To save people from gun violence, close loopholes in the law

A nation is acting irrationally when it allows, as police allege, a 21-year-man to walk into a store and legally buy a high-powered rifle that he will use to massacre parade goers.

SHARE To save people from gun violence, close loopholes in the law
Flowers sit on a curb near a child’s bicycle as members of the FBI’s Evidence Response Team Unit investigate near Central Avenue and Green Bay Road in downtown Highland Park on Tuesday, one day after a gunman killed at least seven people and wounded dozens more by firing an AR-15-style rifle from a rooftop onto a crowd attending Highland Park’s Fourth of July parade,

Flowers sit on a curb near a child’s bicycle as members of the FBI’s Evidence Response Team Unit investigate near Central Avenue and Green Bay Road in downtown Highland Park on Tuesday, one day after a gunman killed at least seven people and wounded dozens more by firing an AR-15-style rifle from a rooftop onto a crowd attending Highland Park’s Fourth of July parade,

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Once, musketeers used loopholes in forts to defend themselves. Now, shooters use loopholes in gun laws to savagely attack others with insanely powerful weapons.

It’s time to close the modern-day loopholes.

Today’s loopholes allow mass assassins to legally buy high-powered weapons of war to spread bloody mayhem. At Highland Park’s Fourth of July Parade, such a weapon was used to mercilessly kill seven people and injure dozens of others.

Today’s loopholes allow people with criminal histories to illegally carry firearms, which they use in outbursts of violence. Most guns police recover at crime scenes were not legally owned by the people who had them.

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Today’s loopholes make it unnecessarily difficult for authorities to trace crime guns and confirm the identities of Firearm Owner’s Identification card holders. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is required, at the behest of the gun lobby, to keep records of gun sales on paper instead of digitally.

Today’s loopholes make it easy to buy high-powered weapons of war at a young age and to buy numerous guns. A limit should be placed on how often someone can purchase a gun. The legal age to buy high-powered weapons of war should, at a minimum, be raised to 21. Even better, raise it to 25.

A nation is acting irrationally when it allows, as police allege, a 21-year-old man to legally buy a high-powered rifle that he will use to massacre unsuspecting paradegoers.

The size of the illegal gun market in this country is unjustifiable. So is the unfettered access to so many guns in so many places. Other advanced nations don’t allow it, and — surprise — they don’t suffer our daily barrage of shootings and killings.

Reasonable voices in the debate over how to address gun violence have been drowned out by those who offer no answers, other than to vociferously toss out meaningless phrases that merely tie discussion into knots. People who refuse to search for a way to reduce gun violence share in the responsibility for the blood on the streets.

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The shooting doesn’t stop. After 10 people were killed by gunfire in Chicago over the Fourth of July weekend and at least 62 others were wounded, three people were killed at a block party in Gary, Indiana, on Tuesday, and seven were wounded. Nationwide, there were 10 more mass shootings just from Monday afternoon to Tuesday evening, according to the Gun Violence Archive.

Some gun rights activists say it’s time to put the Highland Park shooting behind us and, in effect, prepare to move on to the next one.

That’s unconscionable.

Close the loopholes.

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