Striving for Safer Communities: Advocating Gun Control

By Joseph Carvalko | 23 July 2023
Church and State

(Credit: YouTube / screengrab)

Every American should be insulted by the actions of U.S. Representative Lauren Boebert who threw away a pin depicting the green Converse fourth-grader Maite Rodriguez was wearing when she was killed in last year’s mass shooting at a Uvalde elementary school.

The pin was being handed out in the halls of Congress by members of March For Our Lives, a national organization working to curb gun violence across America, and Lives Robbed, an organization formed by the families of the children murdered at Robb Elementary.

Boebert’s actions were called “disgusting” by an organization composed of families who suffered losses at Uvalde.

In a time when the safety and security of our communities are paramount, it is crucial that we engage in a meaningful dialogue about gun control, not childish impulses that do nothing but reflect poorly on a Congress unwilling to set aside their political ambitions to rescue Americans from the ravages of madmen with a gun.

Close-minded elected leaders who demonstrate a lack of empathy and more deplorably, a disdain for citizens seeking to prevent another of us from the losing a loved one, should be cashiered from office.

The issue of gun violence has plagued our nation for far too long, causing immeasurable pain and suffering. In 2021, unfortunately the most recent year for which data are available, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics reported 48,830 deaths by firearm, of which 26,328 were suicides. The year-after-year numbers continue to climb and sooner or later none of us will escape knowing a victim or worse becoming a victim. My foster brother of many years was killed by gunfire, leaving behind small kids. It’s been decades since he died but a week doesn’t pass without my recalling his tragic death. Any elected official who would disrespect a family victimized by a shooting has no place representing U.S. citizens in Congress in any capacity.

Time has long passed for us to take a stand for common-sense gun control measures that will help protect our loved ones and create safer environments for all. A majority favors stricter control. Regardless of the numbers, what is generally proposed under the heading “gun control” does not interfere with gun ownership, except when in good conscience, by any stretch of a reasonable community standard a prospective possessor of the gun should be denied.

First and foremost, implementing comprehensive background checks for all firearm purchases is an essential step towards reducing gun violence. This measure would ensure that individuals with criminal records, mental health issues, or a history of domestic violence are unable to acquire firearms. By closing this loophole, we can prevent potentially dangerous individuals from obtaining weapons and causing harm to innocent lives. I challenge anyone to explain how this kind of practice interferes with any responsible person’s right to own a gun.

Additionally, limiting access to high-capacity magazines and assault weapons is vital in curbing mass shootings. These weapons of war have no place in civilian hands. By banning their sale and possession, we can significantly reduce the devastating impact of mass shootings and limit the number of lives lost in these horrific events. This does not prevent anyone from owning a gun.

Furthermore, it is imperative to invest in mental health resources and support systems. By providing individuals with the help they need, we can address the root causes of violence and potentially prevent tragedies before they occur. Combining mental health initiatives with gun control measures will create a more comprehensive approach to reducing gun violence.

Critics argue that gun control infringes upon the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens. However, it is important to note that advocating for gun control does not equate to advocating for the complete eradication of firearms. Rather, it is about implementing reasonable restrictions and regulations that prioritize the safety and well-being of our communities. At this point introducing the finer points about the Second Amendment and the limitations intended by the framers of the U.S. Constitution, will not advance the proposition that as the matter stands we need workable gun control legislation.

Gun control is not about taking away rights, but about finding a balance between individual freedoms and public safety. It is about creating a society where our loved ones can attend school, concerts, and public spaces without fear of becoming victims of senseless violence. By supporting comprehensive background checks, limiting access to dangerous weapons, and investing in mental health resources, we can work towards a future where gun violence is no longer a scourge on our society. Let us stand together and strive for safer communities for all.

As the school year begins shortly, it’s impossible to think of one issue more important than curbing one more death by firearm. Consequently, our elected officials’ most pressing responsibility must be to protect students and teachers. Remember, regardless of party affiliation, we should elect representatives who at least have an open mind on this important topic.

Joseph Carvalko is an American technologist, academic, patent lawyer, and writer. As an inventor and engineer, he has been awarded 18 patents in various fields. He has authored academic books, articles, and fiction throughout his career. Currently he is Chairman, Technology and Ethics Working Research Group, Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics, Yale University; an Adjunct Professor of Law at Quinnipiac University, School of Law, teaching Law, Science and Technology; member, IEEE, Society on Social Implications of Technology and member of the Publications Board, IEEE Transactions on Technology and Society. His latest book provides the latest account of AI and genetics from a technical, historical and ethical perspective as well as expectations for its future development.

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