“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 Barack Obama
100 days has passed since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. The horrendous shooting at Sandy Hook startled and saddened the nation and as a nation we vowed that we would do something about gun violence in this country. In the 100 days since Newtown more than 2, 200 people have been killed by guns in the United States.
The United States Senate is preparing to unveil their gun control legislation with many of the strongest regulations removed from the bill. The Senate bill will not involve a ban on assault weapons, making gun trafficking a federal crime, or place restrictions on magazine clips. The only strong gun control measure being discussed is background screenings and even that is now endangered. Pressure from the National Rifle Association (NRA) has been the biggest obstacle to securing stricter gun regulations in America. Politicians are more concerned about their next election than the will of the American people.
Six in 10 Americans believe that the laws covering gun sales should be stricter. That figure is virtually unchanged from the 61% who backed stricter gun laws when a NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll asked the same question in February, even though at least one other national survey has found waning support for gun-control laws after Newtown. What’s more, the Morning Joe/Marist survey finds that a whopping 87% of Americans support background checks for private gun sales and sales at gun shows, and 59% favor legislation that would ban the sale of assault weapons (NBC News).
While 60% of respondents want stricter gun laws, just 37% of Republicans agree (compared with 83% of Democrats and 55% of independents). In addition, just 41% of Republicans favor the assault-weapons ban (vs. 75% of Democrats and 55% of indies). The one measure that does receive overwhelming bipartisan support, however, is background checks — 94% of Dems, 86% of indies, and 81% of Republicans favor them — and that’s why it remains supporters’ best chance at achieving anything in the gun reform realm (NBC News).
The NRA recently released a report of their own. The NRA’s top two recommendations involved firearms in the schoolhouse. The first: “training programs” for “designated armed school personnel.” The second: “adoption of model legislation by individual states to allow for armed school personnel.” The NRA once again believes that more guns are the solution to curbing gun violence.
States with lax gun laws experience a higher level of gun-related violence than those with stronger firearms laws on the books, according to findings from a report released Wednesday.
The report, from the liberal Center for American Progress, analyzed 10 indicators of gun violence: overall firearm deaths in 2010; overall firearm deaths from 2001 through 2010; firearm homicides in 2010; firearm suicides in 2010; firearm homicides among women from 2001 through 2010; firearm deaths among children ages 0 to 17, from 2001 through 2010; law-enforcement agents feloniously killed with a firearm from 2002 through 2011; aggravated assaults with a firearm in 2011; crime-gun export rates in 2009; and percentage of crime guns with a short “time to crime” in 2009. The report’s rankings of the states with the worst level of gun violence are as follows (TPM):
6) South Carolina
7) New Mexico
A clear majority of Americans believe that there should be a ban on certain types of assault weapons, universal background check on all gun purchases, making gun trafficking a federal offense, and there should be a limit on magazine clips. No one is proposing to “take away your guns” what all sensible Americans want are laws in place that will help curb gun violence. No set of laws will completely eliminate gun violence, but if it can save one life then it is well worth doing. Do not tell me that guns do not kill people; guns are instruments of death created for one purpose, to kill!