside of Chicago, but a sizable 20% of those guns come from neighboring Indiana. Not only do certain gun dealers who operate in a very slimy fashion contribute to a high percentage of gun-related crimes, but neighboring states with lax guns laws also must share in the blame, too. That's not the case, however. Only 35% of non-gun owners feel the same way. If these states' gun laws are so unsafe, why are there so few homicides in these states? Let's go with the most commonly accepted definition, from the Congressional Research Service: a shooting in which a gunman.
Three of the five deadliest shootings have taken place in the last 18 months. We have not invested in basic protections to close gaps in our background check system that allow unsafe people ready access to guns.
"The shooter turned his gun on people - kids - in a place of worship". The same year in the U.S. saw 33,599 deaths by guns. Why not ban most knives to stop stabbings? A 2016 study looked at 292 incidents in which four or more people were killed.
These latest rampage shootings means that the Columbine High School massacre of 1999, in which two schoolboys killed 13 people, no longer figures as one of the worst ten. Gun clubs and other similar organizations should engage in more community outreach events and learn to be more inclusive about membership. When possible, security should be hired. "These mass murders have demonstrated that", she says. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 1.5 million US citizens have died as a result of guns in the last 49 years. "There is no question we need to do a better job of keeping guns out of the hands of domestic violence abusers" says Jen Reidy with a Marin County mother with Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense In America.
Third, state lawmakers should pass laws enhancing the punishments, including financial penalties, applied to those who knowingly (and it's very important "knowingly" is clearly defined) sell firearms to people who are prohibited from purchasing those weapons.
CNN recently reported Americans own by far more guns per person than the citizens of any other country and almost half - 310 million - of the world's estimated 650 million civilian-owned guns are possessed by Americans. We don't know all the details about how this killer got his guns, but we know that in Texas he could have gone to a gun show or online and bought all the guns he wanted without a background check.