I believe we are all in agreement that the level of gun violence in the U.S. is both horrifying and unacceptable. We have all read the numbers of those shot and injured and we have all heard the cliches:

Let’s not talk about actions to reduce gun violence now after a mass shooting; now is the time for mourning. 

The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

No point in supporting universal background checks because it won’t stop the “bad guys” from getting guns. 

Ban bump stocks, limit the number of bullets per magazine or ban armor piercing bullets? No way! That is the beginning of the slippery slope that leads to the government coming to take your guns. 

Do we really believe that the government will come and get our guns, or is it more likely that this message is promoted by those who make a huge profit marketing and selling guns, bullets, magazines, bump stocks, and other gun-related merchandise?

The cold medication Sudafed is highly controlled because in large quantities it can be used to make methamphetamine. Sudafed is kept in a locked cabinet; you need to show a photo ID to buy it; there is a limit on how much one person can buy each month and the retailers are required to keep personal information about the buyers for a minimum of two years. Are bullets and guns as closely regulated? Not even close.

If more guns meant more safety, then the U.S. would have the lowest number of gun deaths. Does it?

No, so I would like to suggest some doable actions that have the possibility of actually reducing gun violence. Will they eliminate all gun violence? No, but let’s not let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

If these actions save hundreds … 100 … 50 … 10 … or even one life, then I believe they are worth doing.

Do-able actions:

1. Take action to support the Gun Dealers Licensing Act by: volunteering to make calls to people in other districts asking them to call their representatives and urge them to vote Yes on SB1657: The Gun Dealers Licensing Act. To learn how, contact haismanbob@gmail.com.

2. Support safe storage of guns in the home. There are storage units that open with a fingerprint. 

3. Support the sale of smart guns that can only be fired by the owner’s fingerprint. Yes, they are available and yes, they do work. 

4. Join the Be Smart campaign sponsored by Moms Demand Action and Everytown for Gun Safety and learn simple rules for gun safety in the home.

Are you willing to take action? Make an intention … chose an action … set a time and just do it. 

If not now, then when? 

If not you, then who?

Joyce Champelli, a member of Gun Responsibility Advocates, has been an Oak Park resident for over 50 years.

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