10 Modest Steps to Cut Gun Violence

10 Modest Steps to Cut Gun Violence

After the school shooting last Friday in Texas claimed 10 lives, the incoming president of the National Rifle Association, Oliver North, blamed not guns but a “culture of violence” arising from violent movies and the like. North fueled that culture by working as a pitchman for a shoot-em-up video game, but never mind. Meanwhile, Dan Patrick, the Republican lieutenant governor of Texas, was even more imaginative: He blamed too many school entrances and exits, and liberal abortion laws that he claimed had “devalued life.” Really? Folks, look at Japan. Japanese kids relish the same violent entertainment as Americans, and abortion is widely available. Yet at most nine Japanese were murdered with guns across the entire country in all of 2016 — fewer than the 10 killed just last week at the Texas high school. One reason Americans in their late teens are 82 times more likely to be murdered with guns than their peers in other advanced nations is simply that we are awash with guns, some 300 million of them. Yet Congress and President Trump have been paralyzed in part because of the N.R.A. refrain: There’s nothing to be done! It’s us, not the guns. It’s hopeless! In fact, there’s plenty we can do. Here are modest steps consistent with the Second Amendment and public opinion: 1. Require universal background checks to see if a purchaser is a felon or a threat to others. The latest study finds that 22 percent of guns are obtained in the U.S. […]

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10 Modest Steps to Cut Gun Violence

10 Modest Steps to Cut Gun Violence

Mourners at a memorial for the Santa Fe High School victims in Texas. After the school shooting last Friday in Texas claimed 10 lives, the incoming president of the National Rifle Association, Oliver North, blamed not guns but a “culture of violence” arising from violent movies and the like. North fueled that culture by working as a pitchman for a shoot-em-up video game, but never mind. Meanwhile, Dan Patrick, the Republican lieutenant governor of Texas, was even more imaginative: He blamed too many school entrances and exits, and liberal abortion laws that he claimed had “devalued life.” Really? Folks, look at Japan. Japanese kids relish the same violent entertainment as Americans, and abortion is widely available . Yet at most nine Japanese were murdered with guns across the entire country in all of 2016 — fewer than the 10 killed just last week at the Texas high school. One reason Americans in their late teens are 82 times more likely to be murdered with guns than their peers in other advanced nations is simply that we are awash with guns, some 300 million of them. Yet Congress and President Trump have been paralyzed in part because of the N.R.A. refrain: There’s nothing to be done! It’s us, not the guns. It’s hopeless! In fact, there’s plenty we can do . Here are modest steps consistent with the Second Amendment and public opinion: 1. Require universal background checks to see if a purchaser is a felon or a threat to […]

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