No Time on Mass Shootings

Dear Colleagues,

The time to strike is now. Three weeks have passed since the shootings at El Paso and Dayton. And nothing, absolutely nothing, has been done. Compare this to the response of New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, to the mass shootings that killed 50 Muslims in New Zealand. Right after the shootings Prime Minister Ardern banned the kinds of gun and modifications that were used in the shootings. She also wore a hijab and went to console families of the victims and other members of the Muslim community. That, my friends is leadership!

The time for platitudes, thoughts and prayers is over. As we head into a recession and craziness always explode during economic crisis, we can expect an increase in racist attacks, because as we know well-armed white supremacists won’t be attacking the creators of the crisis, but they will be attacking the scapegoats in all its varieties.

Christopher S. Koper, Professor of Criminology at George Mason University and co-director of the Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy, who researched the impact of the 1990s federal assault weapons ban, a law that also limited magazines to 10 rounds – published a paper last summer showing that since the federal ban lapsed since 2004, gun crimes committed with large capacity magazines have increased steadily – over 40 percent in cases of serious violence. Mr. Koper and his co-authors also reported, “trend analyses also indicate that high-capacity semi-automatics have grown from 33 to 112 percent as a share of crime guns since the expiration of the federal ban – a trend that has coincided with recent growth in shootings nationwide.* Two main factors high-capacity ammunition and semi-automatic weapons are main factors to keep in mind.

The flame has been kept alive by several organizations that have come together to try to put an end to the madness that we are living in. One of them, March for Our Lives, its leadership mainly composed of survivors from the Parkland shooting have come up with a gun control plan that should be incorporated into the campaigns of all candidates that want to see an end to the carnage we are living. The plan includes:
– A national licensing and gun registry
– A ban on assault-style weapons and high-capacity magazines.
– A mandatory gun buyback program for assault style weapons, and a voluntary buyback for other firearms.
– A limit of one firearm purchase a month per person.
– The establishment of a national director of gun violence prevention who would report directly to the White House.
– Raising the minimum age to buy guns to 21, from 18.
– A new multistep gun licensing system that would include in-person interviews and a 10-day wait before gun purchases are approved.
– A Peace Corps-style program that would pay for young people to work on gun violence prevention for a year in communities and nonprofit groups.

The plan is there. No time to waste on mass-shootings!

*Robert Spitzer “Unlimited Ammo Isn’t a Right.” New York Times, Op-Ed, 8/6/19