For some, including the president, it is almost a whisper. President Obama is saying, simply, that it is “time to take meaningful action” to prevent gun violence.
Gun rights advocates say any discussion of stricter gun laws is politicizing one of the most senseless tragedies in American history.
Scotland enacted a law making handguns illegal after the 1996 slaughter of 16 preschoolers in Dunblane. But America’s history with guns is different, and it is difficult to imagine that a sweeping ban would ever happen here.
Even before Newtown, the president said he would like to see the renewal of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban that expired during the Bush administration.
It’s not clear what gun control measure could have prevented this horrific event. Adam Lanza was apparently using his own mother’s legally purchased weapons, which she reportedly used for target shooting.
The intersection of all these mass shootings is not just ready access to powerful weapons, but mental illness. An examination of both issues – our gun laws and the treatment of those who are mentally ill – is warranted.
President Obama is right: this has happened too many times. And while each time the cost is unbearable, this time – with the loss of so many who were so very young – the cost is beyond measure.