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The Blue & Gray Press | May 27, 2018

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Gun violence demands action

By ASHLEY COOPER

Americans are unfortunately all too familiar with outlandish gun violence inflicted by their own people. From the homicide shooting at the movie theater in the Aurora, Col., to the shooting on July 20 to the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14. Barack Obama has little to no choice but to make efforts to get these advanced “weapons of war” off the streets and to take gun control laws head on.

According to the Washington Post, Obama, who has recently instructed Vice President Joseph Biden, to hold public meetings with gun control groups, has let it be known that he will not be able to focus solely on immigration laws. One of Obama’s largest commitments coming into the 2008 presidential race, may have to sit on the back burner for a while with the current epidemic flooding the country.

In his State of the Union address this past February, the president made a very public plea to all groups involved to begin making stringent efforts to put an end to such senseless gun violence. Both the president and vice president have met with or reached out to dozens of senators in hopes of an agreement. “What’s more important, our children or an ‘A’ grade from the gun lobby?” said Obama at a speech given earlier this month in Hartford, Conn.

Even in the weeks preceding that speech, there were plenty of peaceful gatherings and civic protests outside political meetings. Republican leaders ultimately settled on a full-on alternative gun measure to be drafted by Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), the ranking republican on the judiciary committee, and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas). This would have allocated $15 million over three years to prosecute illegal gun possession. “This last-minute alternative is apparently being offered so that republicans who fear crossing the Washington gun lobby can go home and say that they voted for something,” said Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), chairman of the judiciary committee. “This is our reward.”

After a failed attempt to reach an agreement, the bill was abortive. Representative Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), met with a furious Obama who called it a “shameful day” in Washington. After the meeting, Giffords’ gun control group, “Americans for Responsible Solutions,” circulated an email appeal to help bring exposure to members who voted against the bill. By the time Giffords got back to her Washington hotel from the White House, $200,000 had come in.

The Gun act is still an ongoing effort. The president himself has made it his word to demand an end to the senseless lethal acts of gun violence in America. As a people, we are not new to such acts of terror and it is sickening that something as destructive and disgusting as mass shootings remain a problem in this country. It seems as if every six months there is a story plastered across the front page of a mass homicide. It is thoroughly repulsive that strict gun laws were not set into place long ago and are just now making little headway, only to be pushed off again by an abrasive Republican party.