Public Policy and Gun Violence
In the past seven days, we have experienced a tremendous loss of life due to gun violence from Atlanta, Georgia to Boulder Colorado and the other five states that have reported deaths by gun violence. In some areas we now know that shootings that don’t result in deaths are often excluded from these reports. A closer look reveals that the American people currently want more gun control, at the time of these tragedies, but the lobbyists for gun manufacturers and gun owners have created a money barrier between what most people want in terms of safety and the politicians who are bought off and refuse to act because of fear of losing either campaign contributions, or having their political contributions go to those who run against them.
Public Policy is the process by which the will of the people is translated into political action, resulting in laws that make changes. Public Policy by nature, will always have two sides: The Pros and The Cons. What we must do as citizen participants in the political process is become, and stay, aware of the issues on either side. Passing laws that make it harder to purchase guns by people who should not have them is not a threat to the Second Amendment right to “keep” and bear arms. It reaches a point that the people who commit these murders with guns are partners with those who refuse to pass the necessary laws to block or slow their purchase. We must start voting for people who hold office on the basis of what they do on these issues once in office and make their terms “one time” if they fail to address these issues. We can only do this using the ballot box and the ability to organize against those who are against us.
The gun violence of the past week is another issue to be added to the voter suppression actions of radical right wing Republicans who care more about themselves than the oath of office they took when elected. To fail to honor that oath is “malfeasance in office” and grounds for legal complaints with their State Attorney Generals, or Recall. We must not be afraid to use the full weight of the law, including calling a “hate crime” a “hate crime” when the gun use reveals a pattern, beyond the actual murder of those killed, by the use of guns as a weapon of choice.
Gun violence and voter suppression laws represent the two sides of public policy. We must learn to recognize and take action if we are to literally survive.