Warning: the following headline is fiction; the article is not
Warning: the following headline is fiction — the article is not
Children of U.S. Senators and Representatives gunned down at a private school
Three years ago, on December 14, 2012, twenty children, ages six and seven, were massacred at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut along with six educators. The twenty year-old shooter was armed with an assault rifle and two pistols. The nation stood still and was grief stricken by the horrific event and the images of twenty innocent, young children. Sadly, the tragedy now lies in the shadows of the latest mass shootings as they occur with alarming frequency during the past few years.*
The majority of Americans favor reasonable gun control measures. Loopholes in state and federal laws must be closed by common sense regulations that don’t infringe on the Second Amendment. Proponents of gun control continue to push for a ban on semi-automatic weapons, a limit on large-capacity magazines, universal background checks with a reasonable waiting period, and regulations on sales at gun shows and online as well as restrictions on straw-man purchases. None of these measures violate the Second Amendment or abolish the right to individual gun ownership.
The tragedy at Sandy Hook was not an isolated incident. More than 32 thousand men, women and children die from gun violence every year in the United States. Places including Columbine, Virginia Tech, Charleston, Aurora, Tucson, Roseburg, Oregon and most recently, San Bernardino, California are all too familiar. In President Obama’s words, we have become “numb” from such violence.
You might ask, what has Congress done about this epidemic? After all, aren’t our Senators and Representatives elected to represent the voice of the people? In spite of a majority of the population in favor of gun control measures, Congress has done nothing but turn a blind eye and deaf ear to the problem since Sandy Hook three years ago. Can you imagine anything worse than the killing of twenty innocent children in their first-grade classroom?
What will it take for Congress to act? When politicians are more concerned about re-election and their personal well-being, it’s easy to ignore the public good. The stranglehold lobbyists have on politicians may only be broken when a senseless tragedy hits home. One of their colleagues was targeted at a shopping center in Tucson, Arizona in 2011. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords survived but did that attack prompt Congress to act? Of course not.
Do you think members of Congress would turn their backs on the demands of the NRA if their children were targeted by a deranged person with an assault rifle? Their history of inaction suggests not.
*There have been 355 mass shootings in the U.S. in 2015. A mass shooting is defined as an incident with four or more fatalities or injuries, including the shooter. –Washington Post, December 2, 2015.
Photo by Sterling College