EDITORIAL: The need for gun control


EDITORIAL: The need for gun control


Posted: 4/24/07

Many believed last week's Virginia Tech shootings would trigger immediate gun-control legislation from the Democrat-controlled Congress. But apparently, that won't be the case.

Rep. Michael Capuano seemed to represent the Democrat majority's attitude Monday when he said tackling gun control is "just not worth it," as reported by an April 23 Boston Globe article. He said although he would ideally like to support stricter gun-control laws, putting up a losing fight on such a divisive topic could be political suicide. Capuano added it would be a difficult battle because, when it comes to Congress, "the NRA has this place wrapped up." And most other Democrat leaders seem to agree.

But that doesn't mean the fight shouldn't be made. Some of this country's greatest societal changes came after long struggles. The United States entered a civil war in part to end slavery. Activists lost their lives fighting for civil rights in the 1960s. Gay marriage is an undying debate on Capitol Hill. Change is never easy.

The last time Democrats held a majority in Congress, they made headway on gun control. In 1994, President Clinton passed a federal ban on selling semi-automatic weapons. This ban expired in 2004 under a Republican Congress. Now that Democrats have regained dominance in the legislature, gun control should be championed again.

Many Republicans will see gun-control efforts as an irrational reaction to the Virginia Tech tragedy. Too much emphasis on the issue will appear as if Democrats are trying to take advantage of emotional circumstances to push their agenda.

But gun-control efforts are necessary even if they are reactionary. Politics are about responding to society's demands and addressing issues that need to be fixed. It cannot be stressed too often that April 16 was the worst shooting in U.S. history, and it should have been prevented. In 2005, a Virginia court determined Cho Seung-Hui to be mentally ill. Virginia law prevents people who are mentally ill from buying weapons, yet he still acquired the weapons that killed 32 people and himself.

Background checks must be more thorough for purchasing guns. There must be more strict limitations on what types of weapons can be bought. Such legislation may be reactionary, but it is appropriate. When 32 innocent people are murdered, Congress not only has the right to respond, it has the responsibility.


Original Source:<a href=http://media.www.dailyfreepress.com/media/storage/paper87/news/2007/04/24/Opinion/Editorial.The.Need.For.Gun.Control-2876886.shtml> The Daily Free Press - April 24, 2007</a>




The Daily Free Press




Sara Hood


Matt Negrin <editor@dailyfreepress.com>




Anonymous, “EDITORIAL: The need for gun control,” The April 16 Archive, accessed January 26, 2020, http://www.april16archive.org/items/show/1031.