NOVEMBER’S COMING is the clarion call for gun violence prevention (GVP) action! It is clear the Republican led Trump Party will stall any significant GVP action other than the low hanging fruit of eliminating (?) bump stocks. Perhaps! The best chance for significant change will happen when Democrats take charge in November, IF they don’t go “wobbly!”

The Minnesota House Public Safety and Security and Finance Committee took up two GVP bills yesterday: Criminal Background Checks (CBGC) and Gun Violence Protection Order (GVPO). The GVPO would authorize family members to take due process action to remove a weapon from the possession of a person whom they believe to be a danger to themselves and others. The CBGC bill would require ALL gun transactions be subject to a BGC. Presently in most states, BGC are required only from licensed dealers, and NOT for private and online sales. Sadly, both bills were tabled by the Republican majority.

The arguments were familiar. People have the right to purchase a weapon. The Second Amendment reigns supreme. We have the right to protect ourselves. The problem is the mental state of the shooter. The bills do not address “due process”.

Facts do not matter in this debate. A gun in the home increases the chance of a woman being killed by six times. A gun in the home is 22x more likely to be used in suicide and homicide than in self defense. A gun in the home increases the chance of suicide by 3-5x. Senior citizens use guns to commit suicide more than any other age group. States with tight GVP laws have a lower suicide/homicide rate. But never mind! Do not interfere with our ideology, our “facts”. Beliefs become facts!

But we press on! The youth of Parkland and in the USA are leading us to action. They are the 60’s radicals redux for 2018! How inspiring! Now, let us learn from them and from Jesus who says “Enough!” and “No more of this!” Let us act! Let us vote!



Rev. Dr. Ron Letnes