The tidal wave of radical changes being advanced by the new presidential administration makes it impossible to have any reasoned discussion of real issues. This is by design, and we always have to remember that. Recently, several things have happened related to gun violence and gun laws that are deserving of notice.
I’ll start out with the good news. The state of Maryland’s ban on assault weapons and high capacity clips was upheld by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, 10-4. The opinion issued clearly stated that weapons designed for battle can be regulated without infringing on the right to own a gun.
In Florida, 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that doctors can ask their patients about firearm safety. The court stated that there is no conflict between the First Amendment right of doctors and Second Amendment right of patients. If you want to laugh, read Scott Maxwell’s essay on “Docs vs. Glocks”.
The Tampa Bay Times article on gun deaths of Florida children calculated that between 2010 and 2015, the rate at which a Florida child was shot (killed or injured), was one every 17 hours. Since we can’t depend on our government to collect accurate data on gun violence and death, we have to rely on real journalism and motivated non-profits like the Gun Violence Archive (GVA) to understand what is happening to our society.
Researchers have found the Florida gun murder rate shot up coincident with the passing of the “Stand Your Ground” law. That doesn’t stop the Florida legislature from trying to expand it. A Bill (SB 128), which has been introduced for this session of the Florida Senate would shift the burden of proof from the defendant claiming Stand Your Ground immunity to the prosecutor, during pretrial evidentiary hearings.
The new presidential administration is shifting more emphasis away from violent anti-government extremists to Islamic terrorism. This shift can have deadly consequences, spelled out by the moving story of a father whose police office son was killed by known anti-government extremists.
The Trace provides excellent reporting on many gun issues. It’s a worthwhile source of information in this time.