The leading cause of death of children and teens (1-19) in America is automobile accidents.  The second leading cause of death is firearms.  Around 3,100 children and teens died in 2016 via firearm, according to a study by the University of Michigan:

That rate is more than 36 times as high as the average rate across 12 other high-income countries.

A link to a University of Michigan article:

https://news.umich.edu/how-children-teens-die-in-america-study-reveals-widespread-persistent-role-of-firearms/

Many of these deaths could have been prevented if the guns were locked in a gun safe or other secure place, but laws requiring safe storage are met with fierce resistance from the NRA and radical Second Amendment extremists whose numbers are small but whose voices are loud.  We spend billions on automobile safety, and next to nothing on gun safety.

Another aspect of gun violence in America concerns gun thefts and the role that stolen guns play in crime.  The New Yorker just published a fascinating and comprehensive article by Brian Freskos on a recent plague of gun thefts and the perverse gun-friendly laws that make guns an attractive target for thieves.  It’s a terrifying situation:

https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/why-thieves-target-gun-stores

Now that Democrats have assumed the majority in the House of Representatives, gun legislation will be attempted for the first time in many years.  It may ultimately fail in the Senate, but it’s an important first step in beating back a small but successful insurgency of gun nuts who are ultimately backed by greedy gun manufacturers and their gun lobby, who can truly and accurately be described as merchants of death.

The first two pieces of gun legislation expected from the House are (1) universal background checks, and (2) raising the minimum age for purchase.  God only knows how the Supreme Court would react to the inevitable legal challenges if either of these laws were ever passed, especially considering the activist judges appointed by Trump: partisan hacks Kavanaugh and Gorsuch.  But the late Justice Anton Scalia conceded that gun regulation is constitutional, so it’s hard to see how any reasonable person would view universal background checks as an unconstitutional burden rather than a critical matter of public safety and health.

It’s a good start by the House, and long overdue. Keep your eye on this initiative and be ready to voice your support to Rep Delgado if these bills ever come up for a vote.  You can be sure that the gun nuts will be screaming their faces off.

Keep resisting…

 

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