Will Oregon mass killings be a tipping point?
Probably Not

police_lights350Two years after the tragedy at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, a study in Preventive Medicine found large majorities of Americans continue to support a range of gun violence prevention policies.

Ralph E. Stone Global News Centre

(SAN FRANCISCO)  On October 1, 2015, ten people were killed and another seven injured after Christopher Harper-Mercer, a 26-year-old gunman, opened fire in a classroom at Umpqua Community College in southern Oregon.  Harper-Mercer then took his own life.  President Obama vowed to continue pushing new gun policies that he said would prevent further mass shootings.  Will this mass killings be a tipping point resulting in passage of reasonable federal gun control legislation?  Probably not.

But in this violent nation of ours, there seems to be a disconnect between our Second Amendment “right to keep and bear arms” and the number of mass killings in this country. Americans with guns kill thousands of fellow Americans each year.  And remember, the right to bear arms is not unlimited and does not prohibit all regulation of either firearms or similar devices.

And gun control does work.  A recent study found that states with higher rates of firearms in the home have disproportionately big numbers of gun-related homicides. The findings suggest that measures to make guns less available could cut the rate of killings.

It took the the December 2012 killing of 20 children and seven adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School to reach a tipping point, causing reasonable gun control legislation to be proposed at the federal level. However, Congress failed to reinstate the assault weapons ban.  Other legislation failed to pass, including tougher laws on straw purchases and illegal gun trafficking, efforts to increase school safety, keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally ill, universal background checks, and restrictions on the size of magazines so as to reduce the number of bullets that can be fired before reloading is required.

Two years after the tragedy at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, a study in Preventive Medicine found large majorities of Americans continue to support a range of gun violence prevention policies.

Will the Oregon killings be another tipping point, providing the impetus for actual passage of reasonable gun control legislation at the federal level?  Certainly, there will again be calls for federal gun control legislation, but unfortunately such efforts will probably be doomed because too many members of Congress are overly protective of the Second Amendment or are obligated to the NRA lobby, in tandem with gunmakers and importers, military sympathizers, and far-right organizations.

And after all the sound and fury is over, the cycle of killings, hand wringing and mourning will likely continue ad infinitum.  Or as Presidential candidate Jeb Bush remarked, “Stuff happens” and by implication, will continue to happen, until citizens wrest control of Congress from the National Rifle Association.

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stone-ralphGlobal News Centre writer Ralph E. Stone was born in Massachusetts. He is a graduate of both Middlebury College and Suffolk Law School. We are very fortunate to have this writer’s talents in this troubling world; Ralph has an eye for detail that others miss. As is the case with many GlobalNewsCentre.com writers, Ralph is an American Veteran who served in war. Ralph served his nation after college as a U.S. Army officer during the Vietnam war. After Vietnam, he went on to have a career with the Federal Trade Commission as an Attorney specializing in Consumer and Antitrust Law. Over the years, Ralph has traveled extensively with his wife Judi, taking in data from all over the world, which today adds to his collective knowledge about extremely important subjects like the economy and taxation. You can send Ralph an email at this address stoneralphe@gmail.com

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