Gun Violence Prevention Measures Gain Steam
Over the past two months, numerous proposals on how to prevent gun violence have inundated the American political discourse. Some proposals are rising to the top as they gain popular support.
Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee is hosting a hearing on gun violence, and last week the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force released its comprehensive plan to reduce gun violence. Also last week, a bipartisan group of four senators committed to work together to find a compromise on gun-sale background checks. This bipartisan quartet is a promising step towards political progress, comprised of two NRA members and two senators with failing grades from the NRA. If Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK), and Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) can join in a singular proposal, we have faith that Congress might move forward with the plan. This would mark only the second mainstream bipartisan policy proposal to prevent gun violence (the other being a bill to increase penalties on gun trafficking).
One of the reasons that these proposals are gaining ground is because of the outcry of public support for gun violence prevention measures. Polling data clearly show support for these initiatives, and large-scale lobby visits and call-in campaigns have mounted pressure on Washington. The Faiths Calling campaign, coordinated by the RAC, collected over 10,000 calls from members of the faith community who urged their lawmakers to prevent gun violence. And tomorrow, Americans for Responsible Solutions, an initiative led by former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, is asking engaged citizens to once again call their representatives and demand action.
In addition to a strong legislative approach, creative solutions are also being proposed. One such proposal calls on the military to cease interactions with gun manufactures that sell to gun sellers who are regularly engage in illegal gun sale activity. A similar strategy is employed by Heeding God’s Call, which stages protests outside of gun shops that notoriously engage in suspect activity.
Local campaigns are also mounting across the country. As politicians return to their home districts next week, citizens across the country are gearing up to meet with their representatives in local offices. This is a great way to get involved and to make your voice heard!
Image courtesy of Damian Dovarganes, AP