All eyes fell on Tucson, Ariz., the days following Jan. 8, when a gunman opened fire on a crowd at a meet-and-greet between Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) and her constituents.
Jared Lee Loughner, an armed suspect restrained by citizens, was taken into custody at the scene. Six people were killed, and 14 were wounded, including Giffords, who survived a single gunshot to the head; doctors say she is making remarkable progress, despite the possibility of remaining in a vegetative state.
As the media and public breathe a heavy sigh of relief for Giffords’ miraculous survival, gun control and gun violence are once again in the spotlight, in an all-too-familiar song and dance.
Using information obtained from the Philadelphia Police Department, The Temple News’ Nov. 30 article “Loaded Offenses” found 213 crimes involving guns occurred between Sept. 1 and Nov. 28. Of the 213 crimes, 124 were robberies involving a gun, 81 were aggravated assaults and eight were homicides by a handgun.
The Temple News also reported homicides and aggravated assaults involving guns were the only two violent crimes on the rise in Philadelphia, a local murmur among a national echo of epidemic proportions.
A recent Rasumussen Report national telephone survey found 62 percent of adults believe stricter gun laws would not have helped prevent the shootings in Tucson, compared to the 29 percent of adults who believed tighter gun control would have helped.
It doesn’t get any better. Bloomberg News cited the Federal Bureau of Investigation data on Jan. 12 showing one-day gun sales in Arizona were 60 percent higher the Monday after the shooting.
Along with a Jan. 11 Slate.com article, which reported the per capita of about 85 guns per 100 people in the United States, the need for an intense nationwide dialogue on gun control and gun violence is more evident now.
We encourage all citizens, in Philadelphia and nationwide, to engage in the current dialogue on gun control and violence.
The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence reports that on average, almost 100,000 people in the U.S. are shot or killed by a gun in one year.
If we as a society gave each of these approximate 100,000 the attention we gave to those killed or injured in Tucson, Ariz., the phrase “gun control” might be seen as a legitimate preventative measure rather than one that harms the Second Amendment.