Category Archives: Gun Laws

Are Firearm Suicides Preventable?

Most Americans have probably heard that there are over 30,000 gun deaths per year in the U.S. When confronted with that fact, opponents of gun safety law reform are quick to point out that approximately two thirds of that number are suicides. (And they are correct.) Their argument tacitly suggests that gun deaths by suicide are not preventable and therefore cannot be used to argue for new gun laws.

Vigilantism’s Return to America

Several weeks ago, George Zimmerman, the man acquitted of murder in the shooting death of an unarmed teenager, Trayvon Martin, made an appearance at a Florida gun show as the guest of honor. Zimmerman was invited by the gun show’s organizer, who had supported Zimmerman at his trial, to help promote the event by signing autographs. The appalling reaction of several of my right-wing acquaintances after I complained on Facebook about the celebration of Zimmerman as a hero prompted me

Is There a Middle Ground on Gun Laws?

Although I did not grow up in a home with guns, I was exposed to them at an early age. From the annual Boy Scout summer camp to visits with extended family, I had frequent opportunities to use guns, and as an adult, have thoroughly enjoyed periodic recreational shooting as well as have taken weeks of firearms aptitude and safety courses. While I do not currently own a gun, I plan to purchase a handgun and a long gun in

A Supreme Precedent for Gun Laws

In the aftermath of any mass shooting in the U.S., an all-or-nothing rhetoric about guns typically infects the public discourse regarding what ought to be done to prevent such tragedies in the future. In many communities, inhabitants are warned that the government has a hidden agenda seeking to ban all future gun sales and intends to confiscate privately owned firearms. “Obama wants to take your guns away,” we are warned. Far too many Americans have accepted the all-or-nothing gun law

Background Checks Work

Recently the US Senate fell short of passing the most reasonable gun control measure ever brought to the Congressional floor by six votes (54 votes — just a few shy of blocking a filibuster).  The legislation was centered on closing background check loopholes involving private sellers at gun shows and through online sales.  The legislation would not create a national registry of gun owners (although this was the main point of the disinformation campaign of the NRA), nor did it

Violence and Mental Health

The recent mass shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut reinvigorated the national debate about gun control. While I believe that additional measures must be adopted to make it more difficult for criminals and the mentally ill to obtain firearms, it is equally important that Americans evaluate other areas in our society that may contribute to violent crime. One major area where we need significant reform is mental health care. Because I am not a mental health

Common Sense Gun Laws

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” There is probably no other section of our Constitution that is currently more controversial than this one. In my own opinion, the amendment guarantees the right of the people to keep and bear arms only in the context of a well-regulated militia. I invite any old English grammar experts to render an honest

A Gun Law Even Dick Cheney Can Support

The gunman in the Tucson shooting rampage that killed six people and injured many others, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, acquired his handgun legally, despite many warning signs to those around him that he was a very mentally unstable young man. In executing his plot, Jared Loughner used a Glock 19 with a high-capacity magazine. The purpose of such a magazine is to enable a shooter to fire a high number of rounds in a short period– to allow for maximum