Gun owners can advocate for common sense laws and have their weapons too.
Susan Ladd wrote in the Greensboro News and Record that if it were left to the American people, background checks would be required at gun shows, and gun purchases would be off limits for convicted felons, people with mental health problems and people on terrorist watch lists.
But any legislation that even hints at increasing regulations on guns is dead on arrival in Congress, invariably failing along party lines.
The reason? Republican politicians are creating policy to satisfy the gun lobby, not the American people.
The answer? Vote for candidates who support common-sense gun regulations from the top of the ballot to the bottom.
Supporting tougher gun laws doesn’t mean stomping out the Second Amendment, which was part of the message Tuesday from the Vocal Majority Tour, which stopped in Greensboro and Winston-Salem. It’s sponsored by Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’ Americans for Responsible Solutions PAC.
Ladd writes about the frustrating cycle that plays out at the state and national level: despite outcry after mass shootings, and consistent, overwhelming public support, gun laws can’t make their way through a GOP-dominated Congress or state legislature.
Rep. Pricey Harrison (D-Guilford), who is herself a gun owner, recalls that after the mass shootings in Aurora and Newtown, gun rights group Grassroots North Carolina vowed to block any new regulations. In fact, the General Assembly voted to expand the places you can carry guns to include parks, greenways, bars and restaurants where liquor is served, and on school grounds.
“It was absolutely the wrong direction to go,” Harrison said.
The Law Center for Gun Violence graded North Carolina an “F” in 2015 for gun laws after it enacted a law weakening the criteria for issuing a handgun permit and loosened restrictions for keeping guns in vehicles. Recommendations for bettering its grade include requiring background checks on all gun sales and prohibiting the possession of guns in bars.
That might be difficult without a change in leadership – hence the get out the vote message from the Vocal Majority Tour. As Ladd points out:
The only thing standing in the way are politicians who care more about special interests than they do about their constituents.