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In no way would be attempt to downplay the severity of that action. However, if we’re not very careful, the ripple effect from that incident may be even more tragic for all of us.
Was the shooting in Arizona more tragic because a U.S. congressman was shot? I believe so. Not that Gabrielle Giffords is any “more important” than the little 9-year-old girl who died, or any of the other victims. But when a person represents our government – whether it be a law enforcement officer or an elected official (at any level from local school board or city council to President of the United States) – that person is accountable for his or her actions, and at the same time, deserves a higher-level of respect.
But the most devastating result of this act of ignorant violence will be the renewed action to eliminate guns.
No doubt, there are people carrying guns who should not be. There are also people driving cars who are a threat to other motorists on the roadway, and doctors prescribing medications that are killing people.
The Brady Bill, signed into law in November 1993, requires a prospective handgun buyer to wait five business days while the authorities check on his or her background, during which time the sale is approved or prohibited based on an established set of criteria.
Brady, you may remember, press secretary for President Ronald Reagan, was shot in the head in 1981 by John Hinckley Jr. during an attempt on President Reagan’s life. Brady was first pronounced dead at the hospital, but survived and began an impressive recovery from his debilitating brain injury.
During the 1980s, Brady became a leading proponent of gun-control legislation and in 1987 succeeded in getting a bill introduced into Congress.
Although staunchly opposed by many in reference to the U.S. Constitution, in 1993, with the support of President Bill Clinton, an advocate of gun control, the Brady Bill became law.
So, why was suspect Jared Lee Loughner, 22, of Tucson, in possession of a 9mm Glock? He was a known drug user who had been turned down for U.S. military service. From what we can tell, everyone who knew him said he was a “nut”, for lack of better words.
Although far removed in terms of severity, this compares in some ways with the recently enacted 15 mph speed limit in Rainbow Ridge by the Ava City Council.
If the existing 25 mph speed limit could not be consistently enforced, neither will the 15 mph limit, nor the additional stop signs.
And if the media was able to learn so much about Jared Loughner within hours of the shooting of Congressman Giffords, it makes one wonder how much of a background check was done before he purchased a handgun.
More laws does not seem to be the answer.