As I write this, an impromptu vigil is forming in front of the White House in Washington DC to mourn the victims of another senseless mass shooting and to call for much needed gun regulation. Today, a quiet school in Newtown, Connecticut was violated by a gun wielding murderer packing semi-automatic weapons with a back up assault rifle in his car.
The shooting was horrific and preventable. This is a national tragedy that needs a national response. Our glorification of weapons and our embrace of the use of violent force to resolve conflicts has led us to a crisis point. Do we continue to let our children be slaughtered in schools and theaters? Will we continue to allow almost unfettered access to military grade high powered weapons? Will we continue to cut funding for preventive mental health care?
Today, we make a decision as a nation. Twenty children and six adults were killed today at a Newtown, Connecticut school. I refuse to allow their memories to be forgotten and will not let this horror continue unabated across the nation.
Because of their strict regulation of firearms, last year in Japan there were only 8 murders committed with guns in a country of 120 million. The year before there were 6 and during the previous year 11. Today, during one horrific attack in one school, one American gunned down more fellow citizens than the last 3 years of gun deaths in Japan combined. Over 100 rounds of ammo were fired into children today. According to the FBI, we average 20 similar mass shootings in the US each year. Don't let the NRA fool you the Second Amendment is not unlimited. As recently as the 2008 Heller decision, the US Supreme Court has held that:
Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues. The Court’s opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms. Miller’s holding that the sorts of weapons protected are those “in common use at the time” finds support in the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons.
Today is the day to begin the long delayed discussion of gun control and lay the foundation for the implementation of sensible gun regulations across the United States.
|President Obama Wipes Away A Tear During His Address to the Nation Concerning Today's Shooting in Newtown|
More at:A Land Without Guns: How Japan Has Virtually Eliminated Shooting Deaths
Mayors Against Illegal Guns
Fatal Gaps: Can Dangerous People Buy Guns In Your State?