Recent gun attacks have once again turned public attention to gun law in America. The Texas and Ohio armed attacks that have killed almost 30 people and left many injured have once again infuriated America’s gun law opponents.
Talks on gun control laws in the United States have begun this time close to the presidential election and appear to be an opportunity to pass those laws.
Opposition groups are against the freedom of purchasing guns so easily without even a background check because every year firearms kill hundreds of civilians in mass shootings. Nevertheless, high lobbying of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) makes discussions and changes slow and as seen in the past, they end up falling through.
Democrats on Sunday criticized Senate Republicans and President Trump. They condemned Senate Republicans for opposing legislation which could prevent mass firing. They also accused Trump of inciting violence and defending these terrorist attacks by saying they were committed by people with mental illnesses when that is not the issue.
In spite of differences among political leaders, according to a Reuters poll in February, 69% of Americans – including 85% of Democrats and 57% of liberals – wanted severe or moderate restrictions on firearms; however, most poll respondents who favored stronger gun laws were not convinced that the lawmakers would do anything about it. Of these, only 8% were convinced of the strong lawmakers’ performance.
Following all the criticism that was made against Trump, he said in a recent statement that: ”Hate has no place in our country”. Moreover, he addressed reporters in Morristown, New Jersey, and promised that “we’re going to take care” of all problems. He also said he’s been speaking to the attorney general, FBI director and members of Congress and will be making an additional statement on Monday morning. The step between saying and doing is huge and expected to not be taken.
Gun ownership in America is an old tradition, as old as history, which can explain the strong opposing views. Discussion about limiting this tradition has always been one of the most controversial issues. Senator Bernie Sanders accuses Trump of letting hundreds of innocent people die every year in exchange for billions of dollars that are made by the gun industry. Sanders expressed his deep sorrow and anger towards the lack of action by a passive government by tweeting: ”Over this past weekend our country has experienced multiple, unimaginable tragedies using weapons of war. These are terrorist acts of war, and we need a national response.”
Even Rihanna took to Instagram to criticize Trump’s response saying: ”Um…Donald, you spelled ”terrorism” wrong! Your country had 2 terrorists attacked back to back hours apart leaving almost 30 innocent people dead. This, just days after yet another terrorist attack in California, where a terrorist was able to LEGALLY purchase an assault rifle (AK-47) in Vegas, then drive hours to a food festival in Cali leaving 6 more people dead including a young infant baby boy! Imagine a world where it’s easier to get an AK-47 than a VISA! Imagine a world where they build a wall to keep terrorists IN AMERICA!!!”
The Second Amendment to the US Constitution protects the right of people to own and carry weapons and was adopted on December 5 as part of the ten amendments to the United States Charter of Rights.
The US Supreme Court has ruled that this is a right that all individuals have, and at the same time, ruled that this right is not infinite and that this right does not preclude any regulation of firearms or similar devices.
But have the restrictive laws been enacted correctly? Is there constructive oversight of lawmakers?
According to the gun law: “Since having a militia is essential to the security of a free country, the nation’s right to bear arms and to carry arms must not be violated.” Nonetheless, the absence of restrictive laws has led to the escalation of violence in America causing hundreds of innocent people to die in mass shootings in 2019 alone, and we are only halfway through the year. We are near the 300th mass shooting recorded this year in the United States.
Thousands of people are killed or wounded each year by shooting in various parts of the United States. According to official reports, there are approximately 270 to 300 million firearms in the United States, meaning that there is approximately one gun per person in the country. Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg said on CNN that ”Every time this happens, we say never again. We say we’re going to do something. We say it’s going to change and it hasn’t.
Despite the demands of US advocacy and advocacy groups, there is no palpable change because of the power of the gun lobby who according to Sanders governs and controls the US and its politics. No US government has so far been able to enact effective laws restricting the sale of weapons, including Barack Obama who expressed throughout his 8 years as president his strong opposition to the current gun laws.
Will anything change after these recent armed attacks or will this be just one more drop in the ocean and will we continue to see many people lose their lives in mass shootings in the near future?