Just when it seemed all but signed and delivered, gun control legislation is being treated like a bad decision made on a drunken night by America. This is a big problem, not just because automatic weapons are still being treated and regulated like hunting rifles, but it means the National Rifle Association is winning, again.
Earlier this year, NRA’s Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre gave a scary speech where he basically outlined that the answer to our country’s gun violence was in fact more guns. In an even more bizarre plea, LaPierre called for armed and trained teachers and guards at all schools.
The crazy thing is, LaPierre was the mentally questionable and politically inept one at first, now Congress once again wears that badge of honor.
The massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School back in December seemed to be the icing on the cake for advocates of universal background checks and assault weapons bans. The nation wept, but unlike previous shootings the country endured last year, the media was quick to start stoking the fire of gun control.
The tragedy that was the mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut saw the deaths of 27 people including 20 students 7 years old and younger. This was one of 16 other mass shootings that occurred in 2012.
At one point directly after Sandy Hook, CBS reported that 57 percent of Americans supported tighter gun laws. Now that it has been a few months, opinions seem to be drastically changing. A more recent poll conducted by CBS found that only 47 percent now support gun control laws.
That is an astounding drop off in support of regulation, and after months of relentless media coverage, the gun control bill that was promised by President Barack Obama is all but dead.
In efforts to pressure congress into signing a gun control bill Obama spoke on the issue last week and shamed Congress.
“Less than 100 days ago that happened,” said Obama. “Shame on us if we’ve forgotten. I haven’t forgotten those kids. Shame on us if we’ve forgotten.”
This recent disinterest in gun control legislation may be attributed to the short term memory of Americans, but it can also be attributed to the ineffectiveness of the congress. People have become quite annoyed with the inactivity and stalemated nature of politics between the Republican led House of Representatives and Democrat ran Senate.
Obama has caught some flack for playing on the heart-strings of Americans in his attack of the Congress by using the blood shed of 2012. This use of ethos by the president is a necessary one though.
The Congress should not be able to get off that easy. They have been the most inactive Congress in the history of the United States of America and should not be allowed to play these small political games at the expense of huge issues like the safety of children.
There needs to be some serious changes in the way we regulate guns. To jog the memories of some Americans, maybe it would be prudent to take a look at some statistics regarding gun violence. Gun murders make up 72 percent of homicides committed in America and 50 percent of suicides, according to the Atlantic.
According to Mother Jones, of the 62 mass murders that have occurred since 1982 the guns were obtained legally in 79 percent of them. Many of the shooters showed signs of mental illness and there were no cases where an armed civilian fired back.
That statistic, in a way, disproves that perverse claim that the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun, is a good guy with a gun. Obviously, that is a simplification in the first place of a solution to a dangerous and life changing situation
With no intentions to exacernate the issue of gun control, hopefully people become more interested in this topic in the coming days. The statistics do not lie, and even if you are a firm believer in the right to bear arms you should open your mind for the discussion of such issues.
No one is proposing banning all guns, so there should be a lot to talk about, especially now that Congress has made it aware that both Democrats and Republicans share a love for guns.
Until those lines of communication are opened, legislation in Congress is going to struggle and eventually disappoint the majority instead of providing comprehensive reform both sides can agree upon.