James Eagan Holmes Shooting: Mayor Bloomberg Leads on Gun Control, President Obama Does Not
In light of the horrific acts of the Colorado movie theater shooting, many people around the state of and the entire nation are asking why such a senseless and disturbing act was carried out. James Holmes, the gunman, who, at a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises opened fire on an unsuspecting packed movie house. Twelve people lost their lives and dozens more were injured in an insane act that has left everyone stunned.
Why such a heinous act was carried out, may never be fully answered. But can anything be done to prevent this from happening again? The issue of gun control is once again a lively debate around the nation. Some want gun control to be at the front of the discussion. Since it's an election year, people like New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg want the candidates to do less talking and more legislating.
Bloomberg is the co-founder of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, which is a group of more than 600 mayors fighting illegal gun trafficking and gun violence." Soothing words are nice, but maybe it's time that the two people who want to be president of the United States stand up and tell us what they are going to do about it," he said. "I don't think there's any other developed country in the world that has remotely the problem we have," he continued. "We have more guns than people in this country."
Gun control will play a role in this election, I just don't think Obama or Romney will take a definitive stance for or against. Gun control advocates have largely lost the argument against powerful gun lobbyists, and politicians know the issue is a hot bed with voters. Obama has very poor reviews with gun control groups and has even loosened restrictions on concealed weapons since being in office.
Romney has a slightly better track record with gun advocates and even signed a ban on assault weapons when he was governor of Massachusetts. “In their time in office, I would say with a pretty strong degree of certainty that Romney did more,” says Dan Gross, the president of the Brady Campaign, the pro-gun-control group named for former White House press secretary Jim Brady, who was shot and critically wounded in the assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan. When he was the governor of Massachusetts, Romney signed a ban on assault weapons, like the one used in the movie theater in Aurora. Both candidates have flip-flopped on gun control and will have a chance to clear the air during the election.
Congress has not approved any major new gun laws since 1994, and a ban on certain semiautomatic rifles expired in 2004. In 1994, Congress approved a 10-year ban on 19 types of military-style assault weapons. Gallup polls over the last two decades show the percentage of Americans who favor making gun control laws "more strict" fell from 78% in 1990 to 44%in 2010.
A report from the Denver Post shows that the purchase of guns in Colorado jumped 43% since the aftermath of the shooting in Aurora. Firearms instructors have also reported more interest in receiving training to obtain a concealed-carry permit. This sends the message that Colorado is responding in part to this tragedy through their Second Amendment right to bear arms.
Evil will continue to be in the world and insane people will continue to follow in it's path. Because it is evil, it will do whatever is necessary to bring destruction, and no law will get in it's way. This does not mean that we are completely defenseless. The increased interest in Colorado learning how to handle a concealed weapon seems to me a responsible choice. At the same time, I don't believe if every responsible citizen carried a concealed weapon that this problem would be eliminated. We cannot solve it by taking guns away or by adding more guns. The math is not that simple. We need restoration in our nation where we have become depraved and this will need to come in many different forms--not just through gun control.