On Wednesday, former Republican Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee wrote an op-ed in Forbes calling for a number of common-sense gun safety policies, including passing Red Flag laws, background checks on all sales, secure storage requirements, banning assault weapons and high capacity magazines, and increased legal accountability of the firearms industry.
Frist wrote the op-ed in response to the school shooting in Nashville just over a month ago which killed three nine-year-old students and three school staff members. The piece comes just a week after a Fox News nationwide survey confirmed that the vast majority of Americans support a variety of measures to strengthen the nation’s gun safety laws.
I am a gun owner and a hunter. I have always and will continue to strongly support Second Amendment rights. I had a 12-year Senate career where I consistently backed responsible gun ownership. But times are different today – misuse of guns has grown much worse, substantially worse – with markedly more death and tragedy in our neighborhoods, than even a decade ago. This demands a fresh look, free of past biases and partisan tones which have ruled so much of our earlier discussions and debate. These honest revaluations should be carried out in local communities, in homes and at schools, civic gatherings, and places of faith, and likely will include changes in the larger policy framework in response to these new tragic realities.