You have the power to reduce gun violence.
It’s important to keep that in mind as the U.S. undergoes its maddening post-massacre ritual: digesting the news reports of a disturbed man and his unfettered access to military-grade firepower; listening to another round of blame deflection from leaders of the party that repeatedly blocks congressional efforts to curb gun violence; enduring the cynical silence of the gun lobby amid the anguish of devastated families.
The gun lobby, and the extreme gun culture it nurtures, will not dictate U.S. gun laws forever. Indeed, its agenda is waning in many state legislatures. States from California to Connecticut have enacted laws strengthening background checks, restricting magazine capacity and more in recent years, with even red states such as Louisiana and Tennessee passing new restrictions on access to firearms by domestic abusers.
Ordinary Americans are raising their voices to demand sensible laws. They’re supporting groups such as Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and Everytown for Gun Safety — both of which are backed by Bloomberg LP founder Michael Bloomberg — along with other groups devoted to breaking the cycle of senseless violence.
The U.S. has no monopoly on mental illness or angry men. Its Constitution, even as interpreted by jurists as conservative as Antonin Scalia, allows for the sensible regulation of guns. What is unique to the U.S. are gun laws that are ineffectual by design, the product of a political culture subservient to the gun lobby.
All of which is a way of saying: This state of affairs is not permanent. Laws will change when enough Americans demand it — and act on that demand, repeatedly and insistently, with their votes.
FROM AN EDITORIAL ON BLOOMBERG VIEW