The NRA disparages common sense solutions to reduce gun violence as “feel-good” measures, claiming that they won’t work and offering instead, the option of arming our children’s teachers and school administrators with guns. As a mother of young children, the thought of arming my children’s teachers is outrageous and unacceptable.
If we are all in agreement that we want to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals and the seriously mentally ill, then how is that to be accomplished if countless gun sales can be made without a background check? How can we use the term "responsible gun ownership" and in the same breath enable criminals to purchase a gun? Despite tragic mass shootings and over 31,000 annual firearm deaths, the NRA and similar organizations have fought to maintain a loophole that allows the sale of guns, including semi-automatic weapons like the AR-15, to anyone without a background check.
Universal background checks, in combination with strengthened gun trafficking laws, will help prevent guns from falling into the wrong hands. Between 1994 and 2009, background checks stopped nearly 2 million gun purchases. Perhaps the NRA and firearm industry fight against this “feel-good” measure because an increase in background checks would equate to a decrease in sales.
Senators Kirk and Durbin, deserve thanks for fighting for gun violence prevention through stronger, safer gun legislation. Their stance in favor of universal background checks and other common sense solutions is both courageous and brave, and I am proud they represent Illinois. Clearly Senators Kirk and Durbin have the strength of character to stand up to the NRA and firearm industry, and we can only hope that their colleagues will follow suit.