On 14 December 2012, Adam Lanza murdered his mother. His killing spree did not end there. Lanza confiscated his mother's heavy weaponry and drove to Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, CT. Parents had just dropped off their children for what was supposed to be a normal Friday. After 9:30 AM ET, Lanza shot his way into the school using a Bushmaster XM15-E2S rifle. In five minutes, Lanza discharged 154 shots in 5 minutes from the Bushmaster. In that five minutes, 20 elementary school students and 6 teachers were killed.
This is part of a long sad history of America's relationship with firearms.
Columbine High School, DC Beltway Sniper, Virginia Tech, Fort Hood, Tucson, Aurora, Oak Creek, and Sandy Hook are examples of mass shootings that have taken place in the United States.
The American people have had a enough.
We are tired of burying our children. We are tired of the excuses that nothing can be done about this. We are tired that a small vocally loud minority of people are dictating the debate when the numbers are on our side.
Over 90% of Americans support universal background checks. 86% of gun owners support universal background checks when purchasing a firearm. Gun owners also support background checks for ammunition purchasing and extended magazines.
The reason why the shooter in the attempt on former Congresswoman Gifford's life was stopped: It wasn't a good guy with a gun as NRA's Wayne LaPierre stated in his speech on 21 December 2012. It was that the shooter had to reload his 30 magazine clip and there was a struggle to stop him from reloading. He had 30 BULLETS in his weapon!
In the Sandy Hook shooting, the shooter released 154 bullets in 5 MINUTES!
The NRA, the Alex Jones's, and other gun fetishists can hoot and holler that all these proposals are an assault on the Second Amendment. Let them. They think that stockpiling firearms and bullets is somehow a deterrent to another American Revolution and that they can they can take on the American military.
“There are these things called aircraft carriers where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines.”
- President Barack Obama, Third Presidential Debate, 22 October 2012
You want to take on the US military...? "Bye-bye! Have fun stormin' the castle!"
And second comes from "The Daily Show." One of the first episodes after their Christmas hiatus addressed the NRA and various pro-gun responses to the Sandy Hook shooting. Among them was conspiracy theorist Alex Jones's interview with CNN's Piers Morgan where he famously ranted that "1776 will commence again if you try to take our firearms!" One of the pro-gun viewpoints and among members of the Texas Legislature to prevent mass shootings is to start arming teachers.
What a great idea... Let's give people who are underpaid and overworked firearms. (#sarcasm #snark)
Jon Stewart tears apart the notion that any proposed gun control legislation will lead to the downfall of America with this quote:
“No one is taking away all the guns. But now I get it. Now I see what is happening. So this is what it is, their paranoid fear of a possible dystopic future prevents us from addressing our actual dystopic present. We can’t even begin to address 30,000 gun deaths that are actually in reality happening in this country every year because a few of us must remain vigilant against the rise of imaginary Hitler.”
Already a handful of states (Colorado, New York, and Connecticut) have passed tougher firearms legislation since the events in Newtown, CT. Now it looks like it is heading towards the US Senate. Last Thursday the Senate voted 68-31 to allow debate on major gun legislation reforms. The vote had 16 REPUBLICANS vote in favor of allowing debate over the 13 Republicans that threatened to filibuster a vote on allowing debate. It was a cause for celebration because of how dysfunctional the United States Senate has become. This is going to be a long, drawn out process.
For their efforts in getting something done, the families affected by the tragedy have sacrificed their personal comfort. It would be understandable if they retreated to a private life because their grief was so great. These families must be admired for the personal courage to step up and tell our country that we have had enough of a family going through such a horrific tragedy.
I've heard the detractors. They are ridiculous. "Why should we make laws if only criminals will break them?" These people, in other words: "(expletive) making laws."
If that is your attitude, maybe you need to rethink your job. Maybe you should rethink serving in government.
For example, drunk driving fatalities. We had a problem with that in this country. What did we do? We increased the penalties for drunk driving and lowered the threshold for driving while drunk from a blood alcohol content of 0.10 to 0.08. I still remember the drunk driving lecture I got in high school (very, very graphic film..). During my time in the Navy, I had to sit through drunk driving lectures. Some programs we implemented was a safe ride program and have a designated driver when you go out (and believe me, that was true this one time...). If you had too much to drink, you could call someone to get you someplace safe. Yes we still had people go to Captain's Mast, but doing nothing about this issue was not the answer.
We should at least try to solve the problem of gun violence our country faces.
They deserve a vote.