Viewpoint: America's Gun Problem

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Many concerned citizens try to change our gun culture at the state level through legislation, but change has to come from Washington.

At the center of that debate is the NRA.

Some make the national news in the United States for a day or a week. But in point of fact, only a minority of Americans own guns.

The Second Amendment is a farce, a white-only privilege. The foundation remains an education and training resource for gun owners but it's also become a powerful lobbying group.

The gravity of America's gun problem became apparent once again the night of October 1 in Las Vegas when a lone gunman on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort unleashed a barrage of bullets from a stash of weapons into a crowd of concertgoers below. A bump stock is a plastic or metal mechanism attached to a semiautomatic, enabling the weapon to fire dozens of rounds of ammunition per second.

■ The NRA has donated $86,500 to Colorado members of Congress who are now in office, including Scott Tipton and Cory Gardner. You've also heard several times about our Constitutional Rights to possess firearms, the city of Chicago's rampant gun violence despite strict gun laws and arguments for personal protection.

Federal law for purchasing and acquiring firearms is frequently changing. The orders can be issued without the gun owner even being present to argue in his own defense. They found that the movies were riddled with violence and that the three out of five movies researched featured automatic weapons.

There needs to be legistlative action taken soon to regulate US gun laws.

What about online gun sales? So would requiring a gun safety course be taken and passed before the purchase of a firearm. Why can't more intensive background checks - if those applying have nothing to hide - be invoked?

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The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence gave the state of California its only A rating in 2016. The event barely received news coverage. Half of the 50 states received an F rating. The expert said that most or many gun lovers have 10 to 20 guns, including semi-automatic weapons.

There are times when we must be equipped to save ourselves. California is among the ten states with the lowest number of gun deaths. Guns are one of the most successful commercial products that America has ever made - they even outsell smartphones.

Despite our record, there's still a long way to go.

A person buying a gun that could kill me or someone else should be held to the same standard.

The Gun Violence Archive, keeping track of gun violence statistics since 2013, has counted 11,652 gun deaths this year, and 23,512 injuries.

On Monday morning of last week, Americans awoke to a another mass shooting. Between 2012-2014, an average of 1,297 children died each year from a gun-related injury, either by accident, suicide, or homicide. Congress has failed on many occasions to exercise its power to get rid of assault rifles.

According to CDC statistics for 2014, the latest information available, there were 21,386 firearms suicides in the USA, 6.7 per 100,000. Most Americans are trying to do what is best; there are just different views on how to accomplish that. Whether it's a roving gang of looters who want to take your prized possessions or whether it's a more sinister bunch who want to do unspeakable things to your family, you are on your own.

■ The NRA now opposes limitations on types of ammunition on the market, limitations of the sale of assault-type rifles like the AR-15, limitations on the sale of magazines with more than 10 rounds, expanded background checks for firearm purchases, more controls on sales of guns at gun shows, gun licensing, gun registration, an electronically searchable database to track the origins of firearms used in crimes, or a ban on bump stocks like those used in Las Vegas. While the United States is home to just 4.4 percent of the world's population, we own nearly half of the world's civilian-owned guns.

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