We’re the only wealthy country in the world with this problem
96 people are killed by guns every day in the U.S. That’s a total of about 35,000 people each year—25 times higher than in other developed countries. After this weekend’s spate of gun violence, other countries are even issuing warnings about travel to the U.S.
Why? As Brian Klaas, a political scientist and Washington Post columnist, said in a tweet this morning: “Specifically, it’s the fault of Republicans who refuse to act and are blocking common sense gun safety reforms.”
More Americans will die because Trump, McConnell, and NRA-beholden Senate Republicans refuse to take action to stop this senseless violence.
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Republicans have made it clear that they won’t take meaningful action to reduce gun violence. So, progressive leaders have—for decades—stepped up instead. Here are just a few of their plans:
- House Democrats: Months ago, House Democrats (with a handful of Republicans) passed two key bills to reduce gun violence. One requires universal background checks, which 97% of Americans support. The other closes a dangerous loophole, the “Charleston Loophole,” which enables people prohibited from owning guns to purchase them before a background check is completed. McConnell refuses to bring either to a vote in the Senate. The House also passed legislation to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, which includes key provisions to help keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers, and included $50 million for the CDC and NIH to finally conduct research into gun violence in a 2020 funding bill.
- Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA): Harris’s plan is wide-ranging and includes a focus on options for executive action to address gun violence. The senator wants to require universal background checks, ban the import of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, make it harder for domestic abusers to obtain guns, and much more.
- Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ): Booker’s plan to reduce gun violence is comprehensive and ambitious, and his reasoning is straightforward: “If you need a license to drive a car, you should need a license to own a gun.” On top of licensing and other popular steps like enforcing universal background checks, Booker’s proposal would lead to a national database to track guns and limit purchases to one gun per month.
- Former Vice President Joe Biden: Like many other candidates, Biden wants to expand universal background checks and ban high capacity magazines. He would also institute a gun buyback program and reinstate the ban on assault weapons (of which he was an architect in the 1990s). Biden’s proposal would also pressure the Senate to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, which McConnell and Senate Republicans refuse to pass on account of the NRA’s opposition.
- Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN): During the first Democratic debate, Buttigieg made a stark point: “If more guns made us safer, we’d be the safest country on Earth.” In a plan released today, he advocates for bold solutions to address the mass shooting “national security crisis,” including prohibiting people who have been convicted of hate crimes from owning guns, instating extreme risk protection orders, enforcing universal background checks, banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and “establishing a country-wide gun licensing system.”
- Governor Jay Inslee (D-WA): In response to the rise of white nationalist gun violence, Inslee released a plan today that would ban assault weapons and enforce extreme risk protection orders, as well as closing the “Charleston Loophole” and banning untraceable firearms. Inslee’s plan would also create a system to “identify, track and prosecute white nationalist extremists.”