After shooting tragedies like the ones at Virginia Tech and Sandy Hook Elementary, it becomes clear that something must be done to prevent things like this from happening again. As Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the Senate Judiciary Chairman says, “no single step can end this kind of violence . . . But the fact that we cannot do everything that could help should not paralyze us from doing anything that can help” (Sink & Lillis 2013). One of the steps that can be taken toward lowering the number of gun massacre tragedies is to limit the amount of ammunition people can buy.
Columnist Joyce Cordi wrote an emotional piece in December stating that if Sandy Hook shooter could not have easily bought a lot of ammunition that was “packaged for rapid firing from those guns,” that the Newtown tragedy would not have occurred (2012). Radical supporters of gun law changes such as Cordi believe that President Obama should exercise his authority regardless of what the Constitution has to say about gun laws because going through Congress would take too much time, allowing another tragedy to occur (2012). While such a move on the President’s part could possible help avert tragedy, the very idea that he might take such a step has gun-rights activists posting tirades and political cartoons claiming he is trampling over the Constitution. Although Cordi has the right idea about limiting ammo, her emotional writing style is likely to do more harm than good when it comes to maintaining a rational conversation about gun control issues.
According to the President, “Weapons designed for the theater of war have no place in a movie theater . . . A majority of Americans agree with us on this” (Sink & Lillis 2013). One of his efforts to help avert gun massacre tragedies was to call for Congress to approve a ban on high-capacity ammunition clips, meaning that any clips holding more than 10 bullets would be illegal (Sink & Lillis 2013). The President realizes that working with Congress, slow as it may be, is probably the only way to eventually get more gun control laws including those placing limits on ammunition passed. People on both sides of the issue feel passionate about the issue, and in order for any useful change to occur, the President realizes the need to maintain a civil, rational conversation that focuses on both Constitutional and human rights.
Placing limits on the amount of ammunition people can buy and the amount of ammo a clip can hold will have an effect on the number of deaths that occur due to firearms. Legislation to do so may come about slowly, but it is better if it is slow to happen than never to happen. Such legislation will not put an end to gun tragedies, but it is a step that will hopefully be one of many to help put an end to the massacres that plague society today. If such laws avert even one such tragedy, they should be considered a success.
Cordi, Joyce (Dec. 2012). Why Obama Should Limit the Sale of Gun Ammo Now. Policymic. Retrieved from http://www.policymic.com/articles/20881/
Sink, Justin & Lillis, Mike (16 Jan. 2013). Obama Unveils New Restrictions on Assault Weapons, Ammunition. The Hill. Retrieved from http://thehill.com/homenews/