After Parkland, it should be clear that one big crack in the system is that local officials are too reluctant or unable to intervene. In any case, even if Nikolas Cruz had been blocked from buying a gun, he still would have fallen into an abyss — and it is anyone’s guess if, once there, he might have figured out another way to perpetrate a mass killing.
This is where many people throw up their hands in frustration.
This paper has editorialized in favor of a number of measures that would keep deadly weapons out of the wrong hands by curbing access to assault weapons such as the AR-15 and limiting magazine capacity. And we will continue to do so.
First, clear the path for obvious reforms. These include banning bump stocks; fixing the National Instant Criminal Background Check System to include data it already is supposed to include; and extending background checks to all gun purchases.
Second, build creative new alliances. For real movement, we’d look to the source of the National Rifle Association’s political power — its 5 million members. The NRA runs youth and other programs. Is it willing to launch a new public campaign to support programs that serve young men heading down the path to violence as a preventive measure?
Many members already engage in such work through churches and other organizations. We’re asking if the NRA will make fostering such public service a top organizational priority. If “guns don’t kill people, people do,” then let’s do more work on the people side of that equation.
And finally, let’s put more data toward solutions. Amid the flurry of proposals, our mind turns to a prosaic but productive idea. After 9/ 11, the federal government reorganized intelligence assets into one place to close the gaps that allow terrorists to slip through. Now it’s time for a similar approach to mass shootings.
We’d like to see Congress create a federal center for mass shootings that would collect key data and review federal, state and local laws to find gaps before the next shooter does. We’d call it the National Center for the Prevention of Mass Shootings. But whatever it is called, its purpose would be to create accountability to act on the red flags evident in these shooters’ lives.
FROM AN EDITORIAL IN THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS