Jack Love For Congress

Gun Reform: Protecting Our Citizens with Common Sense Legislation 

By standing up to the NRA and approaching gun violence as a public health issue, we can save lives.

Thoughts and prayers are not enough to fix a problem that kills Americans every single day. As a father to three beautiful girls, my heart aches for the families who've lost their children to senseless gun violence. Lawmakers need to approach gun violence and fatalities as the severe public health issue they have become. If they are unwilling, Americans agree that we need to THROW THEM OUT!

As citizens, we can start by voting out all politicians who refuse to consider common sense reform. The vast majority refuse because they are beholden to the gun lobby. Many receive large contributions or are subject to threats from the NRA. We constantly hear Washington politicians repeat the gun lobby's talking points, but the American people, along with law enforcement, are ready for common sense reform that reduces gun violence and saves lives.  

After the Parkland school tragedy, polls showed that 3/4 of Americans want stricter gun laws. There is now overwhelming bipartisan support for these basic measures:

  • requiring background checks for all gun buyers (94 percent),

  • adding people with mental illnesses to the federal gun background check system (92 percent),

  • raising the legal age to purchase guns from 18 to 21 (82 percent),

  • banning bump stocks (81 percent),

  • banning high-capacity ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds (73 percent).

Under pressure from the gun lobby, the GOP placed a ban on the study of gun violence as a public health issue at the Centers for Disease Control over two decades ago. With study and research, and with politicians who work for the American People and not the gun lobby, we can make our schools, homes, and streets safer. We can learn from other countries that have been successful in curbing their own gun violence, and we can remove America's terrible distinction of having the most gun violence of any developed nation. 


Reducing Gun Deaths

Americans agree on basic safety measures to reduce deaths from guns. While violent crime, on the whole, is on the decline, the gun homicide rate is steady. We now have almost enough guns in circulation for every man, woman, and child in American to have one. American women are 16 times more likely to be murdered with a gun than women in other countries, and over half of women who are killed by their intimate partners are killed by a gun. Guns in the home are often left unlocked, and easy access to unsecured firearms is a deciding factor in a majority of unintentional child gun deaths. A gun in the home is more likely to kill a family member or other innocent person than it is to kill an intruder. These tragedies are entirely preventable, but because of NRA pressure on politicians, many states have failed to implement policies that would make it harder for children to access firearms. Yes, guns kill people, because access to firearms makes death more likely in all of these contexts - in the home, in schools, in domestic abuse situations, and in the hands of children. 

One of the most common arguments against gun control is that a majority of the deaths are suicides and that people would find another way to commit suicide if guns were harder to access. This is a myth. It's true that the majority of deaths comes from suicides, but research shows that suicide attempts are frequently impulsive acts. Research shows that survivors actually do NOT tend to repeat attempts. Obviously, any attempt with a gun is much more likely to succeed. How many people do you know who went through a dangerous period, who perhaps contemplated suicide but did not act on their feelings? In this common scenario, the presence of a gun matters.


Saving Lives while Respecting the Second Amendment

The NRA lobbies to sell as many guns as possible, so naturally, they appeal to people's fears that the government wants to take all guns away. This is a lie. The reality is that the gun lobby continues to promote an agenda that would allow anyone - including felons, terror suspects on the no-fly list, convicted abusers and people with a history of violence or making threats - to carry a gun, in any setting. This is no longer about supporting sportsmen and hunters. This is about scaring us into stockpiling firearms, and about making sure that zero limitations ever get placed on ownership.

Let me be clear: we CAN save lives while still respecting the Second Amendment.

I am suggesting the following commonsense solutions:

  • ban assault weapons, because there is no reason for weapons of war and mass destruction on the streets of America; 

  • lift the ban on studying gun violence and support a broad research effort at the CDC, so our gun reforms can be evidence-based and effective;

  • require a criminal background check for ALL gun sales, not just for sales conducted by licensed dealers. Children and criminals should not be able to order a gun online as easily as they can a pair of shoes; 

  • strengthen enforcement of laws to prevent traffickers from buying guns from lawful owners and transferring them to criminals;

  • oppose laws that allow untrained, irresponsible people to carry loaded guns in public;

  • oppose gun accessories that increase a gun's killing power such as high capacity magazines, silencers and bump stocks;

  • support Red Flag Laws that allow courts to temporarily restrict gun access from a person who exhibits dangerous warning signs that he poses a serious threat to himself or others;

  • support laws that prevent felons, domestic abuse offenders and abusers under restraining orders, and people on the no-fly list from having guns;

  • oppose the gun lobby's attempts to arm teachers.