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American Opinion: Doing nothing is not an option. Another school shooting shows we need action on guns

Summary: We are beyond ready for sensible regulations that can help prevent would-be mass murderers from having such easy access to these killing machines. The shooter in Uvalde, Texas, reportedly bought two AR-15s on his 18th birthday. He couldn’t rent a car at 18 or buy alcohol, but he could buy rifles no teenager could possibly need. The Boise Towne Square shooter was a convicted felon but could carry in Idaho because of lax gun laws. ... Higher age restrictions, mandatory training and licensing, background checks for all sales and “red flag” laws to keep guns out of the hands of people with domestic violence protection orders are all reasonable ideas.

A State trooper stands seen outside of Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday, May 24, 2022.
A State trooper stands seen outside of Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday, May 24, 2022.
Allison Dinner/AFP/Getty Images/TNS
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Silence is not an option.

Offering your thoughts and prayers is not working.

Ignoring the problem is not a viable strategy.

Ignoring guns is not the answer.

American Opinion
American Opinion

Whether it’s the Sandy Hook shooter or the slaughter of 19 children and two adults at a Texas elementary school, or even Boise’s own shooter at the Boise Towne Square , the common thread is too-easy access to guns. People who have no business possessing guns had easy access to them, and went on rampages that killed innocent people.

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While Republican politicians want to talk about everything except guns when this country experiences yet another mass shooting, the rest of us are done listening to the excuses and weak explanations. Pointlessly pontificating about the “breakdown of the family” and wistfully wishing we had better mental health care are merely distractions.

Beware those who want to shut down the gun debate before it even begins by using the unfounded scare tactic, “they’re coming to take your guns,” or by saying it’s too soon to talk about it, or that talking about gun control is “part of an agenda” or “playing politics.”

We are not persuaded by the argument that laws aren’t going to stop “bad guys” from getting guns, that they’ll find a way to get guns regardless.

Imagine applying that logic to other laws.

If someone wants to vote illegally, they’re going to find a way to vote illegally. Nothing we can do about it. No law is going to stop it.

Speed limits? Shall we get rid of drug laws? Abortion laws? What if we made it as difficult to get a gun as Republicans want to make it to get an abortion? What if we made it as difficult to get a gun as it is to get a driver’s license in this country?

Nor are we persuaded by the argument that these school shootings would be reduced if we just arm teachers.

Based on all of our other mass shootings, we’d have to arm every grocery store clerk, church pastor, Walmart greeter, mall security guard, rabbi, nightclub bouncer, postal clerk, Republican member of Congress playing baseball, and every high school kid who takes your ticket and sweeps the floors at movie theaters. Is that the America we all want to live in, where everyone is armed to the teeth, ready to start firing at the pop of a balloon?

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And if you’re really going to pretend to be “pro-life,” then perhaps you would want to take action regarding a killing mechanism that takes the lives of innocent children in an instant and in such a brutal manner that it requires parents to submit their DNA for identification purposes because their children have been damaged beyond recognition.

Nothing happened in the wake of the tragedy at Sandy Hook. Or Parkland. What will it take to get everyone’s head out of the sand?

It’s amazing to us how much power the NRA still holds in this country.

There are steps that can be taken that are not an infringement of the Second Amendment. But gun extremists have kidnapped that amendment and are holding the rest of us hostage.

Republican federal lawmakers need to start considering regulations.

Idaho’s delegation, Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch, and Reps. Russ Fulcher and Mike Simpson, can lead the way.

Let’s face it, their seats are safer than mother’s milk. They’ve won reelection time and time again with ridiculous ease. They could actually be a part of the solution, lead their Republican colleagues in a meaningful discussion about addressing gun violence and mass shootings with common-sense moves.

They could start with HR8, which passed the House in 2019 and establishes new background check requirements for firearm transfers between private parties.

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Unfortunately, Fulcher and Simpson voted against it. It’s an opportunity for Crapo and Risch to lead.

History will not be kind to these politicians who spent years in Washington, D.C., and did nothing while innocent Americans were massacred by bad guys with guns.

We are beyond ready for sensible regulations that can help prevent would-be mass murderers from having such easy access to these killing machines. The shooter in Uvalde, Texas, reportedly bought two AR-15s on his 18th birthday. He couldn’t rent a car at 18 or buy alcohol, but he could buy rifles no teenager could possibly need. The Boise Towne Square shooter was a convicted felon but could carry in Idaho because of lax gun laws.

Higher age restrictions, mandatory training and licensing, background checks for all sales and “red flag” laws to keep guns out of the hands of people with domestic violence protection orders are all reasonable ideas.

We expect common-sense gun reform laws, Sens. Crapo and Risch, Reps. Fulcher and Simpson.

History will judge you. Don’t be on the wrong side of it.

This American Opinion editorial is the opinion of the editorial board of the Idaho Statesman.

©2022 Idaho Statesman. Visit at idahostatesman.com . Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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This story was written by one of our partner news agencies. Forum Communications Company uses content from agencies such as Reuters, Kaiser Health News, Tribune News Service and others to provide a wider range of news to our readers. Learn more about the news services FCC uses here.

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