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Auchter's Art: Asking the guy in charge

John Auchter
Michigan Radio

Let's be honest, it wasn't easy or comfortable or even appealing (as strange as that may sound now) when laws were passed and enforced to prevent people from smoking in public areas. The pushback was enormous — can you imagine a bar where people weren't allowed smoke? Are you kidding me?! Or on airplanes when smokers are super-stressed and need a cigarette to calm their nerves? It'll never happen.

And yet, it did. There was overwhelming evidence that these measures would save lives and reduce injuries. It was a national health concern. So it was the responsible thing to do to pass laws and enforce the laws even though it was difficult.

Now I am absolutely not saying that it is the exact same situation with guns and gun violence in America. But in the context of health and safety, it is quite similar. There are deaths and burdensome costs that we as a country endure year after year because of the inertia of the status quo. And seemingly there is nothing we can do about it.

But there is. We can enforce existing laws to remove firearms from homes with reports of domestic violence. We can augment existing laws to ensure that all legal guns are registered. And we can certainly pass new laws to ensure that adults are held responsible when guns they own find their way into the hands of minors. And we'll look back in a few years and say, yep, that wasn't easy, but it was sure worth it.

John Auchter is a freelance political cartoonist. His views are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of Michigan Radio, its management, or its license holder, the University of Michigan.

Since 1995 John has created Michigan-based editorial cartoons for the Grand Rapids Business Journal, the Grand Rapids Press, and MLive Newspapers. His cartoons are currently featured at MichiganPublic.org and are syndicated to newspapers through the Michigan Press Association. John is an active member of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists. You can view an archive of his editorial work and other cartoons at Auchtoon.com.
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