It is time to put aside partisan politics, reach across the aisle . . . and tackle gun control.
Last Friday’s massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, inside Sandy Hook Elementary, took the lives of 20 children and six adults. It should serve to galvanize pundits, politicians and the nation to embrace tougher legislation on guns.
Maybe it’s time to look at the Federal Assault Weapons Ban that was in place from 1994 to 2004 – and reinstate it.
President Bill Clinton signed into law the ban that prohibited the manufacture of 18 models of semiautomatic guns as well as magazines that could hold more than 10 rounds.
It expired in 2004 and, despite several attempts to reinstate it, our politicians foolishly let the ban go by the wayside.
Up until a few days after the shooting spree, you could purchase the Bushmaster Patrolman’s Carbine M4A3 Rifle, a military-style assault rifle, on the Walmart website.
Since then, Walmart officials have apparently thought better of it and pulled the gun from their site.
But the fact still remains: you can buy a gun at the same store you can purchase groceries, and gun violence takes the lives of 34 Americans every single day.
Now there is rhetoric from Texas Governor Rick Perry that individual school districts should have the ability to determine whether teachers and administrators carry guns.
Fighting fire with fire is not the answer.
The National Rifle Association (NRA) – suspiciously quiet in the days since Sandy Hook and whose Facebook page has been deactivated – has many politicians in its corner, thanks to campaign contributions.
On its homepage, in an article titled “More Guns, Less Crime in Virginia” and dated November 27, the author writes, “The point is, gun owners and the NRA have been right all along. It’s the criminals, not the law-abiding gun owners, who are the issue.”
To our knowledge, Adam Lanza was no criminal until the morning of December 14, when he used his mother’s own gun to execute her and the 26 other innocent victims.
In response to the massacre, former Congressmember and current MSNBC anchor Joe Scarborough, a self-proclaimed “conservative Republican who received the NRA’s highest ratings over four terms in Congress,” spoke out:
“Our Bill of Rights does not guarantee gun manufacturers the absolute right to sell military-styled high-caliber semi-automatic combat assault rifles with high capacity magazines to whoever the hell they want.It is time for Congress to put children before deadly dogmas. It’s time for politicians to start focusing more on protecting our school yards than putting together their next fundraiser. And it’s time Washington stops trying to win endless wars overseas and instead starts focusing on winning the war at home.”
We couldn’t agree more.