I have been bringing up the deafening silence on the campaign trail about the increased gun violence in our country. Obama addressed the problem this weekend by showing how close to home it hit for him:
At a town hall last night, Obama revealed that one of his top volunteers in Iowa was gunned down in the Omaha Mall shooting several months ago.
John McDonald, 65, was a precinct captain for Obama in Council Bluffs, Iowa (just across the border from Omaha). McDonald was Christmas shopping with his wife when he was gunned down.
Obama then offered some solutions, and they are solutions I also believe in:
Obama added that when shootings like these are “occurring every three months,” it was indicative of a larger problem. He called for “common sense” gun laws including: stronger background checks to prevent the mentally ill from obtaining guns, said the COPS program, closing the gun show loophole and using new technology to better trace guns used in drug crimes.
He was quick to say that he believed in the 2nd Amendment, but he said the right had to be used responsibly. He compared restrictions on gun ownership to how one curbs free speech, saying yelling “Fire!” in a crowded town hall like this one violated that right.
I have never been one to say “get rid of all the guns”. It would be impossible to do and cause many problems. I believe Americans do have the right to own guns. The problem lies in how easily they can get them. The shooters at Virginia Tech last year and Chicago a few weeks ago both bought their guns from the same place – the internet. Guns shouldn’t be as easy to come by as collectibles on EBay. We need stronger background checks and to close the loopholes in the laws.
I can’t say how glad I am that a candidate finally addressed this problem. Now if we can get them to address the growing problem of police brutality then America might be a little bit better.