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Why we haven’t passed effective gun control laws

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Last Friday another mass murder was committed by a young male with a lot of rage and a history of mental health issues- but also a legal and easy access to guns. Yet again it was college students who lost their lives at the very start of their adulthood. Their families, friends, college town and the nation is in mourning and the same question that we heard over and over after Virginia Tech, Tucson, Aurora, Newtown, and the Navy Annex is being asked again; “Why haven’t we resolved the gun control problem yet.”

Fingers have been pointed at legislators who are accused of cowering to both the NRA and their outspoken, gun loving constituents, the powerful gun lobby has been charged with putting the bottom line of its members over the welfare of people, and the President has been called ineffective for not having or using the power to get the job done. There has also been the added charge that the shooters in all of these incidents have suffered from mental illness and that even when the system knew or suspected there was a problem, nothing was done that might have prevented the attacks.

Add to all of this our nation’s history with guns, the existing laws that vary greatly from state to state, the value our nation places on individual rights and freedoms, and the complexity of attitudes about guns that transcend party, socio-economic and ethnic lines- and coming to a consensus within and between the differing entities needed for a solution will be very difficult to achieve.

So far the solution has been sought by placing the responsibility on one or two entities- and this simplistic approach to solving the problem is most likely why no real progress has been made even after recent incidents that should have provided the motivation for real change. Any effective and lasting solution will require a complex coming together of institutions, organizations, legislators, and individual citizens- all of whom will have to agree to give something up for the common good. Special interests will have to give way to the interests of all and the attitude of us VS them will need to shift to one of us VS the potential tragedy and loss of life that will continue without intervention. Guns would still be part of our culture, but they would be carefully regulated and controlled like drugs that can be life-saving or lethal- depending upon who uses them and how.

A solution is possible if we could come together and stop blaming everyone else for a problem that all of us will either contribute to or be part of the solution for.