03 December 2015

We Need Gun Laws. Now.

More than 355 "mass" shootings already this year. Two, just yesterday. As of today, 12,223 people have died this year from gun violence and 24,722 people have been injured. Millions of friends and family members are affected.

But the NRA has convinced millions of Americans that any amount of regulation attached to gun ownership equals "taking away our guns." They give millions of dollars to people running for government at all levels to push the ridiculous claim that any amount of regulation is too much.

Hey, you know, we manage to regulate cars and alcohol and cigarettes and Sudafed without stopping people from acquiring and using any of them.

Hunters know that there are a bunch of rules about what you can shoot and when you can shoot it. In New Hampshire, deer season this year runs from October 31 through December 6, with different time frames depending on what kind of gun you're using. In Maine, you can't hunt on Sundays. You have to have a hunting license, and there are rules about how many deer you can bring home per year. No one is taking away anyone's right to shoot at animals with a gun, but the rules help protect the safety of hunters and other people using the forests, and they keep the deer population stable.

But it seems to be open season on human beings in the USA today.

I bought a car recently. I needed the Vehicle Identification Number of the car to get my insurance, so I couldn't get that organized in advance, and my insurance company closed before the car dealership, and without proof of insurance -- current insurance on the current vehicle, not last year's policy -- I couldn't drive the car off the lot.

Some states regulate guns. California, where one of yesterday's shootings took place. New York State. But violent people can buy guns with no background check, no waiting period, no regulations at all at gun shows in Georgia. From manufacturers like Glock and Men with orders of protection against them from ex-wives or girlfriends. People with a history of violence, people with criminal records. People with drug and alcohol problems that make them more likely to act and react violently.

If you own a car, you have to pay for insurance on it in case you get in an accident. If you drink and drive, you can lose your license. If you kill someone while driving, you might go to prison. No one is screaming that the government wants to take away our cars.

How we've reached this point when it comes to guns, I don't understand. Why the NRA wants you to think that any amount of gun regulation is unacceptable, I don't understand.

But it's beyond time for change. We need to show up at the polls and vote out the politicans in the NRA's pockets. We need national legislation that eliminates unregulated gun shows and closes the other loopholes to unregulated gun ownership.

We need national laws requiring regularly renewed licenses and insurance policies for all gun owners as well as rigorous background checks and waiting periods for new buyers.

We need them now.