A Nov. 22 Washington Post story gives more information about a major shooting in Louisville last April. The shooter says openly that it was extremely easy for him to buy an AR-15. This gun accounts for the appalling number of deaths by mass shootings from which this country is suffering.
Pennsylvania suffers too, but in its legislature the House has passed two pieces of legislation that offer hope. Yet they have been stopped in their tracks by the refusal of the PA Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Lisa Baker and PA Senate Majority Leader Joe Pittman to move them out of the Judiciary Committee and put them up for a vote.
House Bill 1018 is titled “Extreme Risk Protection Orders” (or “red flag” laws) and creates a legal process to temporarily remove firearms from a person seriously at risk of hurting themselves or others with a gun. Such a bill would help prevent firearm suicides, mass shootings and domestic violence.
The second bill — House Bill 714 — would close a gap in the state’s system that allows assault rifles to be bought from private sellers with no vetting to find out if the buyer is prohibited from owning a gun.
Both bills would surely save lives.
We, the people of Pennsylvania, should refuse to accept without protest that 1,900 people in the state died by gun violence last year.
I will be contacting my state senator — Frank Farry — to demand that bills like HBs 1018 and 714 that would cut those numbers should be enacted promptly.
I encourage all readers to do the same.
Margaret Yoma Ullman, Middletown Township