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Is President Biden doing enough to stop gun violence?

Crystal Graham
gun violence
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With multiple mass shootings throughout the U.S. in the past few days, it begs the question: Is there more the Biden Administration could do to prevent gun violence?

Guns Down America, a gun violence prevention organization, says yes.

According to the organization, the president should:

  • Establish a federal office of gun violence prevention to streamline the federal, state and local government’s efforts to save lives.
  • Announce a series of executive actions to reduce gun deaths, including fully enforcing the ban on importation of foreign-made assault weapons that do not have a “sporting purpose.”
  • Use the presidential bully pulpit to develop honest, educational, and culturally relevant public campaigns that focus on the inherent risks of keeping firearms in the home.

Gun violence in America: 4 things you should know

Guns Down America breaks down the issue of gun violence below.

  • More guns lead to more gun deaths. A 2015 study connected the nation’s high rate of mass shootings to its high rate of gun ownership, as Americans make up about 5 percent of the global population, but we own 42 percent of the world’s guns. Americans purchased an additional 57 million guns since 2020. And as gun sales increased during the pandemic, we have experienced a spike in gun-related violence, as guns sold in 2020 were more likely to wind up at crime scenes within a year than in any previous period.
  • States with tough gun laws experience less gun violence. Surveys have consistently found that states that require background checks, permits to purchase and carry concealed guns in public, and other popular regulations, experience lower gun violence rates than states with lax firearm regulations. However, the recent shootings in California remind us that firearms and ammunition used to perpetuate crimes often cross state lines from states with lax gun laws into states with tougher gun laws.
  • Firearms are rarely used for self-defense. Though most Americans tell pollsters they’re purchasing a firearm for self-defense, research indicates that successful use of a firearm for self-defense is very rare. For each instance in which a firearm is used successfully in self-defense, there are 11 attempted or completed firearm suicides, seven criminal assaults or homicides and four unintentional shootings.
  • Gun manufacturers purposely market deadly firearms to youth. The firearm industry typically rejects safety innovations, including “smart guns” and child safety standards, and instead heavily markets the most deadly firearms – AR-15s and military-style pistols that are most often used in mass shootings – directly to young people, including children. Over the last decade, the firearms industry earned an estimated $1.7 billion in revenue from the sale of assault weapons.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.