After the horrific mass shooting in Buffalo, New York that killed 10, the conversation surrounding gun safety and gun control continues. Groups calling for gun reform continue to advocate for heightened restrictions, while others, like Governor DeSantis, call for less regulation and making weapons more readily available, including the implementation of “permitless carry” laws. This week on MidPoint, Gail Powell-Cope, the Tampa Lead of Moms Demand Action, and activist and gun violence survivor, Crystal Turner, discuss their work and viewpoints on gun reform.
Listen to the full episode here:
According to the Gun Violence Archive, there have already been 203 mass shootings in 2022, with the Buffalo shooting being one of the most recent.
The shooter, a man who claimed he was radicalized by the internet, was able to purchase and use a weapon in spite of repeated red flags that would seem to make him unfit to possess a weapon. Previous law enforcement and mental health investigations failed to flag him as disqualified to purchase weapons. Moms Demand decries the lax enforcement of existing gun laws and suggests that gun safety requires a multi-pronged attack. As Powell-Cope told WMNF, beyond the increased gun control measures, communication among agencies and better methods of identifying potentially dangerous individuals are imperative. “It gets more complex and more complex,” she told WMNF.
Adding to the issue of lax gun control laws is the possibility of legislation allowing “permitless carry” which would enable individuals to purchase and carry a concealed weapon anywhere without undergoing the gun safety training measures that are currently required for a concealed carry license. These training measures include safety training, hands-on shooter training aimed at reducing the risk of reckless violence, and more.
Crystal Turner, a survivor of gun violence and an advocate for gun safety, shared her tragic story of losing her daughter to gun violence at the hands of her ex-son-in-law. She noted that it’s not a radical change that will solve this issue, but rather teaching tolerance, more mental health interventions, and more common-sense gun laws are required to reduce the record rates of gun violence in America today.