Call it Malcolm Gladwell’s tipping point. There have now been around 233 shooting incidents in the USA since the start of the year. The number of killings increase every year and it seems that there is no end in sight.
A Sticky Issue
Our minds go back to the time when Barack Obama tried to push gun control reforms regarding security checks in Congress way back in 2012. Despite all his concerted efforts, there was a deadlock and he had to concede failure.
While there are some representatives both in the Republican and the Democratic parties that are in favor of more gun control laws, yet the issue of gun control lacks the proper level of bipartisan support that will get good and effective gun control laws passed in the larger interest of the American public.
Admittedly, it is a rather sticky issue that needs to be probed in more depth, and in earnest.
An Actor takes the Stage
The Oscar winning actor Matthew McConaughey has just made an impassionate appeal to members of the US Congress in which he stated that stricter laws and identity checks need to be made mandatory in order to control the supply of guns and ammunition.
He met with parents and relatives of the victims at the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. The actor is himself a native of Uvalde. Prior to a White House press briefing on the issue, McConaughey chatted with President Joe Biden and also talked to Senator Chris Murphy, who is heading the bipartisan team on gun control reforms.
Also read: What the US Shootings Have Taught Other Nations
The actor also held up a colorful picture made by one of the victims, 10 year old Alithia Ramirez, who had dreamed of attending an art school in Paris in the future.
His wife Camila Alves produced a pair of green Converse shoes with a heart on them that helped identify another of the victims, Maite Rodriguez. Maite had wanted to become a marine biologist.
His viewpoint is that their deaths were needless, as is the death of every victim of gun violence. It not only brought an end to their lives, it crushed their dreams for the future.
Can we take a Vote on this?
A recent poll by CBS News has indicated that as many as 62 percent of Americans favor greater control on the purchase of AR-15 rifles as well as other semi-automatic and automatic weapons. They also want the age of purchase to be pushed up to 21 years.
Another thing is that we need to pay attention to mental health problems that are the impetus for these killings.
In fact around 81 percent of Americans are in support of better security checks and indeed, a complete nationwide ban on owning any sort of guns at all.
Meanwhile, statistical data from the Gun Violence Archive show that there have been around 18,000 people who died of gun violence in 2022. This figure includes about 10,300 suicides.
It is really time we took some action that reduces gun violence in America. Making guns harder to get, increasing security checks and establishing a gun buyback program are some avenues that we can explore. We also need to tackle issues of mental health that serve to spur on these incidents.