'Stop the Bullets'
By James Wallace
By James Wallace
A RIFLE, A FIDDLE, A BIBLE, AND AN AXE (1803)
In 2019 80% of our nation is urban. In 1791 the Second Amendment affirmed the right to bear arms, at a time when more than 90% of the population was rural. The four favorite possessions of a frontiersman: A rifle, a fiddle, a bible and an axe. 200 years separates the societies of a rural frontiersman versus today's urban office worker. Where we once melted down spoons for musket balls, now we have kids buying 100-round-clips firable with a single trigger pull.
So how did we get here? Our gun-making has continued as a big business largely unchecked by laws. Mothers Against Drunk Driving helped bring sweeping laws that continue to drive the carnage on our roads down, and cancer-causing cigarettes became socially unacceptable, again with usage plummeting. But unike examples of change, like the abolition of slavery and a woman's right to vote, when it comes to guns the laws were never updated. And the lack of progress is not due to a lack of attention and effort on the part of numerous groups, including concerned Moms.
Is it a coincidence that our ability to enact sensible laws floundered in the face of such a profitable line of business as guns? Wheras early settlers might have access to a single-shot rifle to hunt for game, today our consumers have access to reloadable 100-clip automatic rifles that fire off bursts. Is there anyone left un-moved by American mothers grieving over gunshot violence, or convinced that machine guns have anything to do with hunting or sport?
So why now? Well, if not now, when? Maybe if we can't do anything about the guns, we could try starting with the bullets. And follow the money. How about we cut the supply, the military ammunition types, the online access to ammo, discourage the retailers, and drive the prices of bullets up? Chris Rock, in a comedy skit, imagined what would happen if we drove up the prices prohibitively: "What I would do. If I just had $5000!"
WHAT WE CAN DO
Call/write/tweet/(etc) the offices of our local, state and federal representatives.
Engage/talk about this issue with friends, family, and pass it on.
Support organizations working for change- for example, Moms Demand Action.
Help candidates running for office who share your views on this and other issues.
(And be sure to VOTE- Find out how to register).