Haverhill City Councilor Andy Vargas.
A Haverhill city councilor is calling for “common sense steps,” including expanding mental health services and researching the “effects and possible solutions to gun violence,” in response to the Orlando gay nightclub attack.
Councilor Andy Vargas outlined on his personal Facebook page Sunday four proposals, including a “standard and extensive set of background checks that applies in all 50 states;” “mandatory training/licensing—when you get your driver’s license you have to pass a test and most go to driving school. Why not to purchase gun?;” “unshackle the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), so that they can diagnose, research and put forth data and fact driven policy recommendations;” and “expand mental health services, but also make sure that mental health records are securely shared across law enforcement.”
“To start, how about allowing us to at least research the effects and possible solutions to gun violence,” Vargas wrote on Facebook in reference to a congressional prohibition on research by the CDC, dating back prior to a July, 2015, shooting attack in Charleston. S.C. and, since then, another shooting in Oct., 2015, in San Bernardino, Calif.
“These are just some quick ones,” Vargas added. “Demand action. There are things we can do that will drastically reduce the amount of times we have to watch and live the same damn movie.”
Responses to Vargas’s call vary.
“Let’s get some actual scientific research going. That is what is needed. The (National Rifle Association) blocks this because they are afraid that it will sway people toward commonsense gun control measures… and the congress (bought and sold by the NRA and like-minded groups) obey,” wrote Mark Michel.
“What would this would-be research accomplish which already which has not been done,” wrote Duncan Burns. “Isn’t there already enough anti-liberty firearm laws (thousands) already on the books? There’s a lot of bad people in this country, some of them have guns, there’s no research or law that will prevent that.” Vargas replied, “But why then, pass legislation specifically banning the research? Is there something to hide?”
“Think discussion needs to go further,” said Ellie Fishman Sternquist. “Guns…and the insidious issue of watch lists, no fly lists, if one should not be able to buy weapon, ammo. But if on list like Tsarnaev how do we stop buying stuff for bombs? I get more scrutiny buying allergy meds.”