What if Washington protected kids against gun violence?
where we are today
Firearms are the leading cause of death for children and teens in the U.S. and 62% of child and teen gun deaths are homicides.
WHERE WE NEED TO BE
A society without gun violence and with zero senseless deaths of kids and teens.
HOW WE GET THERE:
Let’s develop a plan for gun safety with the same sense of urgency we used to tackle COVID vaccines. More than 100 Americans die from guns every day. Firearms are the leading cause of death for children and teens ages in the U.S. and 62% of child and teen gun deaths are homicides. Just this year, more than 37,000 people have been killed by gun violence — including 879 teens and 170 children. Each one of those deaths was preventable.
But Washington hasn’t attacked this issue with the urgency required. We need a comprehensive approach that leverages all our tools to stop gun violence: legal, procedural, financial, cultural. As Senator, I’ll support the March For Our Lives plan to reimagine public safety. In addition I’ll use a strong sense of urgency, will, and creativity to take action on the following evidence-backed steps for stopping gun violence.
Step one: Fund medical research and uplift the knowledge of doctors and the mental health community.
- Empower the CDC to research gun violence as a national epidemic and acknowledge the deadly intersection of white supremacy and guns.
- Require a research report-back to Americans and Congress every three months. In no more than one year, the CDC should offer a proposal on how we stop guns from being the #1 killer of kids and teens.
- Scale research investments like California’s recent state-funded firearms-violence research center, on the Sacramento campus of the University of California, Davis.
- Stop gag laws that prevent doctors from talking about this in pediatric visits and empower community engagement.
- Ensure there is equitable access to mental health care services for all Americans.
Step two: Require smart technology inside every gun.
- Require the development of “smart” guns with biometrics and data just like your mobile phone. Guns can turn off within a 15 radius of schools or large gatherings unless you have certain permissions and additional licensing. Recall guns without smart tech and re-issue with smart tech.
Step three: Support police participation in community safety plans.
- Support community planning and implementation of comprehensive community safety plans that include prevention and intervention.
- Consider examples such as Minneapolis Action to Prevent Youth Violence, which led to a 62% reduction in youth gunshot victims, a 34% reduction in youth victims of crime, and a 76% reduction in youth arrests with a gun from 2007-2015.
Step four: Reorient gun laws to focus on safety.
- Give the Consumer Product Safety Commission the power to oversee firearms.
- Overturn the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which shields gun manufacturers and sellers from civil claims brought by victims of gun violence. People should be able to sue manufacturers and retailers that irresponsibly issued guns with a penalty of life in prison for CEOs and Boards that oversee the supply of guns used to kill people.
- Ban Assault Weapons and High-Capacity Ammunition Magazines.
- Disarm All Domestic Abusers.
- Eliminate Right to Carry.
Step five: Raise the standards to legally own a gun.
- Institute a universal age limit of 21 and require a three-part licensing exam: written, modernized background checks, and a practical exam which you need to train for. Require regular renewals, just like your driver’s license.
- Recall and reissue guns with “smart” technology that includes biometrics and data just like your mobile phone. (See step two.)
- Require liability insurance for gun owners (similar to in San Jose), but with per-gun limits and coverage that is costly enough to be a deterrent.
- Enforce no guns for domestic abusers, no exceptions. Every month, an average of 70 women are shot and killed by an intimate partner.
Step six: Leverage financial pressure to curb gun lobby power.
- Divest public pensions from companies that manufacture or invest in firearms.
- Hold this $20 Billion industry accountable starting with the three biggest companies: Smith & Wesson Corp. Sturm, Ruger & Co., and Sig Sauer, along with their investors: Vanguard and Blackrock.
Step seven: Create cultural pressure to keep lawmakers focused on ending gun violence.
- Create a highly visible sculpture outside Congress commemorating lives lost and avoid this senseless violence becoming just a statistic.