After the latest mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, Congress has finally gotten serious about gun safety legislation. In a vote of 218-217, the House of Representatives, by the slimmest margin, yesterday passed a bill that would mandate all guns sold in the United States carry the warning: “Shoot Responsibly.”
Rep. Earl Scruggs (R-TN) hailed the vote as a much needed first step in making gun owners aware that with their unalienable right to bear arms comes the obligation to use their weapon appropriately. The admonition must be affixed to all packaging containing a weapon, from the smallest handgun to the largest assault rifle.
“What this tells the gun-consuming public,” said Scruggs, “is that it’s OK to use your gun for hunting, for target practice and self defense, but not to shoot up a movie theater, a nightclub or a school.”
Scruggs, who can up with the idea after watching a Heineken commercial encouraging consumers to “drink responsibly,” knew he was on to something that could pass the House.
”It took a lot of arm-twisting but we were finally able to get bipartisan agreement on my bill,” said Scruggs. “I know some people say this will not solve the problem of gun violence in our country, but it’s a start.”
For those old enough to remember, Earl Scruggs was a member of Nancy Reagan’s task force in the 1980’s war against drugs. Scruggs was credited with coming up with the highly successful campaign “Just say NO!”
The NRA, taken by surprise by the bill’s passage, has not yet weighed in on whether it will support the legislation. A spokesperson has indicated the gun group may agree to the labeling “depending on the size of the print.”
Asked for comment, Donald Trump said he would be happy to sign the bill if it ever gets to his desk.
“I am all for people using their guns responsibly,” said Trump. “You know, something like this, along with training and arming teachers, will go a long way in making our schools, and country, safer.”
The fate of a similar bill being introduced in the Senate remains uncertain.
Photo | Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson