Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Our country has a problem. It has divided us as a nation and needs our urgent attention. It involves gun ownership; who should have them and what restrictions as to the type of weapon and firepower it possesses. We own more guns in this country than we have people: over 300,000,000 of them. Americans have them mostly for self-protection, hunting, sportsmen shooting and hobby collection. They say the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution allows them to do this. Here lies the problem: Does this amendment also allow Americans to own any type of gun and any amount of firepower in the attachable magazine clips that store the ammunition? Debate and legislation is needed to solve this problem.
Unfortunately, guns in the wrong hands cause serious trouble. Over 100,000 people were shot last year in our country, accidentally and purposely. Some of the guns used caused mass killings and severe injuries in public places such as educational facilities, a theater and a recent sporting event.
We must do something to at least hinder this carnage with meaningful gun legislation. The U.S. Senate recently failed to pass a bill dealing with background checks on persons who wish to purchase guns. The American people overwhelmingly favored its passage. The vote was 54-46 in favor of the bill. But because of stalemate in the Senate due to Republican opposition to the bill, it was agreed by both political sides that 60 votes would be required for its passage instead of a majority. Most Republicans voted no and most Democratic senators voted yes. The National Rifle Association won again thanks to their Republican friends in the Senate. The American people lost.
In closing, we Americans who are not satisfied with the progress being made by our political representatives to alleviate the bloodshed caused by the easy availability of guns and ammunition in our society must communicate our frustration and anger by every means at our disposal. Without action on our part as informed citizens, there will be no meaningful action taken by many elected representatives because of lobbyists such as the powerful NRA in the halls of Congress. It will be an uphill battle but in our democracy the people have the power if they are relentless and stick together for the good of all Americans. Be an active citizen in this fight for more peaceful society.John Peracciny Middleport