Control Guns, Don't Buy More

Following the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary, New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow writes that it's time for gun-control laws, not ill-advised and fear-based action, like buying more weapons for protection.

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Newtown, Conn., locals outside a church (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Perhaps Sandy Hook Elementary School's tragedy will be the catalyst America needs to secure tougher gun regulations. However, New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow writes, too many people are responding to mass shootings in the wrong way. Instead of recognizing that stiffer gun laws are needed, some people purchased more guns, as Colorado residents did following the Dark Knight Rises shooting earlier this year.

In the vacuum of strong advocacy, too many Americans respond to tragedies like these in undesirable ways.

According to an August report from Bloomberg News, "background checks for gun purchases spiked 41 percent in Colorado after 12 people were killed inside a suburban Denver movie theater, according to state data."

And while gun control advocates grow more quiet, the gun lobby grows stronger and louder. According to a report issued Friday by the Center for Responsive Politics' OpenSecrets.org, "For gun rights groups, 2012 was the most active election cycle since 2000. They contributed a total of $3 million to candidates, 96 percent of them Republicans." By contrast, the group pointed out that "gun control groups contributed less in this election cycle than in any cycle as far back as OpenSecrets has data (1990)."

According to the Web site ThinkProgress, Larry Pratt, the executive director of Gun Owners of America, wasted no time trying to pin Friday's shooting on gun control advocates. ThinkProgress quoted a statement of his that read, in part: "Gun control supporters have the blood of little children on their hands. Federal and state laws combined to ensure that no teacher, no administrator, no adult had a gun at the Newtown school where the children were murdered. This tragedy underscores the urgency of getting rid of gun bans in school zones."

Outrageous.

This is a sad, sad state of affairs.

Read Charles M. Blow's entire piece at the New York Times.

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