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Gun rights advocates do themselves no favors by not addressing gun violence

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This weekend’s spate of mass shootings is a depressingly familiar blot on our nation. It’s long past time for political leaders at all levels of government to work to reverse the spiraling trend. The National Rifle Association and other Second Amendment advocates should lead the way.

Let’s get a few things out of the way at the outset: Yes, the responsibility for these awful acts of murder and terrorism rests with the shooters. Yes, it’s inevitable that some mass shootings will occur in any society with private gun ownership. Yes, there are already laws on the books designed to prevent these tragedies that too often are not properly enforced.

That doesn’t justify turning our heads and looking the other way. The United States has had mass private gun ownership for its entire history. It has not regularly experienced the degree of mass, random shootings that we see today. There were only eight incidents with three or more fatalities between 1982 and 1989, an average of only one per year. We averaged 10 per year from 2017 to 2019. Events in which four people were shot more than doubled in just the past three years.

This is not merely a price of........

© Washington Post

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