Gun Violence is Out of Control: Revisit Laws Now!

With the string of mass shootings that occurred in Aurora, Colorado, at a midnight premier of Batman: The Dark Knight Rises; in suburban Milwaukee, Wisconsin at a Sikh Temple; and, Manhattan near the Empire State Building, the federal and local governments must revisit their respective laws and regulations on gun control.

The people have proven they are not competent to handle having access to weapons. Additionally, there is an argument that the coverage of the Aurora shootings and the in-depth detail of the suspect of that shooting led to the Wisconsin incident a short time thereafter. Hopefully, the frenzy of coverage for the latest NY shooting will not lead to another.

Controlling access to guns and harshening the punishment for having certain weapons only begins resolving the gun violence problems. But, it must be done. “A gun problem” doesn’t exist in this country because of the Empire State Building shooting, or because of Columbine, Fort Hood, or Virginia Tech. The problem exists because of the recurring, low scale, daily, less media covered incidents of gun violence like that warzone that exists in Chicago.

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Yet, the mass murder shootings call national attention to the problem. Congress needs to double down on the Gun Control Act by preventing access to guns to curtail the foolhardy action by people who use guns against others. Basically, a person without a gun cannot shoot people.

Photo by Joshuashearn

The federal government owes the citizens of the United States to act with the force of law where the people have shown that such governing is necessary given the peoples’ constant acts proving they cannot handle possessing a weapon. Federal law requires the states to conform. Congress should put tighter controls on the ability to purchase weapons and ammunition as well as creating laws affecting the production of such by the companies that produce them. Congress has the power to regulate commerce, and they should (easier said than done).

Some may assert that gun control is not the answer, but it is the people who get their hands on the guns that are the problem. In refuting that claim, since laws cannot fix the cultural problem overnight, Congress should focus on access to weapons and the rights to have guns. Others assert that even if guns were taken off the market, there are other means and people are ingenious enough to find a way around the law. So what! The federal government needs to act where it can—quickly and swiftly—and if and when other routes to gun access occur, the government should then respond accordingly.

Additionally, the government action must change because evidence shows that some of the aforementioned mass murders have occurred with weapons obtained legally with very little resistance—some otherwise. Owning guns is a constitutional right and people want their guns for reasonable needs such as protection of their homes and hunting. But, it is clear that people are taking advantage of this right and exceeding the permissive use. The United States is in an era of gun violence where a privilege should be scaled back to accommodate ever-present concerns.

Some people believe their ability to carry weapons can help in situations where Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was attacked, or to effectively retaliate against the shooter of the Aurora shootings. But, why not consider nipping the problem in the bud by preventing access to weapons in general? Thus, decreasing the likelihood of gun violence of this kind. Hypothetically, if all the guns are taken out of the general population, then no one has a gun; therefore no need for vigilantes or heroism exists in the face of mass shootings or attacks with the use of guns.

The idea here is that eliminating the potential for mass and lower scaled shootings outweighs the unknown response by the general population. Haven’t Americans seen enough devastation and irreplaceable lives lost?

The second issue presented from the Aurora shootings is the media coverage the shooter received. It is reasonable to hypothesize that the media did a disservice by providing so much coverage that it spawned a copycat hoping for a similar media frenzy. The media covered the profile of the shooter from Aurora to a sickening extent, which nearly depicted him as a victim. Understandably, curious minds desired to know what caused this attack. Journalists and media outlets obliged by giving the general population as much information as possible. The media erred by sharing too much, no matter how intriguing the story may have been.

In turn, it created the affect that the shooter was the story. The shooter was instantly infamous. That result potentially encouraged the Sikh Temple shooter. The Sikh Temple shooter could have had hopes to gain the same notoriety as the Aurora shooter and have his life become more important than the sharing of the news of the attack.

Although, the Sikh Temple shootings were far less covered, there was very factual coverage of it. The nation was not bombarded with more information than necessary to inform. In the Sikh Temple shooting, the gunman was taken down by a trained armed officer, who was also wounded in the attack. Some could use this to prove that him having access to weapons prevented a greater loss of life. But no access to guns in the first place would prevent this story from existing. Are you getting the point? That officer is a hero nevertheless, but he is also a trained officer, and his actions were within his trained skill set. On-duty officers took down the New York Shooter. Praise them! But innocent by-standers were also harmed by their acts. Maybe the movie Demolition Man was on to something by ridding the entire population of guns.

The lack of media coverage was appropriate for the Sikh shootings. The reason being is to hope that covering it with less vigor than the Aurora Shootings could preclude another the copycat—if that was the reasoning. The drawback concerning the lack of media coverage for the Sikh Temple shootings raises the thought that the victims of this shooting were less important nationally than the victims of the Aurora shootings. Hopefully, that prior statement is without merit. Now, with the media capital that is New York being affected by this tragedy, it is certain to remain a hot topic for too long.

In 2012, America has seen enough gun violence that action must be taken to prevent it. Violent acts will not cease autonomously. The American culture is not placing the value on human life it deserves given the inaction. The pervasive gun violence issue is an indictment of the American culture’s lack of evolution, which is consequently an indictment of the American people.

Everyone is to blame until everyone is on one accord to recognize a change must occur. The 2nd Amendment’s right to bear arms should also be under attack and interpreted differently than is currently by the greatest minds of this country. People may believe that this country is at a point economically that safety is increasingly in question, and no one should be left unarmed. But, fighting fire with fire is not going to prevent people from dying which is the ultimate goal. At this point in time, gun violence can only be remedied by disarming the people as a whole.

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