Nearly six months ago, 26 children and teachers lost their lives in the most horrific school shooting in American history. The Newton shooting was a tragedy that shook the core of the entire nation. In the wake of that tragedy, the Obama administration made a valiant push for stricter gun control measures to help stop the outbreak of school shootings in America.
That effort failed Republicans in Congress could not even bring themselves to support tighter background checks even though 91% of Americans support that effort according to a February Quinnipiac University poll. But the Obama administration is bringing honor to the Newtown victims by reviving efforts to pass stricter gun control measures. And the families of the victims are not letting up on their efforts to support President Obama’s efforts. As reported by CBS News, the families were on Capitol Hill on Wednesday to meet with lawmakers and press them to pass gun control measures:
The failure to pass even the modest reform of stricter background checks was a disgrace to this nation. How many more tragedies like this does the nation need to endure before common sense will prevail over politics. Would stricter background checks prevented the Newtown massacre? No, it wouldn’t have. Adam Lanza used his mother’s gun which was bought legally. But very likely would have prevented the Aurora, CO movie theater massacre perpetrated by James Holmes and the Virginia Tech massacre perpetrated by Seung Hui-Cho, both of whom were mentally ill. I have yet to hear a logical reason why tighter background checks should not be enacted. It in no way infringes on anyone’s right to own a gun. It would simply ensure that people who are a danger to others will be prevented from accessing a gun.
One of the biggest loopholes sought to be closed by the background check legislation was to require universal background checks. Meaning that even private sales of guns would require a background check. The familiar refrain in opposition to such a measure is “It’s my private property and I have the right to do whatever I want with it.” Well, anyone who thinks about this issue logically would recognize that there are, and always have been, tradeoffs that we as a country make at the intersection of where our rights and a danger to others meet. Everyone knows that here in America the right to free speech is paramount. BUT, everyone also knows that you can’t yell “Fire!” in a movie theater. Your right to free speech ends when you put others in danger. Selling your gun to any stranger on the street puts other people’s lives in danger.
Enough is enough, it is time we honor the victims of Newtown and others and pass sensible gun control reforms which, at the very least, should include tighter background checks.
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