President Bill Clinton signed a bill into law on this date.
Like many new laws, this one brought out public debate on both sides of the issue. Voices still shout out on occassion on the topic.
It’s my right! – One viewpoint yells on the airwaves.
This saves innocent lives! – Others counter.
The formal name of the law I’m referencing is Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act.
The violent incident which injured the man the bill is named after – and others, including President Ronald Reagan – occured on March 39, 1981.
As you can see by an inspection of the dates, this was not a hasty, rushed piece of legislation. Introduced in the House of Representatives in February 1993, the bill is intended to prevent convicted criminals, drug addicts, and diagnosed mentally ill indiviuals from purchasing firearms. Much discussion of waiting periods and background checks filled the committee meetings and floor debate.
Is this a perfect solution?
No, read the police section of any large metropolitan newspaper and you’ll find record of gunshots fired or weapons shown to threaten.
Should we repeal it to unrestricted ownership?
That’s not a solution in a country as large and densely populated as the United States.
This leaves us with compromise. Give and take. Accomodation. Adjustment.
I leave you with the idea that citizens should encourage lawmakers to practice that most rare of attributes – Common Sense – when writing and passing legislation.