If not now, then when? The conversation on stricter gun laws is needed.

In the wake of the absolutely horrific tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut where 27 people lost their lives including the shooter, when will the time be right to start a serious dialogue on stricter gun laws? I must admit I was on the fence about guns because I know that human beings will find a way to kill each other with or without them. But there are far too many of these types of rogue shootings happening in our communities across this nation. Not just in low-income communities as typified in Hollywood action flicks, TV police dramas or in the stereotypical media-hyped 11:00 p.m. lead story, but in bedroom communities and affluent areas that people flee to in order to get away from so-called “big city violence”. The sad but simple truth here is that no one is safe no matter where you live…violence can visit anyone of us at any given time and it doesn’t ask if it can visit, it just appears much like the dreaded Grim Reaper.

While I believe people should have the right to defend themselves, however I don’t believe that access to guns, ammo and what not should be so darn easy. You can go on-line and if someone searches long enough, can buy any type of weapon and artillery they want with ease and without much of a identity or background check. The madness may not stop completely, but it most certainly can be curtailed. And if the shooter, as mentioned in various reports, was mentally unstable, then that makes it even worse because we never want to continue to stigmatize the mentally ill, but people with certain mental illnesses should be called into question when purchasing lethal weapons. Even if it means having a database with people who have been diagnosed with the more potentially violent mental illnesses. Sorry, but something has to be done and it may not go down well with many people but too many lives are needlessly lost to gun violence.

I was watching a segment on a TV news magazine where this shooting range in Texas offered  to host kid’s birthday parties. You had young children, siting in chairs, whose feet couldn’t even touch the ground and were as young as 7 and 8 ( oh by the way, the girls had “pink” guns) there shooting at targets with LIVE ammo. The reasoning behind this twisted mindset, according to the owner, that it’s better to teach them young how to safely handle weapons. Here’s a thought, how about not having weapons around for them to safely handle or at the very least, allow kids to be kids and not train them to become some gun-toting assassins before they’re 10. What do you think… far-fetched???

We can all sit behind out laptops and fume, chat among our family and friends but it’s time for all of us to pull up our big boy pants and big girl panties to do what needs to be done…call our local, state and federal officials on the carpet about gun laws. Make our voices heard load and clear that we want stricter laws and we won’t take no for an answer. The NRA has had a strangle-hold on our government for too long and it’s time for them to break free of their grip and do what’s right for this country or unfortunately we will be mourning another shooting tragedy such as Sandy Hook Elementary School. No, guns don’t kill people, people kill people, but too much easy access to guns by the wrong people can make this a very scary and dangerous world to live in.

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