What's on Our Mind 2-19-2021

What's On Our Mind: Gun Violence Deaths, Ethan's Law, and TikTok

Gun violence, another major health crisis, has continued to grow as our country struggles to deal with the COVID epidemic.

Next Wednesday at 12:30 pm CST, we will have a discussion with one of the country’s leading experts on preventing gun violence, Tim Daly (Click here for details and to register). He is the Senior Program Officer of the Gun Violence Prevention & Justice Program at the Joyce Foundation. He recently helped to author their comprehensive new report, “The Next 100 Questions: A Research Agenda for Ending Gun Violence.”

Tim will discuss the Foundation’s findings on the next generation of gun violence prevention research, identifying new paths of inquiry into reducing gun deaths and injuries in America.

America is struggling with the growing problem of gun violence. Last year, gun violence deaths increased by nearly 4,000 more fatalities than the year prior. Firearm-related background checks, ammunition sales, and gun sales all saw record numbers. This trend shows no sign of slowing down this year. 

Far-right groups are pushing up gun sales. Seeking to radicalize dispirited Trump supporters, extremist groups are invoking the 2nd Amendment and spreading conspiracies about gun confiscation. 

We now have a president who has “personally committed” to action on gun violence. President Joe Biden has vowed to pass legislation banning the sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines and enacting universal background check legislation.

Congress is taking measures as well. JAC-friend Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) introduced comprehensive gun safety legislation that would increase and strengthen the review period for gun purchasers. It would also make it more difficult for dangerous individuals to skirt the law when purchasing a firearm.

There is also a bill in Congress known as “Ethan’s Law,” requiring households with children under the age of 18 to lock all firearms. The bill was named for 15-year-old Ethan Song who was accidentally killed in Connecticut with a firearm that was not stored safely.

Social media platforms continue to perpetuate gun culture and gun violence. TikTok, which caters to young people, has instructional videos teaching users how to modify assault weapons at home to make them fully automatic.

Call your Representatives and Senators at 202-224-3121. Tell them to take action on preventing gun violence. Now is the time.

Elections have consequences. Help JAC elect candidates in 2022 that will make ending gun violence a priority.