Today I happened to see a news report about the group in my state – Massachusetts – which works to eliminate gun violence. The group is the Massachusetts Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence, which like many such organizations, got started after the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook.

              In 2014, the Coalition helped pass a gun-control law which mandated background checks for all private gun transfers. In 2018 they were active in getting an ERPO law passed in our state. This year, their agenda includes “more analysis of the data collected in the aftermath of a violent gun event, better regulation of ghost guns, more protections for survivors of domestic and sexual violence and firearm industry accountability measures.” I’m quoting the group’s Executive Director.

              Gun violence is defined as the intentional attempt to injure yourself or someone else with the use of a gun. So far there have been at least 53 gun-violence injuries in Massachusetts, although this data no doubt undercounts the number of self-inflicted gun-violence events.

              Sounds like a lot of violence, right? In fact, Massachusetts happens to be more or less tied with Hawaii for the lowest rate of gun violence of all fifty states. The gun-violence rate in Connecticut is twice as high, in New Hampshire the gun-violence rate is three times than in the Bay State.

              If you want to be a legal gun owner in Massachusetts, here’s what you have to do. First, you have to be 21 years of age; none of this 18-year nonsense allowed. Then you have to apply for a license at the police department in the town where you live go through an interview with the chief who, a recent Supreme Court case notwithstanding, is still going to ask you why you want to own a gun. And if the Chief doesn’t like your answer, maybe you’ll get a gun, maybe you won’t. Or the gun you’ll be allowed to own will have to be reloaded every time you pull the trigger once.

              Before you even see the Chief you have to sit through a safety course, which is often taught by the local Chief. You’ll pay a hundred bucks to take that course, by the way, and then lay out another hundred to send your paperwork into the State where it is then run through a local and national background check.

              Now you have your gun license and you come running back to your local dealer to buy a gun. Your first choice is one of those snazzy, little military-type rifles which you’ve seen on all the John Wick flicks except you can’t buy a rifle like that in Massachusetts – they were banned in 1994 and the ban is not only still in effect, but it was updated to include additional design features back in 2019.

              You also can’t buy any new handgun, like a Glock, which doesn’t meet the state’s safety-design criteria and has been certified as being ‘childproof’ by an independent test lab. For that matter, if you want to save a buck and buy a used handgun , it has to be a piece that’s been in the state prior to 1999.

              In other words, if you want to be a legal gun owner in Massachusetts, you can’t own any of the guns which are used to commit just about every gun-violence event.

              So how come Massachusetts experiences any gun violence at all? For the simple reason that gun violence occurs throughout the United States, namely, that it’s a type of behavior committed by individuals who don’t use legally acquired or legally owned guns.

              What does the Coalition want to do about this problem? They say this: “Gun homicides and assaults are overwhelmingly concentrated in predominantly Black and Brown urban neighborhoods. These racial disparities in gun violence rates are the result of centuries of deliberate policy choices that created racially segregated neighborhoods that are underfunded and under-supported by policymakers. Gun violence is a symptom of deeper issues: racism poverty trauma and lack of opportunity.”

              So, now we’re not worried about gun violence, we’re worried about racism, poverty and all the other social and economic misfortunes which just happen to ne more common in neighborhoods where people are walking around with illegal guns.

              Take a look at the page where the Coalition defines its mission and goals. There is not one, single word that even remotely refers to the fact (note the word ‘fact’) that at least half, if not more of the gun-violence events which occur every year in Massachusetts happen to be crimes.

              Now take a list of the more than 100 organizations which have teamed up with the Coalition to support their work. There is not one, single organization on this list which happens to represent the cops.

              Maybe I don’t get it. Maybe I’m just too dumb to understand anything about gun violence because I don’t understand how you can mobilize against any threat to community safety unless you include the public agencies funded to protect all of us from a particular threat.

              I must be missing something here, right?