In August, Pete Buttigieg wrote plainly about the possibility of change in this country:
“In America things are impossible until they happen. At the beginning of this decade, it was absurd to imagine that somebody like me could serve openly in the military or be married in my home state of Indiana. But… we have seen an energized America make incredible breakthroughs. It will require a new way of thinking about our problems and how to meet them, but together we will create change.”
There can be a change. Voters can do something about horrendous gun violence without taking guns away from owners who are law-abiding, trained, and sensible.
The “Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019″ has already been passed by the Democratic-majority House. And now it sits in the Senate. The bill requires a background check for every firearm sale, including at gun shows and unlicensed online sales.
Mitch McConnell won’t allow the Republican-majority Senate to even vote on it. So, the bill will never be given a chance to pass or fail. No one in the country will be any better protected. No child will get any better odds at making it to adulthood without being hit by a bullet.
No one feels safer. People remain scared. And nothing changes.
Pete Buttigieg is proposing ideas to break this cycle. They are ideas easy to support. And if you are a person who tends to fall on the right side of the law, you should never be affected adversely by any of them.
- Universal background check legislation. Why have strict gun laws in California, when a person can drive to neighboring Nevada to legally purchase an AK-style semiautomatic assault rifle, then just bring it back over state lines? This is what allowed a 19-year old to purchase the weapon he used to murder three people in Gilroy and injure 12 others in July of this year.
- Passage of a national gun licensing system. If Joe wants the gun, Joe can get the gun…. if he can pass a simple background check. This would require Joe appearing in-person to complete and have approved an application at a local law enforcement agency. This way, no one can pretend to be Joe and get a gun in his name. Joe would also have to complete safety training and perform safety tests. And Joe would be required by law to renew his license regularly, the same way he does in order to continue driving his car around town.
- Closing the “Charleston loophole”: The loophole allows a federally-licensed gun dealer who initiates a background check, but doesn’t hear back within three business days, to go ahead and complete the sale anyway, no matter who wants the gun.
- Nationally banning assault weapons
- Nationally banning high-capacity magazines that hold more than 10 bullets, or “rounds”
- Strengthening red flag laws: A red flag law allows a judge to intervene and take away a person’s gun if it’s clear they are an immediate threat to themselves or another person.
Pete’s plan also proposes federal grants to strengthen power at the local level. This can help give schools, community organizations and law enforcement what they need to implement safer practices that work for their particular neighborhoods.
Pete Buttigieg wants gun owners to adhere to laws that are universal from one end of the country to the other. By doing so, he’ll point the country towards an era where we can all live with less anxiety over losing someone we love to random gun violence.
And that would be an actual change.