Now is the time to put the pressure on elected officials, gun manufacturers and the National Rifle Association (NRA) to strengthen gun control laws. What I’m talking about is a rapid fire assault of letters, emails and tweets. Let’s prove that sometimes the pen can be mightier than the sword and the gun.
I’m asking all my readers to pen emails and letters to the President, both your U.S. Senators, your Congressional representative and the representatives and senators to your state legislatures telling them you are in favor of greater gun control. You can find their names and mailing addresses at the websites for your state.
Here are some specific changes in the gun laws that you can advocate to elected officials:
- End the sale of all semi-automatic weapons and ban the sale of ammunition for semiautomatic weapons.
- Establish a longer waiting period before people are allowed to buy guns.
- Ban all sales of guns and ammunition that do not require a background check, such as sales between “friends.”
- Allow licensed gun dealers to sell guns only at their place of business, the way it used to be before the law was changed in 1986.
- Ban all sales of guns over the Internet.
Some may ask: why would the gun makers want to do something that could impede the steady flow of new gun sales? The answer lies in the history of regulation in the United States. Once government and the public start to clamor to regulate any industry, the tendency has always been for the industries in question to propose their own, usually milder, regulation. Additionally, the industries about to undergo regulation always have a seat at the government policy table. We can see that this week in reports about regulation of mortgage lending. The banks would prefer no regulation, but if there has to be regulation, they want—and are getting—a hand at shaping the new rules. Let’s make sure gun makers fear regulation enough to want to participate in the process of developing new regulation.
Here are the names of the leaders of the three leading American makers of guns. One letter from every concerned citizen should be enough to convince these amoralists that they should come to the negotiating table:
- James Debney, President & Chief Executive Officer, Smith & Wesson, 2100 Roosevelt Avenue, Springfield MA 01104
- Gerald R. Dinkel, President, Colt Defense LLC, P.O. Box 1868, Hartford CT 06144
- Steven Feinberg, Cerebus Capital Management LP, 875 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10022: owner of Bushmaster Firearms International LLC
If the public doesn’t keep the pressure on, as soon as the Newtown massacre of the innocents falls out of the media spotlight gun makers and legislatures will retreat to their cozy clubby bloodless little world. Only a concerted effort by many will make sure that doesn’t happen.