1,052 mass shootings in 1,066 days: this is what America’s gun crisis looks like.
Here we are again, another senseless mass shooting. More innocent people slaughtered for just going about their day. It wasn’t a school or college campus this time. It wasn’t a Women’s Health Clinic or even the mean streets of Chicago. This time it was a holiday banquet at an office building and the shooters were a married couple, one of which was an employee of the group holding the banquet and the other, his new wife from Pakistan who it has now been reported, had recently pledged allegiance to ISIS.
The facts of this most recent mass shooting have created a conundrum for the press. There is no question that this was a terrorist act but it seems that the motives could be a mix of both homegrown terrorism as well as Islamic extremism aimed at the West.
Regardless of what ‘label’ this atrocity gets tagged with, two of the guns used in the attack were purchased legally and the purchaser was an American Citizen. This leads us down the road to proposed changes to gun laws in the U.S.A. which even with the #Enough hashtag created by The Brady Campaign to pressure the lawmakers in Washington to actually do something this time, this President has already shown that he will not use Executive Power to force meaningful changes to the currently impotent laws.
Q: Did you know a gun purchased over the Internet or from a private individual at a gun show is NOT subject to a background check because neither instance involves licensed gun sellers?
After Sandy Hook, where twenty 5 & 6 year olds along with 6 adults were slain in their classrooms, a bill was put forward in Congress to stop the loopholes like those described above. But that bill failed by a 50-48 vote. Just think about that; there were 50 members of Congress that felt that is was too politically risky to strengthen background checks even after hearing that many of the Sandy Hook children couldn’t be identified by their parents because, well, you can imagine what multiple rounds from an assault rifle does to the body of a 5 or 6 year old child.
Q: Did you know that under federal law, the three day waiting period gives the F.B.I. 3 business days to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to deny a purchase. If the bureau cannot come up with an answer, the purchaser can return to the dealer on the fourth day and buy the gun!
In June of this year, a young man by the name of Dylann Roof, who also had a lengthy criminal history, exploited this loophole by waiting the 3 days and when the F.B.I. did not return a decision to the gun shop, on the 4th day Roof walked into the store and purchased the .45 caliber handgun which he used to murder 9 people in a historically significant black church in South Carolina.
Q: Did you know the Obama administration dropped a plan to ban green-tip bullets that can pierce a police officer’s protective vest because it faced too much criticism by the hunting community since these bullets are used in sport shooting? Do moose wear protective vests now?
This goes along with the outright assault weapons ban, like AK-47’s introduced by the Clinton administration in 1994. The ban expired in 2004 and efforts to renew it, even in 2013 after Sandy Hook, failed. Because if you use an AK-47 for hunting, you can definitely get your game, you’ll just go hungry because there won’t be any meat left on the carcass to eat!
This is only a conversation about gun control as it relates to mass shootings but to be considered a mass shooting, it’s 4 or more victims. Other lives could be saved by sending a message that gun ownership comes with grave responsibility. You wouldn’t leave your car in the driveway with the keys in the ignition if you had kids in the home. You would be pulled over by the police and charged if you were driving a car without a license. People may say that you can’t kill as many people with a car as you can with a gun but it might also be that many people mistakenly feel far greater responsibility owning a car than they do owning something that is meant for one purpose only, to kill.