Gun Control: Thousands of Lives can be Saved with a few Regulations

Some thirty five people filed into the Linklater Auditorium on 27 October 2016 to watch the film "Making a Killing:  Guns, Greed and the NRA".  We were proud to announce that it was the first showing outside the USA, and we remain extremely grateful to Brucerius Law School and its politically active students who offered us such an attractive room for the premiere, and even provided popcorn and soft drinks as sustenance for the 103 minutes of this wrenching documentary.  The film demonstrated emotionally, but backed by reliable statistics, how the greed of the National Rifle Association supercedes any concern for the lives of vulnerable, often totally innocent victims of gun violence.

 The evening began with an introduction by Eric Shambroom which compared statistics related to guns in the USA and Germany and it ended as he threw the floor open to questions.  Several people spoke and one asked for more information about the Second Amendment.  The most telling and sad line of the discussion was Eric´s observation of the difference that the placement of a comma could make in the interpretation of a few short lines in a document written over 200 years ago--the U.S. Constitution.  

 Here however, are some practical regulations the filmmakers suggest could save thousands of lives.  These common sense measures already enjoy a large acceptance by the American public:

 1.  Make universal background checks mandatory for all gun sales.  (For gun fairs, private, and internet sales these checks are not required as yet)

2.  Lock all guns and store them safely.  New technical features have been developed that make it easy to lock a gun to prevent someone else from using it accidentally.

3.  Increase co-operation between neighboring states with differing regulations (for example, Chicago, where within 30 minutes anyone can cross state borders and buy all the weapons that are forbidden in Illnois)

4.  Introduce a purchase limit for buying ammunition.  This is especially important online where there are currently no limits on the types and amounts of weapons and ammunition that can be bought in a short time.

5.  Consider requiring a 24 hour waiting period before being allowed to buy a gun.  Even this short amount of time would prevent countless suicides.  This is a public health issue that should be addressed .

 The filmmakers urge all of us to take action--write congressmen, stage protests--whatever draws attention.  They rightly point out that the only purpose assault weapons serve is to kill massive amounts of people in the shortest amount of time.  We would like to help save these lives instead.

Article written by Maryann Schmunk