Guns are everywhere. We probably won’t ever be able to get rid of them entirely, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to make sure fewer people die from them. One of the most clear-cut things we can do is to take them away from bad guys. In our Guns episode, we learned that there’s one particular group of bad guys who are responsible for a whole lot of gun deaths: people who commit domestic violence. And in Chaos, Law, and Order, we dug into how the flow of illegal guns around our country has gotten worse and is only making us all – including law enforcement – less safe.

Why Is Regulating Guns So Hard? 

In ”Chaos, Law, and Order,” we looked at what’s behind the TERRIBLE CRIME WAVE the Republicans love using as campaign rhetoric. The U.S. gun death rate hit its highest mark ever in 2021, and it turns out it’s largely a result of illegal guns that are easier than ever to traffic — thanks to Republicans that since the 1980s have steadily been passing laws to loosen permitting and regulation around firearms. 

Some argue that more access to guns makes everyone safer. Take Oklahoma State Senator Nathan Dahm, who we interviewed for our show. He wrote the nation’s first anti-red flag law, which prohibits restricting access to firearms for people who are deemed to be a danger. 

Republicans love to profess they “back the blue,” but a flood of illegal guns and no real way to stop them has only made the police’s job harder, and put their lives in greater danger.

The problem is that we’re only as safe as our states with the weakest gun laws, which allow guns to flow illegally to other states with stricter laws. New York Attorney General Letitia James laid it out clearly in 2021, “90 percent of the guns recovered in the state of New York, come from states with lax gun laws.”

The majority of people – from victims of gun violence to members of law enforcement — actually support at least some form of regulation for firearms. The conversation around guns has become so politicized that it’s nearly impossible to make progress, even on things we almost all agree on.

To learn more about what we can do to advocate for common sense gun regulations that make us all safer, visit our Take Action page.

Domestic Violence and Guns

In the U.S., a woman is shot dead by an intimate partner every 14 hours. But if that’s not concerning enough to you, let us assure you that domestic violence offenders are dangerous to everyone, not just their partners. Research has found that a felony domestic violence conviction is the single greatest predictor of future violent crime among men. According to a Bloomberg analysis, “Between 2014 and 2019, almost 60% of shooting incidents with four or more casualties involved an aggressor with a history of—or in the act of—domestic violence.”

Passing gun laws that make it easier to get guns out of the hands of domestic abusers is part of the solution – and, in fact, Congress’s recent gun control legislation does help to address this issue. But it’s not enough to just talk about guns. And, as April Ross said on our panel, it’s crucial that people in law enforcement get trained on what DV actually looks like. It isn’t always cuts and bruises. Training police to respond more effectively to DV calls would not only protect more victims but could get more potentially dangerous abusers into the court systems before they have the chance to go on a killing spree.