During a March 7th American Bar Association (ABA) conference in Philadelphia, speakers described “litigation” and “public health” appeals as strong avenues for securing more gun control.
According to the ABA Journal, Jonathan E. Lowy, director of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence’s Legal Action Project, talked of how The Project has used litigation to close down gun shops, force manufacturers “to improve gun safety, and to challenge laws like the Florida law that barred physicians from talking about guns with their patients.”
The Center for Injury Research and Policy at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Jon S. Vernick discussed using the public health angle. He described gun violence as an “unacceptable public health burden” and suggested law is “a public health tool” that can be used to correct the burden. This includes using “strong licensing requirements and regulation of gun shops” to reduce gun trafficking.
Ironically, Chicago has strong licensing requirements and regulation of gun shops – both of which have made it hard for law-abiding citizens to get the guns they need to defend themselves. Meanwhile gang members have had no problem getting the guns they need to shoot unarmed citizens on the streets of the Windy City.
Other speakers at the ABA conference claimed the Supreme Court decision District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) actually opened the door to more firearm regulation. Former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell (D) argued that gun control proponents will not succeed until they “take a cue from gun rights advocates, such as the National Rifle Association, and become ‘single issue voters.'”
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