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Is Gun Violence in America the ‘Real National Emergency’?

Should Trump declare a national emergency on gun violence?

by Countable | Updated on 2.22.19

UPDATE - February 22, 2019:

  • A group of rural sheriffs in Washington state are refusing to enforce a new gun law approved by voters last fall.
  • Washington Initiative 1639 raised the minimum age for buying pistols and semi-automatic assault rifles to 21, imposed background checks and a 10-day minimum waiting period for semi-automatic assault rifles’ purchase, and made it a crime to fail to store a gun safely.
  • "My plan is not to enforce it," Klickitat County Sheriff Bob Songer told NPR.
"As an elected sheriff and a constitutional sheriff, I believe it violates the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. And, more specifically, violates the Washington state Constitution," Songer said.
  • More than a dozen sheriffs have shared similar sentiments.
  • Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson issued an open memo to local sheriffs and police chiefs, saying if they refuse to perform the background checks required by the new state law, they could be held liable.
"Local law enforcement officials are entitled to their opinions about the constitutionality of any law, but those personal views do not absolve us of our duty to enforce Washington laws and protect the public," Ferguson wrote.

Countable's original story appears below


What’s the story?

  • Following President Donald Trump’s declaration of a national emergency to secure funding for his border wall, some Democratic lawmakers are urging the president to declare a national emergency on gun violence.
  • Freshman Rep. Lucy McBath (D-GA), who ran for office following the shooting death of her son, told CNN on Friday that there “really is a national emergency”—on gun violence, not immigration.
  • “People continue to die every single day,” McBath said. “We know that we’ve got over a hundred people in this country that die unnecessarily to gun violence every single day… that is a public health crisis.”
“That is a national emergency,” she added. “Not a wall.”
  • The Chicago Sun-Times also ran an editorial on Friday: “America’s real national emergency: Mass shootings”.

Parkland and gun-control advocates

  • Last week marked the one-year anniversary of the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said on the occasion:
“You want to talk about a national emergency?” Pelosi asked. “Let’s talk about today, the one-year anniversary of another manifestation of the epidemic of gun violence in America. That’s a national emergency. Why don’t you declare that emergency, Mr. President? I wish you would.”
  • David Hogg, a survivor of the Parkland shooting and activist who co-founded the gun-control movement March for Our Lives, said in January that “if we really want to start talking about the national emergency like the president likes to talk about, 40,000 Americans dying annually from gun violence is a pretty damn good one to start off with.”

What are gun-rights advocates saying?

  • A recent NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll found that 51 percent of Americans support stricter gun laws in the United States—a significant drop from when the same poll was conducted shortly after the Parkland shooting, when 71 percent said gun laws should be tightened.
  • At the same time, Senate Republicans in Iowa are advancing proposal to amend the state’s Constitution to specify Iowans' legal right to own a gun, and to add heightened legal protections to that right.
  • Meanwhile, gun-rights supporters want to divide Washington and create a 51st state called “Liberty.” Advocates rallied in the state Capitol on Friday, upset about the age limits and safety rules passed by voters in a recent ballot initiative.
  • Betsy Keller-Zal, a Longview, Wash., resident said: “We follow the Constitution and they're just chipping away at the Constitution on all our rights not just the Second Amendment.”
  • “I want to defend my rights. Make sure that my children won't get molested by a group of illegals,” Nick, who declined to give his last name, told a local news station.

What do you think?

Is gun violence the “real national emergency”? Or would declaring an emergency on gun violence be a “chipping away at the Constitution”? Take action and tell your reps, then share your thoughts below.

—Josh Herman

Countable

Written by Countable

Leave a comment
(722)
  • David
    Voted No
    02/19/2019
    ···

    Statistically, there is a higher possibility of dying from diarrhea than guns. If you are not a gang member, are not a criminal that dies in a justified shooting, and are not planning on committing suicide there is a .000102564% chance that you will die from a gunshot.

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  • Helene
    Voted Yes
    02/19/2019
    ···

    People need to understand the Democrats aren’t coming for their guns unless their felons or mentally incompetent. And you don’t need an assault rifle to kill a deer.

    Like (94)
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  • Dicr
    02/19/2019
    ···

    Once again the right manipulates figures to give a false narrative. Diarrhoea is a global problem in underdeveloped counties but not the US. Almost 40,000 people were killed by guns In the US last year alone.

    Like (88)
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  • Megan
    Voted Maybe
    02/19/2019
    ···

    Regulations definitely need a review and actual enforcement!

    Like (29)
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  • Mark
    Voted No
    02/19/2019
    ···

    The statistics cited are drastically inflated by counting both suicides and police vs perp involved shootings. Mental illness however is an emergency and should be treated. We can start with the psycho babble leftists at Countable.

    Like (59)
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  • John
    Voted Yes
    02/19/2019
    ···

    Without a doubt gun violence is the biggest national emergency. 1200 children that’s children die every year from gunshots. That’s the statistic the Trump never brings up. That is a statistic of a national emergency. I don’t see any Republicans allowing people to carry weapons into their rallies But yet you’re allowed to carry weapons into a school. How sick is that. Wake up America vote out these republican idiots like Lindsey Graham and Donald the dump trump.

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  • Scott
    02/19/2019
    ···

    Talk about manipulating numbers. The overwhelming majority of guns deaths are gang related and suicides. Address the social/economic factors that lead to gang activity. Address the mental health system. Do these and 95%-ish of gun deaths are addressed. Leave the gun rights of law abiding citizens alone.

    Like (33)
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  • Nick
    Voted Maybe
    02/19/2019
    ···

    I don’t want to say it’s not a problem, but the context of the question is misleading. Considering this a national emergency is de facto pushing for further gun control, which proves time and time again to be ineffective. Contrary to popular belief and misinformation, a federal background check and many state background checks exist. The recent Illinois shooter was a convicted felon, barring him from owning firearms (based on the federal background check), yet the state of Illinois failed to acknowledge this when they ran the check on his firearm purchase in 2014. When he applied for a concealed carry permit, his background check didn’t to through due to the felony, but the state of Illinois failed to rightfully confiscate his previously purchased firearms. This is a very similar case to the Parkland shooter. The background check system works when the people who run the checks do their jobs.

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  • THooper
    Voted No
    02/19/2019
    ···

    It’s not the tool; it’s the operator. Society as a whole has developed a lack or respect for human life. Pencils don’t misspell words, fork and spoons don’t cause weight gain and guns don’t kill. These are all results of actions that People cause. The instrument is not the issue, the person is. Very few crimes are committed with legally owned guns.

    Like (33)
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  • RAN
    Voted No
    02/19/2019
    ···

    No, death by motor vehicles is much much greater.

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  • Kevin
    Voted No
    02/19/2019
    ···

    The standard utterance is “if you are not a felon or not mentally ill, no one is coming for your guns”. My belief is that you have a right to defend yourself the way you see fit. If you are a felon but have done your time...you should be able to own a gun. As far as mental illness, the logistics of ensuring one is of satisfactory mental health would be a nightmare and would necessarily have an effect of the 4th amendment as well as others. The cost of this apparatus would be very high. This will force underground gun sales and encourage more shootings as less will be able to protect themselves. By the way, who do we trust to deem us mentally healthy? How is what is in our electronic medical records safe from this discussion as to how healthy we are to own a gun. In 10 years, where will the goalpost for mental health standards be compared with today. Sorry. It is truly tragic that there are those who lost their lives to gun violence, but the alternative is much worse.

    Like (25)
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  • Jessey
    Voted No
    02/19/2019
    ···

    Guns are not the issue people are the issue. Stop blaming inanimate objects for causing harm.

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  • Mark
    Voted No
    02/19/2019
    ···

    The answer to gun violence is keeping guns out the hands of the mentally ill, and recognizing the harmful effect of psychotropic drugs and violent video games. Universal carry should be recognized as a 2nd Amendment right. Also, build the wall. 60% of violent inmates are illegal aliens. Why do the Democrats always want to attack the individual liberty of law abiding citizens while doing nothing to address the real problems?

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  • Joan
    Voted No
    02/19/2019
    ···

    If firearms are good enough to guard our leadership then they are good enough to guard all the American people by the American people!

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  • Aaron
    Voted No
    02/19/2019
    ···

    Firearms themselves are of no danger and should not even be considered an emergency crisis. Criminal behavior is the issue. Screwdrivers, scissors, and hammers are equally dangerous in the hands of someone with ill intentions.

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  • Robert
    Voted Yes
    02/19/2019
    ···

    Here are initial steps Congress can take to begin to reduce gun violence and promote public health. These allow hunting, self protection and target shooting and do not infringe on the second amendment. -Since banning semi-automatic rifles and shotguns seems unlikely limit magazines and clips to 6 rounds -Ban hollow point ammunition and bullets that twist or yaw in flight. -Require registration and insurance for all firearms. -21 day waiting period for purchase. -Revolvers holding 6 rounds remain legal -Pistols holding magazines with fewer than 6 rounds legal. -Single action bolt, lever, or pump rifles and shotguns with magazines or clips holding 6 or fewer rounds remain legal -Mandatory background checks. -Require mandatory gun violence studies on gun violence. Members of Congress, take the donations you receive from the NRA and publicly announce that you are giving those donations to organization and municipalities that embark on measures to improve school safety and public health. Then lead the effort to create laws that reduce gun violence in America.

    Like (19)
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  • Danny
    Voted No
    02/19/2019
    ···

    Leave my guns alone!

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  • Debbie
    Voted No
    02/19/2019
    ···

    In Chicago, yes, but hey that’s become their norm under the Dem. leadership and they keep voting for more of the same so they must be happy. If the rest of the country had those stats of gun violence then yep we’d have a National Crisis.....not until then.

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  • JDMA
    Voted No
    02/19/2019
    ···

    This will come over as insensitive, but sometimes the truth needs to be blunt. It’s not a gun problem, it’s a people problem. Guns are tools and it is the person who wields it that determines the effect. A gun is an inanimate object it cannot hurt anyone unless it is manipulated. People are hurt by guns, by other people... when was the last time you heard of a gun randomly shooting someone. American Dad has a skit where the daughter argues there is a gun problem. The father then places the gun on the table and yells at it to kill someone. It obviously cannot. That is the point, the person who operates the gun determines the outcome. So, if it is a people problem what can we do? Good question, I am not an expert and will not profess to be. However, it is rarely if ever a good person who goes out and kills people. From my observations, most mass shootings are the product of years of social engineering or bought up from the belief that a social justice occurred to them. This can be from education or the sense of entitlement. People have a unrealistic and dystopian view of what the world or our society owes them. Look at the shooter at UCSB. He shot up a sorority, because he wasn’t getting the female attention he thought he deserved. No one asked the question why did he think that? Or what made him think that he was entitled to this belief. CA and all of the gun control advocates asked how could he amass this arsenal? If this doesn’t make you think about how our society is responsible let’s look at the media. Whenever there is a shooting the media portrays the shooter religiously. They only talk about the person, the motives and the “evil” guns that made the person do it. They sensationalize the pathetic person and make them famous. They highlight body counts and statistics. Only to have copy cats try to one up another. The media has the audacity to claim it is a gun problem and demand the removal of the second amendment. While they hide behind the first. Give me a break. I used to think guns are a problem, but then I realized two things. 1. As an American we self reliant people. Our country is framed that way to enable us to pursue life liberty and happiness. That means there is a point when you have to take ownership of your life and be a responsible adult. 2. The Bill of Rights protects us from the government not each other. Let that sink in. That is why I think it is a people problem. Our society is teaching us to dependents. And the weakest break down and lash out. We need to look at ourselves and address the elephant of social illness in the room. Not take away our rights in the name of the greater tyranny.

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  • Martha
    Voted Yes
    02/19/2019
    ···

    Gun violence is the real national emergency, as well as having a lunatic in the White House. Yet, Republicans who are beholden to the NRA are content to do nothing to reign in the gun violence that plagues this country.

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  • Lisbeth
    Voted Yes
    02/19/2019
    ···

    More people are killed from gun violence at the hands of natural born Americans than any violence coming from the southern border.

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