Guns out of control in the US

The principle of agreement reached on Sunday by a small group of Republican and Democratic senators to establish minimum measures regarding gun control in the United States could seem an irrelevant gesture. But the ocean of destruction and pain that they have been causing for years —as has become evident in recent weeks— has finally deserved a political gesture that can mitigate the wave of indiscriminate killings that the entire geography of the country has experienced. It constitutes a significant and concrete first step to combat what the president, Joe Biden, has described as “an epidemic” that is conditioning the daily lives of millions of Americans, from going to school, visiting a shopping center or taking a ride in a busy area.

Mass murders in shootings – officially considered as those in which at least four people die, not including the attacker – have increased exponentially in the US to almost reach the character of heinous routine. It is not just about shocking massacres like the one at the Uvalde school, just three weeks ago, and where 21 people died (mostly young children), or the one in Buffalo, on May 14, when ten clients died, most of them black. , in a supermarket. They are a continuous string of crimes that have as a common denominator a lax, if not unrestricted, access to the weapons of the perpetrators. On the night of June 4 alone, there were 11 such shootings. So far this year there have already been 245 mass shootings in the United States. In many cases, the murderers had acquired weapons for military use in a completely legal manner.

The reality is that as complex as the debate over gun access is — from cultural to constitutional issues to the legitimate fear of those who think that banning guns will give criminals a deadly advantage — American society has a right to not to live in fear of the real possibility of receiving a bullet at any moment: the testimonies of the population after each assault are shocking and lead to the spread of social fear. Thus, 10 Republican senators and 10 other Democrats have ended a dangerous political impasse and agreed to present a law that would suppose the greatest federal restriction on access to weapons in recent decades. The proposal includes expanding criminal record checks to those under 21 years of age, allowing access to weapons to be limited by court order, and reinforcing investment in mental health. However, Biden’s relevant proposal to prohibit the sale of assault rifles at the federal level or raise the age to acquire semi-automatic weapons from 18 to 21 is left out. It is, therefore, a minimal advance that will have to be the first if the US political class really wants to tackle a situation that is out of control.

#Guns #control

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