Friday’s tragic shooting in Newtown, Connecticut shook the nation and the world. Some are arguing than any discussion of gun violence “politicizes” the tragedy. I would argue that by avoiding the issue of gun violence we shrug off our responsibility to prevent more tragedies. Is accepting the status quo, which is extremely politicized by NRA lobbying, the best way to honor those who died? I don’t think so.
Some nut jobs on the right, from gun advocates to elected to officials, are missing what should be the takeaway from the shooting. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) wants more guns, not fewer, arguing that had the principal been armed, she could have shot the killer. A Nevada Assemblywoman wants to allow college students to bring concealed weapons to their campuses. And Mike Huckabee creatively attributes the shooting to the absence of god and the presence of “tax-funded abortion pills.”
Luckily, others have responded with more sensitivity and common sense. While not mentioning gun violence per se, President Obama hinted at the need to address it, saying, “We’re going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this regardless of the politics.” As I’m writing this, over 154,000 people have signed a petition (which Samhita linked to) calling on Obama to introduce gun regulation legislation. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY). Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY), Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA) Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA). Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ). Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) have all called on Congress and/ or the President to act. And Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) has vowed to introduce a new assault weapons ban on the first day of the new Congress:
I’m going to introduce in the Senate and the same bill is going to be introduced in the House, a bill to ban assault weapons. It will ban the sale, the importation, and the possession — not retroactively but perspectively… The purpose of this bill… is to get weapons of war off the streets.
Let’s make sure this happens.