Yesterday President Obama passed a number of executive orders to curb gun violence. His proposals included:
*Require criminal background checks for all gun sales.
* Take four executive actions to ensure information on dangerous individuals is available to the background check system.
* Reinstate and strengthen the assault weapons ban.
* Restore the 10-round limit on ammunition magazines.
* Protect police by finishing the job of getting rid of armor-piercing bullets.
* Give law enforcement additional tools to prevent and prosecute gun crime.
* End the freeze on gun violence research.
* Make our schools safer with more school resource officers and school counselors, safer climates, and better emergency response plans.
* Help ensure that young people get the mental health treatment they need.
* Ensure health insurance plans cover mental health benefits.
In light of this action, which I have to admit, was pretty fast (just a month since the Newtown tragedy), I’m already fatigued by folks who complain that it won’t make a difference.
While I see that point, this is a huge problem and will take many years to address, why is the default response to throw up our hands as if there is nothing that can be done.
Probably the most effective outcome of all of this effort is the end on the freeze on gun violence research. And discussion. The first step to addressing gun violence is talking abou it, something the NRA has tried to stop for decades. There is good reason for this: talking about gun violence makes us aware of it, and the need to stop it. That’s been the first step in making a difference drunk driving, smoking, and child sexual abuse. Wayne LaPierre should be very afraid that we’re talking, tweeting and blogging about guns.
The more you know, the more likely you are to act.