It has been just over a month since tragedy struck in Connecticut. On the morning of December 14th, 2012 a gunman entered Sandy Hook Elementary School and opened fire killing 20 innocent children, and 6 adults. Earlier that morning the gunman had shot and killed his own mother in her home. All of these deaths were linked to guns that belonged to the perpetrator’s mother.
Since that frightening event, the topic of guns has become widely discussed throughout the nation. Not only are state’s working to change laws, but the nation as a whole is coming together in hopes of preventing another similar tragedy.
President Barrack Obama extended his grief for the lives already lost and has been working to inform the public of his opinion on the subject of gun control. He is hoping to find ways in order to prevent events like this from occurring in the future.
Just five days after the tragic event, President Obama informed the public that Vice President Biden would be leading an effort to develop a set of concrete policy proposals for reducing gun violence. On January, 16, 2013, Vice President Biden’s ideas in order to keep guns out of the wrong hands, make our schools safer, and increase access to mental health services were released.
The recommendations made by Vice President Biden were:
1. Require background checks for all gun sales
2. Strengthen the background check system for gun sales
3. Pass a new, stronger ban on assault weapons
4. Limit ammunition magazines to 10 rounds
5. Finish the job of getting armor-piercing bullets off the street
6. Give law enforcement additional tools to prevent and prosecute gun crime
7. End the freeze on gun violence research
8. Make our schools safer with new resource officers and counselors, better emergency response plans, and more nurturing school climates
9. Ensure quality coverage of mental health treatment, particularly for young people.
While these laws would certainly make a difference and help to reduce the number of violent crimes in America, it is impossible to prevent every violent action that may happen.
However, groups like the National Rifle Association (NRA) are making it more difficult to impose these laws. The NRA has stood up to say that is not the guns that are the problem. Instead, according to the NRA, violent video games are to blame for the actions of the the gunman in the Sandy Hook shooting and in other similar acts of violence.
Just a month after their claim that video games were to blame, and not guns, the NRA released a new phone application, which seemed a bit hypocritical. In their new app, “NRA: Practice Range,” according to inquisitor.com, virtual guns are aimed at coffin-shaped targets, with bulls-eyes at the heart and head vicinity. Now, while the NRA blames video games it is true that in order to create these violent video games, makers, must get permission from the NRA.
Despite the fact that some states have yet to do anything to change their gun control laws, New York, did not wait long. Less than a month after the shooting New York lawmakers passed the toughest gun control law in the nation. The new law calls for tougher assault weapons ban and restrictions on ammunition and gun sales.
State lawmakers, along with the Federal Government are continuing to work in order to help ensure the safety of all citizens in the United States. While there is no way to completely stop violence, there are ways to help limit it, and the United States is hoping that these new laws will help in order to prevent future tragedies.