As the rate of gun violence dramatically increased during the 1980s and early 1990s, American children paid the price. From 1984 to 1994 the firearm death rate for 15-19 year olds increased 222% while the non-firearm homicide death rate decreased almost 13%. While deaths from gunfire have been decreasing since 1994, firearms are still expected to overtake motor vehicle accidents as the leading cause of death among American children.
Cars do kill children: so do poorly-made toys and swimming pools and dozens of common household items. But of all the thousands of products with which children have contact, only one - firearms - are completely exempt from consumer protection regulations. Back in 1972, when the Consumer Product Safety Commission was created, the gun lobby's political power ensured that the one product that is specifically designed to cause death and injury remained exempt. Thus, most handguns have so little trigger resistance that they can be fired by a three-year old, while many guns fire when dropped on the floor. Many popular semi-automatic handguns lack magazine safety disconnects or load indicators, meaning that children have no way of knowing that a gun that appears unloaded actually has a bullet in the chamber.
So something like trigger locks would be a no-brainer, huh?
House suspends trigger lock requirement
Action follows Wednesday's vote barring Justice from enforcing the law
Updated: 6:01 p.m. ET June 29, 2006
WASHINGTON - The House on Thursday passed legislation that would suspend a new requirement that gun dealers provide a trigger lock with every handgun they sell.
The development came on the heels of a 230-191 vote late Wednesday to block the Justice Department from enforcing the trigger lock law. The vote came during debate on a spending measure funding the department's budget.
The Senate had voted 70-30 to impose the trigger lock sales mandate, which proponents said would prevent gun accidents and save lives, especially those of children who discover a parent's handgun.
A foe of the amendment, Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-N.Y., said that the $5 to $7 that a trigger lock costs is a small price to pay for preventing some of the 30,000 gun deaths that occur in the United States each year.
Makes sense to me. How about you, Mr. Garrett?
Project Vote Smart's Synopsis:
Vote to adopt an amendment that prevents funds in the Commerce Department FY2007 Appropriation bill from being used to enforce a law requiring guns be sold with locks on guns. (Sec. 3014 (f))
Representative E. Scott Garrett voted YES.
Friggin $5 trigger locks. And $26k from the NRA is all it took. That, and a complete disregard for our kids' safety.