America is once again reeling from a mass shooting that occurred today at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin, just outside Milwaukee. What we know so far is that seven people were killed, including the gunman. One police officer is in surgery after being shot several times.
This latest act of senseless and deplorable violence takes place less than three weeks after the Colorado theater massacre that left 12 people dead and 58 wounded.
In the wake of that shooting, New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg and New York Rep. Carolyn McCarthy offered up legislation that would limit online sales of ammunition while placing requirements on gun dealers to report bulk ammunition sales. Among members of Congress, this puts Lautenberg and McCarthy in the same category as John the Baptist, "Lone voices crying out in the wilderness."
In the past weeks, we have repeatedly heard the details of that horrible night
in Aurora, Colorado. We remain shocked that it was legal for that young man to purchase all those weapons and bullets, including an AR-15 and 6,000 rounds of ammunition. And still, when the crucial question is asked, "What can we do so this never happens again?," the answer is always the same, "NOTHING!,” and so Milwaukee happens.
We can purchase any firearm we want, including a semi-automatic assault weapon, as if God and the Second Amendment created all firearms equally. Does anyone seriously believe the Founding Fathers imagined buying an AR-15 on line when they passed the Second Amendment and the rest of the Bill of Rights in 1791? How many innocent people have to die in movie theaters, fast-food restaurants, classrooms, and elsewhere before we acknowledge that something isn't working.
The Lautenberg-McCarthy bill will not end gun violence. The bill, however, is an important first step. Every member of Congress should search his or her soul when it comes to drafting and passing sensible gun control legislation. To shy away from tackling what has become a recurring nightmare is unconscionable.