Opinion: Gun Control, It’s Our Turn
On Wednesday, President Obama drew his pen and signed 23 executive actions geared to reduce firearms violence, some of which take into account the role that mental health plays in mass shootings.
Surrounded by four children who had previously written letters to him asking to do “something” to avoid another school massacre, the President also proposed to Congress to enact legislation to ban the sale of military style semi-automatic rifles and high-capacity magazines and universal background checks for everyone buying a gun.
The day before, a month and a day after the Sandy Hook school massacre, Governor Andrew Cuomo, with the support of the state legislature, signed into law provisions that strengthen the already strict gun laws in the State of New York.
We congratulate and thank both leaders for their prompt reaction to the Newton, Conn., tragedy and the daily bloodshed that claims hundreds of American lives month in and month out. But after patting them on the back, don’t think for a minute that we can let out a sigh of relief.
The hard work begins now, especially for Obama’s plans.
The President said that his proposals are “common sense measures” that a majority of Americans agree with. True. But he also knows that “common sense” does not rule in Capitol Hill, particularly in the House of Representatives under the control of a conservative majority that lives in fear — and from the donations — of the National Rifle Association and the gun manufacturers.
For them, the solution to the flood of guns among the civilian population is more guns and less regulation. They sleep with guns under their pillows and want us to do the same.
“The only way we can change is if the American people demand it,” President Obama said, challenging us to reach out to our representatives in Congress to vote in favor of the sensible gun laws he’s proposed.
And he’s right. It’s our turn at bat. To thwart the merchants of death it is necessary that the majority of the population, which according to recent polls backs gun control measures, let our voices be heard, loud and clear and nonstop.
Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time for change. The road is long and uphill, but we must start somewhere, somehow.
Grab your phone or send an e-mail or write an old-fashioned letter with pen and paper or send smoke signals to your congresspersons and senators in Washington. Let them know you want action.
Meanwhile, those of you who are parents, please, do not buy toy guns or video games that glorify violence and make killing fun.
There’s no time to waste. It’s truly a matter of life and death.