bulletsThe fol­low­ing op-ed appeared in the Jan­u­ary 31, 2013 issue of the Cam­pus Chron­i­cle, the stu­dent news­pa­per at Pacific Union Col­lege.

There are always for­ma­tive moments that are seared in our mem­o­ries. The gun mas­sacre at the Sandy Hook Ele­men­tary School in New­town, Conn., is one such moment. While the hor­rific mas­sacre of 20 inno­cent chil­dren and six teach­ers in New­town might only be the lat­est in a con­stant stream of gun vio­lence, it was the spark that has gal­va­nized peo­ple from across the coun­try to seek an end to the vio­lence in a way no other event has.

Fol­low­ing the tragedy, Pres­i­dent Barack Obama made a state­ment vow­ing to pur­sue com­mon sense solu­tions to America’s epi­demic of gun violence.

As a coun­try, we have been through this too many times,” the Pres­i­dent said. “Whether it’s an ele­men­tary school in New­town, or a shop­ping mall in Ore­gon, or a tem­ple in Wis­con­sin, or a movie the­ater in Aurora, or a street cor­ner in Chicago—these neigh­bor­hoods are our neigh­bor­hoods, and these chil­dren are our children.”

Obvi­ously, well-meaning indi­vid­u­als bring vary­ing per­spec­tives and solu­tions to ebb the plague of gun vio­lence. One thing is clear, how­ever. Some­thing must be done. We can­not con­done a sys­tem that leads to an aver­age of over 100,000 peo­ple being shot every year, includ­ing over 18,000 chil­dren and teens.

We’re going to have to come together,” the pres­i­dent added, “and take mean­ing­ful action to pre­vent more tragedies like this, regard­less of the politics.”

The pres­i­dent is not alone. Amer­i­cans of every stripe are com­ing together and demand­ing sen­si­ble solu­tions. A White House peti­tion demand­ing that Pres­i­dent Obama pro­pose a plan to pre­vent gun vio­lence quickly became Twitter’s most pop­u­lar peti­tion, as the #Deman­dA­Plan cam­paign trended in the world of tweets.

Mean­while, res­i­dents of New­town, Conn., includ­ing fam­i­lies of vic­tims, cre­ated the “Sandy Hook Promise,” ask­ing Amer­i­cans to promise to “honor the 26 lives lost at Sandy Hook Ele­men­tary School” and “encour­age and sup­port com­mon sense solu­tions that make my com­mu­nity and our coun­try safer from sim­i­lar acts of violence.”

obamaPres­i­dent Obama has responded to pub­lic out­cry by announc­ing a plan to reduce gun vio­lence while respect­ing the rights of the vast major­ity of gun own­ers who are law abid­ing and use their guns safely. His plan, which included rec­om­men­da­tions from a task force of stake­hold­ers led by Vice Pres­i­dent Joe Biden, is a com­mon­sense pro­posal that Con­gress should pass promptly.

As part of his plan, the pres­i­dent is call­ing on Con­gress to close loop­holes that allow the sale of guns with­out back­ground checks and begin requir­ing back­ground checks for all gun pur­chases. The plan also sup­ports a new, stronger ban on assault weapons and lim­it­ing ammu­ni­tion mag­a­zines to 10 rounds. It also calls on Con­gress to ban pos­ses­sion of armor-piercing bul­lets to any­one other than law enforce­ment and the military.

The president’s plan goes much fur­ther than can be described here. If it is passed in full, it will be an invalu­able step towards mak­ing Amer­i­cans safer and hon­or­ing the mem­o­ries of those mur­dered in New­town and other shoot­ings across the country.

Because this time, it must be different.

Read all of the President’s pro­pos­als at wh​.gov/​n​o​w​-​i​s​-​t​h​e​-​t​ime and sign the Sandy Hook Promise at sandy​hookpromise​.org.

Gio­vanni Hashimoto is pres­i­dent of Col­lege Democ­rats at Pacific Union Col­legeAn hon­ors stu­dent, he is in the history/pre-law pro­gram and is the fea­tures edi­tor of the Cam­pus Chron­i­cle. He blogs at http://​www​.gio​vani​hashimoto​.com 

 
 

1 Comment

  1. […] Opin­ion: Now Is The Time to Pass Sen­si­ble Gun Pol­icy Reforms (Gio­vanni Hashimoto). “Amer­i­cans of every stripe are com­ing together and demand­ing sen­si­ble solutions.” […]

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