Submitted by andy on Wed, 2011-02-02 09:14
2.2.11 The Durham News
We have all been shocked and saddened by the tragic shootings with a rapid-fire Glock pistol and 30-bullet magazine by a deranged man in Tucson, Arizona.
The deadly combination of a climate of violent rhetoric, easy availability of high-capacity bullet magazines and rapid-firing weapons, an inadequate mental health system, and ineffective gun purchase restrictions combined to create this latest American gun massacre. For the first time in years a federal legislator has been the target.
All of these complex contributing factors present serious problems which will take time to be solved. But what stands out is that there are ways now to prevent the easy availability of rapid-fire guns and high capacity magazines that give people the means to express their anger and hatred. We can enact laws to prevent military assault weapons designed to kill in rapid succession from being available to civilians.
Many of us recall that the 10-year federal partial ban on rapid-fire assault weapons was allowed to sunset in 2004.North Carolinians Against Gun Violence and other state and national gun control groups worked hard to re-enact and strengthen the law but failed to convince Congress. The nationwide revulsion of these shootings gives Americans a new opportunity to enact a law to ban assault weapons.
Rep. Carolyn McCarthy and Senator Frank Lautenberg have introduced a bill to ban magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of bullets. A more far-reaching ban would be preferable, but we must be realistic about the make-up of Congress, especially the House of Representatives, and the incredible power of the NRA.Lisa Price, Co-founder, NCGV