Republican members of Congress interviewed on television say it is “too early” to talk about gun control after the horrific ambush in Las Vegas.
It was “too early” after Rep. Gabby Giffords was shot. It was “too early” after Columbine. It was “too early” after Sandy Hook. It was “too early” after the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting.
When exactly is a good time to discuss common-sense gun-control practices, like outlawing the bump stock or preventing those with mental illness from buying weapons?
If a bridge collapses, we don’t say it is “too early” to investigate to prevent other collapses. When an airplane goes down, National Transportation Safety Board employees immediately investigate in hopes of preventing other airline disasters.
My husband was murdered in 1987. The police didn’t hold off questioning me because it was “too early.” The Kansas Bureau of Investigation didn’t hold off investigating how a gun that was legally limited to use by law enforcement was used to shoot him six times.
Let’s do this before more people are killed.
CHIP for kids
“The health of American children … should be recognized as a definite public responsibility,” President Harry S. Truman said in his address to Congress on Nov. 19, 1945.
The Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, was created in 1997 with strong bipartisan support. Today, children’s health insurance coverage in Missouri is at a historic high. Unfortunately, Congress failed to extend CHIP by Sept. 30, leaving many states unsure of the future of their programs.
Thanks to CHIP, 88,000 children in Missouri have coverage. As a pediatrician, I see how health insurance affects all aspects of life. Those with insurance miss less school because of illness and do better in education overall. This leads them to seek higher degrees and better-paying job as adults.
Children need access to developmental screenings and vaccines. Families need to know they are protected from financial catastrophe because of health care costs.
Please join me in urging Rep. Emanuel Cleaver and Sens. Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill to extend CHIP for the next five years.
Missouri Rep. Vicky Hartzler continues in her mindless embrace of the Trump administration’s destructive policies. First, it was the campaign to undo the Affordable Care Act. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan’s “Better Way” was going to save the day; then came the Trumpcare fiascos.
Lately, we don’t hear much from her on the health issue. But she gave an enthusiastic response to President Donald Trump’s transgender policy, which blindsided the military establishment that she so vocally claims to support. Arguing for this policy, she wildly inflated the cost of transgender medical procedures compared with an estimate from the RAND Corporation.
Now it’s the Trump tax plan that is supposed to revitalize the economy with job-creating tax breaks. All the evidence shows that hiring decisions do not respond to income tax cuts, nor does overall economic activity. The Kansas debacle is only the latest example of the fallacy of this idea.
As this administration’s actions continue to undermine the welfare of Americans everywhere, please remember at election time next year that Trump’s congressional minions, who include Rep. Hartzler, are necessary for the furtherance of his misguided policies.
Stuart C. Clark
Sunrise Beach, Mo.
In her Oct. 5 column, “I used to believe in gun control. But then I ran the numbers” (15A), Leah Libresco said her and her colleagues’ three months of research led her to change her mind. She found, for example, that both British and Australian “restrictions had an ambiguous effect on other gun-related crimes or deaths.”
Gun owner Tim Fischer, Australian deputy prime minister when sweeping controls were passed there in 1996, says those controls have saved perhaps 200 lives per year.
But we don’t need to study stats. Can we agree that background checks prevent at least some (bad) people from obtaining guns? That saving even one life would be desirable? Then why do we continue to resist requiring such checks for gun show sales?
Would banning sales and possessions of rapid-fire weapons reduce the ability of anyone to murder 10, 20, 30 people in a short time, thus increasing chances of saving lives?
Surely, both of these simple measures the NRA continues to resist would save lives and greatly reduce the risk of more massacres such as Sandy Hook and Las Vegas..