In case you missed Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley's article about what he's done to reduce gun violence in Maryland, I've excerpted and linked it below and suggest taking the time to read the entire piece.
Why? Because O'Malley avoids the typical trap that many people writing about gun violence or advocating for gun violence fall into - accepting the gun lobby's frame of "rights being infringed."
Instead O'Malley focuses on saving lives and the consequence of failing to do so. He takes a "problem solving" approach to gun violence and focuses on concrete actions that can lead to concrete results.
More discussion below the squiggely diggely.
What O'Malley has done is to write about gun violence in a entirely different context than the typical gun violence debate:
Between 1999 and 2009, the people of Baltimore achieved the greatest reduction in crime of America's largest cities. Statewide in Maryland, we have driven violent crime and homicide down to three decade lows. There are 426 more people alive today in our state, because of the actions we have chosen to take together.That frame instantly creates a sense of urgency and a powerful legitimacy to act. Anyone arguing against this frame is in the position of defending why they would not want to save lives. This frame puts the gun violence prevention advocates on offense and the pro gun supporters on defense.
This is important, life-saving progress, but there is more that we can and must do. Lives are at stake.
Yesterday, our State Legislature passed common sense gun safety reforms. Strategies that work. Strategies which have been endorsed by Chiefs of Police, hunters, clergy, parents, advocates for public health, advocates for victims of domestic violence, citizens from all walks of life.
The typical response from pro gun advocates is "more laws won't save any lives." And that's where gun violence advocates want the debate to be — what can be done to save lives: "yes, these laws can reduce gun violences" versus "no these laws won't do anything."
The argument that more laws won't accomplish this goal is untenable and can be easily defeated with data and examples of states with strong gun laws versus those without. The idea of rights being infringed is gone and not part of this discussion.
Beyond the logic of this frame, on a gut level it is also a winning argument - don't you want to try everything possible to save lives?
All of us have a role to play in transforming these instances of unspeakable loss and tragedy into action that saves lives.I suggest reading the entire article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...
While we may differ on which specific reforms are the best way forward, surely we can all agree that there are ways to protect the lives of brave police officers without infringing on the traditions of hunters; and that there is more we can do to improve mental health treatment and data sharing; and that investing to upgrade school security is common sense.