Op / Ed: Now is the time to reform gun safety
By Tim Kearney, State Senator, 26th arrondissement
This area is annoying. Our country is in crisis. The guilty. Gun violence.
Far too many lives have been lost, communities shattered and families forever changed as a result of gun violence. It is not just a downtown problem or an urban problem. Our country is under attack on two fronts: the COVID-19 pandemic AND the epidemic of armed violence.
We are two weeks away from the shooting death of Delaware County native Samuel Collington, a 21-year-old Temple student who was tragically gunned down in Philadelphia after returning to campus after the Thanksgiving vacation. Last Thursday, the final funeral was for an Oxford Hill High School student in Michigan, who was one of four fatally injured in a school shooting on November 30.
As a result of these events, and many others that did not make national headlines, I have been convinced and have been for a long time that NOW is the time for gun safety reform. Preventing guns from falling into the wrong hands is the best way to fight gun violence. We cannot afford to wait.
On December 2, Governor Tom Wolf was right. He vetoed Senate Bill 565, a law that would allow anyone wishing to carry concealed firearms to do so without background checks or permits. People’s lives depend on lawmakers getting it right. I can assure you that the fight against gun violence does not improve with bad gun legislation.
Trying to create security settings is not a violation of Second Amendment law – it is actually our responsibility to do so. There have been dozens of good gun safety bills that have been introduced in the PA Senate, like SB 88, which would require background checks for every firearm purchase, or SB 581, which would deal with the safe storage of firearms and prevent them from entering. from the hands of miners. I am sad to report that none of these bills have been introduced in the Senate or have actually been considered by the majority in Harrisburg.
Often not much can be done to console someone who has lost a loved one, especially to mindless gun violence. Words can be comforting. As a legislator, I know there are words we can offer. Through the creation and passage of sensible gun laws, our words would help prevent another loss of life from guns.
We need solutions to fight this epidemic. The cure is gun safety reform.
Tim Kearney is the state senator representing the 26th District, which includes parts of Chester County.