Regulatory policy

How gun politics struggles to keep up with gun culture

When was the last time you saw a cigarette ad?

Chances are it’s been a while – tobacco ads on TV, radio, billboards, public transport and event sponsorships are all banned by law federal for decades. It’s an approach that some gun control groups and lawmakers are now seeking to deploy in response to the nation’s mass shooting crisis.

“The gun industry recognized at one point that there was money to be made by appealing to and encouraging the anti-government and increasingly extremist fringe,” the New York rep said. Jersey, Tom Malinowski, at USA Today, arguing for legislation he introduced that would push the FTC to restrict gun ads.

California banned gun ads targeting minors in July, a decision youth sports shooting organizations are challenging on First Amendment grounds. A decision is expected this week. Columnist argues law is just political grandstanding that overlooks bigger factors, like the “unparalleled cultural influence” of video games, movies and TV “to foment violence in our culture “.

The bill was part of a series of California gun control laws enacted this summer. Another priority for Governor Gavin Newsom was to curb the proliferation of “phantom guns,” including signing into law a controversial bill – inspired by a Texas abortion law – that would allow individuals to sue distributors for damages- interest of $10,000 or more per gun.

The term “ghost gun” generally refers to a firearm that has been assembled after purchase from a kit of parts. By selling unassembled parts, sellers and buyers had been able to circumvent certain gun regulations, namely the 1968 law requiring all new guns to bear a serial number. The term is also used to describe 3D printed guns.

As of Wednesday, these kits are now regulated by the same federal laws as fully assembled guns. The Trace reports that retailers had run rampant promotions to try to move as much inventory as possible before the new regulations came into effect.

According to Justice Department and FBI data, homemade firearms without serial numbers make up less than 1% of those found at homicide crime scenes. They are being identified by police at a rapidly increasing rate, but part of that could be because police are spending more time looking for them.

ProPublica looks at how the fight against phantom guns is going in Nevada and how a prolific kit maker views efforts to regulate its industry. “I don’t care if this bill passes or not,” Polymer80 owner Loran Kelley told lawmakers. “I’m just letting you know that we as Americans just won’t comply.”

Public opinion is not as defiant as Kelley. In a recent poll, the proportion of Americans who say they own a gun is on the rise, but support for gun control legislation is also growing – 71% of those polled said gun laws firearms should be stricter.

The increased endorsement of gun regulations has been largely driven by public attention to mass shootings, which account for about 1% of gun deaths in the United States. The remaining 99% of shootings (the majority of which are suicides) leave behind an unfathomable trail of trauma.

A Washington Post analysis found that between 2016 and 2020, more than 2,400 children lost a parent to gun violence in Chicago. Almost all were black or Hispanic. A 13-year-old who witnessed her father’s murder in 2016 – when she was just seven – describes the sickening anxiety that shapes her choices and haunts her dreams.

For children like her, who are present when their parents die, it’s a level of trauma that “can do more psychological damage to children than if they were shot,” the researchers say.

Of course, the trauma suffered by child victims who survive the shootings is also immense. Oronde McClain was shot in the head at age 10 in Philadelphia while running an errand for his mother. “Over the years, I saw no future for myself,” McClain wrote in the Philadelphia Inquirer. “I wish I hadn’t survived the shooting and I tried to kill myself more than a dozen times.” He channeled those feelings of anger and resentment into a documentary about survivors of gun violence, who often receive far less attention than those who are murdered.

A recent study of this imbalance found that people injured in shootings experience high rates of diagnoses of pain, mental health issues, and substance use disorders.

The public often associates the perpetrators of shootings with mental illness, rather than seeing the psychological toll of gun violence on the victims. Psychologists point out that about half of all Americans will have mental health issues at some point in their lives, and that “there is a wide gap between a clinical diagnosis and the kind of emotional disturbance that precedes many massacres. “.