On 02/10/2015, I did a piece called Under the Gun in which I didn't even scratch the surface of mass shootings, in the wake of the Umpqua Community College shooting. I also looked at some of the reactions of Congress members. The reaction that resonated with me the most was the following noted in the Huffington Post :
This is on us. Silence from Congress has become quiet endorsement of those whose minds unhinge and veer toward mass violence.
From Mother Jones
Without doubt, the gun rights lobby is a formidable force. It is backed by a truly grassroots network of committed and well-organized supporters who are willing to make calls to legislators and turn out in even low-turnout elections to back pro-gun candidates. This "intensity gap" bedevils gun control groups, which, however well some of their proposals poll, have trouble getting voters to agitate and to prioritize the gun issue the way gun rights defenders do.
Mr Obama recently said in response to the Umpqua tragedy that it is up to each individual to ensure their vote reflects their views on the seemingly continuous carnage of the deaths of innocent people, no matter the political stripe.
So what is the problem? Are the tragedies of mass shootings too removed from reality for most . . . the 'I don't know anybody there' response? Will it take many more deaths of innocent people including young children before the gun control groups muster their voices to "out yell" the NRA? Is paranoia rampant in American society? Some respond that this is just how it is. Its part of American culture.
On the same day as the Umpqua Community College shooting, there was another shooting in Inglis, Florida. Four people were killed. Read how townsfolk reacted . . . they went for their guns.
Alternet — It’s not hard to get your hands on illegal guns and rifles in America. It took me about two hours. I called a guy from the old neighborhood in LA, said something about a “piece”, and, hours later, I was staring at an AK-47 and an illegally modified AR-15, which were sitting on a kitchen table. Welcome to America.
Two hours later, two hours, the author is looking at assault rifles, military grade assault rifles. Why are these weapons so easy to come by? Why do some people feel the need for them? In my mind, it is one thing to have a hand gun,quite another to have an assault rifle.
And the candidates for the Republican nomination for POTUS aren't shying away from the fray.
This report from Alternet shows Ben Carson's thoughts on the issue.
In the same interview, he suggested the president can just skip visiting the family members of the victims, because there’s always “the next one”.
He’s not wrong that it’s a regular event, but his wording certainly suggested that he doesn’t really think of it as a big deal. His next appearance on Fox, on Tuesday night, confirmed this impression. ““I never saw a body with bullet holes that was more devastating than taking the right to arm ourselves away,” …
I have not once heard any mention of taking away the right to own a gun, despite what Republicans and many of their fevered base proclaim. What I have heard is talk from people who would like to see assault weapons and high capacity ammunition cartridges banned. I have heard of having common sense gun control laws that protect the public and the gun enthusiast. Read the rest of the article to see the comments from many of the other candidates.
I think there should be gun control laws that provide for the following:
- closing of the gun show loop hole;
- rigorous background checks for all prospective purchasers;
- mandatory training for all purchasers with some exemptions for military and police officers;
- a license similar to a drivers' license which has a five year renewal clause;
- mandatory liability insurance much like car insurance; and
- strict guidelines on storage of the gun so unauthorised people (children) cannot access them.
This won't solve the issue of gun deaths, but it would reduce them.