Ending the epidemic of gun violence

Make no mistake, this is a public health issue and must be addressed as one for things to change in relation to gun violence. Those in pro-gun circles do not agree with this assessment but every major medical and psychiatric organization in this nation say the same thing, it is one. Firearms are the only product that isn’t subjected to federal regulations and recalls yet it is the one that causes the most deaths.

For us to understand this public health issue we just need to listen to any medical professional speak on the topic or spend a few minutes in the emergency department of your local hospital to see how this issue impacts these communities because besides the 33k killed per year there are tens of thousands more injured by firearms and this is a strain on our health system costing billions per year, but the real cost is in the tragic loss of life.

There is something wrong with this, guns cause more damage than several other highly regulated products that are much less dangerous, especially for innocent children. For instance, Teddy bears and swimming pools are more regulated than guns in the home yet guns are what kill scores of children per year. There is not a law that requires owners to lock up their firearms and there should be as guns cause many children to die. Insurance is required for car owners and even some landlords will not rent you an apartment without apartment insurance and on down the line.

Firearms are a threat to the safety of our children as well as adults in this country and yet there are very few regulations on them. The gun people claim that there are over 20,000 gun laws on the books but that is simply not true at all, there are between 300–500 federal gun laws and not many more state and local gun laws but nowhere near the false 20,000 number they like to repeat over and over. There are some simple laws we can pass universally that will have a positive impact on this public health crisis we are facing in this nation and none of these measures will hurt gun owners.

As I stated in my first book on the issue Gunsense Nation, there are five simple measures we can pass on a national level that will reduce the carnage guns cause and have caused for some time now. The pro-gun people call me everything from a “traitor” to a “tyrant” when I mention these life-saving steps we can take but I am neither, I am a concerned American who is tired of seeing precious lives stolen from us due to gun violence which is entirely preventable. The following measures do a few things, they prevent gun deaths as a whole but they also help out law enforcement by reducing the ammo and weapons the public can have, both have worked in other places. Some of the following have been passed in some states but we need them and more in every single state.

– Ban high capacity magazines (above 10 rounds)

– Require liability insurance on all firearms

– Ban assault type weapons and all semi-autos

– Require home owners to secure firearms and ammo separately

– Mandatory mental health exams on all gun purchases

– Home inspections for gun owners

– Registration

– Ban public carry (open and conceal)

These are just some steps we can take now to reduce gun deaths and make life easier for our law enforcement officers, since the right claims to support the blue (cops) then they should want to prevent them from being outgunned, you would think right?

Unfortunately, the pro-gun people just care about keeping their toys, they do not care about preventing gun violence or about the many lives lost to it on a yearly basis nor have they ever. This is a public health crisis of epic levels and there are things we can do and we must do to change it and save people from dying. Thousands die every year due to gun murders, accidents, and suicides but that can change, it is up to we the people to change it though.

I indeed wear orange on that day every June to spread awareness on this issue and write about it quite often as the truth needs to be told about guns and how they take countless lives day by day. I am not sure just yet what can be done to fix this problem but I will speak on this issue and that is the epidemic of gun violence that must be dealt with in this country and it very soon as even in the thirty minutes or so I have taken to write this blog post countless of our innocent citizens have been shot and killed by a bullet from a gun and that is unacceptable.

Over a million Americans have lost their lives since John Lennon was gunned down some 37 years ago. Over a MILLION! Now if that is not a public health crisis then I do not know what is. Gun violence has reached epidemic levels and yet the pro-gun people like to lie and say that gun violence is at a “50-year low”, it is not but even if it was it doesn’t matter to the families that do lose loved ones to this health crisis. After the tragic attacks on September 11th, 2001 steps were taken to prevent that from happening again, we secured the cockpits on commercial aircraft and upped airport security.

There are steps to fix almost every issue in this country, laws are changed to reduce drownings, to reduce auto fatalities, drug overdoses, and so many more public health issues yet with gun deaths we do nothing. In fact, we have made it easier to get a gun not harder over the years and now with Trump in office the laws are becoming even more lax. There is something wrong with this and it must change, it must change now too. The lives of Americans are at risk and while Trump wants to demonize Muslims and immigrants and build walls and deport people to make us “safe”, we the people know who the real threat is and that is those with guns and the National Rifle Association.

The American Medical Association and countless other medical organizations state the obvious and that is that gun violence is a public health issue and it must be addressed now. No, we are not “Anti-American” for wanting to restrict who can have guns and what guns they can have, no we do not want people to die, no we do not hate the constitution. What we do want is to save precious lives and prevent people from dying, we want to fix this health issue and prevent even more violence and death.

We must keep fighting to end gun violence and I hope on June 2nd you will do your part, wear orange, and have your voice heard. I also hope that you will contact your representatives and senators and demand change on this issue because our children, our parents, our friends lives matter and this will not change without action, massive action.

Guns save lives the NRA says. “Law abiding citizens” have a right to “protect” themselves and their families they go on saying as well as the so many other things they try to feed the people into scaring them so they buy more guns but the facts are there, guns do not save lives, they take them. We know this by the thousands killed by guns every single year and the many more who are injured and broken. The NRA has blood on their hands and now they want to have a guns everywhere agenda that will make us all less safe and our country much more dangerous, but we cannot say anything about it or we are labeled as a “traitor” or “Un-American”. I am sorry but I refuse to be silent about an issue that is so deadly and destructive for our country, I just will not be quiet as our fellow Americans are dying.

This is a hot topic and the one I am most passionate about and that is gun violence and what we can do to prevent it, this is a topic that I get an awful lot of flack for. I care about many issues but perhaps this one is the issue that I care most about and there is good reason for that, for me it is more than policy, for me it is personal.

Why is it personal?

I have had gun violence personally impact my own life and have lost someone to gun violence. I care deeply about this issue because of this as well as the fact that we have more mass shootings and gun deaths than any developed nation on earth and someone must do something about it. Now, I know that I cannot change this issue on my own but I can do what I am can to have an impact and you my fellow citizens can do the same. We all can make a difference and change things on this and every issue but to do so we must speak up and fight for our beliefs, even when the bullies in the pro-gun movement call us names and try to silence us with threats.

Just like I always say, protect people, not guns. This is what we should do in this country but far too often those in charge of public policy and the American voter defends the gun rather than the lives that gun takes and that is something that needs to change. There is something clearly wrong when people value an inanimate object over a human life but that is what happens in America on this issue, they want to defend the firearms while ignoring the lives those weapons take from this earth. Not me though, I value life over guns and intend on always fighting to end gun violence in America and educate people on what an epidemic this issue is and fight to change it and I hope you will join me in this fight.

When I wrote my two previous books on this issue (Gunsense Nation and Debunking Common Pro Gun Myths) I had one goal in mind and it wasn’t to get rich or get good reviews but it was to get the conversation going and get people to see what a big problem guns in this country are and that is what I will continue to do going forward. Those in pro-gun circles attack me and my books by pointing out the fake reviews from gun “rights” activists but they will not sway me from the work I am doing, my books and my posts on my blog have a goal and that is to educate people about gun violence in this nation and nothing will stop me from fighting to end it or at least reduce it because after all, who in their right mind would not want to fix this problem?

I will tell you who, those who have an agenda to keep laws from being passed to restrict gun ownership and that is the gun lobby and their consumers. They have an agenda and it for sure is not saving lives, it is to sell and buy more guns and prevent laws that restrict those guns from being sold. Our agenda is one thing and one thing only and that is to end the violence and protect people from being shot, that is not a bad agenda but one that is a good hearted one and a noble one. I know, they will say that I am spitting on the graves of the dead but that is not what I am doing at all, I am fighting so more do not die from guns and I hope others will join me in this fight as when our citizens are dying from gun violence, doing nothing is not an option.

The question now is, where do we start?

This is a good question because even with the good work that we have done by passing laws and changing public policy in some areas of the country, there are other places who have gone in the opposite direction and passed pro-gun laws that make the public less safe and creating an environment that isn’t about freedom as they say but about endangering public safety and putting the lives of their citizens at risk. In California, New York, Hawaii, and some other states laws have been passed to increase public safety by restricting access to firearms and I am proud to have been a part of that fight and those successes but much more can and must be done nationwide and on a federal level and I will mention some of those steps that we must take briefly, taking these steps will keep the public safe on a federal level and when all is said and done that is why we fight, isn’t it? I believe so!

In the middle of writing this earlier and after that last paragraph I had to stop and run some errands and while I was doing so there was yet another tragic shooting at an elementary school here in California that left an 8-year old child dead along with others, this is all too familiar in this country and sadly will happen again and again until we make some drastic changes to our gun laws. I was saddened by this shooting like I am about all shootings but this brought back memories of Newtown which was when I really started to speak up and get involved in the gunsense community and the fight for gun reform in this country. Today, I remembered how I felt that day as a parent and as a human being and I remember how I wanted to hug those parents who lost children when Newtown happened, I cannot imagine what they are going through today as well as in Newtown.

I believe that we can have change on this issue but it will take a major effort from both sides of the aisle, it will take unity to fight for our children and our fellow citizens over guns.

I know that when I saw that shooting today it hit home for me and reminded me why we do what we do as advocates for gun reform in America. I believe that for us to have change we must take certain steps and make some hard choices, I hope even gun owners can agree on this as gun owners in other countries have done. We must protect people and that does include our precious children, they are our future and they are our everything and must be protected above all else. I believe in protecting people over guns or these so-called gun “rights” but there are so many who disagree with me and are against any changes and a whole list of leaders in our local, state, and federal government who agree with them, that is why we are where we are on this very divisive issue.

I debate a lot on this issue and I get very frustrated with how these people who are against change with our gun laws continue to repeat the same usual myths that I debunked in my last book on gun control when they could have some compassion for the innocent lives lost. That is the humane thing to do, try defending children and others taken by gun violence instead of standing up for the gun and making excuses.

They say the usual things like “guns don’t kill, people kill” and “If the teachers were armed lives would be saved” and “ban cars and spoons, they kill too”. They repeat what others say and cannot have an original thought but most of all they show no empathy for the lives lost and that is the real problem.

Now, we know that a spoon cannot kill multiple people like that or even one person very easily and we also know that cars are meant to transport and while at times are used as weapons, most times they are not. The fact is that guns are used in over 68% of murders in the United States and so many more accidents and suicides too. It is obvious that guns are the problem and most effective at killing people, otherwise they would not own them, they would have a spoon or a baseball bat. We need some compassion as well as some common sense on this issue to have any hope at change, so far we don’t have either with pro-gun people in America.

I believe by banning guns outright lives would be saved but short of that we need some federally uniformed policies that would allow people to keep their guns while protecting the public including our precious children. I would go for a ban on high capacity magazines (over 10 rounds), banning semi-auto rifles like the AR-15 and Sig Sauer MCX, requiring a mandatory mental health exam for all gun purchases with a licensed mental health professional, metal detectors in all schools and other public places, gun registration in a monitored national database, and most importantly education on guns with the goal of getting rid of this gun culture that has so many obsessed with firearms.

I believe that by doing these things we can have some real change in this nation on this issue and I believe that it is time for massive action, I say that we stop this madness and stop defending guns over the lives that they take and fight for the victims, not the guns. When we protect guns more than we protect our children or other human beings then we in fact become uncivilized and lose our core values as a country.

The first responsibility of a government is to protect their citizens but in this country they do that when it comes to demonizing Muslims or immigrants but with guns they ignore the safety and well-being of the public, they rater cater to the NRA and America’s gun owners while ignoring gun violence victims and the safety of the general public. That is not the country that I know, I know a nation that wants the best for everyone not just a select few but in the NRA’s America that is not the case, they do not value the lives of gun violence victims, it is obvious.



Author, activist, American. Love to write everything from politics to recovery and much more. Find me on Twitter under my name for much more!

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Rob Clewley

Author, activist, American. Love to write everything from politics to recovery and much more. Find me on Twitter under my name for much more!