Stop the violence

10/6/2017, 11:56 a.m.

We also call on lawmakers in Washington and Virginia to enact universal background checks for all gun purchases, including private sales regardless of whether the sale takes place at a gun show. 

We also call for a limit on gun purchases — who needs a storehouse of weapons? We call for enhanced federal record keeping. Currently, the law limits federal firearms officials’ ability to share gun-trace data with law enforcement.

We also demand that Congress remove its ban on government-funded research on gun violence. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health have been barred from collecting data on gun violence as a public health crisis because of a conservative Congress financed by the gun lobby.

In the days since the Las Vegas shooting, we’ve heard the similar refrain of many GOP lawmakers: Our attention is on the dead and wounded. It’s too early to talk about legislative solutions.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that the massacre was being politicized.

“The investigation’s not even been completed,” he said. “It’s premature to be discussing legislative solutions, if there are any.”

When is a good time?

From the past record, it seems like never.

Federal authorities report that gun sales surge in the United States after each horrific mass shooting episode.

It’s up to rational people to push Congress and our state legislature to enact the laws we need. An easy start would be to ban the kits used to turn semiautomatic weapons into automatic ones.

Another would be to demand the GOP withdraw a measure deregulating the sale of gun silencers.

The U.S. Constitution gives everyone the right to bear arms, but it’s not a blanket right, something off-base conservatives fail to understand. It ends when the weapons are used by individuals like Mr. Paddock and groups like neo-Confederates, Ku Klux Klan, white supremacists and drug runners to terrorize our communities and kill us.

Gun violence is killing our nation, be it at a huge concert venue in Las Vegas or within the public housing communities in Richmond.

And until we get real and get moving, we will continue to witness the bloodshed and wring our hands over how to stop it.