This morning we are startled by yet another senseless tragedy in this country. The story is currently still developing but as it stands right now, a gunman (with a second man in custody) opened fire at an elementary school in Connecticut. Yes, you read that correctly an elementary school. Reports are stating that 18 children have perished alongside 8 adults but that number may be rising. The thoughts of those families whose lives are forever changed is heartbreaking, but what’s worse, is our governments ineptitude at creating thoughtful gun laws to prevent another pointless massacre.
Today White House Secretary Jay Carney addressed this morning’s tragedy by stating “today is not the day to debate gun laws”. Really, then tell me what day is the right day? When you have 18 children (and countless others) whom lay dead because of gun violence, I can think of NO better time than now to begin a conversation on gun control. This is NOT about politics it is about people—18 children who have been robbed of a future. 27 people who have been robbed of birthdays, marriages, families, holidays, and so on.
Columbine was the first widely publicized gun massacre in the US. Since then according to FBI Firearm stats the gun violence numbers are dropping nationwide, but on the rise in several states including Connecticut, Delaware, Virginia, New York, Virginia, Mississippi, Missouri, Arizona, New Jersey and New Hampshire. Yet, there are several states including the infamous “State Your Ground” state of Florida who don’t release their gun related incidents. I wonder why?
Several Mayors of major cities have banned together to fight gun violence in their cities and cities across the country. Mayors Against Illegal Guns which is chaired by NYC Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Massachusetts Mayor Thomas Menino have put together a set of principles to keep guns out of the hands of criminals by creating strict gun policies. Regardless of the fact that these mayors have to deal with countless gun related murders and crimes on a daily basis they also have to deal with the lackadaisical nature of our federal government to address illegal guns and instead bow to the powerful gun lobby instead. Gun lobbyists whom swear until they are blue in the face that people have the right to bear arms to hunt and protect themselves—except I’ve never met a hunter who uses a semi-automatic to hunt deer, have you?
I believe in our nation’s Constitution and the rights it affords us, however if I need to show identification at my local drugstore in order to get Sudafed and can’t by an unlimited amount no matter how bad my sinuses are, why should I be able to stroll into my local gun shop without so much as a library card and walk out with a gun? I’m not at all trying to be glib, but think about it. Republicans were screaming from the rooftops during the presidential election about identification to vote—you know, because they wanted to deal with rise of “voter fraud”, yet these same politicians refuse to address the need for I.D. to address gun violence in this country.
From Columbine to Trayvon to Connecticut and all the tragic stops in between I can think of no better time better than now to address gun control. This is a cause we can all unite behind. You shouldn’t have to fear for your life when you go to the movies or a rally or when you drop your child off at school. This is America the land of the free, so it’s time to tell Congress and the Gun lobbyist to stop holding our safety hostage, and instead begin a thoughtful bi-partisan debate on how best to save American lives. Two words: GUN CONTROL
And While I share the President’s pain as he fought back tears to address the nation this afternoon, what was missing was his call to action. Prayers make us feel better—but policies ensure that we WILL BE BETTER!
ThinkProgress put together a chilling timeline of mass shootings since Columbine. Read it here.