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Now is the time to do something about gun violence

Roger Caldwell

Now is the time to do something about gun violence

By Roger Caldwell

      It has been more than 100 days since the gun violence at Sandy Hook Elementary School, where 20 students and 6 teachers were killed. This horrific massacre illuminated in our country’s collective conscious that something immediately must be done about gun violence. But after 100 days, and numerous talks about gun violence in Washington, our leaders have not passed a bill.

     On Thursday, March 28, 2013, anti-gun violence activists declared it a national day of action, and press conferences and rallies were scheduled around the country. In the East Room of the White House, President Obama and Vice-President Biden stood between two rows of mothers and put pressure on Congress to pass a law on gun violence. During this speech, the president had moms on the stage whose children had been gunned down by senseless gun violence as recently as 35 days ago.

     Americans have a tendency to forget about things that are important, because our lives are filled stuff. When things don’t personally affect us, we stop worrying about the event, because we are more consumed and concerned about what is happening now.

In the East Room the president said, “The entire country was shocked, and the entire country pledged we would do something about it and that this time would be different. Shame on us if we’ve forgotten. I haven’t forgotten those kids. Shame on us if we’ve forgotten.”

     President Obama is doing the right thing to keep Americans engaged in the gun violence conversation in our society. Gun violence has reached epidemic proportions and everyday someone dies. Our president is not claiming that he has the solution to this crisis, but he wants action from Congress and the states.

     The federal lawmakers appear to be paralyzed in inaction, but the states with Republican governors are moving in an opposite direction. These states are drafting bills that will not tolerate any erosion of their right to bear arms. Most of the action on guns rights is on the state level, and 28 states are considering legislature to block new federal gun laws.

     Many conservative Americans believe that their freedoms are connected to them owning a gun. We can spend the entire day arguing this point, but many citizens think that any federal gun law would infringe on the rights of the second amendment. They don’t seem to understand that “a gun control law can respect the second amendment, while keeping an irresponsible law breaking few from inflicting harm on a massive scale,” says President Obama.

     Guns have become a menace to our society, and there are too many guns in the wrong hands in our country. The president is proposing common sense steps that can save lives. There is not anything in the president’s proposals that is radical and extreme. We must protect the women and our children, and get guns out of the wrong hands.

     The president wants universal background checks, boost school safety, and crack down on people who buy guns for criminals. There are other laws such as a ban on assault weapons and a limit on high-capacity magazines, which will probably not pass is also on the president’s list. Our president is moving forward with such groups as the Mayors Against Illegal Guns to put controls on the purchasing and distribution of guns.

     There is no reason that young men need an arsenal of assault weapons in their homes with high-capacity magazines. There is a pervasive sickness with guns in our society, and our leaders must have the courage and integrity to pass laws that control the purchase of guns, and protect everyone in our society.

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