There is often lots of attention given to this topic, especially immediately following a huge incident of gun violence. After each one, people scream about gun laws being too lenient – they scream for about 30 seconds – until the next incident.
It seems to happen all the time, such as the incident in Orlando at the Pulse Night Club where 49 were killed; or the incident in San Bernardino, California at a public health center where 22 were killed; or the shooting at the Ft. Lauderdale, Florida airport where 5 were killed; or the shooting at Ft. Hood, Texas killing 13; or the shooting at Virginia Tech leaving 32 dead; or the incident at the Washington, DC Navy Yard killing 12; or the incident in Baton Rouge, Louisiana killing 3; or most recently a mass shooting at an office park in Edgewood, Maryland killing 3 or the incident in Las Vegas killing 58.
Obviously this list of tragedies is only a smidgen, a small sampling of the many incidents of gun violence resulting in mass casualties. After each one, there is a renewed push to improve gun control, and it often stops in the lap of the National Rifle Association (NRA). The NRA is a nonprofit lobbyist group that advocates for stronger gun rights of American citizens. According to its website, it was founded in 1871 and has actively lobbied for legislation to support gun rights since 1975. Most people who are politically connected will agree the NRA is one of the most influential lobbyist groups. They have a lot of power.
Those in favor of gun ownership use their 2nd Amendment right to gun ownership. Congress could easily pass a bill to tighten up the current legislation while still retaining a person’s ability to legally purchase and own guns; however, they don’t do a thing. That’s possibly because of the strong hold of the NRA. An argument they often use to support a wider array of gun ownership is, if more people were armed in more places, they could stop some of these folks in their tracks and minimize the number of casualties. That’s an approach that South Dakota embraces. The state legislature enacted a law to allow armed teachers in schools. I don’t know if that’s the answer either. Have more guns doesn’t necessarily mean fewer casualties. Frankly, I wouldn’t want my son or daughter sitting between a mass shooter on one end and a vigilante teacher on the other.
I don’t know what the answer is. But clearly what we have now isn’t working. There must be a better way, I just don’t know what that is.