Gun Violence & A Broken Congress

At a recent PBS News Hour town hall meeting, President Obama was asked a question about his position on gun control.

As you’ll see in the video above, the President’s response is as thoughtful, and responsible, as you’re going to get on this issue. We study public safety problems all the time to find ways to mitigate the harmful, and often deadly, effects. The President gave a perfect example with how we reduced traffic fatalities. We studied the matter and used that knowledge to push public policy that has saved a countless number of men, women, and children from terrible injuries or death.

But we currently have a Congress that blocks the study of gun violence! It’s true. The President rightfully points this out. Think about that. As a public official, your official response to a problem is to avoid allowing any government studies that show how you can respond to the problem. Remember, we have by far the most mass shootings and gun related deaths of any nation in the western world. Maybe it’s just me, but I think that’s a real public safety concern that should be a priority for our elected officials.

If public safety, if protecting our citizens from violent death, is a priority (and it certainly is) then where are our public officials is doing something about it!….besides just offering their “thoughts and prayers” over and over again, year after year. That’s nice, but how about actually taking a good, honest look at the problem and mustering the courage to actually do something about it even if it costs you your seat in Congress. If this matter cost a member his or her seat it was worth it!

The tragic reality is some members of Congress seem to be doing everything they can to avoid and systematically block any attempts at doing anything about this big problem.

There is strong, broad support for a number of common sense gun control measures. We rarely have a proposal, for example, that gets upwards of 85% public support in the polls. We did with a bipartisan measure for 100% background checks. But nay. The public’s overwhelming support (and collective will) were thwarted by special interest lobbies in the Senate. This frames the entire problem with Congress currently. A club of mostly partisan ideologues no longer accountable to the demos.

I’m a strong supporter of the 2nd amendment, but I’m also a supporter of common sense gun control laws. I feel confident reasonable changes to our gun laws are coming, it’s just a matter of time. Eventually the votes will be there (the nation is evolving) and the American public will finally see some common sense prevail on this issue.

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