Why are we not taking action?

I have a license to carry a firearm.  So does my husband. So do many of my friends. So know this at the tart: I promise I am not trying to take away your right to possess a firearm.  What I am trying to do is make our legislature pass common-sense measures to make our society safer.

Consider what we, as a society, generally do when faced with viable threats:

A man boards a plane with a shoe bomb. We now take our shoes off at the airport.
Children suffer injuries in car accidents. Nationwide standards are created for proper restraint systems.
Drunk driving kills 25,000 people in 1980. MADD is formed and works with legislatures to pass laws to decrease drunk driving deaths by half in 2013.

And yet: In 1991 three students shot and killed 12 classmates, 1 teacher, injuring 21 additional people. More than 260 school shootings have occurred since then, and 19 young people have died at school.  More generally, in 2014, there were 12,563 deaths by firearm. This year, 2015, isn’t over yet and already there have been 10,200 deaths by firearm. Over 500 children under the age of 11, have died or been injured been injured since January 1, 2015. (Statistics: Gun Violence Archive)

School districts have responded; they’re locking their doors, and using already-scarce resources to hire unarmed security guards. Colleges are taking similar measures. But that hasn’t been enough to stop school shootings.

We need to change our laws.

I do not want to take away anyone’s right to have a gun. We have guns in our home. But  I question the ease in which we can obtain a weapon of mass destruction. Yes, mass destruction. Anyone affected by gun violence will attest that it created mass destruction in their lives.

My friend’s son just received his driver’s license. He took a 30-hour classroom course, spent 12 hours driving with a licensed instructor, spent 6 hours driving with his parent, and took a written test combined with a practical one. He had to prove he could actually drive the car.  At the Department of Motor Vehicles after he took (and passed) the tests, he had to take a visual acuity test.

When I received my license to carry a firearm, I took a 4-hour class sponsored by the NRA. I took my certificate to the police station, filled out a form and a background check was performed. Once that was passed I met with the officer for an interview and fingerprinting.  Less than 2 months later I returned to the station to pick up my license.

I never had to prove that I retained the information provided to me during the 4 hour course or that I could handle a live weapon (let alone a fake one). There was no simulated test that I had to pass or a written one.  My vision, depth perception and reaction times were not evaluated.

How can that be? How can it honestly be easier to arm myself then to drive a car to get groceries?

I believe my children’s teacher should not have to worry about protecting them from gunfire. I believe that we need nationwide laws, just as we have nationwide vehicle laws. I believe in background checks—each time you purchase a weapon. I believe in more stringent testing, more class time and actual live fire exercises. I believe when you go to renew your gun license you should have a vision, reaction and cognition test. I believe your gun license should be reciprocal in every State and the same laws should apply in California as in Nebraska.

I believe if you need a gun permit to purchase a gun, you should not be able to buy the bullets that go in that gun without a gun license. In many States anyone can purchase bullets. No license required. A gun is useless without bullets, how is it that you do not need a firearm license to purchase them?

It is up to us, each and every one of us as a stakeholder in our society, to demand the kind of legislative action that will reduce gun violence.

Even with the right laws in place, will criminals still be able to obtain a gun? Of course; after all, there is still drunk driving. But if the number of drunk driving statistics has fallen by half with better regulation, oversight and consequences for operating under the influence.

Why are we not taking action to reduce gun violence?

Please join my fellow Bloggers Using Their Voices

26 thoughts on “Why are we not taking action?

  1. Autism Mom

    I am glad you mentioned this: “MADD is formed and works with legislatures to pass laws to decrease drunk driving deaths by half in 2013.”

    This is the model we need to use – MADD created culture change about not driving intoxicated. Yes, people still do it – you can never get 100% social compliance on anything – but it is greatly reduced and it is now universally socially known to be not OK. This social component helps tremendously.

    Not driving intoxicated became a well-understood part of our culture.

    We need a similar culture change process about what is safe and responsible gun ownership and use in our society.

    Hear hear, my dear!

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    1. firebailey Post author

      Thank you for understanding!!! It is slightly maddening when you think drunk driving statistics were not close to the gun violence statistics yet nothing has been done. Then I think, but parents made a difference. If we start there, not eliminating guns but having parents rise up and become louder than the lobbyists change can be made. I firmly believe it.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  2. donofalltrades

    You should start MUGS, Mothers Urging Gun Sense!! Lol. Great suggestions here. It’s too easy and the after sales are really the worst. People buy guns on the street so easily now that it’s maddening. I fear this will take a coordinated effort that might be too difficult to orchestrate, especially with huge lobby groups opposing it at ever step. Still, we have to try.

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    1. firebailey Post author

      I love it!!!! MUGS with a side of Don! We definitely have to keep trying, we have to keep bringing up the subject and we have to realize that guns will always be a part of our society. So how do we make that society as safe as possible? By working together.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  3. Sylvia

    Great post, Kerri! I feel the same way you do. Something must be done to stop gun violence without taking away everyone’s right to own a gun. This has been so much on my mind lately with all the school shootings and just this summer, my friend’s mentally ill son shot and killed himself and his own children. It was a senseless tragedy that might have been avoided.

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    1. firebailey Post author

      Thank you, Sylvia. It is so difficult, because there are so many facets to the issue. Mental health is definitely a part, however I didn’t address it because not all how use a gun are mentally ill. They are just wrong. I do not want autism/mental health to become the next cause because in my heart I don’t believe it. For some, yes. But not the go-to response

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  4. Pingback: Gunning for everyone to care about #GunSense | Considerings

  5. Gretchen Kelly

    Yes! The fact that we regulate and limit how many antihistamines we can buy, but I can go buy an unlimited amount of bullets… it’s insane. I don’t have a problem with responsible people having guns. And I think most responsible gun owners would be fine with a lot of the things you are suggesting. I wish more of them would speak up. There are many card carrying NRA members who are with us on this. I wish they would be more active and vocal in this. The conspiracy theorists and the anti-any-regulation sector is making them all look bad…

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    1. firebailey Post author

      Oh my gosh, you are so right!! Last year during cold & flu season my husband tried to buy both DayQuil and NightQuil and was denied. Yet anyone can purchase ammunition. It’s mind-boggling. There are SO MANY NRA lifetime members who do agree but their voices get drowned out by the zealots. The same is true with those who say ban all guns, those voices drown out the ones who feel I don’t want a gun but you can have one (responsibly). Somehow, some way, we have got to figure out a way for the moderates to have the loudest voice at the table. Thank you for adding your voice

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  6. Christine Carter

    YES!!! What an excellent piece with a powerful and informative message. We are immobilized in this volatile and dangerous area? We need CHANGE in gun laws! I don’t get it. I know all of what you share here, and it baffles me that we haven’t already created more laws around gun sales, carriers and owners – For the sake of LIVES LOST, due to careless and violent crimes… something MUST BE DONE.

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    1. firebailey Post author

      Thank you, Christine! We are keeping the dialogue going on Finish that Sentence Friday with Kristi (the prompt: If only….) I hope you can join us. It going to take those of us who are not polarizing but on both sides of the issue who agree change must be made to make a difference.

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  7. myzania3350

    Scheduled a reblog for next week (this week’s posts are full). I’ve tended to stay quiet about this and let Americans do the talking because I get the feeling that when an Aussie talks about gun violence solutions people find it preachy. I agree with what you say – there needs to be something. It sucks when we hear of another shooting – but at least we’re distant from it a bit (less so in today’s social media world??) I can’t imagine what it must be like for you guys closer to it. :/
    Hoping for change!

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  8. herheadache

    I was happy to be a part of this. I’m writing from my perspective as a Canadian, even as a lot of it centers around events in the US, but we all have a stake in this. Moderation. I am tired of the extremes. No room made for compromise.

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  9. Sandra

    This post needs to make the cover of a magazine or newspaper after the next mass shooting (because sadly we know there will be one). Only then might those who are not in agreement actually take a look at the statistics and comparisons you have made. Bravo!

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  10. Bev Feldman @ Linkouture

    “How can it honestly be easier to arm myself then to drive a car to get groceries?” Such a great point, and such an important and well-argued post, Kerri. It boggles my mind that we haven’t done more to bolster laws around gun-ownership. How many more people have to senselessly die, and how many KIDS have to be killed at school, before something is done about it. Thank you for writing about such an important topic.

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  12. Pingback: REBLOGGED: Why No Action On Gun Violence? | myzania

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