Time is now to act on gun safety

Adopting universal background checks for gun purchases would not prevent any legally qualified American from purchasing or owning a gun. Nor would giving the FBI more time to investigate instances when would-be gun buyers are flagged in the background-check system. We offer these simple, incontrovertible facts to counter the false narrative from the right about gun-safety measures that the U.S. House sent to the Senate last month. Speaking during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing the day after the Colorado shooting that killed 10 people, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, summed up that narrative: “What happens in this committee after every mass shooting is Democrats propose taking away guns from law-abiding citizens, because that’s their political objective.” Wrong. If the Senate passed these House-approved measures, anyone currently qualified to own guns could still buy and own as many as he or she wanted. Anyone who says otherwise is either lying or has been lied to. But of course, Cruz and his ilk would never be so responsible as to assure gun owners that their Second Amendment rights weren’t being taken away. He knows these measures are designed solely to keep guns out of the hands of the wrong people but lies about the goals of the bill. For the extremist Republican leadership, their gun rhetoric is about playing the politics of fear and paranoia to gin up their base supporters and keep them coming to the polls. It’s also about feeding the massive money-making machine that is the gun industry, which […]

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