There are more gun stores in the United States than there are Starbucks.
The NRA, which is against virtually any type of gun control, including waiting periods and background checks, spent over 17 million dollars this year alone in political contributions, lobbying efforts, and advocacy ads according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The same NRA also just two days ago celebrated 1,700,000 likes on its Facebook page.
And each time we have a tragedy such as the horrific event that played out yesterday at Sandy Hook Elementary, we begin another round of gun control debate on TV, in the newspapers, and on social media. Everywhere, that is, except congress. Gun advocacy fronts argue that more guns are the answer. School respond with more metal detectors, higher security and warning systems and more restrictions on the movements of our children simply to secure their safety. One Facebook friend posted that she was grateful her child was home schooled and safe from such risk. I’m grateful that’s where her child was, too, but what about the movie theater, the park, or a place of worship? Should we make those places off limits, as well? What about the Zoo or the amusement park? Why should our right to bear arms matter more than the rights of our children to grow up without the threat of this type of harm?
There is no official word yet exactly how Adam Lanza secured his weapon. But we know he shouldn’t have had it and we know whomever he got it from likely had no real reason to own a weapon. That person was probably not law enforcement or military. That person did not need the weapon to make a living. Most sources say it was his mother who purchased the guns legally, and who, incidentally, was among the dead.
White House Press Secretary, Jeff Carney, said yesterday that it was not the time to talk gun policy. He is right. It was last week, last year, before Columbine, Aurora, Trayvon Martin or Sandy Hook could happen. While I understand not wanting to politicize a tragedy, there is no better time to talk about gun control than when emotions are fired up. And I’m fired up.
My heart goes out to each and every person affected by Sandy Hook. I can’t even imagine their pain. Their memory will stay with me, and the deaths of those children and teachers should not be in vain.
There are more gun stores in this country than Starbucks. There is more regulation on a car than there is on a gun sale. In many states it is harder to get a driver’s license than it is to purchase a gun.
Now’s the time to talk about it.