All of the gun violence our country has experienced, most recently in Texas and Ohio, is making an increasing number of people think twice about going to crowded venues such as shopping centers, athletic events, hotels, concerts, airports, restaurants, theaters, churches, schools and other large public gathering spots so as not to become victims of the next mass shooting. This is not good for our society or our economy.
It has gotten to the point that two publicly held national restaurant companies have added language on risk factors and violence in their disclosures with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Let us hope that this fear and rage will cause our feckless political leaders to show some backbone and stand up to the National Rifle Association and the gun lobby and advocate meaningful regulations, including rigorous background checks, red-flag laws and bans on assault rifles and oversize magazines. These reforms should also include elimination of the congressionally imposed ban on the funding of research on guns as a public health issue. We need meaningful data on what types of gun regulation are most effective.
With some public companies and other businesses identifying gun violence as a threat to their businesses and financial performance, maybe, if for no other reason, they will see meaningful gun control in their financial interests and begin channeling some political contributions to politicians who favor meaningful gun control and withholding contributions from those who oppose gun regulation. Let us hope so.
Joseph S. von Kaenel • St. Louis