A woman waits to hear about her sister, a teacher, following a shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. (AP/Jessie Hill)
The slaughter of 20 kids and 6 adults by a psychopath didn’t tear my stomach apart as much as it angered me into a call for action. The inaction of the federal government on the readily availability of guns in Americais responsible for the epidemic of mass murders in the country.
In 2012, 62 people were killed in 7 separate incidents involving massacres. Add to that, the number of people killed due to guns in the country has greatly increased, including a insane number of people killed in Chicago due to gun violence during the summer. This has led to a record number of gun purchases.
The “I got mine, you get yours” mentality of the country can be directly traced to this. The rule of law has been thrown out the window. It’s every man, woman and child for themselves has been declared. We are in a “Wild, Wild West” mentality, fuelled by fear and paranoia.
MSNBC’s Goldie Taylor made some great points in her column today regarding gun control
. “It is time, right now, to confront the culture of violence in America. It is time to tighten restrictions on legal purchases and crack down on the illegal gun trade. For starters, the Federal Assault Weapons Ban, which expired in 2004, must be renewed. Online sale of firearms should be banned altogether and the gun show loophole must be closed. Possession of an illegal firearm carries a mandatory, one-year prison sentence. It should be ten.”
She also wrote that she would be giving up her own weapon.
If I may add my own points, all gun owners should be subjected to the same rules as owning a car. (That includes, but not limited to Weapons Training, Testing, Health Requirements, Insurance Liabilities and yearly renewals). Laws currently on the books should be strictly enforced funding should be made to. Funding should also be allocated to law enforcement in order to provide them with the tools necessary to do their jobs.
In addition, mental health must be addressed. The majority of these mass murders involved suspects with serious mental disorders, with includes including depression & schizophrenia. Health insurance coverage must include provisions for mental health treatment. Too many times people with serious mental disorders have been put on the back burner. We now see the fruits of our inaction.
This unnecessary tragedy gives President Obama a chance to add to his legacy the same way he did with health care. Gun control is now front and center with a chance to make a lasting change.
What will we do next?