Dr. Durston is the president of Americans Against Gun Violence, one of several organizations whose goal is the reform of our national gun laws.
Since Dr. Durston’s last appearance at a HAGSA meeting nearly two years ago, the death toll from mass shootings in the U.S. has done nothing but gotten worse. Indeed, as he pointed out, records have fallen right and left, largely due to the increasing use of military-style assault rifles. Nevertheless, as Dr. Durston also told us, the shooting death toll is really dominated by handguns rather than rifles: only about one percent of the average ninety-nine daily killings are with assault rifles. Although mass shootings (considered by the FBI to be more than four deaths in a single incident) make for big news, it is the quotidian total that accounts for most of the bloodshed.
He made a few other points, among them that the National Rifle Association (NRA), far from favoring sensible regulation of firearms, instead regards any tightening of the law as an assault on the Second Amendment. And in fact they are pushing Congress to loosen things up even more by legalizing gun “silencers” (suppressors) and permitting nationwide concealed-carry recognition.
Finally, Dr. Durston expressed outrage at the expressions of “thoughts and prayers” in lieu of meaningful action by our leaders. In thrall to the NRA, they cannot bring themselves, for fear of losing their elected positions, to do anything to actually improve the situation.
We can help though, by joining Americans Against Gun Violence and adding to their clout. Check it out: http://aagunv.org/ and get involved!
Thank you, Bill Durston for your slides, for your speech, and for your passion. We hope to hear from you again soon.
Report prepared by Roger Zabkie
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