NRA members not responsible for shootings

Sales of assault-style guns are surging after the Florida school shooting.      John Locher  AP

Sales of assault-style guns are surging after the Florida school shooting. John Locher AP

"We urge you to end your association with a company that profits from making and selling the AR-15 style rifles used in numerous school shootings and mass shootings across America", the petition reads. The right and the left-conservative and liberal-debate exactly what this notion of protection is, but most of us can agree that protection is its primary goal. As Thomas Jefferson said, the right to bear arms is "a last resort" for people "to protect themselves from the tyranny in government". But my anger grows too with each new senseless loss.

Since 1968, over 1.5 million Americans have been killed in gun-related incidents, according to Politifact.

I know that this statement can get people heated for a lot of reasons. But that doesn't mean Congress should do nothing.

Some lawmakers have stepped up to introduce minor bipartisan gun safety measures in Congress, but it remained unclear when or if the Bills would reach the floor for debates and votes. They should shut down all forms of negativity and shut down the people doing this. That is of course absurd.

Gun control has always been one of the most divisive and contentious issues in Washington, and the rush to legislate on school safety reflects the difficulty of passing measures that have anything to do with guns. Even President Trump says these devices should not be readily available.

Now, Parkland joins Columbine, Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech and dozens of other educational settings as the name of a crime scene, not a school. The USA stands divided on the quandary of gun control. Student activists have begun raising their voices demanding change. These ruffians are of the same ilk as the bullies who roam the halls of high schools... except older and more connected... but just as reprehensible.

This is not a wistful reminiscence; I'm simply pointing out that gun ownership is not limited to right wing crazies and farmers. I also come from a farm family, where guns were a necessary tool on the farm.

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We need such changes to be able to assure students, parents and staff that our schools are safe places. I flatly reject the argument that an assault weapon should be available to civilians.

We can tell you that in the three weeks since Parkland, there have been over 600 gun threats. Bump stocks, which essentially modify a gun to make it easier to fire multiple rounds, must be outlawed.

Under the legislation, anyone buying a firearm from a licensed dealer must be at least 21 years of age. Most companies require licensed drivers to be 21 in order to rent a vehicle. The waiting creates a cooling-off period among buyers, and provides time to conduct a thorough background check, significantly reducing the incidence of gun violence.

Of course there are, and the following proposals, which can not seem to get passed by Congress, all have a high percentage of support from the American people: universal background checks; legislation prohibiting bump stocks; banning sales to all violent criminals, those deemed risky by mental health providers, and convicted stalkers; banning high-capacity magazines; and waiting periods.

One exception is the Fix NICS Act, a modest measure that would offer incentives to states and federal agencies to improve reporting to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS, for gun purchasers. This makes no sense and can be ended immediately by enacting the "No More Atrocities with Guns Act". Senators as different as Bernie Sanders and Mitch McConnell have pro-NRA records because large numbers of gun owners in their largely rural sates use their guns responsibly to shoot at target ranges and for hunting animals, not people. "As a result, the CDC stopped funding gun-control research - which had a chilling effect far beyond the agency, drying up money for nearly all public health studies of the issue nationwide".

He said in light of recent school shootings, the organization was going to be having more of a safety and educational focus for its Second Amendment Week events, including a concealed carry class that includes gun safety curriculum and a secondary prize that includes ear and eye protection for shooting. Every year, hundreds of lives are lost to violence that could have been prevented with sound legislation.

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