When?

oregon-shooting

Whenever another mass shooting takes place, we hear the same litany:

“Not one more mass shooting. Not one more child shot. Not one more innocent life cut short prematurely by gun violence.”

Blacksburg, Lafayette, Chattanooga, Charleston, Newtown, Aurora, Isla Vista. Look at the list of school shootings in the United States.

On the media: interviews with police, students, victims’ families, FBI, details of the shooter, his family, friends, manifestos, legal experts, family experts, academic experts. Then we have the gun debates: parents, teachers, students, politicians, pro, con, more guns, less guns, more regulation, less regulation.

We’ve heard it all too many times.

And the response from the National Rifle Association (NRA) to this latest shooting at a college campus in Oregon: zero, nada, no comment at this time. 4.5 million members and an association president remains silent.

It’s no longer shocking.

It’s obscene.

We don’t need experts, lawyers, or more opinions. We know. The facts tell us that some kind of action is required. The sticking point, as it’s always been, is the enormous lack of courage by members of Congress.

One item that is consistently defeated is a universal background check on individuals purchasing a weapon. Out of all the proposals made in the direction of gun safety, the universal background check clearly represents the most common sense approach.

A 2013 poll indicated that 90 percent — 9 out of every 10 — Americans support a universal background check.

When you plunk down a deposit and buy a car, you have to undergo a background check; down payment on a home, background check; apply for a credit card, a credit card… background check.

The NRA consistently tells Congress, “No. And if you challenge us,” they tell members, “we will put the full weight of our organization behind defeating you in the next election.”

Really!?

“Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz asked that gun owners not bring their weapons into the stores, despite its policy. Voters supported Schultz’s request 66% to 23%, including 52% to 35% in gun-owning households.”

Can somebody please explain why a universal background check on someone who wishes to purchase a firearm is so unreasonable?

The only way meaningful change can happen is if members of Congress have an honest comprehensive conversation about the issue (without the NRA in the room). However, our duly elected Senators and Representatives – people whose job it is to represent all of us, will not stand up against 4.5 million members of an organization that places more importance on rights than the responsibility for individual lives.

I support the Second Amendment. Always have.

However, if a deadly disease infected and killed hundreds of school kids, we would be breaking down the walls of Washington for immediate medical intervention.

If Congress responded by saying, “Well, gee, folks, we have this group over here that says the cure has too many risks. Further, it’s the right of every individual to decide for themselves and their children whether or not to receive a vaccine,” we would be outraged.

In fact, it didn’t take hundreds of deaths for California’s state legislature to act and require all school-age children attending public or private school be vaccinated.

When are we going to say, “Enough!”?

1 comment… add one
  • None of your business January 5, 2016, 2:47 pm

    I hate to have to say this, but you sound like someone who doesn’t know what the hell they’re talking about. It’s ironic that you call for comprehensive education when you apparently don’t understand what you’re talking about. You already have to go through a background check to buy a gun from a federally licensed dealer, which would be any store that sells firearms and anyone that is engaged in the business of selling firearms as determined by the government.

    You don’t have to get a background check if you’re engaged in a private sale. So if I buy a gun from my brother, I don’t have to get a background check, nor should I. That’s what universal background checkers want. They want to make me and my brother go down to a FFL and get a background check for me.

    The problem with this is twofold: A) Criminals aren’t going to do this. You think a gang banger is going to march his buddy down to an FFL and get a background check before buying a gun?; B) There’s no enforcement mechanism. How are you going to determine if a gun was illegally sold or not without a registry? Say I sell a dude a gun illegally with no background check and then he commits a crime. What do I say? “I sold him the gun before background checks were required.” It’s a feel-good measure that will do nothing to stop crime, but it will subject ordinary, law-abiding citizens to ridiculous strictures. You are the one that needs to educate yourself.

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