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New Law? Educate Everyone about It
2022-06-08

            Sometimes it's good to look at the mistakes of others to find ways to ensure that you don't make the same ones.

            Such is the case with common-sense gun laws.  You can have them, but if you don't enforce them or educate the attorneys general, district attorneys, law enforcement, social services, medical professionals, and the people, do you really have common-sense gun laws?

            Take the state of New York.

            New York Congressman Tom Suozzi (D-3rd District) recently wrote that the state's legislature enacted the Extreme Risk Protection Order law after the Parkland School shooting in 2018 that lets a state judge issue an order barring an individual from buying firearms – a red flag order would turn up on a background check if the person attempts to buy a gun.

            Perhaps the accused 18-year-old shooter at a Tops market in Buffalo would never have been allowed to purchase a gun.  The law was specifically designed for a person like him.

            The shooter reportedly made online and verbal threats that, after graduation, he would commit "murder and suicide." Police were notified and he received a mental-health evaluation at a hospital that took more than a day.  Then, he was set free.

            New York also had a law to establish a gun-ammunition database to track ammunition sales.  Problem is, it was never implemented.

            Politicians have no problem pumping money into a variety of publicity programs heralding any number of pet projects or groups they champion.  Let's face it, it's all done in their attempts to be re-elected using the popular topic of the day-not a tragic or common-sense one.  When laws like this are passed, mainstream media should be all over them, promoting progress in one state that could migrate into others, or even nationally.

            For any law to be effective, the law enforcement, social workers, the public, and others must be educated.

            As Suozzi wrote, "We must publicize the red-flag law, touring the state and educating the public, schools and police with the same fervor the government had on COVID prevention. We must provide proper training and let everyone know about this effective tool and how to use it. Perhaps school officials, mental-health workers, the state police or even family members would have petitioned the court to take away or prevent access to the Buffalo shooter's guns."

            Loopholes will be closed and common-sense gun laws will be passed if legislators remember that the key to making it happen is compromise – pass what you agree on today and debate your differences tomorrow.  The people want results, not arguments and political positioning.  They also want prosecutors who will enforce the laws.

            The new law should include a nationwide/state-wide plan on how to educate everyone about it.


 

 

 

 

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