Senator Chris Murphy said it best in the aftermath of the mass murders Sunday night in Las Vegas, “It is time for Congress to get off its ass and do something” on gun control. Murphy is a Democrat who represents Connecticut, scene of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newton, where 20 children and six teachers were killed, the largest school shooting in US History.
We have had an epidemic of mass killings in this country, here are just some of them: June 2016 Dallas, 5 police officers killed; June 2016 Orlando, 50 dead and 53 injured; December 2015 San Bernardino, California, 14 dead and 17 wounded; October 2015, Roseburg, Oregon, 10 dead; June 2015, Charleston, SC, 9 dead; September 2013, Washington, D.C., 12 killed; Blacksburg, VA, 30 dead. The list goes on and on.
Now Las Vegas, Nevada, 58 killed, 600 wounded making it the largest mass murder in US history. A horrible record held by Orlando until Sunday night, has been passed on to Las Vegas. How long can this go on with gutless politicians in Washington cowering in the face of the National Rifle Association and do nothing? Politicians have to do more than just send their prayers and lower the flag. Of course, we should pray for everyone involved in the carnage in Las Vegas on Sunday night, but we need to do more and we need to do it now while the memories are still fresh in our minds!
The one thing all these mass murders had in common is that the murderers used legally purchased automatic weapons. There’s no reason to have automatic weapons. You don’t need them to hunt, which is illegal anyway, and you don’t need them to shoot rabbits in your backyard. You don’t need them to shoot airplanes in the sky or boats on the water. So, what’s the reason for having these weapons of mass destruction?
Control central for protecting these killer weapons is the National Rifle Association. The NRA will tell you that guns protect your family from intruders, rapists, and murderers. The facts are that each year more people die from gun accidents in their homes by friends, relatives, and children who are not trained to use automatic weapons or handguns. Last year alone over 1500 children died from handgun accidents by friends or siblings. The facts are clear; more people die from gun accidents in their homes than from any intruders or trespassers.
We had a ban on automatic weapons passed under the Clinton administration in the 90s. However, the ban had a five-year sunset provision, and when it came time to re-up the weapons ban, a cowardly Congress under immense pressure from the NRA, refused to restore the ban on automatic weapons. It’s time for Congress to understand that the NRA is not as powerful as conventional wisdom would have you believe. They talk a big game, they can spend a little money and act like thugs, but ask yourself to name a politician whose defeat could be laid at the feet of the NRA? Bet you can’t name one.
Think about all the people who died in Las Vegas, Dallas, Orlando, and in a little elementary school in Connecticut, then ask yourselves if you favor a ban on automatic weapons that will at least slow this carnage down. If so, put in a call to your Congressman or women, or write a letter. Should we really just sit back and just keep counting bodies as these mass murders continue to plaque our country?