As heartbreak and confusion spreads across the nation following the tragic Uvalde, Texas elementary school shooting, many are looking for answers as to how to tackle the ever-growing debate around gun control in this country.
Someone looking to offer answers is Sunny Hostin, co-host of The View, who on Wednesday’s show shared an urgent plea for gun violence to be treated “as a public health issue.”
“Since 2020, guns are the leading cause of death of American children in our country. Guns,” Hostin said. “It hurts me so much. And I started to think, perhaps the approach is we should think of this as a public health issue instead of a gun reform issue. Maybe that’s how we need to think about it. Because truly it’s a public health issue.”
In 2014, the U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek H. Murthy also called guns “a health care issue,” which Hostin echoed during the show’s segment. “Our surgeon general Vivek Murthy has said it over and over again, and he was chastised for it, he was made fun of because of it,” she said. “But it is a public health issue.”
Hostin went on to share her suggestions to implement more restrictions around the process to access, buy, and carry firearms. “Let’s strengthen the background checks,” she said. “Ninety percent of Americans agree with that.”
“Let’s up the age requirements and ban under 21-year-olds from purchasing,” she added. “If you can’t buy a drink, why can you buy a gun at 18? It’s freakin’ ridiculous.”
The mother and attorney continued by adding the idea of personalized smart guns, which can be fired only by verified users, to the conversation — an alternative that could reduce accidental and crime-related shootings.
“When our iPhones get stolen, you can kill them. You can’t use them again,” she said. “How about when a gun gets stolen, why can’t we make them smart guns and get rid of them? We have the technology to do that.”
She concluded by saying, “These are some of those common sense gun safety reforms that we can put in place. And I think Republicans can get on board with it.”
According to reports by the non-profit organization Gun Violence Archive, at least 213 mass shootings have taken place in America so far this year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also report a rise in gun deaths of children 14 and younger by roughly 50 percent from the end of 2019 to the end of 2020.