Yesterday 18 people died in a mass shooting. The day before, 32. The day before that, 22. We’re not aware of this carnage, because the place where they all died is so big, with so many things in the way, that you can’t see them all.
That place is here. America.
Thanks to a great local doctor for this “Letter to the Editor”
(from the VC Star)
Article on referenced “Call for Action to Prevent Gun Violence in the United States of America.” (npr)
According to this “how-to” article from the ACLU, letters to the editor:
- reach a large audience.
- are often monitored by elected officials.
- can bring up information not addressed in a news article.
- create an impression of widespread support for or opposition to an issue.
Action Call – People are trained and tested before they can drive a car…why not for carrying a gun? Support AB 2103
“Under current law in California, a person who has never even fired a gun or received proper training on how to safely handle one can receive a permit and carry a loaded firearm in public.” Democratic state Assembly members Todd Gloria said. “This jeopardizes public safety and has to be addressed.” County sheriffs can currently issue concealed carry weapons permits without proof of proficiency, although some sheriffs have set standards.
The legislation, AB 2103, would require permit applicants to receive a minimum of eight hours of training on firearm safety, handling and technique. Then a live-fire test would be administered to make sure that the applicant can safely handle and fire a gun. This measure is supported by gun control groups Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action.
Minimal Script: I’m calling from [zip code] to ask Senator Jackson to support AB 2103 and require live-fire shooting training and weapon instructions for concealed carry permit holders.
State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson: (SD-19): SAC (916) 651-4019, SB (805) 965-0862, OX (805)988-1940 Not your state senator?: findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov.
Action closer to home…
Pediatricians remind parents: Asking about guns saves kids’ lives. The American Academy of Pediatrics declared Thursday “ASK” (Asking Saves Kids) Day, to encourage parents to ask if there’s a firearm in a home that their child is going into for the first time, and whether it’s locked up. Why it matters, in one number: An estimated 4.6 million American children live in homes where at least one gun is kept loaded and unlocked. When their friends visit, they’re at risk too.
Speaking of the NRA…
- The NRA’s fear of immigrants helped us get where we are now. Stephen Miller, the White House adviser behind the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy to separate children from their families at the southern border, was heavily influenced as a teenager by NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre’s 1994 book Guns, Crime, and Freedom.
For at least the past decade and a half, the gun group has used its writings and speeches to continue to foment anti-immigrant fears, despite evidence that they cause less crime than native-born citizens.
- The NRA doesn’t want us to know how many guns are out there. The latest Small Arms Survey shows that American civilians own 393 million firearms, or approximately 121 guns for every 100 residents. Previous academic studies have calculated a total that’s 100 million guns lower. Why don’t we know for sure? The NRA helped push through a federal law that prohibits a central registry of firearms, making an official count nearly impossible. As a result, experts have to make estimates of privately owned guns using different data and methodology, and they can reach widely varying conclusions. In a new post, Alex Yablon takes a look at a few of the most reliable sources.
- The NRA’s grades for politicians have been “un-hidden”. Last week, the group removed letter grades from its website, with one insider telling a journalist that it was concerned the scores were being “weaponized” by so-called “enemies.” Well, the grades, going back to 2009, are back online, via gun violence prevention group Everytown for Gun Safety. The Washington Post added a tool to make the data searchable by individual politician.
- Interesting reading: The NRA wasn’t always against gun restrictions. (npr)