Members of Congress who refuse to take action on gun violence, particularly by rejecting universal background checks, “have become complicit in shootings by anyone who should not be allowed to own a gun because of a criminal or mental health record.”
Calls for reform have sounded once again in the wake of the mass killing in Isla Vista, California, but we should remember that the victims of such events make up less than one percent of all gun homicides. More than eleven thousand individual deaths from gun violence occur every year, as do nineteen thousand suicides by gun.
“Last year, a consortium of top mental health professionals said the government needed to go further and ban gun possession from those who have been involuntarily committed to outpatient treatment if they pose a danger to themselves or others. People should also be unable to buy guns, the group said, if they have been convicted of a violent misdemeanor, subject to a domestic violence restraining order, convicted of drunken driving two or more times in five years, or convicted of two misdemeanors involving a controlled substance in five years,” writes The New York Times‘s Editorial Board.