One year of senseless silence on gun violence

Voice of the People by James J. Devine

One year ago today, we lost 26 fellow Americans to gun violence at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. We lost 20 of our youngest students, and six dedicated school workers.

To mark the anniversary of that tragedy with a moment of silence is to acknowledge that President Obama and both parties in Congress have utterly failed to address the all-too-frequent acts of senseless violence in America because wealthy political insiders hold more sway than 90 percent of the voters.

More than 90 percent of the voters want to extend universal backsground checks to all firearm buyers but the gun lobby will not allow it. A majority in the US Senate was stopped from enacting a law to close the gun show loophole because 45 members — among them enough Democrats to make the difference — used a worn out parliamentary manuever.

The dead children at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut do not deserve silence. The dozens of children slain on city streets every day in America deserve more than to be quietly ignored.

Guns made possible the Virginia Tech shootings, Binghamton massacre, the deadly rampage at Fort Hood, Oikos University slayings, and the Tucson shooting that killed nine and crippled Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, the Aurora theater shootings, and the Columbine High School massacre.

In 2009, 66.9% of all homicides in the United States were perpetrated using a firearm. Two-thirds of all gun-related deaths in the United States are suicides. In 2010, there were 19,392 firearm-related suicide deaths, and 11,078 firearm-related homicide deaths in the United States.

The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution is insanely antiquated. While Americans should be free to keep and bear arms, but the laws have got to be made current with our times. Mandatory training, licensing, proof of eligibility for purchasing, and liability for damages done with firearms ought to be made part of the law and ridiculous loopholes must be closed.

When the Congressional Research Service estimated there were 310 million firearms in the United States, they failed to include weapons owned by the military.

Let’s be clear about what happened a year ago, in America’s second deadliest shooting spree: A mentally ill 20-year-old recluse obsessed with school shootings went to Sandy Hook Elementary School after the morning bell and murdered six adult women, 12 girls and eight boys in 11 minutes.  The children were 6 or 7 years old. The heavily armed Adam Lanza first killed his mother before taking her car to the school, then killed himself in a classroom.

In response, government did virtually nothing to prevent a repeat performance. This senseless violence in America should not be memorialized with silence. Instead, citizens should scream for action, now.

These could be the next victims… 

Click on this picture if you want to register your support for action to stop senseless gun violence with common sense reform laws.


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