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Updated: Oct 30, 2023

The elimination of the requirements by a state for both concealed and open carry means that anyone in that state has the right to carry a firearm without a license or a permit, which is outrageous. It is shameful that the law to openly carry a firearm in some states without any sensible restriction has been applauded by the NRA as “a monumental moment for the Second Amendment.”

Right now, what is sorely lacking is a clear-eyed, rational thought, along with the will, and yes, even courage, to pursue bi-partisan gun reform in earnest at the Federal level. In 1991, Chief Justice Warren Burger, a conservative and highly regarded Constitutional scholar, said this during a TV interview and in a written editorial:

"The gun lobby's interpretation of the Second Amendment is the greatest piece of fraud, I repeat the word fraud, on the American people by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime.... The real purpose of the Second Amendment was to ensure that state armies--the militia--would be maintained for the defense of the state. The very language of the Second Amendment refutes any argument that it was intended to guarantee every citizen an unfettered right to any kind of weapon he or she desires. In referring to a well-regulated militia, the Framers clearly intended to secure the right essentially for military purposes."

These state armed militias ultimately evolved into the National Guard. Indeed, these are powerful words from a top United States Judge. But words are futile without transformative action, and if little is done to truly mitigate gun violence in our nation.

Notably, more mass shooters are committing these heinous acts using semi-automatic (so-called assault style) weapons, over half of which are bought legally. According to Violence Project co-founder and president, James Densley, prior to the movie theater massacre in July 2012 in Aurora, Colorado, 78% of mass shootings were committed using at least one handgun. After that horrific event, there has been a noticeable shift. Since 2012, 44% of mass shootings have been committed using at least one semi-automatic weapon. Not coincidentally, after the 10-year Federal Assault Weapons Ban expired in 2004, semi-automatic weapons have become cheaper, more available, and more aggressively marketed, says Densley. Another jarring statistic is that in the last 10 years, these shootings have predictably become more deadly, resulting in death tolls that are more than double the average death toll for mass shootings that used another type of gun, per Louis Klarevas, a research professor at Columbia University’s Scientific Union for the Reduction of Gun Violence.

According to data from The Gun Violence Archive, a non-profit research database, the number of mass shootings in the US has risen significantly in recent years. Reports reveal an unrelenting crescendo in gun-related deaths. Remarkably, in the last three years alone, no less than 600 mass shootings have occurred in the US an average of two such shootings per day. The US is the only developed country where mass shootings have occurred every single year for the past 20 years, according to Dr. Jason Silva, Assistant professor of Criminal Justice at William Paterson University. We have the highest firearm homicide rate in the developed world — about 12 per 100,000 people. That’s 18 times the average rate of other developed countries. The abundance of guns on our soil is concerning, for every one hundred Americans, the United States has 120 guns. These are leading statistics for which no one can be proud. Indeed, the epidemic of America’s unique gun-related violence continues to yield victimization, villainization and volatility.

The above data are compelling, but futile without action. We must not look away or become overwhelmed into paralysis or worse, acceptance. Is this really the world we want to leave to our children and grandchildren to inherit? As a nation, we must and can do better. Coalition4Justice, once again, calls for a meaningful firearms control law to stem gun violence in America. We need a total ban on all assault-style weapons, high-capacity magazines, and to uphold and codify the Federal ban on rapid-fire bump stocks. Assault-style weapons were originally designed exclusively for the military, to facilitate faster, discharge and to mutilate the human body upon impact. We must exalt peace and security over weapons. The recent mass killings in California and at Michigan State University are yet other cases of the senseless destruction of human life.


Please join with us by raising your voice against gun violence in our nation. Call or email your US senators and House representatives NOW to ban fully automatic military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition feeding devices!



~Bernadine Ahonkhai, M.A., ED. D

Founder/President & CEO, Coalition4Justice

“Equity & Justice Together”



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