LET’S DEMAND A STEP. As we commemorate the Sandy Hook massacre of 14 December 2012, let us also remember that NOTHING has been done to address gun violence safety. Let us remember that a gun massacre (four or more people dead) happens every day in the USA. Yes, it is true. Let us remember that nearly 34,000 people die of gun violence in the USA every year. Let us remember that the USA leads ALL Western Developed Nations in the rate of gun deaths by a LARGE margin.
Again, let us remember that NOTHING has been done to legislate safer gun laws. NOTHING. Even after Orlando, Sutherland Springs and Las Vegas. NOTHING! Not even outlawing “bump stocks” which turn a “legal” semi-automatic weapon into a machine gun. NOTHING!
Yes, there was SOMETHING. The House approved a bill called Concealed Carry Reciprocity which allows a person with a weapon to legally carry the weapon into any state, even a state which has a more limited concealed carry law, thus making those in the state more vulnerable. In the wake of continued mass killings, our elected leaders open the door to more mayhem.
Now, a group of 121 House members have sent a letter to House leadership, Paul Ryan and Nancy Pelosi, requesting that they remove controversial language from the House spending bill that has prohibited the Center for Disease Control from studying gun violence. The infamous “Dickey Amendment” of 1996 has been part of annual spending bills since that date. The amendment says, “…none of the funds made available for injury prevention and control at the CDC may be used to advocate or promote gun control.” Interestingly, Dickey himself has regretted the amendment. He died earlier this year.
The CDC must be allowed to study the effects and causes of gun violence. Let us DO SOMETHING! Contact your representative and demand a change to remove this prohibitive language so gun violence can be studied. Facts matter. LET’S DEMAND A STEP!
Rev. Dr. Ron Letnes