Sunday, April 02, 2023

Why small steps are first steps for Democrats, Republicans on gun reform

Former Governors Phil Bredesen and Bill Haslam 
by former Tennessee governors Bill Haslam and Phil Bredesen, Guest Columnists, USA Today, March 31-  ... As we all struggle with the aftermath of this tragedy, the openness and respect in political dialogue the two of us have been trying to promote has been, for this issue, quickly submerged in a swamp of intransigence and impasse.  ...

The murderer was heavily armed with multiple assault rifles and that has naturally been a focus of discussion. 

Democrats take it as an article of faith that an assault weapon ban is the only sane response. Republicans believe deeply in the importance of preserving the right of people to possess firearms.  It becomes quickly clear that there is hopeless disagreement on strategies surrounding assault rifles.  And so we’re reduced to offering “our thoughts and prayers,” but nothing else, to victims and their families.

... agreeing that we do have a problem. There is no other developed nation in the world that has anywhere near the mass shootings we do. The assault rifle issues are at an impossible impasse, but if we disengage there for now and turn our attention instead to smaller steps, doable and still useful, there are possibilities.  

We could start with “red flag” laws —... might have been effective in the shooting we just had; the shooter was under treatment for mental health issues and yet still obtained and possessed multiple guns.

Another small step might be making gun owners take more legal responsibility for securing their weapons.  

Our first hope is of course that out of this tragedy will come ways to better protect our children and schools. But we have a second hope as well — that if we handle it wisely and show some successes, our response could become an inflection point where America starts to relearn how to talk with one another and solve problems. (link)

Rod's Comment: I agree with the gun reform proposals from two of our former governors. There proposals are two modest, common-sense recommendation that I can support. I respect and admire both Haslam and Bredesen.  More Democrats and Republicans need to reason together rather than rush to their respective corner and shout insults. Due to fair use considerations, I cannot repost the essay in its entirety. Please read it at this link. The highlighting is mine.

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