The Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting was a wake-up call to the American people about the severity of gun violence in this country. The timing could not have been more horrific. While parents were finishing up Christmas shopping, their children were being targeted, in their own school, by a gunman carrying out mass murder inside a classroom. These parents could never have imagined that when they left their children at school that day, they might never again see their child alive. Unopened Christmas presents would sit under the Christmas tree as a macabre reminder of a child who would never come home again, a child that they would never hold in their arms again, or a child that would never grow up and fulfill his or her calling in life.
The whole country was robbed of its innocence that day at Sandy Hook. Too many children have been murdered inside the one place where parents could rest easy that their children were safe. This is no longer the case because criminals and unstable people are able to get their hands on assault weapons.
The Columbine Shooting should have been the wake-up call, and if bold gun legislation had been pursued at that time, perhaps the Sandy Hook Tragedy might never had occurred. But the Sandy Hook Tragedy did happen, and it happened right under the noses of the American people. The tragedy finally ignited an action-oriented passion that produced a critical mass of people coming out demanding strict gun control legislation. Even members of the National Rifle Association (with the exception of NRA’s president) came forward to denounce the legal loopholes in the law that allowed people to buy assault weapons at gun shows, and with private owners without a background check. Another burning question in the American psyche is why do ordinary citizens need military-style weapons that were created to produce the most collateral damage as possible on the battlefield?
When President Obama addressed the issue of gun violence in his 2012 State of the Union address, he pleaded with Congress to quickly pass legislation that would clamp down on the sale of assault weapons. The Republicans are in a bit of a quandary. The National Rifle Association aggressively lobbies, and contributes to campaigns that aim to keep Republicans in the House and/or Senate. The Republicans need be in lock step with the president on the issue of gun control. If nothing else, they should pass legislation that would make the ammunition clips that can hold several rounds of bullets for automatic weapons illegal. This would be a starting point.
The extreme right wing of the Republican Party has tried to scare licensed gun owners of America into thinking that President Obama is trying to walk all over their right to bear arms which is the basis of the Second Amendment of the US Constitution. This is not the case. President Obama himself likes to hunt with rifles, but he certainly does not require an assault rifle that will squeeze off 60 rounds into an unsuspecting target. What is the purpose of hunting if the objective is slaughter? That is exactly what assault rifles were made for, they were made for the battlefield, not the hunting range.
Republicans need to stand up to the National Rifle Association, and refuse to accept any more campaign contributions. In fact, the NRA should be banned from contact with any member of Congress. The Republicans should no longer be able to take blood money for campaign contributions, and should stand with Democrats and Moderate Republicans to immediately enact legislation that will prevent the slaughter of our children. Our children are the future of America. We, as a nation, have the responsibility and the moral obligation to protect both our children, and their future.