Why does the US have such a high rate of gun murders?
The shooter in the Aurora theater massacre, James Holmes, purchased more than 6,000 rounds of ammunition in the weeks leading up to the shooting, spending roughly $3,000 on his arsenal. He also purchased a bullet-proof vest and other tactical gear to mimic a SWAT team member, and high-capacity magazines that would have been illegal under the Assault Weapons Ban or any number of pieces of gun control legislation that have stalled out in Congress. Holmes built up his unusually large collection of deadly weapons just before the shooting without once raising a red flag with authorities. Also, not once, was he required to submit a background check or register his name to the purchases.
Tragically, 12 people are dead now as a result of his rampage. And despite the obvious lessons here, which are the same lessons we learned from the last year’s Tucson massacre, that mentally unstable people can get a hold of extremely deadly weapons of war way too easy in this nation, don’t hold your breath for sensible gun control legislation. Already, President Obama abandoned a call for gun control, arguing that we need to prevent gun crimes by relying on “existing law.” And Democratic Governor of Colorado, John Hickenlooper, refused to endorse tougher gun control laws.
Even Conservative Commentator Bill Kristol argued that it was “foolish” for Democrats to not push for gun control. As Democratic Congresswoman, and strong supporter of gun control, Carolyn McCarthy bluntly said in an interview Sunday about her colleagues in Congress, “They don’t have the spine anymore. They pander to who’s giving them money.”
And that right there, folks, is what’s wrong with our nation. With money in control, common sense policies – like keeping assault weapons out of the hands of the mentally ill – are off the table. And instead, the crazies – those who think the massacre was a condemnation from God or staged by the Obama Administration to restrict gun rights – win the debate, simple because they also gladly accept money from the gun lobby that profits off more death and destruction in America. The Second Amendment is not a license to let mass murders continue without action.