For too long, we have been faced with extreme polarizing rhetoric between the pro- and anti-gun stances in our nation. It is time to realize that this is not purely a black and white issue. California has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation and still faces high rates of gun violence. We need to understand that guns will not magically disappear overnight, nor will people wake up suddenly loving these weapons.
Like it or not, guns are part of our reality now. We are unable to come to a consensus about what to do with them. So, now that the Dickey Amendment has been altered, the CDC can investigate the ways our mental and physical health are affected by guns in our nation. With this data, we can make informed and educated decisions about what to do in order to respond appropriately to firearms. With this, we are no longer facing strong opinions; we are facing facts. Just like we have data on drunk driving and have ratified laws due to its impact, we can achieve something similar around this issue.
There should be more extensive background checks for everyone, including those who purchased at gun shows. There should be required gun safety classes and better regulation for gun storage.