Twenty-seven innocent people were killed in the Newtown, Conn., tragedy — 20 of those victims were children. In the year since the Newtown shooting, 11,126 people have died from gun violence. This year was marked by 24 mass shootings, which are defined by the FBI as shootings with four or more victims, such as the naval yard shooting [in Washington, D.C.] that killed 13 people. On average, 32 Americans are murdered with guns every day; an estimated eight of those killed are children and teens.
And what is the response from elected officials to all this senseless violence? Well, the U.S. Congress did nothing. Of the less than 60 laws passed in 2013 (a historic low), none dealt with gun reform. Here in North Carolina, the Legislature slashed existing gun control laws, permitting guns on school campuses, playgrounds, restaurants and bars. They limited the ability of law enforcement to restrict multiple handgun permits to individuals and removed concealed-gun permit information from the public record.
Supposing the founders intended citizens to have rights to whatever firearms they desire under the Second Amendment, which is debatable, no right is entirely unfettered. Certainly, one person’s right should not impinge on another’s safety. How many will die before we make common-sense gun reforms to protect our families?
— Sarah Grace Zambon