Del. Ken Plum: Preventing Gun Violence

Del. Ken Plum/File photoSince the Dec. 14, 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, in which 27 people including 20 children and the shooter were killed, there have been 79 more school shootings.

Gun rights advocates dispute the number related to schools, but that is the figure Bill Moyers reported a few weeks ago and there are certain to have been even more since his report. The total number of people killed by guns, suicide and accidental deaths between Newtown and December 2013 is 12,042.

With all the fear and anguish brought on by these shootings at whatever rate they may be occurring, little has been done to address the issue in Congress or in state legislatures.

Previous mass murders have had minimal impact on laws to reduce gun violence. One exception is the attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan in 1981. While no one was killed, four were wounded, including the President and his press secretary, Jim Brady, who was left confined to a wheelchair with slurred speech and nightmares.

The efforts of Brady, along with the strong leadership of his wife Sarah, led to the enactment after six years, seven Congressional votes and three presidential administrations to passage of background check legislation known as the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act. Recently, I attended the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence National Summit in Washington, D.C. ,that had as its theme to complete the job on background checks to make them universal.

Since the Brady law went into effect on Feb. 28, 1994, background checks have stopped more than 2.1 million gun sales to prohibited purchasers including convicted felons, domestic abusers, fugitives from justice, and other dangerous individuals. But the Brady bill requires background checks only for sales by licensed firearms dealers. Sales by individuals, unlicensed dealers, or internet vendors do not require a background check. The Brady Campaign is mounting a strong lobbying effort that I support to close the loophole on background checks and require them for all gun sales. To learn more, go to www.bradycampaign.org.

As announced at their National Summit, the Brady Campaign is working in other ways to reduce gun violence. Its “Ask Campaign” (Asking Saves Kids) in conjunction with the American Academy of Pediatrics urges parents to ask if there are unlocked guns in homes where their children play. An estimated 18,000 youth are injured or killed each year due to gun violence. More information is at askingsaveskids.org.

This November, make sure candidates you support for the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate support expansion of the Brady bill. I continue to participate along with many good friends in vigils at NRA Headquarters in Fairfax on the 14th of each month to ensure that the issue is not forgotten. I will be working to expand background checks in the legislature.

Looking at other nations of the world makes us realize it is time to do all we can to prevent gun violence in America.

Ken Plum represents Reston in Virginia’s House of Delegates

Recent Stories

The nonprofit Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing has proposed two 20-story affordable housing buildings in Dominion Square West, seen from the northeast (via KGD Architecture/Fairfax County) Fairfax County and several…

(Updated at 4:15 p.m.) Developer Foulger-Pratt‘s unsolicited proposal to redevelop Bowman Towne Court in Reston has been scrapped, Fairfax County announced today. In a termination letter, the developer cited “significantly…

This biweekly column is sponsored by The Mather in Tysons, Virginia, a forward-thinking Life Plan Community for those 62 and better. In times of stress, a positive attitude can help you…

Nova Wild — formerly known as Roer’s Zoofari and, before that, Reston Zoo — will partially reopen this weekend with a new self-drive safari. Customers will get the chance to…

The Ravel Dance Studio will re-open for fall classes 2020. The school will offer in person and virtual online instruction. With over 5000 sq. ft. to social distance the school has added air ionization filtration systems, ballet barres, acrylic dividers, hands free bathrooms, strict monitoring and more.

The Ravel Dance Studio will produce a Nutcracker Ballet Hollywood style video through the Reston Community CenterStage. REGISTRATION online begins August 17.

Submit your own Community Post here for just $99.

Chris Green is one of the DMV’s finest fitness instructors. A Lululemon and South Block ambassador, he is a coach and mentor to so many. He embodies grace, positivity and motivation in ways that no one else can. If we could all learn a thing or two from him, the world would be a much better place. He does so much for others, and does so with a smile on his face 99% of the time.

He recently ruptured his Achilles and has an incredibly long and tough journey ahead. As if COVID hadn’t impacted fitness professionals enough, throw this in the mix and it’s a double, even triple whammy. CG is no longer able to work and do what he loves for the time being because of this and we’d love your support.

Read More

Submit your own Community Post here for just $99.

×

Subscribe to our mailing list