A Farewell to Arms, as We Know It?

By Edward M. Bury, APR (aka The PRDude)

Over the past decade or so, the debate over the need to “do something” over violence resulting from the use of firearms on innocents has ebbed and flowed, capturing the attention of the public and commanding media coverage, then fading.

The horror that followed Columbine in 1999 subsided some weeks later.  Then horror surfaced on the campus at Virginia Tech, at a shopping center in Tucson, at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado.  And, of course, there are much smaller scale gun-related horrors that take place daily on big city street corners and in much smaller communities across America.

Each time, we were able to follow the news and absorb developments from these mass gun-driven slayings as they happened, with grim-faced reporterthe s, police officials and commentators providing sobering reports from the scene. Each time, there was extensive debate.  And each time the debate got pushed away after a while to become yesterday’s news. Except of course, for the families and loved ones of the victims: The horror will probably never go away.

But then there was the massacre of 20 small children and six adults December 14  in a school located in the quiet Connecticut community of Newton. It happened days before Christmas of 2012.  There was lots of debate and it hasn’t subsided.

If this is any barometer, my daily read of the Chicago Tribune has included just about daily editorials and letters from readers on the need to address the relative easy availability of guns designed for combat and high magazine clips, the need for gun registration and related topics.  In the March 1 issue, all five letters addressed gun control.

Since Sandy Hook, the need to take tangible efforts to keep guns out of the hands of those bent on domestic slaughter continues to spark conversations in print, online, on the air and hopefully, around the dinner table in homes across America. I think the debate will continue.  I think we’re witnessing the the dawn of new laws and regulations governing what kind of guns Americans can purchase and how they can purchase them.

Clearly, the old ways that we interpret the 2nd Amendment just can’t be accepted anymore.