After the June 12, 2016, shooting spree in Orlando where 49 people were slaughtered, I submitted an Op Ed to 69 newspapers in six states, who publish my thoughts titled, “I’ve had it. Enough is enough.”
My comments, which at that time were supported by 92 percent of Americans, called for enhanced gun ownership background checks, as well as 23 specifically identified military-style assault weapons to only be used by law enforcement officers or members of the U.S. Armed Services.
Now, 97 percent of Americans are demanding gun ownership and weapon sale reform.
Since the 2016 assault, Iowa’s Republican-controlled Senate and House enacted laws permitting little children to use guns, allowing stand-your-ground as a gun killer’s legal defense argument and granting guns to be carried into court houses. The governor’s office isn’t saying “boo” as to whether we should or should not be a member of States for Gun Safety Coalition.
Our 535 federal legislative delegates are also irresponsible. Iowa Republican Senators Grassley (NRA grade “A” supporter) and Ernst ($3,124,273 NRA campaign contributions) co-sponsored legislation (H.J.Res. 40) permitting people with mental health issues to purchase guns; an immature and illogical but pro-NRA act on their behalf.
Our state and federal legislators’ non-gun control action has resulted in: 1) one child under the age of 12 is shot to death EVERY day, 2) 27 people are killed EVERY day as a result of gun violence, 3) millions are the victim of assaults and robberies involving a gun and 4) hundreds of law enforcement officers have been shot to death protecting their communities.
What about “common sense gun reform” don’t our alleged representatives understand? The surviving teenagers from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., are more responsible adults than Congress and Iowa’s elected delegates.
The adage, “out of the mouth of babes,” couldn’t be more truthful than now. Douglas student David Hogg, age 17, proclaimed to all legislators in all states: “You guys are the adults. You need to take some action and play a role. Work together. Come over your politics and get something done.”
Cameron Kasky, 11th grader at Douglas, was exceedingly mature when he said, “People are saying that it’s not time to talk about gun control. And we can respect that. Here’s a time: March 24 in every single city. We are going to be marching together as students begging for our lives.”
The Saturday, March 24 “March for our Lives” could transcend politics. As Kasky reflects so thoughtfully, “This isn’t about the GOP. This isn’t about the Democrats. This is about the adults. We feel neglected and at this point, you’re either with us or against us.”
Children are saying, “OK mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, aunt, uncle, next door neighbor to any child: do you favor common-sense gun reform or not?”
You’ve seen the gun carnage, read the gun death statistics and observed the funeral processions. And now you’ve heard the children, acting more responsible than legislators, speaking out regarding gun violence while the adults who pretend to be our legislative voice are doing nothing.
Do you care enough about your child, grandchild, grandchild who’s not even conceived or neighbor’s child to join in the Saturday, March 24, march, even if it’s marching up and down your street … or … are you going to let our spineless 100 D.C. Senators, 435 D.C. Representatives, 50 Iowa Senators and 100 Iowa Representatives continue to be irresponsible?
Speak up by contacting your legislators demanding gun reform and marching (March 24) on behalf of humanity … or … don’t cry when a loved one of yours gets killed by a gun.
Steve Corbin is Professor Emeritus of Marketing, University of Northern Iowa, and a 1966 graduate of Nevada High School.