Too many deaths

In the newspaper the last few days there have been too many stories about deaths…preventable deaths.

The big one, of course, has been the mass shooting at the Oregon community college, killing students who were there to learn…to make the world a better place. But that has not been the only one.

An 11-year-old got mad because an 8-year-old neighbor wouldn’t show him her puppy–so he got his father’s gun from an unlocked closet and killed her.

An 11-year-old on an outing with his 12-year-old brother and some adults picked up one of three loaded guns on a picnic table and accidentally killed his brother.

A 5-year-old boy who was left in the house briefly with his 2-year-old sister and his birthday present–a gun designed as “a child’s first gun”–was playing with it when he accidentally killed her. What I find most appalling in this situation is the response from the family that “It’s something you can’t prepare for” and that “It’s God’s will”. No…no…no!

How many more deaths will it take before we decide that it’s time to do something about it? I am not talking about banning all guns. But I am talking about common-sense gun control. According to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, most Americans support common-sense solutions–but apparently not our politicians.

Why can’t we have universal background checks?

Why can’t we have gun violence protective orders–laws that empower families and law enforcement to petition a judge to remove guns from individuals who pose a risk to themselves or others? We provide protective orders in other situations…

Why can’t we limit the bulk purchase of guns? or regulate ammunition sales? The stockpiling of weapons and ammunition is often a factor in mass shootings?

Why can’t we require gun locks on all weapons? I know it wouldn’t stop all accidental shootings…but it would surely help avoid tragedies like a 5-year-old having to live the rest of his life knowing that he was responsible for his little sister’s death.

At some point, we have to decide that enough is enough. But when? How many more shootings?

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