By: MPAC Policy Bureau
Dr. Preston J. Phillips was an Orthopedic Surgeon who dedicated his life to alleviating pain and suffering for his patients in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Sadly, his family, friends and colleagues will live the rest of their lives suffering and in pain because the preceding sentence is in past tense. He was gunned down by his patient along with three others.
While it broke the collective heart of our nation, it should come as no surprise. In fact, it would have been a surprise should a mass shooting not have occurred that day.
As the Washington Post reported, there had been 232 mass shootings this year before this tragedy. There have been 20 since Uvalde and there hasn’t been a week this year where we have not suffered at least four mass shootings.
To put that first number into perspective, there have only been 156 days so far this year.
Year after year, Capitol Hill has sought to address the issue and this week the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing to consider the “Protecting Our Kids Act”. It’s a combination of legislation that has already been introduced and should it pass, the package would, among other reforms:
The House Judiciary Committee voted in favor of advancing the legislation with all Democrats voting in favor and all Republicans voting against. As drafted, it is unlikely that it gets to President Biden’s desk to be signed into law as it would require 60 votes in the Senate before final passage.
As was once said by a civil rights leader “I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired”.
How many more mass shootings and acts of murder committed by domestic terrorists can we no longer say “I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired” before we demand that access to mental heath should not be more difficult than access to military grade weapons?
How many more mass shootings and acts of murder committed by domestic terrorists can we no longer say “I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired” before we demand that a background check routinely required for the most basic of jobs should be required before being able to purchase military grade weapons on the spot?
While the solutions proposed in the “Protecting Our Kids Act” will not prevent such acts occurring in the future, they may limit the frequency and mortality. Given that, it is unconscionable that there has been complete opposition to most common sense reforms to existing gun laws.