It’s been 30 years since any meaningful gun safety legislation was passed, and during that time, America has become a world leader in mass shootings, domestic violence, suicide and senseless murder. The unprecedented and outrageous accessibility of guns in this country––which bear no relationship whatsoever to the text of the Second Amendment––are a stain on this nation, among the many other stains that have come into stark focus this weekend. But finally, in response to the horrifying mass shootings of innocent Black Americans in Buffalo and of innocent children in Uvalde, a landmark, bipartisan gun safety package was passed and signed into law by President Biden.
It doesn’t go far enough, and it doesn’t ban assault weapons, and it doesn’t change the minimum age for those purchasing weapons of mass murder. It doesn’t do what other developed nations have all done after mass shootings have taken innocent lives. But it incentivizes states in passing red flag laws, funds mental health programs, expands the background check system for gun buyers under the age of 21, and cracks down on straw purchases. It also includes serious or recent dating partners in bans on domestic abusers buying firearms.
This bill will not reincarnate the *22,000 Americans* who have died of gun violence in 2022 alone. It won’t help their families grieve or provide any solace. But this bill is progress, and it will save lives. We hope it is only the first victory for the gun violence prevention movement, and that more progress is possible. We are extraordinarily grateful for the tireless work of the President, Senator Chris Murphy, the 15 Republican Senators and 14 Republican House members who supported this legislation, and to remarkable gun safety organizations like Moms Demand, Everytown, and March for Our Lives. Their advocacy, organizing and direct action will be an inspiration to us all.