We're Organizing to Take on Guns

america-and-guns.gifTwo recent New York Times editorials (Dec. 12 and Dec. 14, 2015) have called attention to the use of "Smart trigger locks" as an important piece of fixing our national problem with gun violence. Massachusetts can lead by an Attorney General mandate for such smart trigger locks on guns sold in Massachusetts. If Massachusetts takes this step, other states have pledged to follow. Progressive Watertown has made enacting Smart Trigger Locks a chapter priority.
Sign -- and share -- the petition and below, read more about their work, by Progressive Mass member and Progressive Watertown steering committee member, Richard Marcus. To get involved, contact: progressivewatertown@gmail.com

6 people are killed by a design defect in Ford Pintos and Congress rushes forth with safety legislation.  Yet each year in the US, more than 30,000 citizens die to gun violence, and we follow a familiar pattern. A massacre, an outrage, another massacre, another outrage. Then nothing changes.
Congress not only sits on its hands, it ALLOWS it to continue. In 2005, Congress decided to indemnify gun manufacturers from product liability, removing another tool from the common sense toolbox.
Today 88 Americans will die from guns. Tomorrow, 88 more. They still don't act,  the next day another 88. That's 264 in three days! We can't wait for Congress. 
Massachusetts residents, there are steps we can take.  Our Attorneys General have a mandate over public safety, and our current AG has already exercised this mandate when she declared new regulations for online gaming. She can use that same authority to declare that all guns sold in MA must come with a smart tech gun lock that allows only the owner to use the weapon.   
A common sense approach to gun safety would be to treat guns like cars; you have to pass a course on rules, you must pass a test for usage, you must have a license to operate, you must register it, and you must have liability insurance. 
The NRA used to say you needed that for cars but not guns because cars kill more people. Except they don't...anymore. Because manufacturers and insurance companies demanded more and more automobile safety features (collapsible steering columns, seat belts, safety glass, etc.), guns kill more people each year, by a lot. 

When a gun is brought into a home it is 22 times more likely that weapon will be used to injure or kill someone who lives in that home than an intruder.  The idea that you might use that gun successfully for self defense is so rare that the FBI is hard pressed to find 100 such cases in any year.  Yet the cost to kill this fantasy is 30,000+ deaths a year. And the majority of those deaths are from suicide and accident, and this is where a Smart Tech gun lock can make a difference.  8% of the police who are killed on duty are shot with their own guns when over powered.  This would not happen with a Smart Tech gun lock.  The shootings at Newtown would not have happened because the shooter was using someone else' guns.  A child finds a gun at home and shoots another sibling, that wouldn't happen with a Smart Tech gun lock.  You don't have to search far to find examples of how this technology would save lives, so the obvious question is why not?

The majority of gun owners are very careful of storing their weapons properly, but "accidents happen".  A Smart Tech gun lock will prevent that accident. A relationship falls apart and a teenager thinks suicide is a good idea.  A Smart Tech gun lock will prevent that teenager from being able to use the gun.  Someone breaks into a house and steals the gun, but it useless because it cannot be fired.  This technology has existed for decades, only to be kept away from the public by the NRA.  In that time more than 1/2 million people have died needlessly.  The same technology that opens a phone with a finger swipe or starts your car with a push button ignition, can make us all safer.  

So don't wait for Congress to do something, and don't wait for DeLeo or Baker either. Sign and share our online petition asking the AG to introduce Smart Technology to Massachusetts and start the fight to make gun safety a reality.

There's more you can do, too. We need your help circulating this petition in your community. We have materials and will help you coordinate. Be in touch, and we'll get started. It's easy. And it's important.

Here's the link to sign and share: https://www.change.org/p/ma-attnorey-general-maura-healey-smart-tech-gun-locks-for-ma

Here's how to reach us to organize YOUR community: progressivewatertown@gmail.com

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