If your government (local or national) could accomplish one thing in 2013, what would that be?
Five days ago, the United States of America suffered the second largest mass murder in a school in its history. What made it worse than any other was that 20 of the victims were only six and seven years old and their teachers and administrators. Their lives were taken by a mentally unbalanced 20 year old young man, who also killed his mother, with an assault rifle and hundreds of rounds of ammunition and three hand guns.
This horrific tragedy has ignited a call for a ban on assault-style rifle as a beginning to stricter gun control laws. We had a ban on assault rifles from 1994 to 2004 but, because of the strengthen of the National Rifle Association lobby, the ban was allowed to expire. So for eight years assault rifles have been allowed to be freely sold in the United States and they are very popular among gun lovers and collectors. They are mainly used for target shooting and range practice, although they often fall into the hands of criminals and gangs.
If there were one law that I would like to see passed by our federal government this coming year, I would like to see stricter gun control laws. Not just a ban on assault weapons, but stricter background checks, one that did not exempt gun shows and flea markets where guns are now sold freely without background checks, and requirements that guns be secured–locked securely–in gun safes or locked securely in homes where there are mentally unbalanced persons. If there were a second bill I would like to see passed, I would like to see mental health services included in any health insurance requirements for private insurance.
We owe these bills to the victims of Newtown, to the victims of Aurora, Colorado, to the victims of Oak Hill, Wisconsin, to victims of Virginia Tech, and to the thousands of other victims of gun violence in our country over the years. Please don’t let them have died in vain.