Based in Noblesville, Indiana, Curtis writes the syndicated humor column, Grammar Guy. His hilarious-yet-thoughtful book will be available in May 2020.

Guns don't kill people; inaction from Congress kills people.

Guns don't kill people; inaction from Congress kills people.

Photo by  Rux Centea  on  Unsplash

Photo by Rux Centea on Unsplash

This has to stop.

Nine dead and twenty-six injured in Dayton. Twenty dead and at least two dozen injured in El Paso. And that’s just in the past day.

I’m saddened and sickened by more senseless shootings. It’s time to make the sale of assault rifles and assault rifle ammo illegal. It’s time for common sense background check laws. The blood of these people is on Congress’ and the NRA's hands. 

In the 246 days (so far) of 2019, the US has had 251 mass shootings. 271 people have been killed and over 1,000 people have been injured.

On February 27, the US House of Representatives passed a bill “mandating federal criminal background checks on all gun sales, including private transactions” (Politico). The next day, they passed a bill to close the “Charleston loophole,” addressing a loophole in the law that allows some guns to be transferred by licensed gun dealers before the background check clears (CNN). These two bills have not been discussed in the Senate, and President Trump has vowed to veto the bills if they come to his desk.

How is this a political issue? To me, it’s obviously a moral issue.

How is this a political issue? To me, it’s obviously a moral issue.

It only took one mass shooting in which 49 people were killed at two mosques in New Zealand for its parliament to ban assault-style weapons (in a 119-1 vote). Kudos to New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern for acting swiftly and decisively to make sure that more New Zealanders wouldn’t meet the same fate.

So, what’s it going to take? The National Rifle Association is working to block any gun control laws, spending $5.12 million dollars on its lobbying efforts in 2017 alone.

I’ve got a crazy idea: let’s vote out every politician who has accepted money from the NRA. In Indiana, that includes both U.S. senators Mike Braun and Todd Young.

President Trump has stoked racism and encouraged violence with a streak of thinly-veiled tweets and comments over the past few weeks (years would be accurate, but it’s gotten more acute now that he’s on the re-election circuit). White nationalism is to blame. Racism is to blame. The NRA is to blame. Our elected officials who oppose common sense gun laws are to blame.

The guns that our founding fathers protected in the second amendment fired one bullet per minute. A semiautomatic AR-15 assault rifle can realistically fire 45 rounds per minute; modifications like the bump stock the Las Vegas shooter applied to kill 58 people and injure 422 with his AR-15 in 2017 allowed the gun to fire as many as nine rounds per second. Fortunately, Congress did something right and banned bump stocks back in March.

Let’s make it stop. I started a Facebook fundraiser supporting Everytown for Gun Safety. It’s the least I could do. Help draft gun control candidates to run for office. Write, email and call your elected officials and demand they stand up to the NRA.

Get set for a long, volcanic winter

Get set for a long, volcanic winter

Getting properly possessive

Getting properly possessive