Gun Violence in the United States is a human rights crisis. The sheer volume of people killed each year is staggering. In 2017, firearms caused an average of 108 deaths every day and over 133,000 more are injured. The disproportionate impact of gun violence on communities of color, women, and children is particularly troubling. African Americans are ten times more likely to be the victims of gun homicides than white Americans. Women are 16 times and children are 13 times more likely to be killed by a gun than their counterparts in other developed countries. By mandating universal background checks on ALL firearm sales, we can close loopholes, limit threats to public safety and ensure that guns do not fall into dangerous hands. Most states still do not require a background check on gun sales between private parties and, as a result, one out of almost every four firearm sales are conducted without any background check whatsoever. Sates with universal handgun background checks have lower levels of gun violence, with almost half as many women killed in gun-related violence by an intimate partner and half as many police officers killed on duty.
Waiting periods are vital, particularly in the prevention of gun violence against women leaving abusive partners. No one with a history of family violence needs access to a gun. The presence of a gun in a situation that involves domestic violence increases the likelihood of a woman being killed by nearly five times. We can uphold the 2nd amendment while ensuring the protection of fundamental human rights- including the right to life, the right to education, to the security of person and the right to be free from discrimination.