ROCKVILLE – A Nov. 17 hearing on the impact of gun violence on public health centered on ways to reduce the number of people dying from being shot, including making guns safer.
The hour-long discussion at the Montgomery County Council Building did not entirely avoid the issue of gun control, as promised by County Councilmember George Leventhal (D-At large), who sponsored the hearing.
Leventhal said members of the public could not comment during the hearing out for fear that the hearing “could get out of control.”
“Gun violence is something we’d like to see diminished,” Leventhal said.
State Del. Luke Clippinger (D-46) said he is planning to reintroduce a bill that would prevent people on the federal Terror Watch list from purchasing a firearm in Maryland.
The bill by the Baltimore delegate would use the federal terror watch list, which bans people from boarding airplanes, from purchasing a firearm in Maryland.
After the shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, a similar bill was introduced in the United States Senate that would have banned anyone on a federal watch list from purchasing a firearm.
Many congressional Democrats argued such a ban would have prevented Orlando shooter Omar Mateen from purchasing a firearm.
Thinking about what transpired in that crowded nightclub in Orlando is both heartbreaking and infuriating. Heartbreaking to imagine the sheer terror felt by the victims; infuriating because the carnage took place in my country, not some third world, war-torn nation thousands of miles away.
Many have pointed to the ISIS influence on the murderer as the motivation behind the slaughter. The ISIS influence certainly played a major role even if only as a convenient excuse for the gunman to wreak his havoc. The root cause, I believe, goes a lot deeper than ISIS.
Speaker of the House of Representatives Paul Ryan called it a “publicity stunt”. The “it” refers to the unprecedented action by House Democrats to stage a sit-in on the floor of the House chamber to force a vote on gun safety legislation. He might be right since “publicity”, especially negative publicity and in an election year, might be the only tactic that might jar the so-called “do nothing Congress” to finally take some action regarding the ongoing threat to our society posed by the unfettered access to firearms by even those on the Terrorist Watch List.
Callous. That is the new word to describe life in the United States. We can also add in “uncaring” but that may be gilding the lily.
Following the latest mass shooting in the U.S. it says something that so many Americans, including the presumptive GOP and Democratic nominees for the highest office in the land took to tweeting their respective political stances regarding gun control, terror and Muslims before the bodies were even cold.
Elsewhere on social media the masses divided themselves into pro-gun and anti-gun corners while also drawing themselves into Muslim, gay and Hispanic corners as they took aim at each other – hopefully only figuratively speaking.
The shooting was Obama’s fault for not “recognizing our enemies”, and “The problem wasn’t one guy with a gun but 103 that didn’t have one,” and “Ban all guns Now,” while elsewhere others hinted our current President had something to do with the shooting.