Gun Violence in America
Firearms are the second leading cause of traumatic death related to a consumer product in the United States and are the second most frequent cause of death overall for Americans ages 15 to 24. Since 1960, more than a million Americans have died in firearm suicides, homicides, and unintentional injuries. In 2003 alone, 30,136 Americans died by gunfire: 16,907 in firearm suicides, 11,920 in firearm homicides, 730 in unintentional shootings, and 232 in firearm deaths of unknown intent, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. Nearly three times that number are treated in emergency rooms each year for nonfatal firearm injuries.
So, there you have it, over 30,000 Americans are killed each year with the use of a Gun.
In addition the cost to our economy is over 100 billion per year. This includes medical costs to wounded individuals, loss productivitity, and legal costs.
Yet, the Democratic Party doesn't have an agenda to deal with this crisis. We have many in our party who talk incessantly about:
- the budget deficit
- the War in Iraq
- the Social Security Crisis
However, any way you view it, nothing is more troubling than the persistent danger and costs attributable to misuse of firearms. The politicians like Obama and Clinton as well as the bloggers have developed a such a fear of political defeat, that the issue isn't even addressed.
I advocate a bold "newliberal" agenda on guns that is right for America:
-register every firearm and gun owner just like we do cars and drivers
-hold people/gun shops responsible for the actions of people they give/sell guns to
-use every opportunity to get illegal guns off the street, including door to door campaigns w/ monetary incentives to allow constitutional searches
-prosecute people fully for intentional acts of gun violence
-make sure people with domestic violence histories,mental histories, or have shown some unstable tendencies don't have legal access to a gun.
Otherwise, normal law abiding citizens should have a perfect right to carry a gun for protection of themselves and others.
This would allow full access to everyone's constitutional protections but with reasonable restrictions for people we deem to be dangerous or unstable. It would make the investigation and prosecution of homicides much easier and systematic.
When someone displays erractic behavior, they should immediately lose access to a legal weapon. Then, the burden should be on them to prove they are safe to carry a gun. If we license and register every weapon, then we could trace and discourage the transfer of illegal weapons.
The key is strict law enforcement, tough punishment of criminals, and strong gun control laws for people who shouldn't have access to a weapon.
Whether you agree or disagree, the fact is YOU and DEMOCRATS RUNNING FOR OFFICE especially POTUS should have a plan that can work to address a real crisis.