By Assemblyman Upendra J. Chivukula
The culture of gun violence appears in our everyday lives whether it’s watching the local news, reading the newspaper, or going to the movies. In some unfortunate shape or form, gun violence is present in our conscious minds constantly.
Responsible gun ownership should have common sense requirements.
Furthermore, irresponsible violent acts should not go without consequences. During one year, Canada had 144 deaths due to gun violence. Australia, 59. Great Britain, 19. United States of America: 9,369.
There is something very dreadfully wrong with that.
In order to change the threat of random gun violence the culture of romanticizing it must be changed.
We need to properly enforce the gun laws on the books, and not make them weaker by repealing them.
Democrats have historically voted for gun control. Republicans have historically voted against it. And as heinous acts have once again been committed with legally owned guns, the debate over gun control resurfaces.
Gun control proponents tout the recent shootings in Colorado and Wisconsin as reasons for limits on the sale of bullets, high-volume magazines, and a common sense ban on assault weapons.
Gun control opponents dismiss these arguments, citing that the actions of an individual shouldn’t punish responsible gun owners and infringe on their 2nd Amendment rights. Gun enthusiasts claim that more people should have guns so violent extremists can be equally confronted, in turn, negating the threat.
Some say criminals bent on causing harm will find a way to obtain a weapon. They say such is the nature of the criminal, so making more laws won’t matter. And in the grand scheme of American life, mass shootings tend to be isolated events, not constants or the everyday norm. So, having every American arm him or herself with a concealed weapon is unnecessary and will actually increase danger –– let’s not go back to Dodge City and the Wild West.
The time has come to focus on changing the romantic way we view an all too common form of inflicting harm upon others. The bigger picture will focus on eliminating doing harm to one another regardless of means.
But for now, let’s focus on making gun violence less appealing and less frequent though cultural reformation.
Common sense legislation as well as strict enforcement of current laws should follow the lead of the civilization’s unwritten rules.
Assemblyman Upendra J. Chivukula is a legislator in New Jersey’s 17th District and has been involved in politics for over 18 years. He is challenging Republican Leonard Lance for the U.S. Congress seat in the 7 th District.