I found the Sun. June 9 article by Jon Russell, “Government regulation and politics can only go so far,” about gun violence, to be troubling. I believe that moderate government regulation is reasonable. I find it valuable to know that my food is safe to eat, the air and water are not toxic, roadways and airways are safe, my money is protected in the bank, and so on. Good government serves and protects the public interest, and if that belief makes me a Democrat, well, count me in.
By some estimates, more than 100 Americans die daily from gun violence. The government must address this crisis. According to a 2016 study published in the American Journal of Medicine, “In 2010, the U.S. homicide rate was 7.0 times higher than other high-income countries, driven by a gun homicide rate that was 25.2 times higher.”
Sensible gun safety reform is being enacted at the state level all over the country, thanks to groups such as Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. The reforms are working, while Second Amendment rights are being protected. Even the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, a conservative, advocated for limits on gun rights. In District of Columbia vs. Heller, Scalia wrote, “like most rights, the rights secured by the Second Amendment are not unlimited.”
Many Americans (including law enforcement officers) are frustrated with legislators who appear to value NRA donations over people’s lives. Common-sense solutions include closing loopholes on background checks; bans on high-capacity magazines, silencers, and bump stocks; safe-storage laws; red-flag laws; and keeping guns out of the hands of domestic abusers and stalkers.
For good measure, legislators in Virginia might also consider requiring licensed home day-care facilities to keep guns locked up while children are being cared for. Delegate Nick Freitas has had an opportunity to vote for this protection but hasn’t found it worthy of his support.
Cindy Taylor Madison
Editor’s note: this op-ed originally appeared in the Culpeper Star Exponent, and has been re-posted here with the author's permission. Be sure to check out the Louisa Dems FB page for two complementary pieces to this letter from the Virginia Mercury.
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