How many children and teachers have to die and how many families must endure the worst tragedy imaginable before our government will act to stop gun violence? The spate of school shootings and mass murder has to stop. Where are the moral values and ethical compasses of our society and our congressional representatives? Inaction is collusion with murder.
President Trump and the NRA want to arm teachers and basically turn our schools into armed compounds. What does this say about our society? Are we to resort to TSA-type security screenings of students every day of the school year? Must we resort to drastic measures just to ensure the right of people to purchase combat assault weapons?
We all hold that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are inalienable rights. However, in our society, there are limits to civil liberties. When a person holds in their hands the life of another by action in the threat or use of lethal firepower, then the most precious of our liberties is violated in the most heinous manner possible. Therefore, gun violence is an issue of public safety.
In the early [1990s], a bipartisan Congress passed the Brady Law. It outlawed assault-type weapons, limited clip size and established the federal background check for firearm purchases. When the time for renewal occurred during the Bush administration, Congress ignored the pleas of law enforcement and struck down the law in large part due to intense lobbying by the NRA. The Brady Law needs to be re-enacted and expanded.
Congress should expand background checks to include misdemeanor violent offenses, close the gun show loophole that excludes gun purchasers from background checks, ban assault weapons, limit clip size to six rounds, make the sale and installation of bump stocks a federal offense, and uphold state and municipal laws that govern the carrying of concealed weapons. The Constitution guarantees the right to own firearms. But as a society, we must be willing to accept and abide by laws that protect our citizens.
The time for thoughts and prayers is over. Action is needed now. If our congressional representatives, Sens. [Thom] Tillis and [Richard] Burr, and Rep. [Mark] Meadows, do not speak out, sponsor or support tough and legitimate legislation to curb gun violence, then by inaction one must conclude that NRA money is more important to them than enacting legislation to curb gun violence. To enact change, vote them out of office.
— Ted Owen