Enact gun control without further delay
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- As the one-year anniversary of the Newtown shooting passes, we should reflect upon this mournful event as well as consider our own failure to enact meaningful legislation to prevent such a tragedy from happening again. The mentally ill shooter had access to his mother's semiautomatic rifle; such a weapon should never have been legal in the first place.
Common-sense gun control legislation, laws that don't infringe upon the Second Amendment right to bear arms to protect one's family and country, are languishing in Congress because of the vise grip that the Big Gun lobby has on our legislators. A renewed ban on semi-automatic and assault weapons; a limit on high-capacity magazines, which Sen. Frank Lautenberg rightly decried as weapons "designed for war zones, not civilized societies"; a limit on handgun purchases; universal gun background checks, including closing the gun show loophole -- all of these laws would make our society safer and help keep guns away from criminals. According to a widely cited Emory University study, the ease of gun availability is directly linked to more societal violence.
Yet, despite such widespread support for legislation like a universal background check, the proposal was defeated by the NRA-backed Republicans in Congress in 2013. Victims of the Newtown massacre deserve justice. Gun control legislation should be enacted now.