After the tragic events of 9/11 that killed 3,000 people, our country took many steps to better secure our people. We created the Homeland Security Department and the TSA to better protect the airports. To date we have spent well over a trillion dollars in fighting wars as a result of the events of 9/11.
After the crash of TWA flight 800 that killed 230 people, our country conducted a massive investigation and concluded that most likely the center fuel tanks in the plane caused the explosion that brought the plane down. The NTSB and FAA made many changes to commercial aircraft with respect to center fuel tanks to prevent this from happening again.
When tragic events occur in our country, our government does take action as we spend millions, if not billions of dollars investigating, preventing and educating our various departments and people to prevent such tragedies from happening ever again. By doing so, we say these events are not acceptable and as a great nation we are saying they must not happen again.
Yet when tragic events happen by the use of assault style guns in this country, we hear nothing, we see nothing and nothing significant changes after each tragic event occurs. Per the Brady Center for gun control on their web site, in the United States about 100,000 people a year are shot by guns. We have over 30,000 people killed on average per year by guns. The breath taking statistic of all, since 1968 the year Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King were assassinated by the use of a gun, over 1 million people have been killed by a gun in America. One can only come up with a simple conclusion of doing nothing after each tragic event in this country that often involves military style weapons allowed to be obtained so easily and used in horrific crimes over and over with no response.
We say through our heartbreaking silence that this is acceptable and we are happy with the laws and regulations that are in place today with respect to this issue. In turn, what does this say about us as a people that represents over 80% of the world’s gun violence in the industrialized world per year? To me, it says an awful lot that is very hard to explain and understand. What on earth I keep asking myself will make us change our ways with respect to such awful violence with these crude and unnecessary weapons in public society. They are not used for hunting and the founding fathers never envisioned such weapons and high capacity bullet magazines with respect to the second amendment. How do we explain to our kids as they go to elementary school, high school and college one day or a movie theater or their place of worship or even their place of employment as they could be shot and killed there as we have seen in recent weeks and months.
Amazingly the only solution I keep seeing is for people to carry more guns as “conceal and carry” would be the best solution that we can apparently only come up with? I was absolutely heartbroken to read that my local law enforcement supports this policy and proliferation of guns in our community and state. We are a great nation and a great people – we are much, much better than this type of crazy solution indeed as it is pouring fuel on a fire already burning out of control.
I would like to think that there are going to be changes in our gun laws in this country with the tragic event in Newtown, CT. I would really like to think that the country is on the verge of saying enough is enough. Yet as with all other events such as Newtown, amazingly nothing does change. What will it take I keep asking myself, what will it take?
David R. Edelman