I woke up this morning reading about a doctor who was gunned down at Brigham and Women’s Hospital this week and I shook my head, perplexed yet again about the mammoth problem known as our society’s inability to limit access to guns. This is a huge problem we have been dealing with for as long as I can remember. Gun violence can happen anywhere. We are a target shopping in stores, learning in schools, entertaining ourselves in movie theaters, seeking medical care in hospitals and waiting for the bus. I remember that I was picking my own children up from school when I learned of the horrific events of Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012. I know that we are all at risk and possibly in the line of fire at any given moment and yet, we did not hear gun control described as a priority in President Obama’s SOTU Address on Tuesday night. Why???? Why is the right to bear arms more important than “the right of the people peaceably to assemble?” Why does the right to bear arms implore my school district to limit my access to public school buidlings. If we remove the rights of those who are mentally instable to own guns, can’t we take back our rights to gather in public spaces and enjoy our freedom of speech and assembly more safely?
I searched the internet and found that someone else noticed this topic missing from the POTU’s SOTU as shown in this Huffington Post Article. The folks in this video interview think it’s because the NRA is so powerful, which was what I thought at first. And then I found this article from 2012 which was a good forecast as to how Republicans could easily take control of the house in 2014 and an intricate discussion of why gun control was a near impossible feat for anyone to accomplish.
The authors of this article, Steven Hill and Robert Ritchie make some very astute observations about the way our house districts are drawn and the strategy that the NRA follows to insure that they have enough bipartisan representation and support in our Congress. It is not about money, it is about strategy and we had better get a better strategy or we will always feel vulnerable to those who are mentally unstable but can access a gun.
My internet search alone on the topic of gun control laws saw no recent mention of gun control efforts or legislation. 2012 is the most recent NPR article on the topic. It seems we have given up. Instead of developing a better strategy than the NRA, we are giving up. Is that acceptable? What will it take before meaningful legislation and precautions against gun violence will decrease the amount of people we lose to it?