Safety & Solidarity, Meet the Second Amendment
In the aftermath of the tragedy in Tucson, lawmakers' reactions to the event have been scrutinized by the media and the American public. Specifically, on how this unexpected horror can focus our attention on achieving real and lasting change in the area of gun control.
Representative Peter King (R-NY) has called for a new law which makes it illegal to knowingly carry a gun within 1000 meters of senior federal officials. Though lawmakers face particular security challenges, every American is threatened by the dangers posed by guns.
In fact, on average 34 Americans are killed by handguns each day. This week, there was one high profile shooting, but in an average week, over 200 deaths go under the media radar. These are the individuals that should be protected by our laws, but who are instead paying the price for unsatisfactory gun regulations. It is to them and their families that we owe a safer America.
An important consideration in this conversation is how we reconcile the constitutional right to bear arms with the Jewish imperative to preserve life. The answer is that we must ensure those who intend to do harm are faced with great obstacles in obtaining a weapon. Sensible gun control is not a violation of Second Amendment rights, it is a surety that preserves every American's right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Fortunately, there is some light on the horizon. Representative Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) is rumored to be introducing legislation banning high-capacity ammunition magazines like the one used by the shooter in Arizona. A committed gun control advocate who was personally touched by gun violence when her husband was killed and her son seriously wounded on a commuter rail by a gunman more than a decade ago, McCarthy understands that now is the time to address this issue in a way that protects all those in danger, and not just the select few.