Indianapolis has joined Atlanta and Boulder on the list of US cities traumatized in the 2021 shootings. Congress has shown little willingness to go through drastic reforms that gun control supporters believe can stop violence.
Three years ago, when an American heard more about another shooting, Fred Guttenberg learned that he had lost his daughter.
Gunman stalking the hall of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida Killed 17 people.. One of them was Jaime, Guttenberg’s 14-year-old daughter.
Holding tears at the next night’s rally, Guttenberg saw the emotional crowd and said he had to speak up, not knowing what to do next.
“That night I got a Jaime voice,” he told the BBC.
Guttenberg is currently one of the country’s most prominent advocates of gun control, making a strong statement to lawmakers and gun lobbies who support guns.
“I followed the news like everyone else, but I didn’t do this until it became my kid,” he says. “I live with that guilt every day.”
Last week, President Joe Biden welcomed Guttenberg and other “survivors of gun violence” at the White House ceremony. He thanked them for their “courage” when they announced new enforcement actions to curb gun violence.
The· Countermeasures It aims to amend federal firearms policy, draft state model legislation, and invest in local violence interventions.
“Gun violence in this country is epidemic and embarrassing to the public,” Biden said.
He called on Congress to update firearms bills, especially gun buyer background checks, and take urgent action to close legal loopholes exploited in various shootings across the country. ..
“Public health crisis”
Mass shootings, such as the murder of Jamie Guttenberg, are often headlined events. Some were seen in March alone.
Still, mass shootings account for only about 0.2% of national gun deaths. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)..
Nearly 40,000 Americans die each year from gun violence. Almost two-thirds of these deaths are usually due to gun suicide. Murders account for 35% of gun deaths, most often occur in colored urban communities and often affect intimate partners, families and adolescents.
Already this year, an estimated 11,000 people have died in gun-related incidents, even though the pandemic continues to limit public activity.
Advocates of gun violence prevention say the scope of the problem is no longer within the framework of crime models and mental health. For them, it is a public health crisis that requires active efforts to address the root cause, break the cycle of violence and implement the mitigating factor.
“No gun bill is trying to stop all gun violence,” said Lisa Geller, state manager of the Union (CSGV) to stop gun violence.
“There must be many different policies that work together to minimize the number of people who can go through the rift.”
As a result, advocates such as CSGV, the Brady Center to prevent gun violence, and Everytown for gun control praised the Biden administration’s public health approach to gun control as “the most daring reform in 30 years.” ..
“This is the opening salvo.”
Partisan’s impasse at the federal level means that gun reforms have been delayed.
The Democratic Party has a very slim majority in parliament and has so far put a lot of effort into recovering the coronavirus and proposing a large-scale new infrastructure from Mr. Biden.
Two bills have passed the House of Representatives to strengthen background checks on gun purchases, but there seems to be a lack of sufficient Republican support in the Senate.
Other firearms-related laws, including two laws addressing domestic violence prevention and police racial justice, face a similar fate.
A few Republicans have indicated their willingness to work with Democrats on these issues, but most have not. Some people even mock their liberal responders when it comes to gun control with the challenge of “come and take it.”
Last week, the most powerful professional gun lobby group, the National Rifle Association (NRA), denounced the president’s proposal as an “unexpected” attempt to “restrict the rights of law-abiding gun owners.”
Dakota Jabron, director of federal affairs at CSGV, said the NRA has long “sought to link gun ownership to the identity of being an American.”
But until recently, she said, “many parliamentarians weren’t talking about guns.” Activists revitalized the Democratic voter base, sent several lawmakers in support of gun control to Washington, and urged more Republicans to speak out about gun violence.
At the state and local levels, in diverse locations such as Virginia and Colorado, relentless advocacy empowers some successful efforts to tighten gun control and creates a potential framework for federal law. did.
Opinion polls also show that more than 80% of Americans support the expansion of gun buyer background checks, which is a good starting point for lawmakers seeking a neutral position.
Biden’s actions are “the first salvo” and the bill awaiting Congressional approval is “a blueprint for a comprehensive plan to end the US gun violence epidemic,” Jabron said. It was.
“Give one thing and change the conversation”
Brady, one of the country’s oldest gun violence prevention organizations, supported Joe Biden early in the 2020 primary.
Citing his work in the Senate, as Vice President, they praised him as “a champion of gun violence prevention, and undertaking NRA.” Support helped Mr Biden secure his party nomination and defeat the president.
But in recent years, gun control advocates have solidified, lobbyists have opposed almost all gun control proposals, and conservative politicians have claimed that the government is taking increasingly drastic steps.
In response to Mr. Biden’s enforcement action, the Second Amendment Foundation declared war on tens of millions of non-criminal gun owners who comply with the law. So, the NRA said they would be a slippery slope against the gun, confiscation and ban.
In 2013, four Republicans, including four Republicans, supported the final effort to expand background checks on firearms, well below the number required to pass the bill, even with the support of all Democrats. The two were still Senators). ..
According to Vice President of Policy Christian Heine, Brady holds an enthusiastic view that Biden could become “the strongest gun-safety president in history.”
“There’s never been a better time to work to prevent gun violence,” he told the BBC.
Heini went into advocacy in 2005 after her mother was killed in a shooting in California with a single bullet on her back. “The only thing that deserves attention in my story is how unobtrusive it is,” he observed.
He says there is a clear midpoint to be found when Americans avoid political issues. In his experience, even the owners of most law-abiding guns understand that “NRA leadership extremism is not a wise platform.”
“I can enter a room full of NRA members and get over 60% of that room and agree that identification is appropriate. [US Senate] You can’t pass these bills, which indicates that our system is broken, “Heyne said.
Fellow supporters at least agree that a background check bill must be signed. Guttenberg says he doesn’t want to wait until the next election cycle.
“You go through one thing and change this conversation. It’s not about what you can’t do anymore, it’s about what we can do now,” Guttenberg said.
He decided to “never stop” fighting to honor the memories of Jaime and the victims of other guns.
“I don’t want other families to feel as broken as my family.”