On Wednesday we did a segment on Richard French Live titled ‘Guns in America: Does America have a Problem?’ Tragically, neither any of the guests, nor myself realized just how timely the segment would be. A day and half later Adam Lanza blasted his way into the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, using a high-powered rifle to kill 20 children and six adults, including the principal who tried to stop him.
In solidarity, President Obama stood with the community in Connecticut last night, and has shown visible emotion since his first press conference from the White House on Friday. Now all attention must turn to making sure this never happens again, which means the "untouchable subject" in American Politics, gun control, must be faced head-on.
I venture to say most Americans are not comfortable with taking away the rights of fellow citizens, but sadly we have reached a point where something has to give. The National Rifle Association may be a powerful lobby with a lot of money, but the American People deserve better, and collectively, our voices are stronger than any one group.
How many more people have to die? In Movie Theatres, Mosques, in cities like Chicago and New York, and now our babies in school days before Christmas. All we can do now is be thankful for the heroic actions of teachers that put their lives on the line. Frankly, NRA officials should be forced to sit down in a room with those Connecticut parents and teachers and explain to them why the country doesn't need a ban on assault weapons.
In light of this situation, you would think the NRA would be pro-active and announce they are supporting the Assault Weapons ban. That would provide political cover to elected officials that are beholden to the NRA, and those officials that support the second amendment, to work with President Obama and pass another Assault Weapons ban. Such a move was done during the Clinton years, but we need it more than ever now. The National Rifle Association has been able to successfully target some Congress members for defeat, but there are some of us that believe the NRA's power is not what it is believed to be. In other words, the NRA is a paper tiger.
To begin the conversation, and move forward with sane gun laws Congress needs to do the following:
• Take the anger the nation is feeling and immediately re-instate the Assault Weapon ban and crack down on purchasing High Ammunition Clips with more than 10 bullets.
• Ban the Gun show loop-hole which permits people to escape background checks.
• Make it more difficult for the Mentally Disabled to purchase/have guns.
Our children deserve better of Political Leadership. A nation mourns.
This is another piece I wrote for the Huffington Post back in October, titled the Gun Violence Must Stop.
Dominic Carter is a Political Commentator for RNN TV, and the former Political Anchor for NY1