Our Right to Bear Arms Does Not Come Without Rules
The issue of gun safety and arguments over interpretations of the Second Amendment are currently at the forefront of American politics. Violence wrought at the hands of individuals with guns, particularly assault rifles, occurs in the United States with terrifying frequency.
In 2022 alone, there were more than 647 mass shootings (four or more victims involved) in the United States. Over 44,000 people were killed last year by guns. Gun-related deaths are the first leading cause of death for children in the U.S. Recent studies by Everytown Research and Policy state that each month, an average of 70 women are killed by their partners, which means that 80 percent of intimate partner firearm homicide victims are women.
With those numbers, The United States ranks eighth out of 64 countries in the world for homicide by firearms.
In actual fact, the argument over gun rights is less about the Second Amendment and more about profit maximization for gun manufacturers. Their lobbying arm, the National Rifle Association, has shrewdly used the Second Amendment as a cover for their greed. More and more Americans, however, are unwilling to sacrifice the safety of our children so gun manufacturers can make more money. I am among them. While the Second Amendment, just like every other Amendment in our Bill of Rights, must remain sacrosanct, our right to bear arms does not come without rules, regulations, human decency, or common sense. The second and third words in the Second Amendment, after all, are “well-regulated.”
Americans have no way of knowing the consequences, and several years from now, generations of young children will be going to school every day, praying that they will not be shot. Gun violence is the largest cause of death among America’s children. This situation is an emergency, and as President Williamson will treat it as such.
A Williamson Administration will:
- Declare a national emergency around the gun violence epidemic, and work with local and national organizations to build a robust plan around gun control.
- Call on members of Congress to designate funding for community intervention programs and work with every state to increase and ensure funding for violence intervention programs, especially for communities directly impacted by gun violence. This will include violence prevention programs in schools.
- Eliminate the sale of assault rifles and semi-automatic weapons, ban bump stocks, high-capacity magazines, and 3-D printing of firearms. Assault weapons are used as weapons of war, and should not be sold to private citizens. 74% of Americans want to raise the minimum legal age to buy any guns to 21. In accordance with the ban on these weapons and accessories, the age to purchase guns that are legal under these laws should be raised unilaterally to 21. There should not be an age discrepancy in the type of firearm an individual can buy.
- Establish strict control of gun use and access among children and require child safety locks on all guns.
- Close to 90% of Americans want federal background checks. A Williamson administration will expand background checks, and end the gun show loopholes.
- Ban “straw purchases” prohibiting anyone from buying, selling, transferring, or loaning firearms on behalf of someone else.
- Treat gun violence as an issue of public health. The Williamson administration will move to reverse Physician Gag Laws and restore research on gun safety as a health issue, which was blocked by the National Rifle Association, and allow medical professionals to discuss gun safety with patients.
- Remove current limits on the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) ability to track and record gun ownership numbers in America – vital information which helps in researching the overwhelming amount of gun deaths and underlying causes.
- Strengthen restrictions on the ability of individuals with mental disorders and those with psychiatric disabilities to purchase a gun.
- The vast majority of Americans want “Red Flag” laws implemented. With the understanding that not every person(s) with a mental disorder is violent, a Williamson administration will strengthen “Red Flag” laws by passing Extreme Risk Protection Orders nationwide, allowing family members and law enforcement to seek court permission to temporarily remove guns from a person in danger of harming himself or others.
- In light of the recent Fifth Circuit Court ruling, Marianne Williamson will appoint Federal Justices who understand that perpetrators of Domestic Violence should not have guns.
- Require coursework, training, age restrictions and periodic renewal — along the same lines as licenses to drive a car. A car is not intended to be an instrument of death, and yet because death is possible, we train drivers extensively. A gun is an instrument of death, yet we do not train gun owners. Proper licensing isn’t just common sense – it’s common decency.
- Encourage and fund research into the relationship between pharmaceutical use and suicidal/homicidal behavior, especially among youth.