Newtown, Connecticut: An American Tragedy

It's time for reasonable gun laws.

Where are we heading as a country? How did we evolve into a place where gun manufacturers care more about their profits than about the safety of their fellow citizens; where the NRA cares more about their power to influence legislation than about their responsibility for the safety of others; where legislators care more about their re-election than they do the lives of their constituents; and where private citizens are so intimidated by the gun culture that they are afraid to speak out?

Nicholas D. Kristof wrote in his New York Times column today, “The fundamental reason kids are dying in massacres like this one is not that we have lunatics or criminals — all countries have them — but that we suffer from a political failure to regulate guns.” We could begin to correct this problem by reinstating the federal ban on the manufacture of assault weapons, which was allowed to lapse in 2004. The 10-year ban was passed by Congress on September 13, 1994, and was signed into law by President Bill Clinton the same day. There have been multiple attempts to renew the ban, but no bill has reached the floor of either House of Congress for a vote since it lapsed.

In the same publication, columnist Gail Collins wrote, “This is all about guns — access to guns and the ever-increasing firepower of guns. Over the past few years we’ve seen one shooting after another in which the killer was wielding weapons holding 30, 50, 100 bullets. I’m tired of hearing fellow citizens argue that you need that kind of firepower because it’s a pain to reload when you’re shooting clay pigeons. Or that the founding fathers specifically wanted to make sure Americans retained their right to carry rifles capable of mowing down dozens of people in a couple of minutes.”

 So, where do we go from here? It’s time to speak out and stand up for reasonable gun laws. One person’s protest is just like a drop of water in the ocean, but if thousands or millions of people speak out, that drop becomes a wave. You can talk to your friends and neighbors and get them involved. You can write to your State Representatives, your State Senators, your Representatives in Congress, your US Senators. You can send letters to the editor of your local newspaper. You can get information from such groups as New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s organization, Mayors Against Illegal Guns. You can send a message to the President about the importance of beginning to deal the problem with gun violence by signing the petition at the address below.

If you believe that nothing is more important than saving American lives, it’s time to make waves.



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Richard C Barnes December 19, 2012 at 04:25 PM
I think most can agree "something needs to be done" because we all want to feel safe and more importantly we want to feel like our kids are safe but we also need to sit back and really think. Take a minute and really think about some of the suggestions. High capacity clips for instance. If we outlaw a 15 round clip and a killer like this one had to use 10 round clips would it have made any difference? He clearly reloaded while he was in the school. He had two handguns with him as well so even if someone attempted to charge when he ran out on the rifle he was still deadly. While it sounds good to say lets ban 15 round clips I don't see anything actually being accomplished. And regarding banning certain types of guns or the "increasing firepower". The bullets used in this shooting are bullets many deer hunters consider to be too low a caliber for hunting because they wont kill the deer and instead leave them wounded and suffering. Gun ban suggestions feel good and give us the feeling that it would stop this type of thing but when you stop and really think about the suggestions I don't see any actually accomplishing any real results.
Lenore Patton December 19, 2012 at 09:59 PM
Okay Richard Barnes, if you don't think banning assault weapons will make much of a difference, what's your suggestion?
steve forte December 20, 2012 at 04:09 PM
Fix crazy. Wanting to kill your fellow Americans is not normal. Untill we address that we will be doing nothing.
Richard C Barnes December 20, 2012 at 05:19 PM
My suggestion is to look at this with a calm level head instead of reacting while we are still full of emotion. Any idea that is a good idea will be a good idea whether its discussed today, tomorrow or even a month from now. Then I would consider actually looking at facts. Over the years and in the many different states we've tried different things. Which ones have resulted in less crime and which didn't? The "assault weapons" ban in itself was silly when you actually take the time to educated yourself and find out what it was banning. For instance, the gun used in this shooting would have been banned but the exact same gun, holding the same number of bullets with a wooden stock would still have been legal. This killer could have killed the same number of kids using the alternate version just as easily and it wouldn't have been an "assault weapon". One thing that actually worked in a city down south (and I apologize, I forget it's name) is a law that went the opposite direction. They required the head of every household to be trained in firearm safety and to own a gun. Violent crime dropped to far below the national average starting the very first year the law went into effect. Laws that ban guns have had the opposite effect. England with it's total gun ban now has the highest violent crime rate in the civilized world, higher then in the US even.
steve forte December 20, 2012 at 06:07 PM
Rich that was Kennesaw GA. We need to stop looking at thios as a gun issue. The gun was only the delivery meathod. We need to take a clos look at dr/patient confidentiality laws. In most cases like these the suspects shink knew more of what was going on in his life then anybody. Parents also need to be more aware of their kids activities. When jr starts ripping the legs off of frogs while they are alive and trying to burn chipmonks with a propane torch that is not just " boys being boys" . Junior is on his way to becoming a nightmare, get him help.


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