All Americans are terrified of another Aurora shooting, but most still don’t want to limit the availability of guns. And as often as guns kill, citizens don’t want them banned. This is the predicament in which lawmakers find themselves.
Today, Democratic Senator of New Jersey Frank Lautenberg and Rep. Carolyn McCarthy of New York revealed their bill to control the sale of ammunition, via online and mail-order sales.
However, they only did so in New York, a very Democratic state, where the concept of gun control is more popular than in other places.
But why is that?
Nearly 20 years after an assault weapons ban passed in Congress, gun control has become such an precarious subject that passing anything to do with the limitation of guns and ammunition can be a dangerous move for Democratic lawmakers.
Lautenberg and McCarthy say they hope their bill will make it more difficult for people trying to anonymously buy large amounts of ammunition online. This hits close to home for McCarthy whose husband was killed and son injured in a 1993 shooting on the Long Island Rail Road. The shooter in Aurora was believed to have bought thousands of ammunitions rounds online just weeks before the mass shooting.
Even though this may seem like a bill that would help crack down on people buying suspicious amounts of ammunition, many will oppose and react negatively to it.
CNN quotes Alan Lizotte, the dean of SUNY Albany’s School of Criminal Justice, as saying that congressional Democrats “decided to keep quiet and not go there,” when it comes to gun policy.
Much of this has to do with the past. Still fresh in many peoples’ minds is when President Clinton presented an assault weapons ban to Congress and required a waiting period before purchasing guns. This led to heated debates, particularly when the Columbine shooting occurred in 1999.
Many believe Vice President Gore lost the presidency because of Clinton’s gun control initiative. Obama, house, and senate leaders have learned from Clinton’s mistake and refuse to take gun control issues head-on. Instead, they continue to tiptoe around them, even in the midst of devastating shootings.
Why are citizens so anti-gun control? Is gun control even the answer and, if it isn’t, what is a possible answer to ending gruesome and devastating shootings?