Are We There Yet?

By

Leonard Zwelling

There may be no issue about which I have written more besides the management of MD Anderson and the disaster that is our health care system than guns.

Every time there’s another school shooting, I blog about the insanity of the manner in which the United States uniquely deals with the issue of firearms.

But we have had yet another disaster, in Florida this time, and it’s time to revisit the gun issue, because there really is something that Congress can do about this and it is not studying the issue more, waiting for a cooling off period after yet another incident, or blaming this all on mental health short comings. I doubt the incidence or prevalence of mental health is worse in the U.S. than it is in the whole of Western Europe, but America alone has the school shooting problem.

It’s all about the guns. There are too many. Too few have the many. And the ones they have are deadlier than ever.

So at the risk of being repetitive, I shall propose the usual solutions.

First, ban assault-style weapons. Only the military and police need these. No one is going to hunt for deer with an automatic weapon.

Second, deep background checks for every single gun sale whether at a gun store or gun show or over the back fence. You sell a gun without making sure a background check is done, you go to jail. You buy a gun without getting a background check, you go to jail.

Third, no gun sales or ammunition sales over the internet. Period. Face-to-face only. That will guarantee the background check.

President Trump spoke today about the tragedy in Florida and never mentioned guns. Could it be the $21 million he got from the gun lobby?

Marco Rubio needs to study the question more. Perhaps the $3+ million he got has something to do with that.

While the Republicans tend to own the gun issue, Democrats cannot sit silently by. Doing so, as Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) has said, makes you complicit.

The American people want the carnage stopped. There have already been 18 school shootings in the first 45 days of 2018. Isn’t that enough?

Congress must act and if the elected representatives on the federal level won’t, those on the state level ought to.

We can do better than this. Let’s send the NRA packing. Ban the assault weapons. Mandate the background checks. Ban internet sales. It’s not that difficult.

Leonard Zwelling