Wonderful article. After a number of years of research and consideration, I have come to a similar view.
Unfortunately, the sides have solidified around two shibboleths: gun laws that don’t work and the Second Amendment, which doesn’t even apply, if we’re being honest.
We can accept it as a given that the Second Amendment isn’t going anywhere. There aren’t enough states that would ratify a new amendment to even waste the time pursuing it. It’s been ruled repeatedly that it protects an individual right and that the right includes the right to self-defense.
That’s pretty much everything we need.
On the other side, the troops have rallied ‘round the flag of background checks, gun bans and other restrictions that can’t deliver on the promises made for them. There is a great deal of evidence to support that evaluation.
The demand is made for these restrictions and there has to be some realization somewhere that they only impact those that are not a problem. Since those people targeted resist the restrictions, the demands have grown more strident as has the resistance. The NRA is seeing a significant increase in membership which means it has even more money.
The result? Nobody at all is interested in looking for a fresh approach. Nobody is even interested in hearing what the other side has to say; they’re too busy calling each other names and vilifying them.
An interesting case in point is the recent presentation of End Family Fire, a new program put together by the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence and the Ad Council. It completely ignores Project ChildSafe, a program that has been in place since 1999.
Where the End Family Fire campaign consists of a video, suggestions for getting the video on local TV and banners for use on social media, Project ChildSafe has distributed 37 million gun safety kits, which include a cable-style gun lock, through more than 15,000 U.S. law enforcement agencies.
Since 2001, deaths and injuries to children up to and including 19 years of age have dropped 45%. A report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office found that the free gun lock had a positive impact on the safe storage of firearms. The Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance awarded a $2.4 million grant to Project ChildSafe to expand its efforts.
So why is there a need to reinvent the wheel when there is a better wheel already? The only reason I can see for this disconnect is that Project ChildSafe is a program of the National Shooting Sport Foundation, the gun industry’s trade association.
This is crazy; there’s just no other way to describe it. This is one area where cooperation is most likely to produce a reduction in deaths and injuries, not only to children but to all ages. I’m fairly sure the goal for both sides is zero, so why aren’t both sides working together?
If nothing else, it might at least produce an awareness that there can be a real benefit to working together.