COLUMN: Gun Control: In wake of Sandy Hook incident, is now the time to reconsider gun laws?
LET’S BEGIN WITH TWO INDELIBLE IMAGES: The single-file line of weeping school children, led through a parking lot toward safety — and the president wiping away tears as he tried to express the sorrow felt by parents nationwide. (You can watch that presidential video below, today.)
Our nation mourns the shooting deaths of 20 children and seven adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. Yesterday, the president traveled to Sandy Hook to mourn with the families of the victims and the community.
The question I want to raise in OurValues.org is: Will this horrific tragedy be the one that spurs a reconsideration of the Second Amendment and new legislation to control guns? Past shootings have not. Is now the time?
New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, long an outspoken advocate of gun control, issued a statement as co-chair of Mayors Against Illegal Guns.
“With all the carnage from gun violence in our country, it’s still almost impossible to believe that a mass shooting in a kindergarten class could happen. It has come to that. Not even kindergarteners learning their ABC’s are safe.
We heard after Columbine that it was too soon to talk about gun laws. We heard it after Virginia Tech. After Tucson and Aurora and Oak Creek. And now we are hearing it again. For every day we wait, 34 more people are murdered with guns. Today, many of them were 5-year-olds.”
Mayor Bloomberg called on the president to send a bill to Congress to address the problem. Obama called for “meaningful action” in his speech about Sandy Hill Elementary, but Bloomberg says we need “immediate action.”
“We have heard all the rhetoric before,” says Bloomberg. “What we have not seen is leadership—not from the White House and not from Congress. That must end today. This is a national tragedy and it demands a national response.”
Meanwhile, SignOn.org has started an online petition in support of gun control. SignOn.org is a user-initiated petition service, provided by MoveOn.org. As of yesterday afternoon, it had more than 210,000 signatures.
Is it time for serious gun control?
Do you support gun control — why or why not?