February 2013 Bar Bulletin
Taking Aim at Gun Violence
By David Perez
A five-point proposal for gun control
The massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, has left us with more questions than answers. But there can be no question that we must do something to stop - or at least stem - this violence.
Some argue that it is too soon to talk about "political" questions like firearm safety. But since 2009, there have been eight mass shootings in the United States, including four in the past seven months. It's not too early to talk about reform. For those who have perished, it's too late.
The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states in full:
A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
Courts have consistently concluded that this phrase permits sensible firearm safety laws. Here are a few policies we can implement immediately that would not only stem gun violence, but also pass constitutional muster.
Close the Gun Show Loophole
The lowest of low-hanging fruits is the loophole that allows would-be gun owners to purchase firearms without any background check or waiting period. Anyone - law abiding or felon, citizen or undocumented - can buy a firearm at a gun show. Those who oppose closing this loophole apparently favor a "gun buffet," where anyone - no matter how deranged - can have all they can shoot.
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