Brunswick Beacon, 07.07.22
The Gun Violence Archive documents gun violence nationally. If you think 2022 has been a particularly murderous year, you’re right. GVA defines “mass shootings” as four or more victims shot. It reports 295 mass shootings and 21,776 total gun deaths through June 30.
On May 24, an 18-year-old used an AR-15-style rifle to murder 19 children and two teachers at an elementary school in Texas. It was the worst school shooting in ten years and provoked an outpouring of grief. Americans demanded that our legislators “do something.”
Then, an astonishing thing happened…they did! All fifty Democrats and fifteen Republican senators worked together and passed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. It quickly passed the House and President Biden immediately signed it into law.
It’s a good start towards safer communities. It funds mental health, school safety, and crisis intervention programs; creates incentives for states to include juvenile records in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System; and closes the so-called “boyfriend loophole,” extending protection for victims of domestic violence to partners who don’t live together. Violent offenders and the mentally disturbed will find it harder to get guns, as they should. It will save lives, maybe yours or a loved one’s.
NC senators Burr and Tillis voted for it. Tillis said it “will reduce violence and protect the Second Amendment rights of Americans.” But NC congressmen Ted Budd and David Rouzer showed how extreme and out of touch they are by voting against it! Budd is a wealthy gun dealer. Selling more guns to people who shouldn’t have them would put more money in his pocket. Rouzer blames mass shootings on mental health issues and inadequate school safety. But when he had his chance to vote for commonsense, bipartisan legislation that addresses both concerns, he refused!
Budd and Rouzer proved their true allegiance is to the gun lobby, not us.
Michael P. Rush Leland