Only the U.S. Congress Can
By Victor M Adamus
Let’s take a hard look at Jared Lee Loughner, the shooter who killed six people, including a Judge, wounded 14 others, including U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. Gun laws made it easy for him to purchase a Glock semi-automatic pistol with an extended magazine even though he had a history of mental disorders, drug abuse, suspension from high school and was rejected by the U.S. Army. His timing was incredibly sad.
First a Republican Congress allowed high capacity ammunitions magazines to expire in 2004, made legal again, so anyone could purchase a magazine housing 33 deadly bullets. At the same time the Arizona legislature abolished the requirement of getting a permit for handguns. These freedoms allowed Loughner to walk into the Sportsman’s Warehouse in Tucson, pick out the pistol and ammunition, plunk down the money, and carry the gun and ammo out of the store. He loaded the weapon, concealed it, and headed to the Safeway store to blow away as many people as he could shoot before being subdued while trying to reload the weapon.
This senseless violence is directly tied to laws that allow a mentally disturbed person to purchase and use high powered weapons which results show have a chilling effect on the public since gun violence occurs in bars, in public places, even kids walking home from school. In short, gun violence is a direct result of legislators making a series of deliberate policy decisions that guns should be easy to buy, sell, and carried by anyone at anytime.
Hence the increase in gun related murders in the past decade.
Although a rather weak statement in my opinion at the time of the Loughner shooting, President Obama said, “We cannot and will not be passive in the face of such violence. We should be willing to challenge old assumptions in order to lessen the prospects of such violence in the future.”
So far, nothing. But then Obama has been harnessed with a Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives. It would be impossible for gun control legislation to help cut down on the murder rate get passed by the very people who support the National Rifle Association (NRA). The NRA is the most powerful lobby group in the U.S.
Cops can’t stop the violence, not when they are competing with gun laws that essentially allow the cops to be out-gunned. Public Health Officials have little clout with legislators even though they show their concern in public forums throughout the U.S. Mayors in over 300 cities have formed a gun cause campaign led by New York Mayor Bloomberg but as yet legislators have done nothing to respond to their suggested gun policies. Unless the U.S. Congress steps up to the plate it will be killing as usual every day in America.