It was six months ago today when a mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, left 26 people dead, including 20 first graders. The tragedy put a national spotlight on gun violence, but as gun safety advocate Joan Peterson explains, Congress has been unable to pass any legislation…and all the while, gun-related deaths in this country continue to mount.
|"Since 12-14 about 5,000 people have been killed by bullets and that doesn’t include suicide. You know, that’s more people than died in the Iraq war. If we can’t do something about that, who are we as a country? Why would we not?"|
One of the main objectives in reducing gun violence, says Peterson, is having background checks completed with all gun purchases in the U-S, so felons and those with dangerous mental illnesses can not take advantage of the current loopholes.
|"We’ve kept quite a few people who shouldn’t have guns from getting them from federally-licensed dealers. Why the resistance to expanding it to private sales is beyond me. I don’t understand why every gun sale shouldn’t have a background check. It just makes sense."|
Those opposed to expanded background checks are concerned it could lead to some type of national gun registry, although the record is destroyed within 24 hours. They also claim it would be an infringement of their Second Amendment rights, even though the U-S Supreme Court has upheld the checks as constitutionally sound.