President Joe Biden recently signed into law a bipartisan gun bill that fortifies background checks on gun buyers under 21, provides billions for mental health services, and closes a loophole to prevent convicted domestic abusers from purchasing a firearm for five years. It is the nation’s first major gun deal in 30 years, and while Republicans will not concede on tougher gun sales limits, Democrats face immense pressure to get something done. It’s personal for Straight Arrow News contributor Michael J. Stern, who argues that an assault weapons and large capacity magazine ban must be passed if we want to reduce mass shootings:
When I was a young prosecutor preparing for my first murder trial, a detective handed me a photo of a new father who was shot in the head by a robber who broke into his home. Before that, I’d seen TV coverage of countless shootings. But I will never forget the horror of that close-up view. It sent me running to the bathroom, where I vomited my lunch. That image forever calibrated the strength of my support for laws that restrict easy access to guns.
Victims of gun violence do not silently disappear — they explode. And the sooner Americans are forced to confront the brutal reality of what comes with indiscriminate access to weapons of war, the sooner they will hand their GOP employees in Congress a warning that says, “If you don’t protect me from seeing this again, you’re fired.”
I’m not suggesting flooding news and social media with endless pictures of gun victims. Sadly, exposure to any terror can be tolerated if we see enough of it. I’m suggesting that there will be a brave family who wants to share the story, and video, of their happy child before…and the unsanitized photographs of their child after being obliterated by a weapon Republican members of Congress call their right.
It is true that even if consequential gun limits are made the law of the land, the Supreme Court could find them unconstitutional. While Democrats hold the presidency and both houses of Congress, they should expand the Court and dilute the 6-3 conservative majority that was secured by the Congressional equivalent of thievery. But that’s a discussion for another day.
Finally, to the Second Amendment commandos who are sweating at the prospect that the stack of bullet-riddled bodies is at long last tall enough to bring reasonable gun safety laws…you have my thoughts and prayers.