'To reduce gun harm, we'll need many interventions -- both innovative and familiar ones. ... It's time to move beyond prayers and platitudes to action,' writes Sam Liccardo, the mayor of San Jose, for CNNOpinion
CNN News, delivered. Select from our newsletters below and enter your email to subscribe.
(CNN)In my city, a mass shooting took the lives of nine people at a transit rail yard in May. In the three weeks since, while friends and family have grieved over their devastating loss, San Jose suffered about 15 more episodes of gun violence, according to San Jose Police Department records received by my office.
No longer do these facts startle; our nation has become desensitized to the ubiquity of gun violence. After each horror, prayers and platitudes precede what can only be described as a quiet conspiracy of congressional inaction and a distracting news cycle that anesthetizes our collective outrage. We move on.Sam LiccardoGrieving communities don't have the luxury of forgetting. We live among devastated family members, we hear the echoes of painful eulogies, and we work with traumatized friends. I joined several colleagues to propose a comprehensive set of initiatives to reduce gun-related harm in San Jose. These proposals include two measures that no other city nor state in the United States has ever tried: mandatory gun insurance to support victims, and mandatory gun fees to compensate taxpayers. As with many other Silicon Valley innovations, we intend to implement and test these ideas, learn from our mistakes, improve, iterate and provide a platform for others to scale them to benefit their own communities. First, we will require every gun owner in my city to have liability insurance, regardless of where they purchased their gun. Insurance compensates the victims of unintentional gun harm -- which annually injures 27,000 Americans and claims the lives of 500 more -- paying medical bills, rehabilitative needs, and tragically, funeral expenses. Read More A radical idea to wake up lawmakers on gun violenceInsurance also incentivizes safe gun ownership, where risk-adjusted premiums might encourage owners to take gun-safety courses, use gun safes or install child-safety locks. In the context of auto safety, insurers rewarding good driving or the use of airbags have reduced per-mile auto fatalities by 80% in five decades, saving 3.5 million lives. We need a similar approach to address unintentional firearm risk, because 4.6 million children live in a household where a gun is kept unlocked and loaded, and three-quarters of gun injuries occur at home.Second, we will require gun owners to pay a modest annual fee to compensate taxpayers for the cost of gun-related violence. Every day, our residents bear the financial burden for police officers who bravely respond to shootings, for ambulances that transport the wounded, and for trauma surgeons to save them. These direct costs of gun violence to California taxpayers -- to say nothing of the costs to victims or their families -- exceeded $1.4 billion in 2018, a sum equivalent to the entire General Fund budget of my city, America's 10th largest. Many like to point to the Second Amendment to skew the discussion on much needed gun reform. And while it protects the rights of citizens to own guns, it doesn't require the public to subsidize gun ownership. I was apathetic about gun violence -- until my 6-year-old son was killedSkeptics will say that criminals won't comply. They're right; yet that's an important feature of these proposals, not a defect. These ordinances create a legal mandate that provides police with a lawful means for seizing guns from non-law-abiding, dangerous people. The response to every officer's call for domestic violence in my city, for example, includes the question,"do you have any guns in the home?" If that gun owner lacks proof of payment or insurance, the police can seize the gun -- and dramatically reduce the lethality of the risk to the victim. Of course, the benefits can be more widespread: the majority of mass shootings in the US victimize intimate partners or otherwise involve domestic violence.These proposals won't magically stop gun violence. We can develop a vaccine to stop a single virus, but no panacea exists for an epidemic of gun violence that involves the presence of at least 300 million potential weapons in the US. Public health approaches that have saved millions of lives otherwise lost for reasons related to smoking, driving or alcohol emphasize a multifaceted approach. So too, to reduce gun harm, we'll need many interventions -- both innovative and familiar ones. In San Jose, we've proposed to bolster California's"red flag" law -- which authorizes courts to temporarily seize firearms from anyone believed to be a danger to themselves or others -- and to better inform our community to know how to use it. We will ban untraceable"ghost guns." We will crack down on straw purchasing -- such as by videotaping every gun store transaction -- to ensure that criminals can't buy guns through stand-ins. Get our free weekly newsletterSign up for CNN Opinion's new newsletter.
Join us on Twitter and Facebook Read more: CNN »
Tourists, villagers flee as wildfires ravage Turkish resorts
Wildfires are raging near Turkey’s holiday beach destinations of Antalya and Mugla and in the surrounding countryside for a fifth day
Opinion Give good people guns And take guns off bad people . Opinion This is why a country needs a leader with guts and autonomy. If US president were Modi, Putin, Xi, or Erdogan, guns would have been banned aged ago— thousands of Innocents would be alive today, and people would not be having to live in fear and mental distress. 👌
Opinion Will government officials then fill the gap for all much needed government funding such as hud housing, Ans poverty issues, state taxes and other community projects that are underfunded? Asking for the community Opinion I say politicians should be held responsible Opinion Why do legal law abiding citizens have to pay for the actions of criminals and suicidal people. 60% of gun deaths r suicides, 37% r murders of which 80% r gang related. The vast majority of this criminal violence is in cities with the strictest gun laws
Opinion Living in Europe I just can't understand the American love for guns... I'd fear for my live constantly knowing that every idiot is allowed to wear a deathly machine in publicc Opinion Hahaha!!! It’s called a right, not a privilege. Opinion 👍 Opinion I think it's restless to live in a gun crisis...
Myanmar’s Military Junta Puts Ousted Leader Aung San Suu Kyi On TrialSuu Kyi’s prosecution poses the greatest challenge for the 75-year-old and her National League for Democracy party since February’s military coup. thanks Same Suu Kyi that turned against her people when they were being persecuted while she was part of the govt? She deserves all she gets. She just like African Politicians always stand with the ppl when it's against them and turn on the ppl when it's for them. The Myanmar public & Suu Kyi didn't seem too concerned when the Rohingya genocide was happening at the hands of the military so, stiff shit!
Aung San Suu Kyi’s Trial Begins in Myanmar After February CoupThe trial of Aung San Suu Kyi, whose government was ousted in a military coup in Myanmar, began Monday on a series of criminal charges that could prevent her from returning to public life if convicted Kangaroo court.
Missouri Law Enforcement No Longer Required To Enforce Federal Gun LawsA bill signed Saturday by Missouri's governor declares all federal gun laws invalid in the state, including taxing, tracking or registering them. Missouri ranks among the 10 worst states for gun deaths, according to the Giffords Law Center. kcur kcur Jfc. These ppl are insane. kcur We elected Gomor Pyle. This is what we get. This man has very little education he has no experience to do this job. A shooting a day here. I saw a kid carrying in his underwear waist band. I see ar-15 style guns on truck seats. They steal guns from cars here. No reporting. kcur Cool. Freeze all federal spending to Missouri.
Man accidentally shoots friend in neck while showing off new gunAlec Augustino Braz, 22, accidentally discharged the weapon into his 19-year-old guest after recently receiving his license to carry a gun. Only in the USA.😡
Former NYC police commissioner warns 'we're in for a very long, dangerous summer'Bratton said the crime landscape could become even bleaker, depending on the Supreme Court's ruling in a key gun control case. Guns r bad. Mmkay
Teen Paralyzed After Friend Allegedly Shoots Him With New Gun By AccidentAccording to a fundraiser for Jemil Evans, his friend had just received his license to carry and was excited to show him his new gun. Wtf. Once we reach 100'000 gun shot related incidents per day, maybe then we could have a collective chat about gun laws? Is there a number? Can we quantify where we need to be... ... until we have that group chat? America. Home of the 'jeniuses' 💀💀