Martin O’Malley, the former governor of Maryland who is seeking Democratic nomination for the presidency, spoke out about gun control in an opinion article published by the Boston Globe.
O’Malley, who has a history of being critical of how guns are used in the U.S. dating back to 2000, according to On The Issues, pointed to the 204 domestic mass shootings that have happened during the first 204 days of 2015. He advocated “comprehensive gun safety laws to save lives,” and outlined his ideas for gun control.
The former governor wrote that the federal government should strictly regulate the sale of guns and prevent unlicensed private individuals from selling firearms, including those who sell guns at gun shows. He also said that assault weapons should not be available for purchase and a national gun registry should be established “to help law enforcement track down dangerous criminals.”
O’Malley pointed to the success in his own state. “Our goal in Maryland, as it should be for the nation, was to reduce mass shootings and keep guns out of the hands of criminals,” he wrote.
“This wasn’t easy, and we didn’t get it done on the first try. It took six years — from 2007, when I first supported an assault weapons ban, until 2013 — for us to get this done.”
He added that the same fight was happening in Congress and blamed high-dollar lobbying for the lack of reform. “With millions of dollars from the gun industry and an astronomical number of lobbyists, the National Rifle Association has been able to silence members of Congress who privately support these reforms. Their fear of retribution has led them to block even the most basic gun safety reforms,” he wrote.
O’Malley concluded that the deaths of those who fell victim to gun violence were preventable and called for action on the issue. “It’s not enough just to ‘have the conversation.’ It’s time for actual leadership and action.”