- president Trump
Halt the Gun Violence Epidemic Today by Declaring a National State of Emergency!
Americans are in the midst of a gun violence epidemic. The National Emergencies Act gives the president the power and responsibility to declare a state of emergency when the government lacks the procedures and capacity to address an unchecked natural or man-made public health epidemic.
How much more must Americans endure? Domestic military installations have been attacked; media members have been murdered on camera. Shootings have recently occurred at church prayer meetings, in movie theaters, restaurants, department stores, offices, factories, schools, colleges, national parks and while driving along major US highways.
We ask that you declare a state of emergency to protect us from the gun violence epidemic now. The public space has become Russian roulette--every place is a potential risk. When the H191 flu hospitalized 20,000 people and killed 1,000, you used your power and declared a state of emergency.
Yearly, The Gun Violence Epidemic Causes: [i]
10,000 homicides, 70,000 wounded, 18,000 suicides,
2,000 accidental deaths
Costs of the Gun Violence Epidemic:
Annual: $229 Billion, Each Homicide = $441,000,
Hospitalization = $583,000
The Government cannot stop the Gun Violence Epidemic without information:
Under existing law, states do not have to report prohibited gun purchasers to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS)— In many states 90% of mental health records are missing.[ii]
—Millions of people with mental disabilities have purchased guns. We do not know who they are. Nor do we know who has developed mental illness since buying a gun.
—Guns sold at gun shows, over the internet or through private sales do not require a background check. These represent 40% of the guns sold,[iii] and we do not know if these people should be prohibited purchasers
Countries with strong gun laws and our national statistics show "law- abiding" citizens cause most gun violence. Only 7% to 8% of US gun homicides are gang based -- most mass shooters are legal gun owners. [iv]
Rather than attracting gun crime "gun-free zones" repel it. That is why courts and the headquarters of all major U.S. corporations (including the NRA) ban guns.
Remedy: Declare a National State of Emergency and, among other things, consider:
1. The requirements and standards for people to be carrying guns outside their homes.
2. That parents who own guns be held accountable as accomplices for gun violence their children cause with the parent's guns.
3. That gun trafficking be made a felony to reduce the gun violence epidemic in the inner cities.
4. Appointing a commission to address this epidemic, such commission to exclude members of the gun lobbies, who profit from the epidemic they’ve caused and do everything they can to keep it going.
Clearly, our government does not have the resources, procedures and data to stop the next Aurora, Charleston and Chattanooga.
President Trump: Use Your Power Today to Halt the Gun Violence Epidemic. Declare a National State of Emergency!
[ii] Feasibility Study Size, Scope and Costs of Projects Required to Close Information Gaps In Reporting Events Legally Prohibiting the Ownership and Purchase of Firearms. Prepared for the Illinois State Police November 2, 2009
- president Trump
Dear President Trump
On the morning of December 31, 2006 a Chicago policewoman came to my door to tell me that my son had been murdered the night before while having dinner with his wife in a restaurant in San Diego. My son, who had been a combat medic with Special Forces, had survived the most dangerous places imaginable but he needlessly lost his life as a consequence of the gun laws we have.
His killer turned out to be a paranoid schizophrenic who, despite having been in a mental institution two times, was legally able to buy the gun he used to kill him. When I could function again my only goal was to prevent others from losing loved ones to guns. I closed my strategic marketing practice and founded National Gun Victims Action Council.
The reality is that we have been forced to live under a gun violence epidemic which puts each of us —and our loved ones—at risk every time we leave our homes. Each year there are 10,000 gun homicides, 70,000 people wounded, 18,000 gun suicides and 2,000 deaths from mostly preventable gun accidents. Annually, $279 billion of our tax dollars are spent on the gun violence epidemic. If these facts and this reality do not scream out that there is an epidemic what possibly could?
There is a national sense of helplessness and a resigned acceptance that there is nothing that can be done until the legislators do something. But, everyone knows—including you President Trump—that the legislators, despite any horror that occurs, will not do anything to curb the epidemic. For them, there is no tipping point.
After Charleston, the 14th mass murder you have had to speak about during your presidency, you said “This type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries and it is in our power to do something about it. I say that recognizing the politics in this town foreclose a lot of those avenues right now”
But it cannot be left there Mr. President. Neither you, nor we, can accept that we are helpless and can do nothing when, in fact, there is something you can do to halt the gun violence epidemic immediately. Declare a National State of Emergency using your powers under the National Emergencies Act to do so due to a natural or man-made cause.
Significantly, a principal requirement for declaring a state of emergency is when the government cannot stop it. And, because the government lacks the data needed to deal with the gun violence epidemic—even if it wanted to stop it—it could not.
We do not know who the dangerous people are who have guns. We cannot prevent the dangerous people from acquiring them. We do not know which people who have guns have become mentally disabled. We are utterly in the dark and unable to take effective action.
This is not accidental but it is a great irony. The very act of the NRA, pro-gun extremists and intimidated politicians setting up this impossible “no data” condition is what gives you the authority to declare a state of emergency. Then you can see that effective steps are taken to halt the gun violence epidemic and prevent its recurrence.
Please do not let the murdered victims, whose lives have been taken— like my son's— to have died in vain. Let their loss be the fuel for a protective shield so others do not have to lose children, parents, spouses or any loved one to the on-going gun violence epidemic.
With the greatest sincerity,
Elliot Fineman CEO and Founder
National Gun Victims Action Council
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