When Will We Decide to Stop the Killings by Guns?


Respectfully submitted by Lawrence E. Rafferty (rafflaw)-Guest Blogger

We have discussed the thousands who have been killed by guns in this country on several occasions on Professor Turley’s blog and we have seen some of the same responses from both sides of the discussions about reasonable restrictions on gun ownership and use.  Some say that any restriction on gun ownership, no matter how small, is a violation of their Second Amendment rights.

Some of those who are in favor of reasonable gun control measures, point to the sheer numbers of women and children and men who die each day due to senseless murders and sorrowful accidents.  Emotional arguments and reasons have been offered by both sides of the discussion, but yet not a single worthwhile National gun control measure has become law and the killings and deaths continue unabated.

To my dismay and shock, not even the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings, where 20 small school children and 6 staff members lost their lives to an arguably mentally ill shooter, produced any resulting legislation that could be argued offers some relief in the ever larger numbers of gun deaths.

While researching this article I had trouble finding articles written on this subject after April of 2013.  There were many articles, including articles on this blog from December of 2012 through April of 2013, but very little since.  In light of the dearth of media interest since April of this year, I am curious about what it will take for the United States of America to decide it is time to stop killing itself?

In June of this year, I did find one article that discussed how little had been done since Sandy Hook and the article argued that the number of gun deaths since Sandy Hook has continued unabated.

“In the first week after the Newtown, Conn., massacre on Dec. 14, more than 100 people in the U.S. were killed by guns. In the first seven weeks, that number had risen to at least 1,285 gunshot killings and accidental deaths. A little more than three months after Newtown, there have been 2,244. The Huffington Post has recorded every gun-involved murder and accidental shooting death reported in U.S. news media since Newtown, revealing an epidemic that shows no signs of abating. The horrors cannot be contained behind yellow police tape or find resolution in a courtroom. For the victim’s families, the grief deforms all it touches. There’s the fear that the radio will play her favorite ballad. An airplane overhead, like the kind he flew, will strike panic. Home is not safe. One month, two months, two years, nine years since those fatal shots — the grief never leaves.”  Huffington Post

The Huffington Post article that I have linked to above, discusses several shootings over the years and the damage it has done to families of the decedent’s and how difficult it has been to cope with their respective losses.  It is always hard to lose a loved one, but it seems that losing a loved one to gun violence, misuse or accident is especially hard to recover from.

My intention with this article is not to argue the plusses and minuses of gun control legislation and to instigate partisan arguments as to who has the better argument about why Americans seems obsessed with guns.  My intention is to discuss when will Americans do something, anything, to reduce gun violence?

The killing of 20 little children produced a hue and cry around the country and indeed, around the world.  However, legislation to possibly ameliorate this epidemic of gun killings never materialized.  You may blame Congress and its inability to pass any legislation on any subject.  You can blame gun owners and gun manufacturers for their alleged stubbornness to back substantive gun control measures.  You can even blame the conditions in the inner cities that seem to breed violence on the streets.

I submit the blame belongs in the lap of every American citizen.  This epidemic of gun killings can’t be attributed to just one cause or one political party.  It can’t be blamed on just one gun manufacturer or gun lobbyist.  Only the collective pressure from an engaged citizenry can produce enough political power to attack the problem on all fronts.

Getting into politician’s faces, gun lobbyists faces, gang members faces and yes, our children’s faces and engaging and educating all concerned that if we do not take a stand after so many deaths, when will we?  It may take reasonable gun control legislation.  It may take reeducating our young people and it may take increased job opportunities to reduce poverty and the despair that goes with poverty.  But without all of us drawing the line and saying that this country will no longer accept needless deaths, the change will never happen.

Stand up in your communities and let your fellow townspeople and city councils know that nothing will stand in your way to reduce the epidemic of gun deaths in almost every community.  Educate your children about the dangers of misusing or playing with guns and make locking up your guns a reality.  Let your legislators know that mental illness can’t be ignored.  What do you think you can do to reduce gun deaths?

Can gun control legislation help reduce the number of deaths?  Can Second Amendment advocates cooperate with gun control proponents to find a reasonable, yet effective middle ground?  Are there any amendments to the Constitution that could somehow help reduce the number of gun deaths?  Can America actually look to other countries for examples of a better way to handle guns in a civilized society?

Let’s hear how you would resolve America’s penchant for shooting its own people!  This is a “war” that we cannot afford to lose.

120 thoughts on “When Will We Decide to Stop the Killings by Guns?”

  1. I don’t understand gun control because it is only effective with law-abiding citizens. It’s not like criminals are going to be deterred by another pesky law. What I have always wondered is why are we Americans so violent compared to other western countries.

  2. Rafflaw,
    With all due respect, there is no reason that a veteran Marine should not have been able to meet force with force. The student/criminal who decided to take lives should have been stopped by an adult in that school, not by a lack of ammunition or his own decision to end his life.
    All of these “mass shootings” have resulted in places where criminals reasonably expect to be the only person with a gun in the building. They depend on the minutes it will take for law abiding people with guns to arrive and stop them. In these moments, seconds count.
    How ironic is it that government buildings are places where free speech and the 2nd amendment right to Keep and Bear Arms are outlawed to the point where children feel the need to bring weapons into schools and destroy their adversaries? How ironic is it that a man, willing to fight overseas for the US Constitution to be upheld, surrendered his right to self-defense, instead of upholding his oath?
    Justify why this man cannot walk these halls armed. Why should law abiding citizens not be able to protect the students here? Why do the anti-gun rights people insist on creating this “fish in a barrel” scenarios, and then cry “outrage” when criminals have minute upon minute to carry out their deeds? This is your law. Explain how it is working, because all I see is lethal failure.

  3. ron,
    A veteran Marine was shot because he was trying to convince a child that using a gun to settle his perceived differences was not helpful to him or anyone. The gun free zone stuff is a talking point. A weak talking point that is not backed by the facts.

  4. JAG,
    Well done. It is also interesting to know some of those same states with the most guns have some of the weakest gun regulations.
    How many people died in the Nevada School shooting? How many rounds of ammo and how many guns were brought to a Washington middle school a couple of days ago?

  5. JAG…not more guns…more law-abiding citizens WITH guns.
    Rafflaw…yes, a marine veteran was slain in your Gun Free Zone, because he followed the “law”, instead of protecting himself and the other potential victims.
    Repeal the Gun Free Zone, and you stop that crime.

  6. why are you wrong in your thinking???

    WHERE do I start????

    EVERY other country that tightened gun laws after mass shootings,
    ‘have seriously decreased gun deaths including suicides….
    and especially deaths of children…..

    the way to fix this is NOT MORE guns…..

  7. Oky.
    No one is asking you to relinquish your right to bear arms. We are merely suggesting that common sense restrictions on how guns are sold could reduce gun violence. Don’t the kids who get shot in schools have a right to life?

    1. They’ve tried various reforms and none of them really work. Instead why don’t we go back to the time when our free market public policies made us the wealthiest per capita society on the planet so people don’t want to harm one another. Why don’t we stop prescribing psychotropic drugs to 1 out of every 10 young people. We’ve created this adversarial society between government and the private sector with another $1 trillion annual deficit, now at $17trillion doled out to people literally via a printing press. The fish rots from the head down and our entire system is rotten to the core. These young kids aren’t stupid, they see the hypocrisy coming out of the government and main stream media and their angry. If we had a decent society and rule of law, we wouldn’t need gun control because violence and crime would be significantly down. It shouldn’t even have to be a political issue. You of course want to put a band aide on a gunshot wound when their are so many much more important issued to solve, like getting millions back to work before we run out of the ability to fund the food stamp program.

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