The 'tipping point' to gun-law common sense

Updated 5/14/2018 11:34 AM

The Daily Herald's April 24 editorial, "Getting Serious," written in the wake of the killings at a Waffle House restaurant in Nashville asked the question, "How many of these tragedies have to take place before we as a nation and a society will recognize that common-sense gun control is part of the solution?" I recalled how I instinctively recited the familiar lyrics, "How many deaths will it take 'til they know that too many people have died?" on February 14, the day of tragic shootings at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

Your editorial expressed disappointment that we as a nation and a society didn't seem to take more away from the Valentine's Day killings. I recall another Daily Herald article optimistically pointing out all the talk of gun control legislation in the weeks following the Parkland killings. The Herald even borrowed Malcolm Gladwell's phrase, a "tipping point."

Indeed, if we as a nation and a society are to survive the current political climate with any semblance of honor, we all need to respect and listen to the other side.

As a pediatrician and fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, I wish to offer some proposals from that academy (headquartered in Itasca.) Colleen A. Kraft, president of the AAP has offered the following strategies:

1) Require mandatory background checks for all gun purchases.

2) Ban gun sales to those under 21 in all states.

3) Mandate safe storage.

4) Empower family members and law enforcement to petition for an order to remove guns from those who may pose a danger to themselves or others.

5) Ban weapons and bump stocks of the kind used in Las Vegas.

If we do adopt such strategies, I believe the Daily Herald will finally see its much-desired "tipping point." And the answer to Bob Dylan's 1962 musical question will no longer be "blowin' in the wind." What a wonderful legacy, not just to the victims of the Parkland, Florida, and Waffle House killings, but to all the victims of senseless gun violence throughout history.

Bruce Bedingfield

Hoffman Estates

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