Recently President Barak Obama announced executive actions to curb gun violence in America. Whether you agree with this or not, businesses that sell guns online or at gun shows should actually be required to perform background checks like those in brick-and-mortar stores are required to do so. This wouldn't impose on the rights of anyone to purchase a gun legally in America, but it helps to effectively enforce the requirement that all gun selling businesses conduct background checks.
Late last year, in response to mass violence in America, 2016 Republican Presidential front-runner, Donald Trump said, "It's not a gun problem, it's a mental illness problem."
Trump had a valid point, but far too many times, the insanity plea card used by many perpetrators is nothing more than a tactical courtroom maneuver used by many defense attorneys. In most cases, after committing horrific violent crimes, perpetrators that attempt or commit suicide do so more out of desperation than suffering from any identifiable mental illness.
As expected, this topic has been heavily politicized by conservatives and liberals with neither side willing to give an inch. No matter what any of us attribute to the increase of mass shootings in America, hate is a major contributor that no one really wants to discuss. Also add, a culture of violence that has been allowed to run rampant in America for decades.
Hate is a learned behavior that many individuals, lawmakers, places of worship, and people from all walks of life are guilty of embracing. What many fail to realize is that hate is the product of fear, ignorance and separation. People are so quick to fear what they don't understand and that allows ignorance and separation to set in. Ultimately, hatred leaves many victims suffering from its wrath.
In reference to fear, Dr. Martin Luther King said, “People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don't know each other; they don't know each other because they have not communicated with each other.”
It's quite obvious that there has been an increase in mass shootings in America and according to the FBI, of the 12 deadliest shootings in this country, at least, half happened after 2007. That also includes acts of terrorism.
Often times many Evangelical Christian leaders are quick to point out the moral decline in this country as a major contributing factor to the increase in mass shootings. Even if that is the case, I'm not so certain we can depend on institutions that are the most segregated places in our nation on Sunday's to provide viable solutions.
Although tougher gun control laws may not decrease mass gun violence in America, it could still possibly save some lives. The fact still remains that guns are far too easily obtained by many, including those entering this country to do American citizens harm. Let me also clarify that guns are not the only weapons used during acts of violence, but for many, it's clearly the weapon of choice due to ease of access.
Whether you are for or against stricter gun control laws in America, it will certainly take more than rhetoric from conservatives, liberals, and clergy to help decrease the number of mass shootings in this country. In my opinion, it's way past time for Republicans, Democrats, and Evangelical leaders to cast aside political and ideological differences to help create an atmosphere of unity that could possibly reduce the moral decline that's clearly evident in America and abroad!
As a child, I witnessed hatred firsthand as two gunmen murdered my mother, her boyfriend, and my godmother during an armed robbery in NYC. Herman Thomas