New Gun Legislation

The recently passed and signed national gun control legislation is a step—more like a gesture—in the right direction, but it won’t have much effect. It includes incentives for states to pass so-called red flag laws that allow groups to petition courts to remove weapons from people deemed a threat to themselves or others. It also expands existing provisi0ns to prevent people convicted of domestic abuse from owning a gun and expands background checks on people between the ages of 18 and 21 seeking to buy a gun.

But it does nothing to reduce the number of guns in the hands of U.S. citizens and will, therefore, do nothing to reduce the number of deaths due to gun violence.

The ratio between the number of guns in the hands of citizens and the number killed by guns is the same for all modern democracies worldwide—the more guns, the more who die from gunfire. The U.S. has the highest number of guns owned by citizens of any modern democracy—more than 120 guns for every hundred people—and the highest number killed by gunfire—21,653 so far this year as of June 29, 2022, according to the Gun Violence Archive.

I don’t know what it will take for Americans to realize that they must reduce the number of guns in the hands of citizens to reduce the number killed. I can only pray that my children and grandchildren are not among the victims.

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