I was intending to write about the Georgia Republican primary, but then—just as I was walking back to my hotel—I saw the horrific news out of Uvalde, Texas. Another school shooting. Another elementary school. This time at least 18 children are dead, along with three adults. God have mercy on our broken nation and redeem our broken culture.
I’m definitely not a person to denigrate “thoughts and prayers.” I believe prayer is powerful and effective. We should pray for the victims and their families. Pray for comfort. They are enduring unimaginable pain. Pray for those who treat them and care for them. But we also need to pray for wisdom, because there are things we must do to protect our children from this awful scourge.
And that’s why I’m writing about red flag laws.
To understand the need for red flag laws, it’s important to back up and understand the different categories of American gun deaths and the tools we have to defeat gun violence. The first category is what one might call common crime. Think of gang violence. Think of domestic violence. The majority of our meaningful gun control laws are aimed at common crime. We prohibit felons from possessing guns. We prevent “straw” purchases (when one person buys for someone who’s legally prohibited from owning a gun). We escalate punishment when criminals use guns to commit crimes.