Now is the Time: Curbing Gun Violence
January 18, 2013
Since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, one month ago, at least 926 Americans have been killed by gun violence. Each day more and more people are dying; and finally, this week, President Barack Obama’s administration rolled out a comprehensive approach to reducing gun violence. Aptly titled “Now is the Time” Vice President Joe Biden and the President worked to find an all-encompassing approach to deal with gun violence in America.
Indeed, now is the time to take a closer look at reducing gun violence in America — a nation where its citizens are living with a greater risk of gun-related deaths than citizens in any other developed nation, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes.
It is refreshing to finally see an administration take charge and move forward with policy that may not be popular to the nation, but is desperately needed.
If strict legislation was in place prior to 2012, we may have avoided many of the tragedies we have witnessed.
The White House’s plan includes the following recommendations:
- Closing background check loopholes to keep guns out of dangerous hands;
- Banning military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and taking other common-sense steps to reduce gun violence;
- Making schools safer; and
- Increasing access to mental health services.
“Now is the Time” is a solid start to dealing with a problem that affects every segment of society. The comprehensive approach includes engaging school officials, parents, law enforcement, the mental health services community and federal agencies to bring an end to mass shootings and gun violence and ensure change happens at all levels.
Though acts of violence will continue to occur, this plan will put roadblocks in place for those who are not “responsible” to own a weapon.
David Keene, President of the National Rifle Association (NRA), recently said Obama’s legislation focusing on guns is not where our priorities should be. What he is failing to realize is that the President’s recommendations are not just “feel-good proposals,” but actual policy that will provide safety by curbing gun violence and promoting safety through responsible gun ownership.
Proponents of the administration’s plan include retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal.“I personally don't think there's any need for that kind of weaponry on the streets and particularly around the schools in America,” he said. “I believe that we've got to take a serious look -- I understand everybody's desire to have whatever they want -- but we have to protect our children and our police and we have to protect our population. And I think we have to take a very mature look at that.”
Failures in the past allowing lobbies to sway our gun control policy have created a culture of fear in Washington, DC . Now is most definitely the time to do something about this issue; unfortunately, the time was also in Aurora, Oak Creek and Newtown.
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