Kyle’s (Second) Hot Take On Gun Violence In America

Image from CNBC

I didn’t want to write this post. Nothing I say here will do anything to change the past or alter the course of the future. No one’s mind or vote will be changed, and no one’s bullets will be stopped.

But I’m going to write this anyway, because frankly I’m too pissed off not to.

Back in 2018, I wrote my original take on gun violence in America in the wake of a shooting at a Madden tournament in Florida. I ran through the sickening numbers, discussed the positions of both major political parties on the issue, laid out my thoughts, addressed some common counterarguments, and closed with the following sentence:

“It’s time for a change, America. What that change winds up being, I leave to you.”

Four years later, in the wake of mass shootings at a Buffalo supermarket, a church in Laguna Woods, California, and an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, it’s clear that the change I asked about then has been no change at all. The numbers look worse now than they did then:

Right now, we’re also an outlier in that many countries have taken action in the wake of such tragedies, while around here we just wring our hands (which is not easy to do when we’re also sitting on them), offer scripted thoughts and prayers, and wait for the next bullets to fly. It’s time to stop talking and start acting.

So what do we do? Given that we’ve done nothing so far, I think my wishlist from 2018 is still a good starting point:

“I think assault rifles and large-capacity magazines have no place in a peaceful society, and they should be banned.”

“I think anyone that wants to own a gun should attend a comprehensive safety course and be subject to a comprehensive background check and mental-health screening, which better ensures that gun operators are both fit and able to use them properly. In fact, I’d be willing to take a page from Japan’s book and require that gun owners repeat these tests every few years.”

“I think we need rigorous national standards for gun ownership requirements. I believe this makes sense from a bipartisan perspective, as it means a) that we know that any gun owner in America went through the same process to get it, and b) it makes firearm reciprocity laws simpler, as states no longer have to deal with competing standards.”

“I think we should treat gun violence as a public health issue, and look deeper into the reasons why people commit these atrocities. I don’t think people just wake up one day and decide to kill indiscriminately, and instead feel that these acts are often the end result of untreated underlying issues. We need to get a sense of what these issues are, and see what sorts of countermeasures are most effective.”

Some of these are admittedly broad and vague, but there are concrete steps our leaders can take right now to start moving forward on these ideas. For example, H.R. 8 would “require background checks on all gun sales,” closing current loopholes that let unlicensed sellers avoid background checks on sales at shows or online. If legislators are serious about looking for “commonsense gun laws,” I think H.R. 8 more than qualifies.

I’ll throw a few more wishes out there:

  • Let’s put an end to the either/or baloney that certain politicians (especially on the right) lean on in times like these, and let’s attack this problem from every possible angle. People like Texas governor Greg Abbott and Georgia congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene like to focus on mental health issues when discussing gun violence, and either ignore or reject gun control as a possible solution. Even if we set aside the dangers of “bluntly linking mental health to gun violence,” there’s an underlying fallacy at play here: We don’t have to do one thing or the other—we can do both! We can—scratch that, we should—take steps to limit the number and availability of firearms and take steps to address our nation’s mental-health crisis. A huge problem like the one we’re facing now requires a comprehensive strategy to address it, and every option should be on the table.
  • It is time to toss the filibuster into the dustbin of history once and for all. Gun control is just the latest in a long line of important issues that have been stymied and stonewalled despite being supported by a majority of senators and the population. Yes, I’m aware that this action has ramifications beyond this issue, and I’m willing to accept them because the alternative is a do-nothing, useless legislative body that serves no purpose, holds no trust, and adds to the rising tensions instead of being the ‘cooling saucer’ it claims to be. Is it time to make the United States Senate a place of action again, where senators go on record for their convictions and those in the minority must hone their arguments and find ways to change the hearts and minds of their colleagues and constituents. If House Wolffort can find a way to move forward on tough decisions, so can Washington.

At this point, doing nothing means that we’re okay with the blood-stained status quo, and I am not okay with that. If someone wants your vote this November, you should demand that they have a good answer to this question, because allowing this level of violence to be inflicted upon our fellow citizens on a daily basis is simply unacceptable. We (and the people that represent us) need to stop cowering behind our thoughts and prayers, and instead take a stand and start making moves to make this better.

I’m not asking for change this time; I’m demanding it. Do NOT make me write this post again in 2026.

2 thoughts on “Kyle’s (Second) Hot Take On Gun Violence In America

  1. I don’t know what to say, Kyle, other than “thank you.”

    The Buffalo shooting was right in my (metaphorical) backyard, and it’s absolutely horrific to think it was only the start of a chain of horrific events to occur this week.

    But yes, part of the issue is that it always boils down to guns versus mental health problems, when the reality is, as you said, we should be taking steps to address both. Instead it’s thoughts and prayers and statements like, “Oh, I got it – let’s blame video games!”

    I hope we don’t have meet back here in 2026 for this again either, friend. Or any sooner or later, for that matter.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. You described all of my thoughts here in this article. These recent shootings have really opened my eyes to how much our Founding Fathers screwed us over when it came to the 2nd amendment. Regardless of how many people have been killed due to mass shootings, there are still thousands of people who will defend owning an AR-15 or such weapons because it’s their constitutional right (um, hello… can’t you use a damn shotgun to defend your house?) That being said, I don’t think “banning guns” will get anywhere but in reality, that’s not what anyone wants to do from what I’m seeing. The majority of us just want stricter laws so we don’t have to see the tragedies that take place, such as those in Uvalde or Buffalo. Your suggestions are spot-on, Kyle. It’s honestly so depressing that you’ve had to make a second one of these, especially since nothing has changed since the last time you did. Let’s make this one the last one.

    Liked by 1 person

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